Summer Skies And Clouds In the Hi-Desert

There is just a month left of our first summer living in the hi-desert, and we have been loving it here. We hope this is only the first of many years living at Casa de Gamma.

This is where the land of the Joshua Trees meet the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. The air is clear, and the clouds and summer thunderstorms keep the daytime skies interesting… but when the sky is blue, it’s impossibly blue.

Here’s a small collection of photos from the last month of the clouds and skies in our new neighborhood.

Enjoy!

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August 12 – I stepped out front to have my evening coffee and let Suki hunt lizards while waiting for Tania to get home. I looked up and… Sunbeams – just sitting there looking all majestic and everything!

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August 11 – UFO clouds over Gamma Gulch…

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August 12 – Today’s moment of hi-desert heaven…

There is a thunderstorm north of here, just over Black Mountain, and another one to the southeast over Yucca Mesa (according to the weather map). Here in Gamma Gulch, between the storms, the weather is warm and humid with cooling gusts of wind that howls through the windows.

We were told when we moved here that Gamma Gulch has a special weather vortex. After 9 months here I tend to believe that now.

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August 10 – I think Maxfield Parrish painted our sunset on this evening.

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July 13 – 30 second exposure on a super moon night with stars and clouds…

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August 17 – Impossibly blue.

The Novel As A Long Term Creative Project

The Late Great American Novel – progress report, early January, 2013…

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I’m finding that being “in the process of writing” my first novel-sized literary construction to be an excellent way to watch the long-term (meaning anything that took longer than a couple of days to finish) creative process as it happens.

I’ve struggled with long-term projects in the past due to my mercurial attention span. But this is now, and who I was in the past doesn’t matter much if it’s not helping me out in the present, right? Now I’m into long-term projects.

Most creative projects I work on are completed relatively fast, and things like paintings are finished much too quickly to stretch the creative moment out and really examine it. This novel is giving me the time-space to really watch the process from a “bigger picture” perspective, like watching creativity in slow motion.

In some ways it’s like I’m the only person who can see into this strange alternate universe coming into being out of an amazing stream of words which have their own source somewhere beyond myself, with a gravity all it’s own, drawing in the materials which fall into it’s slowly forming orbit.

For months (October through December) the story just stopped, but in that “hold on a minute, I’ll be right back” kind of way. Meanwhile all kinds of interesting ideas, flashes of intuition and useful esoteric information has drifted across my path and provided material which will make this novel much, much better – I think…

Lately bits of new writing have been flashing through my mind, building pieces for the next part of the story. Chapter 61 is now pretty much written out in my head, and is floating around my mind like clouds heavy with water. The forecast says there’s a 70% chance of rain by this next weekend.

Until later, best of health.

Faith

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This is a drawing I made back in May of 1998… when I made this drawing I was in the midst of my first big depression, laid off from work, injured, and on Workman’s Comp.

If you would like to get a framed print, sticker, note card, journal or greeting cards of this drawing, you can visit my Cafe Press shop here

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UPDATE: Later in the day, August 13th…

streamsEveryday Tania and I have a few devotionals that we read and have been for a long time. One of those devotionals is “Streams In The Desert – 366 Daily Devotional Readings” by L.B. Cowman, revised, 1997 edition.

For today the reading included this:

“If the clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth” – Ecclesiastes 11:3

“…How can we have rain without clouds? Our troubles have always brought us blessings, and they always will, for they are the dark chariots of God’s bright and glorious grace.”

There was much more in the devotional that seemed to go with the drawing… funny how things work out like that.

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow Detail - Click to see full Image of the Moment

Please note: I am publishing this post about a week [2-25-2009] after I first wrote it. See the note at the end of the post for more details…

Ripples After The Splash

The last 36 hours have been very difficult. (the story gets better, really…)

I’ve experienced this before, the relapse after a big depression, just as you’re heading out of the whirlpool. It’s like ripples from a big splash in a pond.

Peeved

That’s the word I settled on to describe how I feel today. I’m angry, bothered and vexed – but mostly it’s wrestling with God, trying to get through my confusion of the moment…

So today, I’m not the best to be around – I have a short temper, and I feel like I have an agenda in every conversation… most of which have been with Tania who had the day off today and got to enjoy my dark windstorms and blowing clouds…

I don’t get this way very often, and haven’t in a long time, so it’s really throwing me around this time, and tripping up my footing.

I believe in a God of big promises, and today I need to see some of those show up… like I said – I have been peeved today. Maybe it’s something I ate, my various medications – I don’t know…

A note to those who don’t understand the work of faith: faith is not blind, it’s a force that strips away all your illusions and makes you face the real problems, like food on the table and clothes to wear. To learn about faith that works you have to ask questions, it’s fear and doubt that keeps you one quiet.

I found out from Tania as I was muttering about in my peeved ramblings this morning, that she was dealing with the same kind of thoughts, and she had been praying about the same things that were bothering me.

Praying – a much better response. That’s how we’ve moved from questions to answers in the past – we prayed – and it has worked every time so far…

We both agreed that we needed to see some of those promises, and now was a really good time, really… and we prayed.

Rainbows

Later this afternoon I drove over to A Soothing Remedy Collective, and saw my new friend Dr. Shillstein (that’s his weedtracker username), the guy who runs the place.

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I usually enjoy visiting the Dr. but today I was just a dark cloud coming to visit. I had gone there just to drop off some MMJ (Medical Marijuana) Week buttons for them to give away,  but I also picked up a gram of Mango OG Kush (the Dr. recommended it for my situation – a very good choice) and left…

After I got home and had some of my new herb (still feeling peeved, but in a nice, kush-induced, fuzzy kind-of-way) I glanced out the front window and saw the most beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen (and no, the rainbow wasn’t because of the herb).

I called Tania over to see, and we both ran downstairs to try and get a photo of this amazing sight.

I’m very serious when I say I’ve never seen such a brilliant, complete, colorful double rainbow. The composite photo above does not do it justice.

Now I realize that there are “rainbows” and there are “Rainbows: The Amazing Version” – This was the latter…

I have never seen one such as this, but I imagine that the one Noah saw must have been like this, because you look up it and go, “Wow…” – you just have to.

You might or might not know that the rainbow Noah saw was a sign to him from God that represented God’s promises to him, God’s covenant with Noah, and all mankind after him. I feel like today, God answered my storms with a rainbow…

An after note: 11:30 pm – I’m still feeling a bit peeved – I hope this feeling goes away when this current depression ripple passes because I do not like feeling this way…

Note from about a week later – Feb 25, 2009

I didn’t publish this post on the day I wrote it because in it’s draft form it was such an incomplete picture of what was going on in our life, the much bigger picture where this is just one footstep of faith leading to the next – but for those that don’t walk this way it could cause confusion.

My life is about fanning the spark of faith in the people I meet, and I don’t want to do anything to blow out that spark…

This double rainbow was followed up by a show the next day on the Science Channel about Uncertainty and Quantum Physics. When I need spiritual clarity, I turn to Quantum Physics – it gives me great perspective.

All the peeved feelings melted away after that night, and my questions have started to return to me as answers that help me see the world with more love, hope and purpose…

And I have a new material for my work now – Uncertainty. More about that coming up soon…

So now, over a week later, I’m starting to understand in an even-more-amazed-way the beauty of that rainbow, on that particular day, and that moment. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. My faith is now stronger and has a larger vision…