Here are some musings on mystery/imagination and a couple recent photos from the last couple weeks.
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of all true art and science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. “- Albert Einstein
Some of my personal thoughts and a poem of mine:
Every action that we take as a mysterious and imaginative component to it. We know not of the outcome, but can only imagine what result our actions will take. The whole of life is blanketed in this sort of mystery. We are given some initial puzzle pieces and an area with which to work, and we must collect and create the rest of the puzzle along the way until we complete it and say, so this was the whole picture it formed.
When I can’t move any further I reach an edge
It is then up for the imagination to tend
To carry me to lands unseen
To weave this world out of a dream
To shatter barriers of worry and fear
And allow creativity to steer
To roads which see no end
This path always exists right around the bend!
Here are some haikus I have written lately with some corresponding imagery. Enjoy!
Mt. St. Helens
Mountains return to Earth
Flowers grow out of the ash
Ode to the Glacier Peak Wilderness
Blooming for Many Miles
a colorful reminder
of what we can be
Nature Sharpens Sense
On the reflection of life’s events
all seems more brilliant
Imagine a flowing stream. The stream is going to do whatever is necessary to follow the most efficient route possible to its destination. It will, by design, move to an area with the least amount of conflict possible. I like to think back to this flowing stream as a beautiful metaphor to how to navigate situations that arise in life. Though it’s tempting to go an immediate route full of conflicting items at times, it is always wisest to take the path of least resistance. Like a stream flowing to the river, it’s always wise to arrange your course of action with the destination in mind. If there is a source of negativity in your life or an issue that must be dealt with, I find taking a step back and briefly thinking about the different courses all of your potential actions will create in this situation. In many of life’s situations, there are a number of ways you can handle something, but usually only a couple different responses can get you to where you need to go smoothly. Continuing to choose conflict builds the resistance you will face on your path. When you react to somebody in a negative way once, you give permission to this situation to arise again. With every peaceful response to a situation, you further carve a safe course to experiencing less conflict in the future, and ideally reach your river of satisfaction!
The image is somewhat irrelevant, but I am adding it for complementary purposes.
Using Constructive Thought
Recently an idea I have been thinking about is the energy and emotions tied to thinking, and how every thought you have carries with it seeds of an emotion, whether constructive or destructive. From this idea one can work to control how they choose to think to build better health or perhaps indulge in grumpiness if that is their source of pleasure.
By these examples, it is obvious that how we think plays a pivotal role in the life that we lead. Knowing this we can move towards steering thinking in a way that builds energy and momentum. The same equation applied to destructive thinking could also be applied to constructive thinking. Using constructive thinking you could eventually inspire a state of health. And every moment carries an opportunity to go one way or the other by a matter of choice. Much of the stress we feel from thinking is born out of reactions to ideas which are neutral at their core which we then decide to react to these ideas based on preconceived thoughts we might have had about them.
Doing anything creative can lead to this fork in the road of destruction and construction. Often creative things are riddled in self-doubt, comparison, condescension and lots of questions. It is helpful in this regard to think of yourself as your only competitor and everyone else as an ally. Because in reality you are only competing against past works of your own. You should only hold yourself at the liberty to compare your work to your past creations and accomplishments, and in doing so not be so self-critical. Take a fairly neutral approach and remember that this past version of you did the best it could with the knowledge and equipment it had. Finding joy in the process of the art is one of the most important aspects to constructive thinking in art. There does come times when the actual creation is more valued than the creative process, but to keep energy high there has to be a lot of joy coming from creating. It is easy to lose sight in the product and not really have it justify the why. It is important to find lots of joy in all aspects of the creative process for your art, otherwise there is going to be stress roadblocks and going back to the stress equation above a resulting loss of quality of life and creative thinking. And I’ve found that I am most joyful when creativity is running high!
To summarize: Thinking can influence your health for better or worse. You can easily manage your thinking and use it for constructive things like extra energy to apply to creative endeavors .
A recent trip into the alpine lakes wilderness not only brought me up close and personal with some beautiful alpine scenery, it also had me encountering shopping-center like crowds .Large groups of people like this are not entirely uncommon in areas along the I-90 corridor, especially the closer to the metro area you go. Counting nearly a couple hundred people on the hike to my destination had me wondering what type of stress load this had on the landscape, and also had me questioning what we will be considering wilderness in the future.
I can wholeheartedly understand the draw to nature on many levels. Experiecing nature in its essence has a grounding and therapeutic effect. Unfettered experiences of nature are a biological necessity. Getting clean air and studying the beauty we see along the trail helps balance our brain and improves health in an array of different areas. On some level we all know this, but we’re sort of a culture with amnesia; it has become accustomed to gravitate towards the electronic world rather than remember our roots in nature. And as I am reminded by my recently deceased laptop, our modernized comforts are often very fleeting in comparison to the self-renewing ecosystems of nature. And this experience of nature is something everyone should be entitled to.
I like to view things more holistically , assuming that each person has the potential to create a ripple effect on the environment around them. I think in its essence, a mass desire to get outdoors has to be viewed in a positive light. The more people that are embracing the outdoors as their form of recreation, the more healthy and balanced the culture is. I think the key thing to emphasize, crowded trail or vacant, solitude or groups, is respect for nature. Respect for nature is something that is instilled when someone is drawn to nature for the experience. This relationship with nature can only help instill a sense of humility for the grandness of it. The difficulty we face is that our culture is still very much in training wheels when it comes to relating to nature. The passive interest in nature has a tendency to bring one to the outdoors, but also with one foot in the noise of modernized culture. Our cultural leap is to encourage and educate respect for nature. There is a lot to be said about the benefits of solitude in nature, but if there are to be many on the trail, perhaps establishing a sense of wilderness community would be the ideal.
Within the tree is a reminder that I am supported by a root structure and only through this connection do I bear my fruits.
In the wind there is a reminder that I vary between stillness and intensity and within either of these movements I cause a chain of events.
Within the flowers is a message that color blooms when conditions are right.
Within the tides is a reminder that I move back and forth and to and fro by the will of cosmic events.
In the deep waters is a message that on the surface I reflect observable objects, yet below the surface possess life unseen.
Within the volcano is a reminder that any point we are always suspended between grace and destructive force.
Within all life on Earth is a reminder that we dance on a fine-tuned web of giving and receiving. We develop ourselves to better develop others.
Forever engaged in a creative dance.
True power comes when we take a stance.
And convey what is ours:
Our oneness with earth, sky, and the infinitude of stars.
Never apart from what we see,
We must look inside to know what causes our mirror to be.
And begin to see reflected back to us what we feel.
Then truly work within a space that is real.
And warm the world like never before. . .
by fully igniting the energy at our core.