Saturday, January 29, 2011

slow motion


portions of my day are spent looking at these forms.
reading them for holes, cracks, ice, tongues of tarmac.


my ears are attuned to the motors of the cars, the buses, the trucks
and of course to the calls of my friends the crows.
my nose takes in the smells of the many restaurants and houses i pass by.
baking and cooking smells carry a long way - both in the air and in my heart.
thankfully further than the harsher diesel and catalytic converter smells.
my body feels the changes in temperature.
there's a noticeable distinction between the warmth of the inner town
and the cooler air of the edge of town where the wind has more freedom.

i know all of this because i walk and i ride bicycles.
i know that my sensitivity to my environment
is due in no small part to the need to have my senses attuned - for survival.

and from that basic need has come my need to write and to share what i see . . .
and then to share what i have learned from what i see.

i could never have imagined
the goodness that has come from such a simple choice.

slowing down some of the processes of experiencing this world, allowing for a degree of suffering (because i won't fool anyone into thinking that using your body to get around this world is always fun and easy
or painless or without consequence) brings gifts.


'if you surrender completely
to the moments as they pass,
you live more richly those moments.'

24 comments:

Elisabeth said...

The patterns of those rubber tyres are exquisite, more orderly than the patterns of our lives, I expect, but signs of human life nevertheless. Thanks, Steven.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Love it! Always you help me see things that were there all along, waiting (patiently?) to be discovered. Today I have learned how much tire tracks look like feathers, which is what I thought the top image was at first. Keep biking and walking with all six senses, Steven.

Ruth said...

These really are tremendous observations, in visual and word images. I thought the top photo was something microscopic. The contrast between black and white seemed like something only visible to a powerful lens. But now I see that the powerful lens is you.

Liza Ursu said...

"i could never have imagined
the goodness that has come from such a simple choice"
Yeah steven,
yeah!

Golden West said...

Be safe on those snowy roads! The pensive looks on the faces of the saloon goers were probably a combination of the delayed exposure time of cameras back then and poor teeth. People rarely smiled in pictures back then because of bad teeth.

steven said...

hello elisabeth - i am drawn to fresh tire marks on freshly fallen snow for their pointing to orderly disorderliness! steven

steven said...

hi lorenzo! my first experience with seeing tires in snow as something that carries a form of beauty was in toronto when i saw an artist place a canvas - freshly primed - on the road and let cars drive over it. steven

steven said...

hello ruth! the top image of frost on my front window was simple good fortune. the tire tracks - well i went looking for them. the feathery connection suggested by lorenzo is a happy coincidence. one at the macro and one at the micro end of the scale of seeing. steven

steven said...

liza - it has been an unfolding revelation to see what i've always seen over the last few years. i'm glad you're along for the ride. steven

steven said...

golden west - walking's about as safe as it gets! i think, i hope, i wish! steven

Dan Gurney said...

The path to enlightenment is a path, not a highway. You know that.

As you say, there are holes, ruts, slippery places on that path. Over time, you're going get too hot and too cold along the way.

Lovely post. I'm spending my morning on foot.

aguja said...

You have brought the whole together brilliantly with the tyre treads and the echoing words, plus the end quote.

Lonely and enlghtening.

Linda Sue said...

When ever I get to a new place, either in life or literally- I like to walk it. Walking is my favorite thing to do, my favorite way to know a place. I remember better when I walk. Bicycling adds another dimension- more focus, more uncertainty the condition of the road, the horrible vehicles that pass too closely or blare their horns.Though cycling is more exhilarating,fun, I prefer walking to anything...doesn't take me very far but, as you said, it's pretty damned safe! Your photos are really great- LOVE your observances.A compliment to the tire, that's for sure.

Friko said...

Very wise old head on your young shoulders.

Jo said...

Oh yes. What a wonderful way, both in your own words and Anne Morrow Lindbergh's, of how to live in the moment.

I've been reminded of that several times recently. I should probably heed that advice, eh?

Thank you, Steven.

Pauline said...

love the idea of the wind having more freedom at the edge of town and the fact that reading tire treads and scents and being attuned to sounds is your way of life.

I met Anne Morrow Lindbergh - she was a delightful person!

steven said...

dan! enjoy the walk! steven

steven said...

aguja - among my many wishes is to come to grips with the reality of that part of the surface of this world that is defined by technology. i use it, but can i find a way to see beauty in it - or even a message of some sorts. hmmm. steven

steven said...

linda sue - i love walking almost as much as i love cycling. i walked the pennine way end-to-end and it was life-changing. google it if you wish. if i could i would carry a backpack and walk or load up my panniers and ride, for ever and ever. steven

steven said...

friko - i'm fifty four this year. if i qualify as young then i'll take it and run hard!!! thankyou. steven

steven said...

jo - you're so wise and insightful you sure don't need me to tell you what to listen to. you already know. but i'll tell you what i know that you already know - there are stretches of life living that deny the opportunity to be in the moment. they simply do. but to be available when it's possible - well yeah, you have to hold and embrace and love the moment for it leads directly into the one great moment. which is entirely about love. steven

steven said...

pauline - to have met anne lindbergh must have been an extraordinary moment. she likely knew more about the wind than i ever will or perhaps in a very different way. the wind of her life was capricious. steven

Tess Kincaid said...

Wonderful post. Your snake-like tracks make a stunning image.

Noelle Renee said...

Ah, so interesting this, as I am recently without a car and bemoaning my state. But I agree that it is a much different world on a bicycle. You have shifted my perspective tonight by my having read your blog. I am sorry that I have been absent. Your posts are lovely.
~Noelle