Walls

Walls. Put up as boundaries, fences; a way to keep things in, as a way to keep things out.  Built of wood, brick, stone, barbed wire, they all serve the same purpose.  And sometimes they are completely invisible, built of heartbreak and betrayal.

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I am struggling with those invisible walls right now.  Unlike walls built of physical materials, which are easy to tear pull out and tear down, my invisible walls are hard to grasp and pull free. But there is a door within those walls, and it waits to be opened.

I have given away the key.

Scaffolding

Seamus Heaney

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

 

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Most Illogical.

Fascinating, Spock… How many of these houses of worship have you seen today?

Mr. Spock: Dr. Cooper! Dr. Cooper!
Sheldon Cooper: Is someone there?
Mr. Spock: Down here, on your desk.
Sheldon Cooper: Spock?
Mr. Spock: I need to speak with you.
Sheldon Cooper: Fascinating! The only logical explanation is that, this is a dream.
Mr. Spock: It is not the only logical explanation. For example, you could be hallucinating after being hit on the head by say, a coconut.
Sheldon Cooper: Was I hit on the head by a coconut?
Mr. Spock: I’m not going to dignify that with a response. Now, to the matter at hand, you need to play with the transporter toy.
Sheldon Cooper: Yes, but it’s mint in box.
Mr. Spock: Yes, and to open it would destroy its value. But remember like me, you also have a human-half.
Sheldon Cooper: Well I’m not going to dignify that with a response.
Mr. Spock: Consider this. What is the purpose of a toy?
Sheldon Cooper: To be played with.
Mr. Spock: Therefore, to not play with it would be?
Sheldon Cooper: Illogical. Oh, damn it Spock you’re right! I’ll do it!
Mr. Spock: Sheldon, wait. You have to wake up first.
Sheldon Cooper: Oh, of course. Set phasers to dumb, right?

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On Vulcan, this water source would be much redder….

Wondering where I am going with this?  I have been pondering this blog post for weeks, even months.  This post almost became a project and soon you will understand why.

I count things.  I am not talking about counting train cars to pass the time while I am stopped at a railroad crossing.  I Count Things.  While I am driving.  It isn’t enough to pay attention to my gauges, my speed, the traffic around me.  I have to count as well.  Illogical.

This looks nothing like the Vulcan IDIC pendant… How many must we correct?

“What can you possibly be counting, Cyndi?”
I have counted in the past:  Horses; Buicks; Fords; Chevies; Ford Taurus cars; yellow cars; Volkswagen Bugs; red, white and blue vehicles (in that order); Chevy Blazers; radio towers; day time running lamps on cars; people wearing sunglasses; accent lighting in yards; people driving while talking on cell phones; birds on telephone wires; actual birds; people outside; reflectors; reflective surfaces; dots on mailboxes; skid marks on the road; Amish buggies; vans; US flags; purple flowers; orange flowers; white flowers; yellow flowers; red maples; sport’s cars; two door cars; ugly cars; funky colored cars; Cadillacs; convertibles; dogs; cats; corn fields; soy bean fields; tractors; airplane trails in the sky; lightning flashes; moths in my headlights at night; critters out at night; irrigation sprinklers sprinkling; irrigation sprinklers not sprinkling; irrigation system lights; propane tanks; police cars; travel trailers; semi trucks; license plates from different states; children outside; different shapes; letter A’s, different types of birds; different types of animals; deer; different types of trees; different shades of green; how many different things I see; school buses; wooden barns; for sales signs; empty houses; utility trucks; garage sales; signs in general; neon signs; gas stations; churches; fences; lights on in houses at night; televisions on in houses at night; porch lights; door bell lights; red lights on utility boxes in Indiana; women driving pick-up trucks; gazing balls; swimming pools; bad roofs; mercury lights; water sources like rivers, swamps, lake and the such; asparagus; Christmas lights; car headlights at night; white cars; purple cars; green cars; people running; motorcycles; bicycles; bonfires at night; cars and trucks with hauling trailers; people mowing; birds singing; roadkill; trash on the side of the road; burn barrels; monogram letters on houses; brick houses; stop lights; seconds while waiting at stop lights; cars that go by as I wait at intersections…  Illogical.

This shape. This Shape. Ahhh…. Kolinahr.

And guess what?  I have had up to 6 counts going at once.  While I am driving.  All by myself.  Illogical.

Curious…. Multi-hued soybean fields and a strange metal machine. I find this most illogical.

I quit counting a few weeks ago.  I made a concentrated effort to stop counting.  Oh, I find myself craning my head to the right or left every so often, noticing that there are Twelve Horses standing there waiting to be counted, a Buick in a driveway screaming, “Look at me!  Look at me!” and the occasional bird on a wire practically taunting me, “Count.  Count.  Count.  You know you want to.”  Illogical.

“Madness has no purpose or reason but it may have a goal.”

I could have started another 365 photo project with everything I count.  That list up there?  It is nowhere complete….  Most Illogical.

Not a Drop to Drink

Former stream bed. The tree is usually right at the edge of the water and  water should be pouring over the rocks in the background.

There is an old phrase, “Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”  The water situation in my region is getting so serious that if we don’t get rain soon, there will be no more drops to drink.  Lake beds are showing and ponds have disappeared now and I fear that what is left of our streams will be gone by the end of this week.  The endless irrigation of the huge corn and soybean fields does not help our water table, however I can understand the need to nourish the fields.  There are all too many fields of corn that are burned and starved beyond hope, the plants barely 3 feet high and the leaves dead and brown.

