Monday, July 21, 2014

Not So Common

Common Sotol
Pima Canyon
Tucson, AZ

For the great part of nearly two decades, I've been fascinated by the high desert ranging from San Miguel de Allende, GTO, MX to Tucson, AZ. The Sonoran desert has had its own special allure. The shapes of both mountains and sparse vegetation made me appreciate the order that dots it. The not so barren desert and sustains life and at the appropriate time, the desert blooms and serenades us with flowers for the eyes and nourishment for pollen seeking hummingbirds.

For months on my hikes, I walked by the "common sotol". It's symmetry  caught my attention along with the tall pipe like stalk which holds its bloom at some point after spring. The desert utilizes shapes from both planes and terrain as paint to a canvas. You can't help but notice the contrast against the sparse vegetation.

The image you see above is really not above its color but rather about the shape. I deliberately inverted the image to a negative like quality, and rendered it in black and white. The results yielded the real reason my eye was drawn to it. The light and the detail of the symmetric plant withstand my manipulation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

La Volada

Sabino Canyon Oasis
Tucson, AZ

"I had to live in the desert
before I could understand
the full value of grass in a green ditch.
Ella Maillart

Today is a day that I've been long on advice. For my own benefit, I've decided to jot down some of my euphoric experiences that I witnessed during my desert exile. At first it was extremely arduous and lonely. I complained about my drama: the ordeal of broken job promises on my very first day. The idea of having to take a position far away from friends and family was not what I had envisioned. In my mind the job was supposed to be in Dallas. It wasn't.

Saguaro With Ample Breasts
Sabino Canyon
It took me a while but after many lonely nights and lonely days of solitude, I discovered why I was there. It gave me an opportunity to find myself in the canyons and mountains of Tucson and its outlying areas. So I began to hike each day. On weekends, when I had more time to kill, I hiked endlessly for nearly five hours on a Saturday or on a Sunday.

Some asked me if I minded being alone. The truth was that I found companionship in the inanimate bosom of canyons and the shapeliness of saguaro cactus dotting the mountains during my hikes. It was as if I had found my own non human companion.

My relationship was only consummated by my eyes and the explosive images that they beheld during long sessions of impassioned lustful hiking always wanting to reach my summit. There were times when it seemed that every object which appeared to me exposed itself sensuously seducing me with siren like melodies arousing all of my senses. I keenly became aware of my place in the universe and I  enjoyed my new found organic and earthy sensuality. My desire to acquaint myself with my passion became emotionally insatiable. At times, I found I could not stop even when I was exhausted by my sustained emotionally driven hikes.

By the time I reached my summit(s),  I was exhausted from my interludes and foreplay and the visual stimulation prior to reaching my summit(s). While the treks up were arduous coming down them
Peson de Pima Canyon
Tucson, AZ
were equally treacherous as exhaustion and weakened limbs made my body uncooperative and unsteady. My body was relaxed and tired. On the way down, I would consider my good fortune of finding such an accommodating mistress that would accept me and still leave me with more desire than what I had originally started out with. I found my purpose and to some extent my happiness in the shapes and forms of nothing, nothing but desert.

Perhaps it takes losing everything to find the basics of life and to restore passion and purpose into your life. What if what we thought we wanted fails to provide for us emotionally or transcendentally? What if what is required of us is to be willing to change or to accept change? What if instead of changing everything else, its really you who has to change inside? Just what if?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Too Long and Too Hot

Life atop the Kaaterskills
Near Palenville, NY

Look deep into nature,
and then you will
understand everything better.

Albert Enstein

It's been a while since I've penned a few lines of thought. Please don't confuse the absence with lack of thought. Life has gotten inexplicably more complicated in the process to simplify. Just as I had put together the financial pieces of my last work hiatus; another interruption/inconvenience surfaced.

This time, there's no bitterness on my part and my anxiety is a bit less. I've taken the necessary steps to get my networking in place with friends, LinkedIn, and industry specific headhunters, etc. Most importantly each day I wrestle with myself to stay positive and to dwell on what I can do and all the things that I learned from my last affliction. The most important thing is to do and live each day fully regardless of my career absence. My job is to live.

It may very well be that I will have to work again on my creative side or perhaps find several jobs that fulfill me. Truthfully, there are many things I have mastered over the years among them photography and my ability to connect with people. In fact some of you reading my words today are folks I've never met. We have connected simply because we are on parallel journeys and of course similar destinations but scheduled to arrive at different times. Passengers on a train called time and on  a revolving and circular track called earth. It's a finite journey laden with infinite possibilities.

So today, I write simply because its time to. It's also too damn hot outside and so I thought I would remember a cool damp autumn day in the Catskills. It's good to draw from the well of pleasant experiences. If you hadn't have enough of them you might spend your time filling up your reservoirs for those days when you are parched and thirst to recall a memory or two.

