Monday, July 23, 2012

The Browning

I knew I wanted to go here, "just not when the hills are brown" I told myself, then I went there anyway. This is the time of year to stay busy, to sit cradled in the womb of the studio, visit with friends to keep the big bad "M"elancholy at bay. I am not one to struggle with depression, thank goodness, still when the hills go brown, I find it difficult not to feel brown too, green is easy, green is the knee jerk metaphor for joy.


So if women are birds I follow my covey into the brown hills to reflect on life. When my own mother was dying, I sat by her bed and she told me I was strong, a trait I know I gleaned from her even though she was so frail when she spoke the words. As you age you lose your strength, not only physically but you become more frail of spirit. Fragility of spirit is not a weakness it allows you to become more compassionate, though your corners soften, the world sometimes feels more pointy, prickly. I avoid prickly people and situations, life is shorter than it once was, I choose quality, I give quality, there is no such thing as perfection, perfection is a myth, perfection is a sliding scale.


Life is all about the way you look at things, your perception, you take thoughts in and whir them in your blender brain, it's how they pop out once poured in the cup of your open heart that makes the difference.

I took two pictures both in the same spot, same frame, different focus, the first one above of the brown grass...


This one the green sumac, grass in front out of focus.


Brown is beautiful, brown is necessary, brown is a teacher.


The hills teach me everything and today the lesson I gleaned was that we may have once been birds but we are also the chamise, we are layers, we are brown and green and despite the season we are all still capable of blooming.


To you, with love, Ro

44 comments:

  1. Ro, I feel like the same emotions are going through my life now, too. We must be about the same age, and I feel like time is of the essence, and yet, as you say, it's so easy to be bent by the moment, a cold breeze, etc. Beautiful post you've written!

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  2. Yes we are roughly the same age Dawn, a good age though with so many lessons learned.

    The book is beautiful, honest, thought provoking, often enlightening and meditative.

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  3. Dear Ro, when you say the hills teach you everything, I know what you mean; I feel that way about the ocean. If I lived inland though, I'm sure I'd find the same lessons in a field of corn or a sea of wheat; life cycles and ebb, flow and change.
    Beauiful post. Thanks for they link to a new writer.
    xx
    julie

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  4. Don't you know it Julie, it's all right there for the gleaning.

    There are wonderful passages about the CA coast, you will love it!

    xoxo

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  5. Replies
    1. PS. Love your new banner photo! Just lovely.

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    2. P.S. too -- I'm with Ash on this!!

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    3. Thank you Ash, sending love, not a summer baby either of us :P

      I finally figured out how to change it, I'm happy you like it. YAYYYY!!

      Thank you Caroline

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  6. Seems like we are on the same wavelength...so weird. The brown you capture is pure green...what a lovely post Ro! xx

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    1. I think we are not the only ones Mona, together we stand in the brown and green, a little bloom :)

      xoxo

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  7. I adore Terry Tempest Williams' writing, so thank you for sharing her new book--I haven't read it yet--can't wait to savor it.

    Thoughtful perspective you offer here, Ro--my favorite (besides the covey of quails!) is the pair of photos taken from the same spot--the view depends on the focus....

    So much to think about here--

    Brown is a teacher.

    Despite the season, we are all still capable of blooming.

    Frailty of spirit is not a weakness.

    Perfection is a sliding scale.

    Hmmm, I think I need to quit commenting here and go note those thoughts, plus a few others, in my journal....

    Mona is right about the brown you capture being pure green--thanks for sharing this, all of it!

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    1. You are welcome, this one is not so easy but important.

      I think you are turquoise dear friend, that is your color :)

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  8. Lovely thoughts, I'm a big believer in life being about your perception. I love the two pictures in the same place!
    And I'm with the others, your banner picture is gorgeous!

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    1. Well it is all perception, this is true and healthy DJ, glass half full stuff.

      Thank you regarding the banner, it's about time, new address, new look :)

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  9. Dear Ro, Thanks so much for your thoughtful & insightful post. Just what I needed to read on this Monday at my job. And particularly like the covey of quail photo & your new banner is beautiful!! xoxoxo

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    1. My son told me today he hated Mondays and I told him he was allowed to, Mondays are tough.

      The tapping and dapping quail so skittish, it was a rare occasion to get a shot of such a large group, I like their company.

      Thank you for the banner love, I adore those azure butterflies.

      xoxoxo

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  10. Oh, Ro - Life is very brown here, too, inside and out: the green of winter and spring are missed, but just as you said these times are teachers, too...tough to remember sometimes, but true.

