28 Years of Love!

Adding another photo to our annual Anniversary Day post…

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Above –  In Joshua Tree National Park at Cap Rock honoring Gram Parsons on September 19, 2014.

The Jon and Tania Story – In 29 Photos!

We started going out on October 12, 1986, got married on October 12, 1992 (our sixth anniversary) and now 28 wonderful years have gone by…

To celebrate our Anniversary, here’s a gallery of photos of us together from 28 years of love – From 1987 until now, with each photo representing one year of the journey.

These Best Moments

I wrote this poem during the month after Tania and started going out. I remember it was composed in the early hours of the morning in a deep state of intuition.

The poem is a very accurate picture of our life now, after 28 years, much more than when I wrote it in November of 1986.

Fun Fact – I read this poem as part of our wedding ceremony in Big Sur on October 12, 1992  –

These Best Moments

It was a time to enjoy the best moments of our lives,
and everyday was something new.

We saw ideas:
dreams became real.

With these ideas came new hopes,
possibilities,
different avenues of expression.

Is this real? Should I even ask?

We’ve seen strange twists,
each for the experience, rich and cherished.

Content on pursuit,
following dreams,
knowing the creation of reality.
All at our grasp.

Developed in the light of patience:
savoring private moments:
anonymity.

Still standing with one foot in what they say is real.

More moments will come,
and we enjoy the moments that have been,
content.

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Above – Scan of the original notebook page from November, 1986.

Gallery of Moments

Off-The-Grid In Hidden Valley

Tania and I don’t just go camping, we mount a small expedition in our Honda Element. We pack our car with all the camping gear and supplies we’ll need for the next few days. We’ve got our tent and chairs, a stove, 3 bundles of wood, 9 gallons of water, food, flashlights, lanterns, firestarter, pots and pans, cooking utensils and on and on… and usually nothing that we don’t end up needing.

We usually spend a couple days preparing our supplies in a process refined by years of camping, and especially camping at Hidden Valley Campground in Joshua Tree National Park, (where we’ve camped at least 7 times so far – each time a unique experience.)

Then, along with our two dogs, Moseley and Suki, we leave cellphones and computers behind and enjoy some time off-the-grid… this year we spent our time in site #25.

In Our Element

Our love affair with Joshua Tree began eight years ago when we got our Honda Element, which we bought because we wanted a camping-mobile (among other things.)

Here’s a photo from our first camping trip at Hidden Valley in June of 2004 with our green Element in the background.

2004

The Element has been an awesome mini-expedition vehicle. Before we got the Element we had not gone camping for a few years and really missed the time away from the city, just the two of us together, or with a small group of friends.

Our history of camping together goes back twenty-some years. Tania and I even got married while camping in Big Sur twenty years ago on October 12, 1992.

Here’s a photo from just after the ceremony under the redwood trees at Limekiln Campground in Big Sur. We had a Volkswagen Vanagon back then for our expeditions…

1992

Boulders and The Light

Over the years many different things have been my focus-of-the-moment in this love affair with Joshua Tree, from the Joshua Trees themselves to the Gram Parsons legacy to the broad landscape of trees and boulders.

Currently I’m fascinated by the way the light changes the shape, color and presence of boulders. As an artist I marvel at the light and wonder how to capture it’s majesty in some kind of medium – a painting, sculpture, something I haven’t thought of… It’s a problem I keep turning around in my mind.

So far, I can only capture a photo of the idea, a mere representation of the real moment. This (see photo below) is what the light really looks like at sunset in the fall, but the real moment was 100 times better than any photo we could have taken.

This year’s expedition was the first time we camped in Joshua Tree during October. Usually we camp around September 19th in remembrance of Gram Parsons, one of my favorite musicians.

The light in October is very different than September. The angle of the light is steeper and full of contrast. Around our anniversary on the 12th the light is magical, and this year we had an unseasonal cold front that added a coolness we’d never experienced in our September camp-outs.

This Year’s Expedition

We arrived in Hidden Valley on Wednesday the 10th. Of the 44 camp sites, only 3 or 4 were still available. One of those sites was #25, on a side of the inner loop we had never camped on before.

The first night we had thunder and lightning in the middle of the night with rain. Our Hobitat tent which we bought a few years back from R.E.I. was very water-tight, and just we laid there enjoying the sounds and lightning throughout the night.

The next couple of days were unseasonably cool all day with beautiful clouds flying across the wide open sky. I wore a hoodie and knit cap most of the time, and really bundled up for the evening’s campfire.

We spent our time taking walks with our dogs, boulder scrambling, taking photos, talking, hanging out, napping and generally relaxing. It was a bit of heaven. And everywhere we looked were beautiful boulders basking in the changing sunlight.

