Solution or More Problem



The sun rises to colour pieces of the air.

What do we want to be?

Right and therefore probably terribly wrong and the perpetrator of worse: or humble and humorous?

Leaving the study conference, the presenter came to the door, with packed suitcase, leaving with someone else to catch a plane at the airport an hour away. It had been bitter cold, below -30°C. As we left the temperature was still a stiff -20°C with a windchill of -27°C, which does make a difference for what happened next.

I asked if she had a parka. She said it was packed in the suitcase. I continued with my real concern saying that at these temperatures one ought have it at least right handy in the vehicle so that if something happens one is prepared.

She returned a glazed look and said that she would be in the car and into the airport. She had no plans to be outside.

I shook my head in disbelief and said that was ok, but the concern was if an emergency came up, she would not be ready.

More non-commitment, and I departed.

Later I remembered this conversation and one of her comments in her presentation:

‘Mansplaining’ are those spouting off by men without qualifications or attention to the-woman-they-speak-to’s qualifications, as if all wisdom came only from men. And her learned and practiced response was to ignore the words as much as possible and move on.

Ahh, so that was what she did to my words at the door, as I bundled into my down parka on my 40 feet to the car, travelling that same hour to the airport, also never leaving the car.

Perhaps I was just a dumb Minnesotans (she’s from St. Paul MN) from the sticks (Brainerd), who was male and therefore mansplaining her. Perhaps in a different universe.

I have winter survival training, specifically for the weather we were suffering. As a commercial pilot I flew in northern (so it’s called, though it is really central) Alberta. The training was to help us as pilots know how to prepare and then ensure we and our passengers survived after a crash in the bush at extreme temperatures for at least 72 hours. During the training it went down to below -20°C each night as we made our shelters with only natural materials with the tools we normally flew with (or should have never flown without.) The last night it went well below -40°C.

In addition I have had the misfortune of being in a vehicle accident in the winter, and the difference made by having a parka on was critical for survival. Perhaps everything would have turned out ok had I had the parka near me. But then everything was tossed far and away during the pirouette and flips. So maybe not. But getting it out of a packed suitcase? Not a chance that would have gone well.

So maybe I was just mansplaining and her best response was to ignore my words with judgmental disdain and move on; which is good enough until there is an accident, and the parka could have made the difference between life and death, for her or for others in her car or others vehicles.

Maybe she is fully qualified to make the risk assessment, did so and chose comfort over the small likelihood of being in an accident on the way to the car or to the airport.

Or maybe she was not, and as a professor in St. Paul she may never have to work to survive in the outside below -20°C.

But to dismiss my good words, kind even, wise from training and experience, well that is just proof that mansplaining is hardly the problem. The problem is that she dismisses what men say.

NOT

The sun colouring book is actually the smoke of the fire that keeps me warm, or at least alive, when it dips below ‘Youch-It-BITES-to-be-Outside!)

I have no idea if she glazed over about my comment. Or if she actually had a parka to pull out, or was sheepishly covering for the fact she’d travelled, via California, without a parka this time, or she actually made the risk assessment fully informed and the best she wanted to.

Regardless: travelling with no parka at least on the seat beside oneself in the deep freeze of winter is not wise.

Maybe my commenting, with surprise and expecting a humorous exchange, was out of place: why care about how strangers deal with the elements. It’s just the extremes of yesteryear are now the norms, because of climate change. Besides if the stranger is a woman, then it is politically incorrect to try to assist in some normal way.

The best thing to do is let all women suffer, even if there are simple words of hard won wisdom that are worth sharing.

Besides, who cares if I was a stay at home parent, and listened to all the womansplaining that was directed at me at parent-teacher meetings, or other gatherings of parents. Now of course fathers as at home dads is more common. Back then I was singular in most every woman’s experience, and obviously I was stupid at it … because helping raise 7 younger siblings does not really give any man real child rearing experience. You have to be a girl to learn to raise children, practising on your younger siblings, right?!