    Thinking good thoughts for you, talented woman.

    xoxo,
    A

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    1. These are the times I call it the dead of summer, these are OUR snow days, stay strong, if it wasn't for all the brown we wouldn't appreciate the green. Brown is the teacher.

      Thinking of you and the little sparkler by your side.

      Have a wonderful week Allison.

      xoxo

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  11. I thought about your post a lot today, Ro...which led to thinking about my favorite browns:

    ...espresso... treacle pudding... brown bears... tree bark... (non-strawberry-eating) squirrels... amber... soil... kiwis (the bird not the fruit; we call kiwis, wait for it, kiwifruit!)... meatloaf (yup, meatloaf)... maple syrup...

    ...chocolate anything...

    ...which goes well with beer anything!

    xxx

    Brown hair, eyes, and skin is pretty rocking, too! ;o)

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    1. Oh, woke up to load scuffling sounds coming from our roof early this morning.

      FOUR crows fighting over a t-bone! (No idea where the t-bone came from.)

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  12. HA, you are pure joy, from your list of brown and beautiful things, meatloaf................ not the singer........TOO funny......to your crow boys, only boys would fight over a t-bone, that is fact, especially in the morning.

    still laughing!

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    1. Oh, I forgot about Meatloaf! Yes! Him too! =D

      I'm sure you're right. They had to be boys. I asked them very politely to sod off...I mean, go crow somewhere else. One flew real low over my head while the rest completely ignored me.

      (It's really weird. We've never had this happen in all the years I have lived here. There must be some good eats close by because our street has turned into a roost of sorts this summer. Crows EVERYWHERE! I never realized how noisy they are. Upside: they're drowning out all the dogs--ha!)

      xxx

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    2. "Sod off!" I love that one, so British, I'm keeping that one in my pocket :)

      In the company of crows, I enjoy their hi jinx and the way they street sweep, the way they strut like army officers with their hands laced behind their backs, black wings.

      xoxo

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    3. Beaming smile here. That is EXACTLY how they walk and strut and crow! LOVE it! =)

      Hehe... sod off. Works for so many occasions.

      xxx

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  13. What a lovely, articulate, thought-provoking post, Ro. You are so right....it IS how we perceive things that makes ALL the difference.

    You didn't have to sign it to us "with love.". We felt it way before the end of your post ;).

    Now I realize more than ever why I love the color green.....and yet absolutely value brown too for the color that it is.

    The quail photo is precious, and thanks too for the book to check out!

    Sending love to you too <3
    xxxooo

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    1. I know you as the tenderest of birds, mostly green like the shiny wings of a hummingbird.

      I love that nervous covey too, I encountered several.

      ♡♡♡♡♡+♡=♥

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  14. ro i love that you told your son that. and i love ttw, i can hardly wait to get this book. i agree with everyone, your header photo is so lovely.

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    1. I was thinking about you Lori and how I knew you would love this book.

      Thank you regarding the banner, I took that shot outside outside of Yosemite a couple weeks ago.

      Men try and fix things, women listen :)

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  15. love your perspective on browning and on life itself.

    and: great new banner!

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    1. Welcome to my brain, brown and green.

      Thank you for the banner love.

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  16. Ooops :(.

    Forgot to mention your wonderful banner....all of my favorite colors. Fantastic photo!

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  17. Azure, blue, lapis, labradorite you can't go wrong with a blue butterfly. It was so hot and I stood for the longest time waiting for her to open her wings, this was the most she would give me before I finally gave up and left her alone.

    xoxo

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  18. I too love your new banner. My heart is in a brown place right now and I so look forward to the time it will be green again; I know it will come but not quite soon enough.....very thoughtful post.

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  19. Thank you Sandi,

    Oh I know summer is a long row to hoe, stay steady sweet lady.

    xoxo

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  20. Wow.
    I have been reading and re-reading this post the last couple of days sweet Ro.
    Monday, it was just to intense. Between going back to work and the Worldliness of everything...I couldn't get past the "M"elancholy of it all.
    Then, yesterday I was able to read a little bit further, with my heart feeling so raw. nope.
    couldn't make it thru yesterday reading either.
    so
    today, when all is quiet during lunch, I read it again...this time letting the brown seep in, knowing the green is not far behind.
    I felt better.
    My favorite colors, brown..green, purple and turquoise, the only colors I seem to pick for my wardrobe. fitting for the butterfly, and fitting for me.
    Thank you for the quail joy dear friend. How I love those birds!
    see you soon.
    xoxo

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  21. Well I knew that Deb, I knew it would be a HARD transition, I would cry, I know I would.

    YES, see you soon!

    xoxo

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