Sunday, September 27, 2009

Prolific Brilliance

Roses stand out from many other flowers in one way I like a lot - they take advantage of the WHOLE summer. From spring until fall, they are industrious like ants, but elegant like orchids. Day in, day out, they just keep sprouting one masterpiece after another. Something I find inspiring. It is akin to the frenzied work of those who leave behind a big footprint, like Van Gogh, Michael Jordan, or Madamme Curie.

We had the good luck that the house we moved into in Redmond had a collection of high end roses planted by a previous owner. Each day a collection of beauts come up.
Head Shot 1...
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2009 (click for larger image)

Head Shot 2... Head Shot 3...
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2009 (click for larger image)

Head Shot 4... Head Shot 5...
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2009 (click for larger image)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Primal Traditions

Just a very few tendencies seem to need no training or introduction. Sitting around a campfire is one. Funny how you don't need much conversation or other such distraction either.

I first came across this routine when I worked at a camp for physically and mentally handicapped for two mesmerizing summers during my undergrad years. For two summers, 5 nights a week for 10 weeks, people sat around a magical fire, stared, chatted, sang, romanced, laughed, vented and gathered up energy from the crackling, glowing, scintillating jewel in their midst. Oddly the only thing you needed was the fire. All other activity, such as conversation and company, were (and still are) simply nice to haves.

Nowadays, we join a few friends for two camp outings each summer somewhere in the Washington state park system. Each night I so look forward to tying things off with a fire. People gather, crack jokes, emphatically join songs with no worries of harmony. Then you slip into moments of quiet before another raucous round kicks up. Whether you are a moth or human, the magnetic pull of a crackling fire is hard to resist. And when you see how peacefully all ages will sit and stare at a campfire, be it grandparents, or toddlers, you know you are in the company of something ancient and remarkable.

Following Reuben's Lead...
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2009 (click for larger image)

Warm Gathering...
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2009 (click for larger image)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Extreme Luxury of Being Huge or Tiny

It is hard to beat non-verbal communication. Consider your standard issue hug - - it has expression within it that is beyond our vocabulary.

A hug by someone 10 times your size - - well, it’s even better, with such features as an ocean of arms and chest, that cozy corner under mom’s chin inside the curve of her neck. It’s the comforting aromas of a grandfather’s shirt or cologne. Time is held at bay. Dissolved into nothingness are all those upsetting elements; again one can know and feel the world is a good place to be.

Giving a hug to someone 1/10th your size is a quantum leap better than the same done to a person of similar dimension as yourself. In one fell swoop, you get to engulf their entire being. Like a super hero who can change dimension, you become protector, consoler, a human blanket and cocoon whisking them away from all that is troubling.

The era for this is fleeting – all too quickly the recipients transition into larger frames, into stages where things are explained more often in words than gestures. The supply of comfort and encouragement is increasingly timebound, in part to groom the younger ones to know how to enter back into the fray. Until one day in the future where the former recipients, despite having no memory of the good actions enjoyed during their infancy, will reverse roles to comfort a new flock of tiny beings.

Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2004

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Chuttumbee 2 Turns 6

One possible measure of how young at heart you are - - how carefully you track your upcoming birthday. Sidd followed his 6th the way the FAA monitors a 777 coming in from London; or how NORAD would have watched an ICBM coming in from Siberia. (I fear I am repeating an earlier post.)

"Only 73 more days left dad...." 18 days later, "Dad, there's only 55 days left to my birthday. Are you watching?"

Well the momentous day came in 3 stages:
  • First a party in Atlanta at the house of his cousins Ava and Audrey.
  • Then a little shindig at our place on the actual day. But by then he had decided one's "real birthday" actually occurs on the day of the official party.
  • So finally we gathered with a few of his friends to go bowling, after which he casually let his brother open the presents for him. Paul did this with all the seriousness and duty of someone processing taxes, though the gleeful gleam in his eyes says that deep inside it was a different story.

I figure in about 8 months, it will be time to track the next incoming big day.

Finally Six Years Old...
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2009 (click for larger image)