Bathtub Meditation

Listen! About 3 years ago I spent a cold winter afternoon surfing YouTube; I stumbled across the YouTube channel of a man in Hastings, East Sussex, UK that uses the moniker "AndyMooseMan". I subscribed to his channel because I like his beach vlog videos and the fact he isn't railing on about politics or conspiracy theories or religion; he just talks about what he's been doing and what's going on with him. He has also gotten into Blogging, Tweeting and Podcasting. In early October Andy Tweeted that the Hastings Pier had burned down. A few weeks later he announced he and a few other people were compiling a music CD featuring local musicians and the proceeds would go to the "Save the Pier" fund. Having followed Andy's YouTube videos for 3 years, and being all for saving historical landmarks, I ordered one when they went on sale.
I have an Anglo-Saxon name. My ancestors migrated to the New World during the colonial period more than a hundred years before the American revolution. A member of the family tree that stayed behind later became the Bishop of Winchester and is buried in Winchester Cathedral - Hampshire. I understand he was a bit of a heretic. For someone who has clergy in his ancestry I am not particularly religious. I find my spirituality in nature. I think the winter constellation Orion is the most beautiful constellation in the northern hemisphere, and there is nothing more spiritual and awesome than a ripping good thunderstorm. Still, over the past few years I have engaged in a peculiar approach/avoidance dance with the propositions of Unitarian Universalism (UU). I frequently listen UU sermons via podcast. A few weeks ago I listened to a sermon by Rev. Mike Morran titled "The Space Between The Stars" [Listen (24m)]. My brief abstract cannot do his sermon justice. In the first half of the sermon he talks about the vastness of the universe and how we seem to vanish into the ever expanding emptiness of space; he concludes with the Monty Python Galaxy song. He is more poetic in the second half of the sermon. He contrasts our aloneness in the universe, to our being bound-up in the universe and to each other. The space that separates us is also the space that connects us. It is our relationships, chosen and accidental, that fill the space between us. He concludes with the proposition "there is a unity that makes us one and binds us forever together in spite of time and death and space between the stars." After listening to the sermon I drew a hot bath and took my iPod with me. I noticed that AndyMooseMan had posted a couple of new podcasts. Try to imagine this: I'm sitting in my bathtub with this sermon fresh in my mind, I have a dead relative buried in Winchester Cathedral, I'm listening to a podcast from the United Kingdom some 370 years after my ancestors came to the New World when I hear AndyMooseMan , who I met by accident on YouTube, announce he just mailed two "Not The End of The Pier" CD's to the United States - one to Wisconsin and one to Colorado.

I paused while I pondered the relevance of Mike's sermon and the sequence of events, over time and distance, that led to that moment in my bathtub.

How's that for the space between the stars?

Sunday ride through Red Rocks park

The weather in Denver was nice enough Sunday afternoon for some friends and I to get our motorcycles out and go for a short ride. We road out to Golden Colorado. After lunch we road through Denver Red Rocks park, south of Golden, and stopped at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Sally, TJ, Clyde, Todd

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Seeing Lawrence Way

I took a few minutes after lunch today to practice the art of seeing and sharpen my photographers eye. I walk past this arch every day but I'd never spotted the potential photograph until today.

When I look at this photograph my eye is immediately drawn to the sign, then it moves left to the globe and counter clockwise around the arch, across the walk to the cornstalks in the center, then it travels along the walkway into the distance.

The sign is very close to where the upper 1/3 horizontal and the right 1/3 vertical intersect - the arch fills most of the left 2/3 of the frame. The lettering of the sign stand out while the rest of the colors are subdued. My eye isn't distracted by the strong horizontal line of the overpass in the background.

I used a Nikon CoolPix P7000 in full auto with fill-flash, and held it over my head. There were people walking back and forth on the train platform and there were people walking past me on the sidewalk.

The placement of the sign, the arch, the walkway, and what's left out seem to invite me to explore Lawrence Way. For something so ordinary I'm very pleased with how well this photograph turned out.