At night the temperatures dropped down to 38 degrees one night and 40 degrees another night – very cold when you have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

On Friday the 12th we celebrated our 26th year together with special beers in the afternoon, a nice nap and a great afternoon walk… later Tania cooked-up an outstanding rib-eye steak and potatoes for dinner and then we relaxed around the campfire for conversation and more beers. A magical day all around.

The weather was finally warming up when we were packing up camp on Saturday morning the 13th to come home.

Moseley (a real homebody) was happy to be back home, while little Suki pup is already waiting for the next adventure.

Gallery of Photos

Here’s a selection of photos from this expedition into Joshua Tree. The photo order starts with morning photos and goes into the night, but covers several days of camping. All the photos have captions to tell you more about our expedition – Enjoy!

Today’s Image #344

TitleTraveling Shoes and Barbeques – Page 70”
Dimensions
– 7″ x 6″
Format – digital photo
Date
2004

This page of images is from a book called “Traveling Shoes and Barbeques” of collages and photos I created in 2004 for our friends to commemorate a great summer, and the beginning of a new season of life.

The little book of memories finishes up with our first Gram Parsons’ Memorial Camping Trip to Joshua Tree – to camp out and go visit the Gram Parsons shrine that existed at Cap Rock, a few miles from our camp.

This image is of the graffiti on one of the rocks referring to Gram – “God’s own singer of songs is going home…”

Download the pre-publishing “Reader’s copy” – click the link below.

A limited amount of books were produced.

link: http://onehumanbeing.com/central/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/TSreader.pdf

Tania’s Random Photo of the Day

Tania has started posting a random photo of the day on her Facebook page, and because you might not be her friend on Facebook I wanted to post the photos from this last week, along with her captions… Enjoy!

Friday, January 27th

above: random photo of the day is RAS from Long Beach Shortbus playin’ us all a song (formerly of Long Beach Dub AllStars) at our “between the buildings bon voyage bbq” for Cristi Hebert and Louie Hebert back in July 2007…

Thursday, January 26th

above: random photo of the day is at the library coffee house down broadway (local LB!) back in february 1993…

Wednesday, January 25th

above: random photo of the day– stayed at mcnally’s lodge on the kern river back in october 2001- jon took this as we were exploring- i love his hand shielding the light from the camera over me…

Tuesday, January 24th

above: random photo of the day is from september 1992- (wow was that 20 years ago?!) jon taking a break from painting silkscreen art walls he was creating to put up for our wedding warehouse party…

Monday, January 23rd

above: random photo of the day – wedding party joy aboard a yacht floating around newport harbor back in august 2005…

Sunday, January 22nd

above: random photo of the day – at the santa paula airport on the way back from the gram parsons tribute show… watching planes land and take off. i remember this way-too-hyper slick lookin’ guy coming up to jon and i and offering to take us flying- right then- out of the blue. we declined. too fast, buddy. too enthusiastic. whatcha been sniffin’?

Saturday, January 21st

above: random photo of the day – self portrait in santa barbara for the gram parsons tribute show “return to sin city” at the santa barbara bowl from july 2004…

Gram Parsons | Cosmic American Angel

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I love Gram Parsons’ music – flat out. He’s one of the musicians that hits a familiar feeling, comfortable chord with me.

My friend Pete, who was my boss when I worked at the Grunion Gazette awhile back, inadvertently introduced me to Gram’s music.

Pete would bring in all kinds of CDs I hadn’t heard before and when I was the only one working in the Graphic Design area, I’d go through Pete’s CDs and try different ones out. That’s how I discovered John Prine’s music, and that’s how I discovered Gram Parsons’.

One Thursday morning, while all the important people were upstairs in the usual Thursday morning meeting, I put on this CD called G.P./Grievous Angel, with a picture on the cover that reminded me of a Syd Barrett (the founder of Pink Floyd) album cover. I put the CD on, and found a touchstone.

Gram’s life was tragically short, and ended in a heroin overdose in a motel room at the Joshua Tree Inn on September 19, 1973 at the age of 26 – here’s a link to the story of his death

Here’s a trailer (from YouTube) to a Gram Parsons’ movie to give some background flavor…

For a few years a group of us would go camping in Joshua Tree every September during the weekend of the anniversary of his death. We called it the “Gram Parsons Memorial Weekend”. At the end of the weekend I’d make my pilgrimage to the site of Gram’s cremation (if this puzzles you, read about his death from the link above), and spend a little time with Gram, read the new graffiti, then head on home for the well deserved shower after four days of camping.

This playlist is just a sampling of Gram’s music. He was the originator of Country Rock, even though he didn’t like that term… he preferred “Cosmic American Music”, and so do I.

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Here’s a link to Amazon.com to buy this music by Gram if you’ve been intrigued… Sacred Hearts and Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology This 2CD set contains all of the songs from this playlist and many other great ones covering the length of Gram Parson’s short but influential career.

Here’s a few more links about Gram Parsons:

The Gram Parsons Homepage

Gram Parsons: Wikipedia