Wild river at night

Chatterings, whisperings, callings, maybe even a yell from down below or far above – the conversations come from every direction before the moon can clear the trees and tell a different story. Here in the dark, the moving water is a mystery – carrying itself into every space around as it slides over pebbles, between willow shoots around bends. Water seems to spread everywhere leaving us fearful of the next step falling into some clatter box of wet sounds. Now there is just voice. An incessant dialogue of those stones, trees and almost silent pools carries on. Sit and listen and the voices pulse in imagined unison, small sounds turn on and off. Upstream, the fast water rushing over boulders loses its voice over the water curling around the submerged log in the middle of the pool. Turn downstream and the gravelly riffle below comes to life telling its own story. All this will be different under the moonlight. All this will change with sunrise. But right now there is only the sound of water caressing the earth.

Downtown Friday

Snapshot. Water drops off the edge of the roof, landing on the outer edge of the sidewalk. Cars crawl through the streets, head lights and red lights lighting up the drizzly, downtown evening. People huddle in doorways and under the overhanging eaves. Old faces and new faces move along. At the donut shop, a young lady plays guitar out front, hoping for a lucky dollar or two. Everywhere a steady choir of water wrapping up a cool November evening: car wheels whisking along the wet pavement, drops from the roof, the wet buzz of a northern California small town Friday night. The ice cream shop bustles with customers. Pumpkin perhaps, or honey vanilla lavendar maybe. Decisions are made across counters and over cafe menus. In dark doorways others huddle, maybe not so fortunate and wondering what decisions they might have left. A fellow staggers out of the bar under one of the dripping edges, oblivious for awhile until his cigarette is hit squarely and extinguished. Time for another drink, it’s still early.

We move about among the others, wondering if this is our place, or maybe our one chance. Down the crowded sidewalk, we’ll stop trying to figure it out. Not long after, the drizzle turns to rain and the gutters push it all somewhere. We hurry back to the car and leave this town behind.

The forgotten American dream: patience

Mid-way through the afternoon the wind doesn’t show and the sun hangs across the streets in a timeless bit of perpetual Sunday laziness. I wonder down to the little taco stand where I know there’ll be few people and no waiting or impatient customers hurried on by something. These are the afternoons where the morning gets forgotten along the way. How things ended up here is unknown. For a couple of hours, there is nothing going on. Everything just slows to a crawl along the street. The cars are missing for a while, the kids have all gone inside for a break. Everything just seems to pause for a while. In this little slice of time the sun lights up the flat water on the bay, spraying slow sparkles of light through the afternoon. If I could stay right here, sipping my drink, patiently waiting for my tacos – the kind of patient wait that bathes me in calming comfort – I might never need anything else.

Prototype Christmas Gift

Playing with the alignments, colors and, of course, the flies for a gift.  I ended up placing the flies upside down in relation to the hanger on back, so I will have to do a version 2 which is OK since I figured out a better way to secure to mounting posts for the flies and I will color the wood inside a light brown perhaps.