Represented by the Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson

Friday, May 23, 2014

Life in the Rough

A Noble Friend
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

When things get a little rough, I like to think about all of my good memories. Truly have many fond ones of Tucson and the surrounding area south and east of it. Was always looking for adventure and most of the time wasn't disappointed. Provided the drama required to make my life meaningful and stimulating.

Horsing Around
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ
Instead of sitting on the sidelines or watching it unfold for me before a television, I had the pleasure of participating in my own reality show filled with people and places. For that experience I am unapologetic. To enjoy your life and find your happy place, you have to be willing to get off of your ass take chances, engage, participate, and live.

Honestly, if you chose to do nothing you have no basis to complain about your life. There's nothing we can do about yesterday, but we can and should simply enjoy today before tomorrow or it too will become yesterday.

Yes it's great to be philosophical. However, if I had to choose, I would choose to experience rather than muse about what once was or what could be. Doing and achieving are part of living. The rest I leave to philosophers and historians and accountants.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Moment in the San Rafael: A Summer Rain

San Rafael Rain Storm
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ
"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."
Henry David Thoreau
The distances and landscapes of the Sonoran desert of south east Arizona catch my attention; it's panoramas leave me breathless and eager to be free from all the thoughts which rein me back and keep me from enjoying the moment.

What I feel is the desire to be a part of that nature and just exist and enjoy. If I was a hawk, I would want to catch a lucky thermal and soar above the mountains, over the expansive grasslands, and occasionally swoop down to catch my prey or maybe just swoop for the fun of it. There's a feeling inside of me that simply does not want to care about anything but just be.

They say that indigenous people that inhabited our country believed that the land was not theirs to own but rather theirs to share. Those views can easily be understood standing out in the grasslands of the San Rafael Valley near Patagonia, AZ.

Take a look at the rains onset over the mountains and onto the grasslands. It's the monsoon time in the San Rafael Valley. Time for things to green up and time for the spirit to refresh. This morning I want to be refreshed by the moment and rains of the San Rafael.

Represented by the Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson

Monday, May 12, 2014

Yellow Columbine
Fort Worth Botanical Gardens

Enjoyed a lazy afternoon at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens several weeks ago. It was nice to watch all the young families who were out enjoying the flowering gardens. People of various nationalities and shades all enjoying the same. Admirers of nature do not discriminate. Nature's offering is also indiscriminate. Its gift is for all.

The gardens were full of young ladies posing for their quinceñeras, moms taking photos of brides on a budget, and all kinds of families squeezing together to take selfies. It was a wonderful day in north Texas not too hot and pleasant enough to enjoy most of the day outdoors. A perfect day to picnic on the lawns of the gardens and underneath the shades of stately live oak trees.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

My Mom
Josefina Hernandez Rios

Today is a good day to honor those women in our lives who have steadfastly been there for their children. Many of these women overcame adversity from fertility to financial hardship and some even the loss of their children. Through out it all they persevered and kept their children and dreams alive.

New Mom: Justin
Three women in particular come to mind whom I have personally witnessed in action. Amongst these are my deceased mother, Josefina, Kim, my wife and grandmother to triplet grand children, and my daughter,   Justin. Today we honor you.

My mother lost her oldest son when he was only about ten years old or so. Although grief stricken for years, she never lost hope and years later had another son. That son happened to be me.

Years later when my oldest sister was in college and my middle sister was in high school and I was in grade school, my mother had to maintain the whole family when my father had a nervous breakdown. Mom insisted that her daughter stay in college although we needed the money. This was a lesson of love and sacrifice that I never forgot. She kept the family in tact and was steady at the helm.

My wife's story was a bit different, she by
Mamie Kim and third generation Annie
necessity became head of her household with little children less than the age of four. Circumstances dealt her a bad hand but nonetheless she moved on with two children two years apart. She provided them with good guidance and wonderful home life which included plenty of pets, memorable vacations, and always bountiful Christmases, birthdays, and any other holiday presents could be given. I was fortunate to finance participate and to help finance these too.

Justin, my daughter has known adversity her whole life. Petite and feisty and true to her red hair she has never accepted the status quo. When told that she would not be able to have children she proved the physicians wrong. Unfortunately she lost her first pregnancy and knowing that she could get pregnant announced nearly six months later that not only was she pregnant but that she was also carrying triplets.

She is an incredibly patient mother. To watch her in action is absolutely amazing. Her character is absolutely beyond words for me and I believe my grandchildren are blessed to have she and her husband Travis for parents.

These women are all worthy of my admiration. There are many more including my sisters and some are friends of mine that date all the way back to grade school. To all of you, I tip my hat and thank you for your countless sacrifices and pay tribute to you.

represented by: Simon Gallery of Fine Art