Monday, September 15, 2014

Packing

Lazy Living at the Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

Trying to pack for an adventure back to southeast Arizona. From what I can tell my visit will coincide with the tail end of hurricane Odile which promises rain showers during my stay. Coordinating last moment details with the rancher's hand as my trip also coincides with the annual Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo in Sonoita.

My arrangements are last minute and spontaneous.  I prefer it that way. Just want to experience it the way it is not they way I contrive it. Need to get some things out of the way first. Ready to empty out my head and fill my heart.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Gratitude

Windmill and Cattle
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ
What makes the desert beautiful 
is that somewhere it hides a well
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It's difficult to overcome various ways of thinking. While I am behind the camera I know I truly change as I focus on what's immediately in front of me. After putting together my most recent series of images it came to me a second reason why I shot these images. Simply put it was the heart expressing not only the joy it felt but also gratitude.

Road to Rain
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ
Beneath the pain of job loss and familial alienation (while in Tucson) laid a beating heart full of gratitude. You see it was there when I experienced the joy of rain in the desert. In fact, I waited for the monsoon to come and would not leave the desert until it finally came to replenish the parched and thirty grasslands of the high Sonoran desert.

It's the hope and promise of the rain which sustain us until the rain comes. Perhaps we should start by being grateful of that knowledge too. Gratitude and its precursors hope and promise meld ultimately into one. We wait to renew.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Scene From Dances With Wolves?

View From the Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

Many of us vividly recall those magnificent scenes from Dances With Wolves and the loneliness experienced by the movies' protagonist, John Dunbar. After a while Dunbar began to commune with the expansive wilderness and became a part of it and ultimately made a conscious choice to become a part of the native American experience driven by both the love of a woman and his romance with a harmonious natural lifestyle.

When I discovered the San Rafael Valley to the East of Patagonia, AZ, I too was made breathless by the unexpected panoramas. As I drove on the unpaved road and climbed towards a summit leading to it, I had no idea what awaited me on the other side. At the moment I reached the summit, it was as if someone had rolled back the movie curtains and began to play the most magnificent version of Dances With Wolves just for my personal viewing.

In my opinion, if there was a heaven on earth this was it. I experienced paradise and my heart was filled with joy and unexpected happiness know that I had a glimpse of something most people will ever witness in their lives.

For this reason, I've spent the last few blogs sharing these images with you. You see if something painful hadn't happen in my life such as my prior job loss and subsequent job finding, I never would have had the opportunity to have found my personal Nirvana.  This is the reason why I keep reflecting on it and continue to process my memories of those landscapes and my sensations.

Represented by the Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson

Friday, September 12, 2014

Life Goes On

Defiant Sotols
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

"How important is a constant intercourse with nature
and the contemplation of natural phenomena
to the preservation of moral and intellectual health!"
Henry David Thoreau

We often forget that nothing revolves around us. Mankind held the opposite view for centuries that all revolved around the earth. In time we discovered that only our moon revolved around us and that we revolve around the sun within our solar system while collectively we travel in the universe. Life moves on and so we do too in tandem.

Grasslands on High Dessert
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ
It literally requires an act of nature for me to see this. As I hike the likes of the high dessert of southeast Arizona free from obstructions, a complete ecosystem teaming with life unfolds and curtains rise before me like some kind of existential revelation or dream. My mind is released from itself and I no longer view myself separately from nature but rather as a part of it. It's so easy to forget but nature reminds me otherwise; life goes on.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Desert High Plain Mood

Mustang Mountains and Biscuit
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

"Nature reminds me that in time inclement weather passes."
Al Hernández

A reading from nature's homily: "in time inclement weather passes, enjoy the scenery, peace be with you". I think about all the images inclement times bring. I turn to positive creative outlets which turn my energy into productive inspiration. It seems like I enjoy working with light and its shades in the context of the high dessert monsoon season with the absence of bright clear skies.

Something inside of me yearns to create and communicate my feelings while I really can't verbally express them well at all. In this space, photography takes holds and with my creative process tools in hand, I create what comes to me naturally: the poetic and romantic, those senses which I bury every day as I try to cope with the nonsense I experience routinely in the bustle of the numbing boredom of suburban life.

Some say life is about living. Perhaps so, but I can only relate when I commune with nature's own art gallery, it's landscapes, a personal affair and existential. It lingers in my mind and I can only recreate the experience as I render photographs filled with my memories both physically and spiritually.

Represented by the Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Happy Place

The Promise of Rain
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

"My happy place resides here within the confines of my mind
and is only released by my  own creativity.
Photography is the key which sets us both free."
Al Hernández

It's comforting to know that within me resides a "happy" place whose well I can draw from during bouts of drought. I don't have to travel far all I have to do is search through thousands of images and select ones to process.

As I direct my creative energies and time to a more pleasant task; I recognize that I am responsible for my happiness. During the past five years I've learned to draw from fractions of seconds captured by lens and imagination. This process resets and restores my happiness completely as I connect with myself once again.

Represented by the Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson

Friday, September 5, 2014

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Showers on Lazy J2
Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

"...You can't always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need..."
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

There are people who expect sunshine everyday in all that they do. I've learned that life is not always about sunshine but also cloudy days and for folks like me, in warmer climes, also rain. I use to complain vociferously about things not going my way; life is forcing me to mellow and be philosophical and reflective. I think about the adage "things happen for a reason" an adage I truly hate. What does that mean?

To me it means take pause and heart that you can't always get what you want. If you wait and try you will find and get truly what you need. During the late summer monsoon in south east Arizona this plays out in nature as storm clouds roll in and drop the moisture the grasslands and ranchers need. I watch and enjoy the experience and the lessons between want and need and feel sorry for those who have never had to learn them.

Today will be one of those days. I may not get what I want but I may very well find what I need. The idea of finding what I need is more appealing as I think how clouds bring refreshing showers that will renew me.

Represented by the Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson