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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Forest Path: a kind of faith

Below is a poem I wrote after examining the photograph I took of a forest glade and path. The camera catches what 'is', the mind makes something else of it. I made the poem.

Forest Path: a kind of faith

There is more than one way out of the woods.
One way says that black does not exist without white
anymore than 'I' exists without 'Thou'.

The path my feet are on cannot be seen,
it winds beneath the undergrowth
while the random splattering of sunlight hints at revelations.

I never know where I am;
but knowing that the forest, the sky and I are one
means that I am never lost.

Text and photograph Copyright 2007 David H. Roche

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Portland Oregon

Upon entering the Vietnam veterans memorial in Portland Oregon be prepared for a change of perspective. There is a sense of peace and somberness that meets you.

This is what will meet your eyes as you climb the steps

The memorial is slightly larger than three acres. It is an open park like atmosphere that has trails which spiral slowly up to the black marble memorial slabs containing the names of those who died in the war from the Portland area.

1969 seemed to have the most names on it.

Above each list of names on each marble slab was recorded what was happening back home at the time these young people were dying.

This aspect made me stop and wonder ... made me see clearly how unnecessary their deaths were.

Why did they have to go there and die?

The last marble slab before leaving the memorial is dedicated to those who went missing in action.

Upon leaving the memorial you find yourself on this path. It winds up and down trails in a heavily shaded forest like atmosphere.
It is a good place to meditate on what you have just encountered.

Someone recently said to me that the Vietnam war was justified because communism represented a threat to our 'way of life' by challenging our economic philosophy ie: our consumer driven corporately contrived way of life.
What do you think?

Photographs and text Copyright 2007 David H. Roche

Monday, June 18, 2007

Approaching The Catalpa

The Catalpa tree in the photograph is in sad condition. The power company trimmed it and reduced it to a shell of what it was last year.

Regardless, the life force, the 'spirit' in it keeps on going.

The leaves are large and heart shaped, approximately 9 inches from top to bottom and at the widest point 5 inches across.

Their seed clusters resemble vanilla beans in shape and color.

In mid June the Catalpa blooms in buoyant clusters of flowers that are predominantly white.

They have a soft sweetish odor.

The leaves gather energy from the surrounding environment and work to nourish the entire tree producing a lush dark green appearance.

In this photograph it can be seen that the blossoms have a design of different colors that begins in the throat of the blossom.

This photograph brings your right up close enough to enjoy the designs that are in their opened throat. They are wine and gold, predominantly white.

As you come this close the designs appear as if they were in a traditional Chinese nature painting.

You are tempted to put your nose into the bloom and savor the faint sweetness, which on hot June afternoons when the breeze is nonexistent, will spread through the yard from their abundance.
They are a part of a progression that begins when the crocuses appear in March and which continues through November when the asters finally signal the entering into dream time.
Enjoy it.
Text and photographs Copyright 2007 by David H. Roche

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.