This creek should be fast flowing and extend at least 4 feet into the grass on each side of the water.

I took a trip to Bonneyville Mill, a county park full of bogs, streams and small waterfalls, this past Friday.  It took my breath away to find that the waterfalls have dried up and 90% of the streams are gone.  The river that runs through the park, supplying the mill with water flow is full of algae and sluggish.

September 2011 and July 2012

And we are looking at yet another week with no rain on the horizon.  It has been almost 5 weeks since we have even seen a trace of precipitation.  I feel like Sarah, Plain and Tall, in Skylark.  I wonder if those rain dances really work….

Dry and empty. How much worse will it get?

Saturday

The stream is mere inches deep right now, with the detritus of wasteful living exposed.

There Were Dry Red Days by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

There were dry red days
Devoid of clouds
Devoid of breeze
Sound bruised
My burning bones
Dirt cracked my hands
And caked my cheeks
No buds on limbs of trees
No birds on branches
No hope of rain
Scrawny chickens
Kicked up dust
Scratching for food
That wasn’t there
In the stifling, stillness
Of the scorched night
We dreamt
Of cool oases
Tropical isles
Emerald bays
Not these dry red days

•••

I suppose that I should probably get the post written that I have been planning for oh…. a week now.  Photos shot last weekend for this particular post, and for that matter, photos being shot constantly for the posts that never get posted.  I could use the excuse that it has been a busy week – on vacation with camping, beach time and a day in Detroit to watch the Tigers – but there has been plenty of time in between to take care a post, so we’ll just call it what it is:  L.A.Z.Y.  Anyway, on to my post–

It is dry here.  I am sure it is dry everywhere in the States, with the exception of Duluth, MN and Florida.  We are in the midst of a drought here in the corn belt. Our streams and ponds are drying up, marsh lands are turning into grass lands and lake levels are at record lows and the temps are at record highs – 102 f here today with heat indexes in the 110 f area.  The irrigation sprinklers are watering the fields of corn, soy and other sundry crops.  Looking at the irrigated fields, green with healthy looking plants, someone not native to the area might not think we are as arid as we really are.  I just took a 25 mile drive and saw over 60 sprinklers dousing the fields.  We are praying for rain…

Irrigation: The savior of the corn you like to enjoy….

Kind of eerie looking – that would be the edit I used.

 

 

And she picked up the camera….

… and shot a few frames.

I have to tell you the truth:  it has been extremely hard to pick up the camera.  Oh, I have been dragging it around with me; it’s just that I leave it in the camera bag, neglected, alone, sad, dusty. It really isn’t that I loath taking photos right now, it is more that I am so wiped out after a day at the library that I can’t summon the creativity to come up with a decent shot

Wiped out after a day at the library, you say with an incredulous voice?  Yes, wiped out.  For the past month, I have had at least 4 graphics projects going at once, constantly and daily, because this co-worker needs this and that co-worker needs that while the director needs something else entirely RIGHT NOW.  And in the middle of it all, I am trying to get book orders done, doing everything a circulation supervisor does (customer service, overdue reports, letters, calls, collections agency referrals, database edits etc..), trying to keep the library blogs and Facebook pages current, replacing and repairing worn books, sorting all book donations, and writing and assembling books for the Photoshop and Gimp classes that I am teaching in one month, while everyone stops by my office to talk, talk, talk – and I have 6.5 hours each day to try to get it all done – I give the library 1.5 hours a day of my own time so that I can keep my head above water.  It is no wonder my chest is starting to hurt every day when I get into the car to drive to work.  And it is no wonder that my camera is sitting neglected.

 

But… I did get out to shoot a photo or two today and had someone model for me unknowingly – I did show her the photos after I shot them.  The photos were all shot at Ontario Dam – no, I didn’t head to the Great White North – Ontario is a tiny burg in Northern Indiana.  But don’t blink or breath while you are driving through because you will miss the stop sign.

Just a corn field on the way home….

This is what happens when the 365 is done…

So, the project officially ended and the relief was palpable.  I didn’t pick up the camera for a whole week.  Well, I picked it up, had a couple of good intentions and ended up paving the road to Hell with them.

Before the crowds piled in….

And so this is where I pick up now…  A trip to Indiana Dunes yesterday with the spousal unit and the kids.  Oh my goodness, it was hot, Hot, HOT!  (The shot above is actually 3 photos merged together to create a nice panorama of the shore where we sat. It’s the first time I have actually attempted it, and I must say, I am quite happy with the result!) The  sand was scorching, the sun Muy caliente but the lake was freezing – the water temps have just reached 50 f – so diving in was either out of the question or just plain masochistic.  And to add insult to injury, we didn’t pack the frame for the canopy!  But it was as outweighed by the scent of the water, the wind on my face, the waves hitting the shore and the fact that we had no cell service at the beach – it all added up to a peaceful, relaxing day – Bob even got all of the way to the top of one of the tall dunes without burning his feet off and I had the pleasure of watching him run down the dune all Bay-watchy.  If you want to know, I only made it half way up the dune before my feet told me that it was time to head to some water before they burned to little stumps and my muscles were screaming at me that I am too out of shape!

At the end of the day I had to thank God for sunscreen and golf umbrellas, and the A/C that made life bearable on the way home with the outside temp at 100 degrees when we left.

One last thing – this photo is of Phragmites.  It is an invasive grass, that along with zebra mussels and Asian carp, is threatening the ecology of our Great Lakes.  The phragmites have almost completely choked out the native cat tails and other flora of the swamp and water areas.

Phreaking Phragmites…..