And all of that is utter nonesense. How do I even know the speaker responded to me as if I were mansplaining her?

I do not.

And why does she ignore men who she thinks are mansplaining her? Because she needs to survive.

But ignoring men, is exactly what women are complaining about: they are ignored.

So the real fix is to blame men and ignore them, to shut them down and silence them, right?!

Wrong.

That kind of working hard to turn the tables on people who treat me/us as if I/we do not count is much more of the same injustice and it breeds injustice, until it has built enough to cause a war, or a personal fight … and then the number of people who are silenced grows out of hand.

Empathy, kindness, reaching into the unfamiliar to understand; These are a good start toward a real solution.

Blaming, dismissing others because they are xsplaining you is not an answer, it is a dodge that perpetuates and makes worse the situation. One could have solved it, but one chose instead to become like one’s enemies and wreak havoc on them as they have you.

No solution comes from diminishing the other, nor from making them one’s enemies.

Only grace truly works.

It’s cold outside. That does not mean one’s heart needs be ice hard.

Be safe, outside, travelling, and with the hearts given into one’s care.

Sometimes the treat is to see something up close, real, beautiful … and forget the rest.

It’s about TIME

It’s about TIME

The way to defeat evil is to live a good life.

A trip to friends brought us to a familiar, wonderful view out over the mountains.

Though our visiting took priority over getting high on the mountains until the sun was well up in the sky. The sunrise was less rise than rain fall. So we enjoyed the clear air clean of the wildfire smoke from the many BC fires. The clear mountain air.

A breath of fresh air as good as good friends: priceless.

And after a jaunt up we went down by the riverside to enjoy the flow of wonder,

As water roiled serenely reaching for the sea across the rocks.

 

The last outing I had was a while ago, when ice still held the water under wraps

Just nice.

 

and the moon stuck itself hidden in clear view over the ice.

 

The greatest marvel though was definitely the golden

Wonder of the setting sun spread through the warp and weave of this universe.

My mind

Full

Ness

of what may come.

Grace is the only aspect of life that brings real rewards.

Breathe ….

Time is always on the side of truth.

Goodness shines bright. Think. Live. Be courageous,

The truth will win out.

Hanging Loose, Hanging Tight

Hanging Loose, Hanging Tight

We found ourselves out in the mountains again. Observing the environment of plants, animals, humans, and machines.

The spectacular sights outside our window in the morning make it all worth the effort.

 

 

The expanse of the clouds above the mountains off in the distance as we were nestled in the privacy of the trees on an open field with the sun setting made it wonderful.

 

 

 

And literally taking the kitchen sink, the bed, the toilet and tub, the table, the fridge, stove and furnace, and our clothes and luggage make for an easy waking in some marvelous spots.

 

From a very helpful machinist we got the tip that there were three falls just a few paces off the tarmac. We investigated in a heavy downpour.

 

 

We only found two but these are a combination of human engineering and beaver damming that result in protecting the road from surely otherwise eroding away.

A bit upstream we found another falls and rapids series, and never did find the third as we were soaked and cold.

 

 

But the creamy white and the wild wet rocks played along well, as long as we could hold out.

 

That evening we hung the truck and camper not loose at all but very secured to the side of a decommissioned logging road. The specular light turned the green canoe (another part of the trip) into a bronze wonder.

 

There, on the side of the mountain the wake up out the door view was even more breathtaking and then breath giving, as the sun played with the clouds and the valleys were visible for miles and miles.

 

The dreamy feel comes from the fog laying low on the mountains as fresh rain evaporates to fill the air.

 

The vegetation is lush, framing (sometimes blocking) the views.

 

At our feet daisies and red paintbrush flowers created a carpet of colour.

 

The sky for just a moment even took on the hue of the lush lilac coloured flowers dotting the mountainside in lines and groups.

 

The sunsets were awesome.

 

The light bedazzling bringing the trees to life otherwise not there.

