Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Awareness -> Understanding -> Transformation -> Liberation

Monday, February 24, 2014

My beloved Son

Tell me I am your most precious, most wonderful, most perfect, most beloved. Pick me up and hug and kiss me, big smoochy kisses all over my body. Watch me run and dance and spin, joyous to have your attention. Play with me, wrestle with me, converse with me, feed me and bathe me, hold me and protect me, keep me warm and safe. Make me believe that I am good, and worthy, and loved, and I shall live with such confidence and courage, I will mirror and magnify your love.

Composed with Bindi in my lap.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Metaphorically speaking, Heaven and Hell are here and now, our choice, and I suppose the same is true for Purgatory. Purgatory, from the same Latin root as our word purge, is described as a process of purification, but surely it was originally conceived as a process of purging, of letting go of baggage, of letting go of attachments.

All the great prophets and mystics teach of detachment, of non-attachment, but I think very few of us are able to do it by our conscious will alone. I think most of us need life to rip away our attachments for us. This is the process of Purgatory. And the way we choose to interpret our purge, the meaning we assign to our purge, is our choice of where we go next, to Heaven or to Hell. Shall I be bitter or grateful? Am I being robbed or liberated?

When we eat something bad, our bodies will violently purge the toxin, an unpleasant experience, but a healthy autonomic response. The bulimic has a sickness, to consciously purge healthy nutrition. The trick in Purgatory is to let life remove the toxic attachments, but not to purge what nurtures our health. I have just realized that differentiating between the two is not necessarily intuitive or obvious.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sandhill Cranes

Territorial disputes are inevitable. There are two birds, well actually three, in this photo. The phrase "hen-pecked" comes to mind.
But mostly the cranes just chill out and digest their breakfast.
They must have some kind of flock-sense, because they often slip into what looks like choreographed movements, synchronized strutting and head turning.

Friday, February 14, 2014

20,000 Birds

What do 20,000 Sandhill Cranes, all facing west (into the wind) look like?
Parking is going to be a nightmare.
It takes a certain amount of aggression to live in a large community.
And excellent parking skills.
This is what we pilots call the flare, the sudden conversion of horizontal kinetic energy into vertical lift.
Can you imagine? The scene from Midnight Cowboy comes to mind: I'm landing here! I'm landing here! Up yours you sonofabitch! You don't squawk at me that way!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sandhill Cranes in Flight

As a hang glider pilot, I have a special appreciation for the flying skills of birds. Sandhill Cranes are very elegant flyers and their bodies are beautifully aerodynamic. Notice how delicate and independent the five feathers are at the end of their wings.

Whitewater Draw near Elfrida, Arizona. Nikon 600mm @ f4, circular polarizer, Nikon D80 I think @ approximately 1/1000 sec and ISO 400.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

White Egret

This fellow seems to be at Whitewater Draw every year. I spent an hour photographing him fishing for his breakfast and was lucky to catch him with a minnow in his beak.
He was quite a ways away and I was shooting with my 600mm, but if I zoom in, I can actually make out the minnow's eye.
His fishing is deliberate and methodical, his movements are slow like Tai Chi. He is very patient. 
Do you suppose he admires his reflection?

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Lieutenant Worf

Saturday night, the dogs and I camped at Whitewater Draw, famous for the Sandhill Cranes, true snow birds, that winter there. It was quite cold at night - the dog's water bowl froze solid - so the dogs and I snuggled under the sleeping bag and listened to the chatter of 20k Sandhill Cranes slowly diminish. In the middle of the night, a predator must have attacked the cranes, because there was suddenly a tremendous ruckus and the sound of flapping wings, a mass takeoff. In the wee hours of the morning, joining the chatter of the cranes was the distinct hoo-ing of several great horned owls.

Sunday morning, this fellow was perched in the rafters of an old hay shed right next to the campground. I named him Lieutenant Worf since his scowl reminded me of the Star Trek character.

Nikon 600mm @ f4, Nikon D80 @1/125 sec. and ISO 400, tripod with Wimberly head.

 Impossible eyes.
The talons of a carnivore.