Credit: Klaus Thymann / Project Pressure
“Project Pressure is a not-for-profit organisation documenting the world’s vanishing glaciers in order to highlight the impact of climate change, inspiring action and participation. The project will result in the world’s first comprehensive crowdsourced glacier atlas…”
Blue Lake in New Zealand sitting above the tree line fed by melting glaciers through Constance Lake and filtered by rocks has the clarity of 100% pure water and up to 260 feet. Photographed for the first time ever from below the surface as part of Project Pressure.
Such amazing colors and reflections…I can understand why the Maori people consider this a sacred site.
There are so many ways to make a living of this life and never more apparent than when you are changing course and committed to chasing a dream. Your senses open. You hear the others’ stories with intention, every impression coloring the imagination. Interest becomes infectious and the conversations carry on longer and with a deeper timbre.
I may learn empathy yet.
Tracking down a vague memory of a line of poetry about “making a living,” I found this 1974 New York Times article and remembrance of Anne Sexton…the first poet I discovered on my own and whose complete works I read obsessively as a teenager. What I was trying to recall, “Look, you con man, make a living out of your death,” was actually a line by Ernest Hemingway from A Moveable Feast which Sexton used as the epigraph of her last book before her suicide, The Death Notebooks.
The business of words for Sexton was only a means to the real living that consumed her. Raw and unreserved but sharpened to outline the clutter in her mind, you can’t find resolution or explanation of life in her “confessional” poetry. This was her craft, the wake she left chasing the intangible dream of dying, the product of making a living of her death.
Making a living of simply living is my intangible dream and for this go around, I am taking the chase to the sea. I can only imagine what may lay in my wake. Maybe even empathy.
Said the Poet to the Analyst – Anne Sexton
My business is words. Words are like labels,
or coins, or better, like swarming bees.
I confess I am only broken by the sources of things;
as if words were counted like dead bees in the attic,
unbuckled from their yellow eyes and their dry wings.
I must always forget how one word is able to pick
out another, to manner another, until I have got
something I might have said...
but did not.
Your business is watching my words. But I
admit nothing. I work with my best, for instance,
when I can write my praise for a nickel machine,
that one night in Nevada: telling how the magic jackpot
came clacking three bells out, over the lucky screen.
But if you should say this is something it is not,
then I grow weak, remembering how my hands felt funny
and ridiculous and crowded with all
the believing money.
“The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days…”
For the first time ever I found that I really need to keep a calender, ironically enough now that all of my time is mine. Without the bookends of weekends or the steady lineup of work activities and to-dos to sort, order, and sequence in my brain, I seem to have lost the ability to anticipate and track time. I am digging the new pace and am having a hard time imagining it being any other way.
One or two to-dos a day is just about right. I get to pick them and I say laundry counts as one. Filling the space in between like sand is research, reading, writing, studying, gardening, smoking, driving, sorting the closet, thinking, and planning.
All in all a most productive and relaxing month or however long it’s been. Citizenship, SoCal road trip, boat shopping, sailing, seminars, volunteering…
And for the record, I am not sure why I keep quoting The Jerk. May be time to revisit a classic.
Today, almost three decades after landing in Boston and having lived many lives in many cities since, I was naturalized as a citizen of the United States of America along with 916 other immigrants from 100 countries. The grand Gatsby art deco extravagance of Oakland’s Paramount Theatre of the Arts especially added to the awe and ambiance as teary-eyed I recited the Oath of Allegiance…
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
Every immigrant has their own story and ambition. I may never truly know my father’s reason for bringing us to America though I have to believe it was moving enough to overcome inertia of leaving your home, country, and everything you know for the unknown you can only imagine. Perhaps it’s not much different from the intangible desire I have to chance a life at sea. Perhaps it’s simply the liberty to pursue a life of happiness.
There is a sense of bliss that has come with all of this…the way you may suddenly notice the absence of what was once subconsciously looming. I never fully acknowledged the possibility of being without a country but it has always been there, lingering, unresolved, looking over a shoulder.
Today, I am lighter and the feeling of freedom is as tactile as possibility of life beyond borders.