Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cold Moon: Reflection

When it comes to current events in my life, I've looked for solace in things that help me to either relate or at the very least see the full spectrum of life. While I was in Indiana getting ready to leave my sister's house and fly back to Washington, I made sure to grab a book I left there last time. I needed something to read and was ready to finally finish the story of Ada and Inman.  It was Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.  Little did I know how much I needed to read and reflect from this insightful book.  I've tried to resist letting my mother's death be the end of me.  It' has been hard to find my existence past her departing to the afterlife.  I will even confess that I still can not grasp life without her and think of her and her death daily. 

Yet one passage towards the end of my Cold Mountain trek has helped me in my mourning,  I have thought about it several times since,

 "He talked to her of the great waste of years between then and now. A long time gone. And it was pointless, he said, to think how those years could have been put to better use, for he could hardly have put them to worse.  There was no recovering them now.  You could grieve endlessly for the loss of time and for the damage done therein. For the dead, and your own lost self. But what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve on and on. And those old ones knew a thing or two and had some truth to tell, Inman said, for you can grieve your heart out and in the end you are still where you were.  All your grief hasn't changed a thing. What you have lost will not be returned to you. It will always be lost.  You're left with only your scars to mark the void.  All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it's knowing you carry the scars with you."

When I got down to that last line, I knew I personally had a choice to make.  To wither and die in the recent past that years from now I would still lay in, crippled and void, fruitless in any effort and unhappy, or go on and make my mom proud, live in her name, and flourish. As long as I and others of us that knew her live, she still lives at least in our hearts.  Personally, she has etched herself permanently there in my heart. There is no hiding it even if I tried.

Three are many days I've digressed. I've wished only to lay in bed and just lay in a limbo dream state where she still resides for me to interact with.  Reality still is a hard man I hate to face yet I find myself getting up and going about as normal as possible.  I remind myself of what Mom would want me to do, the same as the passage says, "Go on."  She would not want her passing to be the end of me.

The day I finished Cold Mountain, I decided I'd take a little christmas money and go by Goodwill.  Skimming the aisles of books, I saw a hardback one entitled, "13 Moons."  I took a glance at the author and to my utter suprise, it was the same author as Cold Mountain.  I quickly grabbed the book and headed for the check out knowing what I had in my hand was a book full of people in some way I could relate to all over.  This  morning I finished the book and it was better than I had thought it would be.  I found it stylistically different than Cold Mountain, but very much still in the realm of Frazier.  "13 Moons" has helped me look through the eyes of an old man ripe with stories and reflection.  I felt like I was talking to an elderly man who was telling all his past and how to help make your future a better one.

Looking back on these two books, both dealing with the grave realities of life in some ways, there is a sense of anchoring that has taken place.  Life can be a shear and utter torment at times, but there are many amazingly brillaint occurences as well.  One job we hold is to make a decision of how the unfolding events in life will affect us.  For the better or the worse?  Sometimes, the choice is a blur.  We only find after a space of time has fallen the clarity one needs to judge our previous actions.  As for the tragedy that has altered my life forever, I hope in some ways there is healing.  I can never forget, but one choice I do know.  I will choose to live and forever uphold my mother's legacy until my time on Earth ends.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Winter Trip to the Beach

Yesterday, I took a trip to the coast with my friend Kyle. I had alot of fun during my first winter experience at the beach.  The forecast said it'd be rain, rain, rain.  I found it to be quite the opposite.  There were a few clouds in the morning, but it soon broke to a beautiful day. I love the coast. The following pictures were taken through out my trip to Long Beach, WA with the first photo taken at our first stop by the Julia Butcher Hansen Wildlife Refuge.

Looking out through an opening at the refuge.  We were looking for white tail deer but didn't see any.

An upclose pic of a log that makes up part of the viewing platform.

Along the way, we always pass this church.
I've taken pictures of this church several times before, but they were always while in the car. This time, we stopped.

Me on the stairs.

In Illwaco, WA, there is a little garden along with this area behind the Columbia Pacific Maritime Museum.

A sturgeon among smaller fish.

One huge stop, Cape Disappointment. This was up on the top looking out at the Cape Disappointment lighthouse.

This is actually the end of the Columbia River right before it begins to enter the Pacific.

The white oceanic waves to the right were converging with the mouth of the Columbia which was the mass of water in the foreground.

Looking down the cape. Am I really here?!  Beautiful.

Some other pictures along a trail on the cape.

Inside the Lewis and Clark Historical Museum (Located on top of the cape) was this old lighthouse lamp.  Awesome!

I love these glass fishing floats.  They come off of Japanese fishing nets and make their way across the ocean to land here on the beach during strong wind storms. People collect them like crazy.

A model of the area.  The Columbia River cuts straight through Washington and Oregon to empty into the Pacific.

Fort Canby is also located on the cape.  It was used until a little after WWII I hear.

This is a room here in the fort. 

In this same room was this painting.  I don't know much about it, but I found it quite interesting.

Finally moving along, this sculpture was in a small park in Long Beach.

Walking along the beach, several sea gulls decided to chill nearby.

Quickly, I ran as close as I could when the tide rolled back out to get these few pictures. I LOVE THE OCEAN! :)

I was down on one hand and almost a knee to get this close up picture of the incoming waves.


I wonder what kind of fish this was.

This blob of substance is a dead jelly fish. 

This is the largest kite I've ever seen in my life!  It kept rotating in the breeze.  This guy was tending to it while we were walking up.

Did I say huge?!

Walking along the Discovery Trail in the dunes, I took this pic!

Another pic on the dunes.  You can see Cape Disappointment to the left and a littel bit of the ocean in the horizon.

This is a statue of a sturgeon (Yes, they're huge!) and Lewis or Clark (I don't remember) They found one beached when they came out this way.


For non-coastal people, we may not know what in the world these things are for.  They are used to shield one from the sand on extreamly windy days.  They are needed, I've felt the wind's wrath at the beach before.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chehalis Cache Machine

Yesterday I attended my very first Cache Machine ever.  I've never spent so much time at once caching in my life, but it was alot of fun.  The caches I liked the most were not really because of the cache container, but because of where it took me. It's funny how a container can be so ordinary yet possess something of value to it. There were a few that had historical value that I enjoyed like the Jackson House Estate (GC189W8) or the Cowlitz Mission (GCW2HH.) I was excited about the Clan MacLeod cache (GC21CKZ) because a "Kyle Cache" was on the list and also it has an awesome view during the none rainy/foggy season.  I've actually posted in one of my earlier blogs pictures from that same area.

There were several other ones I enjoyed as well around the Centralia and Chehalis area.  I'll definitly be going back to finish the list of caches I've not found yet on the list and also doing some more touring around. I think the most interesting tidbit I learned yesterday was that Winlock, Washington was the first established town in the state of Washington!  The town that possesess the world's largest egg has some actual interesting historical value. Who would have ever thought that?