Solitude

IMG_1455by cheri

I’m a sucker for any image, environment, conversation or person with whom I can begin to imagine something more than what meets the eye. I suppose this habit developed in my childhood when my imagination was as fertile as this Salinas field of lettuce being plowed under.

In those days, as a young girl, I was often Bill Hartack riding Northern Dancer in the 1964 Kentucky Derby or Elizabeth Taylor hurdling over Becher’s Brook in the Grand National Steeplechase (and winning without event).

These days, I am drawn to animal photography, horse and bison paintings, fields of tall grasses and water. As for people, I  am selfishly attracted to those who seem to like me and want to know what I think about things.

Have you ever been sharing something that has happened to you and the person to which you are sharing begins to tell you what happened to her/him? Or you send an email with events in your life and the person never responds? I do not understand this method of operation.

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I love cut alfalfa fields. The crop is almost there. Almost. I suppose this is the time in which the farmer frets a bit, praying that his cut grasses dry appropriately so that they can be baled. This image reminds me of the contrast between sky and hill, ground and grass. I am the farmer with a blade of alfalfa in my mouth, walking the field, inspecting the territory. The smell is rich. The sound is quiet (with the exception of a tractor humming in the distance.) A cup of coffee awaits me back at the farmhouse.

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The horizontal response to life is comforting. But what about the vertical?

IMG_1489You can tell that this scene is oh-so- close to the Pacific Ocean. Look at the foggy mists that envelop the hills. Two of the cattle spot me. I’m outed! There in the shade of a pine by the sea, I listen to the crash of waves on the rocks and I picture hiking country like this far away. Scotland? Ireland? England? Could I do it at my age?

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I retreat up the hill where the elevation begins to force quads and hamstrings to work a bit. The cattle flatten out and the blues of the sky, fog, and sea make their statements. Again, back to the grasses where I find myself hiding, wondering if my parents will find me.

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There on the road a purple plant reminds me that life is full of color despite the grey of the road. I’m taken back to one of my favorite books as a child–“Harold and the Purple Crayon.” 

Life is rich. Let your juices flow. Imagine what you will.

 

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Life, My photography, Nature photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Solitude

  1. Brig says:

    I enjoy your posts, and photos.
    Never thought about horizontal planes being soothing, hmmm going to consider that one.
    As a kid I loved to race across the fields jumping the windrows, might need to do that again, just to keep in shape.

    • Cheri says:

      Well, as Shoreacres observed, we need horizontal and vertical in our lives. But for sure, I am most comfortable with a horizontal perspective–the ocean’s horizon, the field, the prairie, the desert. And yes, we need Saguaro cacti, a four-masted ship, a tractor–to break up the plane and add vertical thrust.

  2. Bravo Bravissimo! Love these horizontal lines. I see paintings in the first three photos. As you know I am a solitary person at heart and I smelled the silence, the new-mown hay, and the smell of the nearby ocean. I will climb those hills with you. Color is great pf course, but don’t forget the grey of mouse colors.

    • Cheri says:

      I do know you are a solitary person and what a splendid solitary person you are! Let’s climb those mountains, AK. In our tremendous imaginations we shall do it. And yes, I will always remember the greys.

  3. Lue Perrine says:

    Just beautiful Cheri! It’s a wonderful beautiful world. Yours! 💚

  4. shoreacres says:

    Didn’t I smile at this: “Have you ever been sharing something that has happened to you and the person to which you are sharing begins to tell you what happened to her/him?” It reminded me of what I call the cocktail-party stare, when you’re conversing with someone and suddenly realize they’re looking past you, over your shoulder — scanning the room to see who else might be there, and more worth talking to.

    Your world’s beautiful. I miss that kind of fog, and the layers of earth and atmosphere you present so well. But it crosses my mind: isn’t the horizontal enhanced by the vertical? Here in the flat-flat-flatlands, we have plenty of horizontal, but none of the elevation that allows it to develop in layers. Conversely, think about people who live almost entirely vertical lives, as in dense urban areas. They’re short on horizontal — it surely must affect them.

    • Cheri says:

      I’ve often thought if I moved away from the fog, I would miss it terribly. With all of California’s warts, her fog is her make-up. Your reference to the vertical nature of architecture stopped me. Great thought. I suppose that is why I like the Craftsman look as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright design. More horizontal. I may be coming to Houston in August as one of my dearest friends may be coming to MD Anderson for radiation treatment…:(

      • shoreacres says:

        And after all… the horizon is horizontal.

        I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s difficulties, but if you happen to land in Houston, of course we’ll have to get together. The old neighborhood’s not what it used to be when I lived in Favrot Hall in the middle of the Medical Center, but I still mostly enjoy an occasional social visit there: traffic aside.

        • Cheri says:

          Ah yes…traffic…the ubiquitous topic of much of our Bay Area conversation. What is happening? What were you studying at the Medical Center in Houston? Perhaps you have written about this topic before I began to follow your blog. And yes, if possible, I’d love to meet for coffee or lunch in Houston.

          • shoreacres says:

            At the time, I had my degree in medical social work, and divided my time between the UT Dept. of Surgery and nuclear medicine at Ben Taub (the county trauma hospital). I was married in those days, and himself was busy getting a master’s in public health administration. From there, we went to Liberia, and from there to Berkeley. And, no, I haven’t written about any of it. It was a long time ago, and there are many more interesting things to write about now. But tales shared over lunch? You bet.

            • Cheri says:

              All very interesting to me but then, I am a literature junkie and human stories appeal to me. Have you read The River of Doubt by Candace Millard? OMG.

  5. Richard says:

    Wisely, you leave us to add the diagonals, parallels and vanishing points to reveal a grand perspective on your imagination and sensibilities.

  6. ShimonZ says:

    Life is rich, and your photos are rich too. I love the ones of the cows but that alfalfa looked very good too. Enjoy, Cheri.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you, Shimon. Considering several of the photos were taken from a car moving 70 mph, pretty amazing. And yes, life is as rich as the Salinas Valley.

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