And that is good photography.

Some of all that can be reduplicated with ordinary photos and lots of software work, usually hdr, to try to bring out the light, but nothing works as well as finding the moment the light dances, and being ready to capture it, in order to share it.

 

While I was out I remembered quickly the difference the exposure time makes on water.

Creamy here.

 

Sharp and clear here.

 

A landscape with just one spot of colour.

 

Or a portrait to lose almost all the colour except the one rose.

 

And playing with the focus if you just let the camera do its thing, sometimes everything wrong is in focus and the thing out of focus.

 

So you have to make sure you control what is happening to get what you want.

 

Sometimes the great difference in light levels is just too much and something is lost.

 

And then multiple exposure HDR can sometimes bring the light of everything to be seen in one photo. – But with better software there are better options.

 

Animals Mine Protected

Animals in the No Hunting area of the Mine

There are a few opportunities one runs into that just amaze one.

These big horn sheep have come down into the protection of the mining leasehold to eat the lushes green grasses.

And they stand almost without any concern just off the roadway.

The young ones in the least desirable areas.

The next oldest in a good spot of green feed.

The oldest resting.

And the other oldest still looking for their hearts desires fulfilled.

Real Beauty

Real Beauty

When I wake in the foothills at the late hour sunrise, and the sun dances off the mountaintops out the window at the foot of the bed I get my camera on the tripod and shoot.

But the delay of that simple preparation allows the light to shift and the mountain is by comparison less than dancing alive.

Looking around there are other light plays to focus on.

But the best of the light is past.

So I decide to make a study of this, having encountered a photo of a young photographer, untrained but able to naturally see and capture and process photos to make them amazing for many around.

I often use hdr software, though I miss the really good hdr software I have on my desktop, to bring out the light in bracketed exposures. And then these images also play better than any of the single exposures as I pull the various light level out to play anew.

 

 

The fun and somewhat surrealistic use of the software is available.

 

The surrealistic leaves one craving a return to planet earth.

I rarely enjoy nature turned into a nightmare, rather a somewhat alternative view of what never was is good enough playing with reality for me. Creation has it’s own beauty that the right light brings to life.

That’s the reward of good photography, and the fun of playing around getting there.

What Gets Your Goat?

What gets your goat?

A simple question: and the answer to this one is a short hike up a lonely hill with camera to watch, and find and shoot the goat … with the camera, of course.

What gets your goat?

Climbing a short and steep, well-travelled, but still deserted, hike out into the mountains, this goat just showed up over the top of the horizon hiding the expansive river valley behind her.

She posed, and then circled around me, closer with each step, not challenging me, but as if to show off, assured I was no danger, coming within a few yards of me.

What gets my goat is – people who circle around your life, playing with you, posing for the famous shot to get everything out of you they can even if that means you are left with nothing or worse, unable to survive. For it is all about their image and reputation; that someone must pay for their mistakes so that they can appear to be without blemish.

The walks that day and the next gave us wonderful views, and great photos of crocuses, a favourite ever since they used to grow up the hillside on our land, always a challenge to photograph well.

What gets my goat is –  people who take beauty, hard won and paid for with forgiveness and love, diligence and hope, based on trust and promises … and systematically destroy it so that it can never be found again, so that next spring, they just will not blossom for fear, real fear of what will happen next.

As I returned to the path, the goat already ahead of me across the path, she turned one last time to look, to inquire, to insure I was no danger, to pose, knowing if I was even half decent she’d have her photo immortalized.

For the short life of a goat leaves little in memorial.

What gets my goat is –  people who take all that is the memory of a person, and through manipulation, deceit and outright lies, trash it, so that there appears to be nothing left of the person, and instead the lies create a monster of that person, a lie, but one that is who people think they meet and deal with when they see this person.

A wise person, fictional but still wise, said that the one thing to ensure as you choose a spouse is that the person is kind.

