The featured photo looks west from Penrose. I post it not because it is unusual, but because it is a standard feature of a Colorado sky at dusk. Several weeks ago, a friend who is relatively new to the American West said that before moving to Colorado, she believed that all pictures of the western skies had been Photoshopped to lure unsuspecting tourists. Now, of course, she knows better.
Hopefully, “I’m Back in the Saddle Again.” And if you are a reader of a certain age, you will recognize and begin humming Gene Autry’s signature tune. It feels good to be back in the saddle again “out where a friend is a friend.”
In my case, the saddle is my long-neglected blog – an external discipline that pricks my conscience and reminds me that I haven’t made time to write. I’m trying to be more self-aware… to break myself of habitually saying, “I never have time to write.” Trying to put the onus on myself rather than on outside forces. Time is entirely in my control: I just need to twist its tail and bring it to heel.
I write from London where, in contrast to Colorado, I seem to have more time to collect myself. The town is alive with tourists. Olympic fever has peaked, but the town is still flushed and running on adrenalin. Sunday evening I watched the closing ceremonies on the telly; yesterday, I elbowed my way through the crowds to watch the athletes on parade, but the density got to me, and I returned to the flat to read all about it.
The Paralympics have most certainly come into their own. I particularly liked the symbolism of the closing ceremony: the blend of Willy Wonka, Mad Max, science fiction and fantasy; the ominous, glossy black crows on stilts; the pre-historic creatures and vehicles built of salvaged materials kluged together…. all symbolic of the dark thoughts on disability that be-devil us and hold the disabled at-bay.
And then the transformative power of dawning light and the lyrics sung by Coldplay: “Open Your Eyes… Look at these stars… how they shine for you.” Watching the athletes in performance was moving. The scales fell from our eyes and those of us who are able-bodied were uplifted with the very visible soaring of the human spirit.
In step with this notion of transformation, yesterday I visited the BP Portrait Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Any number of portraits caught my attention, but “Self-Portrait as an Unknown Gentleman” by Claire Kerr stopped me in my tracks. She took her inspiration from Titian’s “Portrait of an Englishman (1540-45).
Writing a bit of commentary, Claire wrote: The idea of a self-portrait that would work against self-definition appealed to me, given that self-definition is such an inescapable part of contemporary life and yet is enormously over-simplified.
I love Claire’s notion. I am many people… some known… some unknown. How I would define myself is not necessarily how others (who would not agree with one another) would define me.
My luggage has finally arrived. I flew on 5 September and I retrieved it on the 10th. If someone had opened my luggage, how would they have defined me? There is the science of … garbage-ology wherein social scientists analyze a person’s garbage. Is there a science of luggage-ology?
The loss of my luggage brought me low. A walk in the park picked me up. The beauty of London’s many parks is that they are increasingly unkempt. The ratio of un-mown grass to mown grass keeps increasing. Perhaps this is due to budget constraints. Whatever… I love it. How wonderful that a mere a hundred yards from a busy thoroughfare I can lie on the ground amidst the furled parchment-colored leaves of the Plane trees and look up to see golden grasses glinting in the sun above my head! After being at-odds with British Airways, it is lovely to feel the solidity of the ground and the warmth of the sun.