Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Caprock Canyon Photos

I still don't have much of anything to write about my weekend. I have lots of feelings and thoughts and emotions. Mostly they feel like things I want to keep to myself. But here are a few of the pictures I took. The area was beautiful. We saw the Milky Way at night. 

This was a rock we saw in the dry river bed of the canyon. I liked that it was shaped like an angel wing. Had I been able to pick it up and carry it home, I might have done so.

I don't know how many buffalo they had, but there were lots of them. I saw a bunch of them together but it was dark and I didn't get good photos. This guy was all alone getting a drink of water.

Scenes from the park. It was beautiful, I tell you.

I believe this one is called Cathedral Rock. 

This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. We were down in the river bed, looking up.

Sunflowers in the riverbed.

I know my presence has been sporadic around here. As always, I hope to be around more consistently.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thin Places and Mountain Tops

(A sneaky beginning to a glorious story of a tribe of women, buffalo women, who finally met each other face to face after years of interacting online. Actually, this is just a teaser. . .)

These are pictures from one of my favorite "thin places," a small open-air chapel. I've posted pictures of the building before. It had been a very long time since I'd been here, and I needed the visit.

I googled and found this article that did a decent job of writing about thin places. I've included some of my favorite parts below:

"I’m drawn to places that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, places where, for a few blissful moments I loosen my death grip on life, and can breathe again. It turns out these destinations have a name: thin places. . .

Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves. . .
Yet, ultimately, an inherent contradiction trips up any spiritual walkabout: The divine supposedly transcends time and space, yet we seek it in very specific places and at very specific times. If God (however defined) is everywhere and “everywhen,” as the Australian aboriginals put it so wonderfully, then why are some places thin and others not? Why isn’t the whole world thin?
Maybe it is but we’re too thick to recognize it. Maybe thin places offer glimpses not of heaven but of earth as it really is, unencumbered. Unmasked." Eric Weiner
I can think of several places right now that qualify for me as thin places. Most of them are simple places: the Baptist camp where I spent weeks in the summer and later worked as a teen and an adult, the retreat center where I did my first silent retreat, often our place in the country qualifies, and sometimes, oddly enough, I feel it in a cemetery, mostly when I also have my camera. There are other places, come to think of it, where I experience the feel of being in a thin place, mostly when I have my camera. Like the author says, the thin places are where we become our more "essential selves."

Speaking of becoming my more essential self, let my say here that being with my tribe of women on that weekend in Caprock Canyon was both a "mountaintop" experience and a "thin place" experience. It feels, in some ways, disrespectful to write too much about the experience. I will say here, now, that I had high expectations for the visit, and it was way more than I ever could have expected. Using the word "glorious" would not be an exaggeration in describing it. I have pictures, and I have more to say, but I am still savoring the whole glorious experience.