What gets my goat is –  people who pretend to be kind, but try to kill you, and when that does not work ruin you, and blame you for what they are doing to you.

This person, no matter how you frame it, is wise and honest, loyal and hopeful, is above all things, kind and gracious. That makes for life that is beautiful.

It does not make life easy or simple or even guaranteed; but it does make for life that is beautiful.

What gets my goat is –  people who are very intelligent and persevere at making sure they win at everything no matter the cost to others, even children, people who guarantee only other people’s destruction.

This is simple beauty.

Simple on the far side of complexity, the complexity of emerging early, even as frost still haunts the nights, and snow easily falls; at an altitude that is though easily attained still not quickly, and then one must bend low in humility and peer as one normally and simply cannot between the grass blades that become obstacles or makers of a photo … and then to focus as focus cannot even be easily seen.

To know where the focus is, not outside but deep within.

What gets my goat is –  people who only see the world through a fully reductionist approach, discounting all the information of truth and reality until they can justify declaring lies to be truths, deception to be light, and the person abused and killed to be responsible for all the fallout. Experts who have the degrees and with the adeptness of a sociopath set out to declare imaginary things to be reality, who twist and turn love-and-trust-and-forgiveness-and-hope into accusations of delusion, to make whole and laudable people and efforts seem to be ugly; simply because they cannot see beyond the grass and twigs to focus on reality which is very beautiful.

 

The view up close …

What gets my goat is – people who do not see to the horizon and beyond, so they never know the reality that is skewed to create deceptions deadly.

The view less up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot change their perspective to see reality.

 

The view starting to look through the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot see the trees for what they are, nor have the courage to look through to see the horizon. And worse, they think because they do not have the courage to even try to see past the trees, that others who do are either stupid, wrong, or insane.

The view looking through and past the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who do not know the beauty of the people up close and the crowds that make up the community and the world of grandeur. It may be unreachable and unfathomable but it can be seen and seen to be beautiful, even promising.

The view of the mountains framed by the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – when I cannot see the frame, nor the distant beauty.

 

The view of the distant mountains without losing touch with the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot see what is up close, nor what is the context of what is close, who make what is up close into something it is not, and who ignore that is the environment. And they destroy everything trying to make sure they are determined to be right … even when they are so wrong.

There are lots of paths to follow, through the beauty of the trees, some paths deeply trodden and marked by wheels, others barely visible at all.

What gets my goat is – people who think that deceiving others into believing the well-trodden paths are the only paths to take, because true kindness, grace, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, love and promise are often barely chosen, or stuck to very long, for the brambles are high and thick on these seldom traversed paths.

The view, amidst the grass, of beauty emerging promising even more … and many promises not so obviously, more blossoms so tiny, yet emerging.

What gets my goat is … people who cannot see promise as hope, hope as the only guarantee to be trusted, and love as the only thing that has lasting value. Instead they crucify others trying to force hope, trust, and love from money, things or winning.

God save us … all.

Enjoy the view, relaxing in what is provided.

There is beauty even if people get my goat so commonly. People are beautiful, even though they are ugly mean at the same time.

The Falls This Time In Late Spring

The Falls, again so lonely.

Where is it falling,

Just a little lonely compared to the last time

 

With so many feet running every which direction

 

And just a little shinier in the early evening light

 

 

And a whole lot colder with the falls’ water freezing making it all slide a bit more,

 

 

and what …

 

What a view

 

to the light

 

and the person of hope.

 

With trees leaning into the future.

Simple Spring Snow

Simple Spring Snow
As the heavens poured out the white, winter, down-duvet-split-open-softness on to our heads and campsite and woods the colours and light danced so quietly
as my boots crunched, the water gurgled and Karin’s beer spray protected us all from invisible rye and malt humour.

So is the bed of peace and hope.

There are a few children missing, but nothing more than what is being done can be done. So pray with us, for us, for them.

