Thursday, October 24, 2013

The way it is, the way it was, and the way it will be

This view of Bellingham Bay and sky changes by the minute, but the water, shoreline of the Lummi Peninsula, and sky have been here for a long long time. Makes me think of a Mark Rothko painting:

This was a narrow motorbike trail on the way to Whatcom Falls when I first arrived in Bellingham in spring of 1974.  Now it is part of the extensive trail system that runs through Whatcom Falls Park.  Most of the trails are graveled.  Otherwise, they would be muddy messes throughout our long rainy Pacific Northwest winters: 

Through the trees you can see Derby Pond, created by damming Whatcom Creek:

The beauty of landscape architecture:

A moment of reflection:

Thank you for all the comments on my previous post.  You've all given me much to consider about the changing nature of landscape -- for reasons both relating to human intervention and otherwise.

Having grown up in Northern California and having spent my time between age 17 and age 23 as often as possible on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, I walked along vast sections of shoreline that showed no evidence of human intervention and major evidence of the power of the ocean to change the contours of land.  Since my last post, I have been highly conscious that so many of the places I walk in and around Bellingham are a mixture of the wild order of nature and of human orderliness.  On the other hand, take a look at this map of Whatcom County (White Rock, Clearbrook, and Abbotsford are in British Columbia, 25 miles north of Bellingham):

There are parts of eastern Whatcom County that are truly wild and pathless, and the 1895 photo below of Lummi Island, which is west of Bellingham across Bellingham Bay, shows a Lummi Indian camp and a glimpse of the way the shorelines looked then.  Not wild and pathless, but not meddled with to a great extent either.  

Interesting to see that the shore appears to be covered with stones similar to ones on the newly engineered beaches.  Now I am guessing that the landscape architects used photos like this for reference when they reconstructed the current beaches on Bellingham's shores.  Looks as if I was wrong in my original perception that the engineered beaches are not in character with the historical landscape.  I believe I owe an apology to the landscape architects for criticizing their work.

The self-portrait was taken in the mirror of the fairly new restroom near the children's playground which is near the red, orange and golden trees in the photo of the parking area in Whatcom Falls Park.  Kind of looks like I might be in meditation hall or a chapel.  I like the effect of the scratches on the mirror.  That's my new camera!

Last week I started free Microsoft Word classes at the Goodwill Job Training and Education Center and will take a class in Excel in January and possibly a class in cashiering;  

It's not easy to find a job in Bellingham at age 64 with my job background as a medical transcriptionist, but I am going to find a way to support myself for the rest of my life.  If I can focus my energy on weaving, that can be a source of income as well.

Just yesterday I applied for health insurance, and it was affirmed that, because of the Affordable Care Act, I am eligible for free health insurance through the State of Washington until next October when I will qualify for Medicare and will have to pay for Part B and can chose to pay for Part C and Part D, if I wish.  I've been without health insurance since the end of August of 2011 and am fortunate to be in good health.

Next week I begin volunteering to comfort babies in a childcare and learning center.

That's it for today.  Need to get going so that I will arrive at the classroom early and be ready to go when the lessons start.  

From wood s lot:

Sojourns in the Parallel World
Denise Levertov
b. October 24, 1923

We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehension--though affected,
certainly, by our actions. A world
parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it "Nature"; only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be "Nature" too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coal--then something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers
just where we've been, when we're caught up again
into our own sphere (where we must
return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
--but we have changed, a little.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad to read that you were able to sign up for ACA. That is grand news.

I hope you will post about your new leap into Excel and Word. It's been a while since I've learned a new application, although I am constantly trying to figure out how to effectively use Photoshop.

The Solitary Walker said...

Your new camera is really strutting its stuff, Am! You are clearly enjoying it. The photo which does it for me is the restroom pic — excellent — the composition, the graffiti, your studied face-on profile, the contrasting colour of the camera, the long window... yes, very good.

And that's one of my favourite Levertov poems too.

Sabine said...

I wonder what volunteering with babies will be like. Sending you patience.

am said...

Thank you robin andrea, Solitary Walker and Sabine!

Jerry said...

Where did you get the copy of the Lummi village? I have been trying to find a good copy of it for a long time...?

am said...

Jerry -- I should have credited that photo when I posted it. Just now I added a photo credit to the photo.

It looks like you can print a high resolution photo from that website.

Kind wishes,