dent de lion's

Spring has Finally Arrived

I'm not Sure why I put the Flower in a Cedar

But it Looks OK


A long walk, with a long talk, and a longer listen

Having finished my final final, gotten caught up on my sleep, and after making one very short and several long phone calls, I decided to go for a walk. It was a long solitary walk, with a long talk, and an even longer listen.
So much has changed, so much is different, in ways that I did not expect. I am different, I am changed in ways I can't even see, I'm too close, I have no perspective, I can only dimly feel and sense some of these changes. Some of them are huge and almost block out everything. It's all new, and yet, and yet, feels like it's established, like it's solid.
The walk was not nearly long enough, and too soon I found myself on the doorstep, talking with old roommates, excited to share and talk and listen, and it was then when I noticed more subtle changes, there had been things that before I had been dieing to talk about, we would dissect the topics, attack them from every angle, holding long councils of war deep into the watches of the night. But last night, was different, I felt that small subtle change, I felt out of sync, I did not want to talk, to expound, to pull every fiber of meaning out of the issues at hand. I don't know why, but it was different, and unexpected. There were things I wanted to talk about, but for the first time there were things that I did not want to talk about with them. It was not that I did not want to discuss these things, I just did not want to talk about them with these guys. It made me sad, and a little introspective, for these men are some of my closest friends. They had done nothing to deserve this, this cloistering of my feelings, this self-imposed silence, I had changed.

I have changed . . . . . . I am changing

I find myself in a new place that all my experience and all my imaginings could not have prepared me for. It has been so long since I have encountered the unknown, felt so unprepared, and so ill equipped. I find myself truly exploring parts of myself I was unaware of, was life like this when I was young and the world was new? No wonder toddlers cry themselves to sleep, life must be such an awful mix of terror and joy. When everything is fresh and new, lessons are learned out of necessity, we either learn, and grow, and change, or we stagnate. We forget the wisdom of our early youth, the awareness of our limitations, and understanding. The child who constantly is asking "Why" out of curiosity knows that they don't know, and are eager to learn. It is amazing how fast we drop this, soon the whys become a challenge, and then they stop altogether.

There's more but I'm tired and it is late so maybe I'll pick this up later.....

Moonlit Flower

Little Sister

Lost Shelves & Forgotten Books

Water Fountain (I'm not sure I like this one)


What is Love?

What is love?

This is a question that I have been asking myself, my roommates, my parents, my sisters, and friends, wise old ladies and honest old men. It has been preoccupying me for quite some time, as many of those listed above can and will tell you. I’ve read lots of books written by men and women, about women and men, about our hearts, and desires, about feelings and steadfastness. I’ve seen “The Princess Bride” and other movies that I will not admit to in this forum. I’ve thought, and pondered, and prayed, and cried. I’ve been a shoulder and an ear, given hugs and wept with and for people. I’ve listened and talked, and shouted, and gone screaming. I’ve been quiet with friends who needed quiet, and celebrated with those who were ecstatic. This question haunts us all, some days it lays us flat, others it lifts us to places we did not imagine could exist. But it never goes away, it changes, it ebbs and flows, but never leaves us, at least it has never left me, it has grown with me, changed me. I see and find new secrets every day, secrets that are slow to share - no thats not right - they are not slow to share - they take time to comprehend.

I’ve learned many things, from the people God has placed in my life, men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, near and far. I am not professing to be an expert or even to have any special insight into relationships, love, and romance; rather I am trying to honestly and openly explain my very limited understanding. I find these things so hard to articulate on the spot, not because the ideas are not present, are not formed, but are rather the opposite, they involved and layered. I hope that this will be the faithful narrative that I intend it to be, please - if you think I’m wrong, that maybe I’m just a little off, or don’t think I quite understand something – PLEASE TELL ME!!!! I so want to understand. Know that I don’t hold these thoughts so close that I won’t listen to others.

Where to start, for the field of human relations is a large one, extending far passed my own limited experience, let me start where I am at – finding love.

What is love?

Several days ago I told a close friend that “…Love is NOT something that you step in, and can scrape off your shoe ~ It is a choice, made daily…” that is to say that at the end of the day we chose to love someone. Usually it’s someone we like – a lot! A lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, exceedingly might be a better word, but it does not impart the proper feeling of intensity, and is lacking the urgency and sense of purpose found in “a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot”, and in putting these thoughts to paper I want to make sure that the nature of the choice does not overshadow the nature of the things we do when we choose to love, nor the reasons we have when making this choice.

But we still have to chose, the feelings of intense desire are not something that are continuous, and eternal, and when those feelings periodically fade(rumor has it, that not every day is like that first day), something else must carry the relationship thru. A good example I can think of in my life right now is the relationship I have with my sisters. I love my sisters, and it is not a romantic love, it is brotherly love. It is true brotherly love in that I have chosen to love them. They cannot do anything to lose that love, for the love is not based on what they do, but who and what they are – they are my sisters. Nothing can ever change that, ever. They know this and understand the freedom and openness that love brings to a relationship. We all are aware of this freedom on some level, we tease our siblings, and treat them differently, not fearing the loss of our relationship with them, and bear from them teasing, jibes and an amount of honest frankness that we rarely permit in others.

