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September 28, 2009

let honey bees be

by Theresa Crushshon

mama
always said
the best way
to get
the
honey
from
the bees


is
to let
the bees
chase
the honey.

September 24, 2009

Road trip: Sights, Comments and Questions

Ths post is my attempt at remembering and writing about what I saw on my road trip to Lethbridge, Alberta. The tense changes a lot, paragraph to paragraph, sentence to sentence. Please hang with me as I try to get to the gut of seeing the beauty of our land.

Disclaimer:
I know I am speaking from a point of privilege to even say that I have enough time to take vacation and enough money to go some place outside my neighborhood.


I am at Waterton Park in Alberta, just north of Glacier National Park. I am visiting friends who moved to ALberta to teach. Today it's a trip to the mountains to see the view of the Rockies. As I walked slowly up the trail putting one foot in front of the other, I watched the tops of the other mountains get closer. I noticed the way the earth and rock were formed, at angles, layers of rock moved further towards the sky. The sides littered with trees standing, leaning or fallen against the others that are standing, leaning or fallen. I reach the top of the summit to gaze at what the earth has been making for over 10,000 years or more. How old are the Rockies? The mountains are large and imposing. But aren't all mountains, Olympus, Rainer, Everest, and the Himalayas?

The wind blows my linen pants and strands of hair. My friends and I take pictures, pointing, posing and gazing. Standing close to the edge of a mountain/hill me and my friends hiked up, I took in the vast sky before me and the lake below, big and blue, reflecting the sky. I fell small. I feel big. I feel that warm fuzziness when you are in the presence of something grand. I wish to stay there forever in the present moments.

A crowd starts to gather and a family with three boys joins us on the summit. Reality sets in, it's time to head back down the mountain. Descending requires more concentration. I must pick my steps carefully so I don't slide on the small stones. I see scenes I didn't see on the way up, I look away for a second, lose my footing, slide a bit, and catch myself. Life changes quickly. Lose your footing and you can be a rolling stone. But life up here on this mountain doesn't seem to change that fast. Not from what I can see. I regain my footing and walk slowly down to the parked car and the bustle of the town.

The mountains were inspiring but then so were the plains. Our road trip took us through some beautiful fields of sunflowers, grazing cattle and cows. Once we reached Painted Canyon of North Dakota, just before Medora,my mind turned the glaciers that carved out this place and made the buttes that were popping up as we drove towards Montana. I would get out of the car at a rest stop and try to get my heart to catch up with what I was seeing, before we moved on.

A week doesn't do the landscape justice. I was slowing down as I sped across two states to visit friends who I would see for about five days. I wanted to take in every scene and document it. There is something valuable in seeing the land and its natural beauty. I try to visualize the mountains that were forming around Lake Waterton and also Lake St. Mary, MT, and how the coulee in Lethbridge was carved in the land, with Chief Mountain looking on. The plains give way to pastures that are larger than most neighborhoods. My thoughts would wonder to who surveys and keeps track of all this land? The fences that are so close to the rodas and highways? What will we do if the population gets too large? Will we expand out here? What will become of this land and the beauty?

Looking out the window beyond the twisting road to the foothills of the Rockies in the Lewis and Clark National Forest, drawing me in with it's pine trees like flag poles, covering the range and the creek rushing past us, heading north as we travel south. Bright blue sky hangs above and I feel free. Not myself, not anyone for a moment. I am in the moment. I am that blip of a blip in the history of the world. All I know for sure is this land will continue to be. It was here before me. It will be here after me. And for that I feel thankful, grateful.

Lori Young-Williams

September 22, 2009

snapshot

in
tampa
i especially noticed
how beautiful the trees were.

purely accidently
i found my way to an urban park
no swings for children
i noticed.
just benches for the adults

it was the kind of park where folks would go to on their lunch break.
as a kid, I often wondered why they had those kind of parks.
seeing how life is...
i now know why those kind of parks exist.

in the middle of the afternoon
i walked
and took in
the fragrance from the gorgeous flowers

immersed in the beauty
under my breath
i said
thank you God
for your earthly presents.

the exotic plants were in abundance
first time
i saw
uncut
birds of paradise

afraid to touch
i took pictures

and noticed
an oversized metal sculpture of a child dancing
handsomely painted in vibrant colors
it too
was
jubilant

but what was so picturesque
was
a bee
i followed

crazy of me.

i know.

but...
i wanted a picture
not of the flower
but of the bee on the flower
making love to life

don't mind me,
i said to the bee.
just go on
and...
do your business

he moved and I followed
like a fool
i followed
and continued to follow

hoping to capture a snapshot
of this moment

a glimpse of life
and beauty
in this small park where most just walk by
not noticing nothing

the chase continued

he moved
i chased
and
chased
and chased
and snapped in between all the chasing.

the pictures were blurred.
Oh this I will call art.

a bold me zoomed in.
and captured

a picture of a bee.

but the best picture
was the one not taken.

of me
traveling this great distance
to take
a picture
of
a
bee.

by Theresa Crushshon

September 10, 2009

Nature

I went on a road trip a couple of weeks ago to visit friends in Lethbridge, Alberta. My travel buddies and I drove through North Dakota and Montana cutting up to Canada via Interstate 15. What has stuck with me, since being back, is the land and the way it looks, the mountains, buttes, river valleys and the great plains.

How does nature affect us as we live in it and around it, or not? Does the sight of mountains, lakes, etc. renew your spirit? Inspire growth? How does nature speak to you?

Please consider writing a blog post for our collective blog. Please pass on to your writer friends! Also, remember this is simply a suggestion to get your thoughts and writing going, we welcome all writings by women of color on our blog!

Happy Writing!

Kandace and Lori

August 11, 2009

Life, Home, Family, Love

Kandace Creel Falcón
August 11, 2009

At this point in my life, I have been thinking a lot about the issues of home, numbers, reading, writing and legacies. For instance, how is it possible that children born today will only know the century containing 2000 years? I find it rather unfathomable to think about how even the 1990s are foreign concepts, the so passé twentieth century! But as someone who has definitely not been on this earth for long, but experienced most of those years in the twentieth century these numbers just feel weird. What did the Aztecs think would happen in the 2000s? Did they have maps and star charts that could tell them about this "future"?

I saw lightning bugs the other night for the first time since I've been in Minnesota. How long have these creatures been roaming this earth? Five summers and only one bug flitting through summer night air with a light in its butt. Bugs that every summer in Kansas my brother and I would torture by capturing them and holding them hostage, that is if they even survived our mad grabs in the dark, in glass jars for their "future", soon release.

What does home mean to you? All I can think of is lightning bugs. They are reminders of seasonal cycles, of the trips my family endured via a long two way highway road from Albuquerque where the skies are pink and orange at dusk to Kansas where wheat waves in the wind. How ten hours on the road were mostly agonizing but also excellent opportunities for reading several books. But home means family, even if you are miles and miles apart. I've never, in my recollection seen a lightening bug in New Mexico, but I often wished I had, so much so that now my memories are unreliable now I see them coming out to play in our backyard even if they were never actually there.

I ask the mothers of nature to forgive me for the souls of the lightning bugs I unwillingly, accidentally harmed in my attempts to capture your beauty I took it away. When my hands came away from the jars in which I kept you captive and my fingers were covered in a green-yellow dust, I am sorry. It is now that I know the harm of my selfish ways. But fear not, your short lives and early deaths were not in vain, rather they now serve as the important metaphors of my life, home, family, love.