Permanence (Across IV)

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On the way across it is worth to pause occasionally and to spend a few hours reminding the legs what they were meant for. The southern route across leads through wonderful Flagstaff, and I recommend to make a slight detour to see the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. 

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The pictures here are from Brins Mesa Trail which climbs up for scenic views and can be easily completed into a loop, surrounding the hump below. Not all trees grow in pairs here.

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After the monochrome winter landscape of the last two days, this is an explosion of color. While the trees will eventually grow, break, and die, their beauty will stay, if only as a memory.

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Sinkholes remind us that there is also beauty in impermanence.

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This piece of moss must be infinitely content, being able to contemplate all this.

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Pogonip (Across III)

After the slightly dreary Across pictures, it’s time to have a look at the other side of Across. The Pogonip is a wooded area adjacent to the University of Santa Cruz. 

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The word appears to come from a native American language and signifies dense, frozen fog. The pictures  here were taken at an evening walk, after the long drive across. 

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The ground is characteristically covered with Redwood needles. This is not southern Indiana anymore.

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Only the occasional maple leaves remind us of the existence of changing seasons and places.

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Then there are special places, like the Rock Garden, or the Lichen Tree.

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Now the fog can come.

Roadside Picnic (Across II)

The pictures from this little series Across were taken during a four day road trip from Indiana to California.

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One would think that the first half or so takes us through a rather featureless landscape. While this is true, the brain starts to focus on the little unusual things that are not just strips of earth and sky.

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Trains quickly become a favorite. At least, they move, too.

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There are terrible places like meat factories, and other traces of the human condition.

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It is amazing to see that traffic works.

The majority of the drivers are cooperative, even friendly, and the few maniacs can be smiled away and quickly forgotten. Driving is maybe the major education in cooperation and communicative skills the average US person receives these days.

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When automatic cars become reality, where will people learn how to treat each other?

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Nothing to Take (Across I)

Let’s enter here:

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The space we are entering is the Hole-in-the-Wall Rings Trail in the Mojave National Preserve. As a loop trail, it suggests that we are surrounding something by walking this trail. The opposite is the case, the landscape of narrow canyons seems to surround us.

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The walls of this enclosure contains molds — for whom?

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We need to be here early in the morning to experience the near total silence. This silence is paradoxical, too: It is not the absence of sound that asks to be filled with sound, it is the sort of silence that invites us to be quiet, too.

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The holes and cracks are signs of what we need most, protection and growth.

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The Mojave is the driest desert in North America. There is nothing here for us to take but beauty. 

It’s time to leave, for now:

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For the reopening of the Eskenazi Museum of Art in Bloomington, Elizabeth Limons Shea created the ballet Ascension to be performed throughout the building.

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The open architecture (designed by I. M. Pei) of the building allows for unusual gestures and views.

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The ensemble consisted of about a dozen dancers, performing in small groups.

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The display of intimacy with each other and the building was quite compelling.

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How much integration is possible? Art, building, performers, spectators, all one?

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Frost (Fall 2019 III)

Persistent temperatures below freezing and a fair amount of snow are unusual here in the middle of November.

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Still green trees are prematurely frozen.

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The steep roads were so icy that I decided to take a hike to the Strahl Lake instead of risking a car wreck. Usual this trail is rather bland, but the early snow provided some inspiring views.

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We all should try to show that much color when we are frozen…

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All this will thaw in the next few days, and slowly fade. It tells us that we need to catch the moment when it’s there.

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