It’s also in my relationship with my sisters that I have found out something about love, love is not a thing that is wholly deserved. What do I mean by that? Respect is earned/deserved, power demands respect, knowledge earns respect, and experience gets it without even asking. Whereas love is different, respect can breed love, but love cannot be demanded, I don’t know if love can be earned – it can be grown – but can it be earned, by us, toward each other??? Trust can be earned, but love??? Hmmmm. So back to the topic at hand, love not being deserved, what bothers me about this statement is that I believe God deserves our love, and I don’t even like the word deserves. Deserved is too weak, as if He has earned it, as if He had to earn it. But as interesting as this thread is, I feel that I am straying from the discussion at hand, mainly that love is not a thing wholly deserved.

My sisters will tell you, and indeed probably more willing to tell you than I would like, that I am not the perfect brother. That at times I have been, am, and will be “unlovable”, and I not wanting to be outdone would say the same. They at times do not “deserve” my love. Yet the love is never lost, because it is not based on mine or their worthiness. They chose to love me, and love is in that choice. Some days easier, some days harder but a choice nonetheless.

This is by no means the end of my pontificating on love and romance, choices and responsibility, call either of my sisters if you doubt this, for they have very patiently listened to me for hours on end while their pie-eyed brother tried to figure life out, so stay tuned for more ramblings from a guy that either thinks to much, or not enough.


" . . . Only God Can Make a Tree"

Cherry Bark

Last week, walking from the bus stop, across campus, on my way to cram before a test (every little bit seems to help) I passed one of the cherry trees bordering the welcome path, and it was not till I was half way down the hill looking back up the path that I saw the bark. And I did not even know it was bark at first - I mistook in for a few leaves. The tree was backlit by the rising sun, and the trunk and branches were looking like red lights had been strung amongst the boughs.
I thought that it was just a few new translucent leaves, just enough to catch the sun, not to much to block the out the light. I was surprised when it was freshly peeled bark. The bark was very difficult to photograph as the sun needed to be right behind it, which was frustrating in that it tended to wash out all other details. It took several shots but I was able to find a few worth posting. Had I realized how fleeting that opportunity had been, I would have taken more time and more shots, but as class was creeping up on me, I left with the plan of coming back the next morning. I showed up the next morning only to find that the bark was no where as translucent as it had been 24 hours ago, and I wept bitterly, tore my clothes and put ashes on my head.

So - always take more pictures than you need to - ALWAYS!!!

". . . Patines of Bright Gold" ~ sort of


Morning on Moscow Mountain

I think I could sell paper towels

Through, what some would call a “concatenation of circumstances” I had a Friday free of school and work. I decided to waste away the morning on Moscow Mountain, a place I have only visited once before, and that was to get some nighttime mountain biking in. This visit, while not as memorable, was still very notable, notable in that, half the mountain trails are still snow bound, and by my Chucks now are in bad need of some tender loving care. I saw tracks of several large mammals, some with claws, some with horns. And for those of you who doubted the width of my palm, I measured and while 5 inches is not 6, it is close. I came prepared, wearing four layers, thin Chuck Taylors, two full Nalgene's, and a hand full of chocolate chips. One camera, two tripods, smoking kit, mushroom book, journal, bible, two - yes dear reader two – pencils, cell phone, a portable magnetic chess board, two decks of cards, and of course my Ipod. So my feet were cold, my back sore, and my ears happy. I shuffled back and forth between Annie’s Spring Study Mix, (sorry not commercially available, but excellent hiking music) and my Moby/Decembrists mix, all great hiking – photo’ing music. I took over two hundred shots, but only liked about 30 and only felt like processing 5 or 6. I might process some more but this is it for today. Enjoy the photos, and dream of spring coming soon to this cold land.

My best water shot of the day

I had to laugh at myself while taking this shot, there was a small deadfall right over this area, it was hard to get to, I had glissaded 20 to 30 feet down a steep ravine wall to get there. After making a mess of my trouserings, and scraping half the hillside down with me I was wondering if it was ethical to move the deadfall. Ethical not so much in the environmental sense, the tree could have easily fallen where I wanted to move it, rather was I allowed to change "nature" to make for a better picture, was this right? Did I want to be that guy? What of truth? What of beauty? - It was a light tree, and lets just leave it at that.

Not quite troubled waters

Chucks - I mean Chuck

I had to earn this shot, 30+ photos to get this one


Artsy Self Portrait Full Color

One of my old roommates was mocking my artistic style, thus letting me know that I am now officially an artist. I think that is how artists define themselves right? The bourgeois start mocking you and you know that you have arrived!!! So in the spirit of artsy self portraits I've posted three versions, each more artsy than the last. Enjoy!

Artsy Self Portrait in Artsy Colour Sceme with Artsy Spelling of Colour

My Artsy Self Portrait with Somber Realism, and a Hint of Emo