 

There are views of life that are so subtly similar, yet a step to the right, left or ahead provide a completely different perspective, seeing in through the cracks that are in everything the light that is Grace and Hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trees, alive with light on the walk out of the warmth into the wilderness.

 

 

Water the source of life, the wonder of life, the beauty of life. Green. Why?

Not because it’s cold, but because it is not cold enough to keep the glaciers from melting.

 

Glowing, white streams in the green of gorgeous. Can you see it here, too?

 

The River looking onto it from various points, perspective that changes light and subject, all the same yet completely different.

 

Turtles, of the snacking kind were at the table the night before, and here they appear again, a bit molded and quiet, looking not to be eaten anymore.

 

The soft look of fallen snow and fog on the mountains beyond the river.

 

Rocks … below and …

Rocks below … and …

 

Rocks beyond …

 

The River Upstream

 

Turning 180°

 

More turtles and …

 

Rocks and …

 

Rocks and …

 

Rocks and …

 

 

 

Rocks … until …

 

There are no more rocks in view as one looks downstream to Pyramid Mountain.

 

The path back to coffee and breakfast.

 

 

As the snow hangs tight but loosened by melting, waffles wait with syrup from trees and butter enough.

 

The light and the drips of water frozen in place the evening before.

 

 

The Pine trees up-close, frozen mid-drip.

 

 


The victory.

Moon Light Delight

Moon Light Delight

Leonard Cohen wrote and sang that it was cracks through which the light got it.

The bright moon between the pines demonstrate also that in the darkness even a dim light can be bright. Moral: surround yourself by bright people, who inspire you to be even brighter yet; same for wise, kind, compassionate, empathetic and caring people. It helps also to surround yourself, not exclusively by people recovering, also from addictions, for in that struggle to stay alive they identify the essentials of life: air, water, food, clothing, shelter, meaningful labour, and love (given and received, unconditionally!)

In this darkness I experienced the joy and struggles of getting the technology to do what I intended: I was pushing the capabilities of the camera and getting also mixed results between the ones that are reasonably okay.

Enjoy the dark and the second light:

The moon, the second light, the light of the dark hours, but only for part of each month.

 

 

It’s like second chances: it’s not quite like the first light/chance; but when it works out, the beauty/joy is amazing.

 

 

Turning just a bit and waiting and shooting again sometimes nets another, if not better, also beautiful, worth contemplating photo.

 

 

The perspective one takes changes the outcome, dramatically.

 

 

In the end, the view is just marvelous, and hauntingly so.

Trees Air & Crowds Starting

Trees Air & Crowds Starting

Back in Wapiti outside Jasper, now that there is less snow and more mud, the trees show signs of life, the air is fresh as ever and the rain starts … when clouds cover the mountains one can duck and run or get wet.

In the winter, one just enjoys the snow falling, and stays warm.

 

The river flows green, cool and true.

The river with Mountains in the background.

 

 

 

 

Looking downstream.

 

 

 


And the moon lighting the paths through the campground.

 

 

 

The Clouds in the  early Morning.

 

 

The news is the Tram is open, though I think it may require crampons to climb to the top through the snow and ice.

The Tram

 

 

 

As always the woods and the river are filled with paths and inviting hours of walking or shooting or watching or sitting in wonder at the Grace so plainly set before one … in one’s solitude. Even the view out the window is remarkably refreshing.

The Trees

 

 

 

But one has to realize that with the lack of frigid temperatures the crowds have gathered and what was once solitude is a busy metropolitan gathering. Where we parked alone or with one or two a whole passel of RV’s had gathered, and even out the south end the crowds of one and two have gathered, so that on every leg there is at least a tent or two.

The Crowds

We stopped to kibitz with two sitting for breakfast early on our walk about the entire open camp sites. Which means that we just cannot be alone any longer in solitude. Which is so great for me, the extrovert …

not.

But I, remarkably so, still enjoy meeting people and sharing stories with them.

Two doctors who’d been to Tanzania and two teachers from NWT were last evening’s visit into the late evening.