Posts Tagged ‘time’

There was a waterfall here, a tiny one, and the walls of granite glistened bright green – but that was in the spring. looking at it now you would not imagine it was there. How much else do we not imagine, that which was before and that which will return – but we do not know, we have not seen it, but having seen it we can have faith, faith that it will return, that something will appear, that there is more than meets the eye.

I wrote that the first day i came to the park about a week ago, when i went up the Vernal falls trail. The falls i had seen across the valley were also gone, but the Vernal and Nevada Falls still have a flow – minor compared to what they must be in the spring, but i have never truly experienced them at that time – in fact never glimpsed at Nevada Falls before. Since then i have visited several of the “falls”, places which now stand empty of water, or have but a trickle – and the famous Yosemite Falls are gone.


Yosemite fall have all but disappeared to a trickle down a sheer cliff, a wet spot on the granite, and the upper falls are not there at all. If you came here now and had not seen photos of them when there are full, would you believe that they were there? If someone told you about the falls after you had seen that place, would you have thought them crazy? But a you “know” that they exist, are you disappointed by what you see and yearn for more? Do you see what is in front of you, or do you imagine the famous pictures you have seen too many times. They are a trickle – so quiet, unlike in the spring when you could hear them from afar, beckoning, and the mist covering the path where people now stand looking at the trickle from a distance. If you arrived unknowing could you envision the spring birth, the cycle that they are? would you?


Would you even pause? this place below the “falls” still feels special to me, the trees more alive, the energy high, and the boulders and rocks special – but is that because i have seen? because there is a path that leads here? Because i have come to believe that it is special? Or is there something truly there at all times? I have returned again and again, especially in the early morning, when the sun slowly lights up the cliffs, and the area is quiet – the people have not yet come in, and the falls are almost silent from the path, and i sit and drink my morning coffee and take in what is here.

And i think of cycles and the cyclical nature of so much or maybe of it all. We have been taught to perceive of time as a linear progression but the falls show that it is an illusion – the falls are not progressively, linearly growing stronger or shrinking away, but if we arrived in the spring or lived less than a year we might imagine that they have gone – but we have faith in their rebirth. The sun is rising over the valley floor, and we do not imagine that it will continuously grow stronger, the walls will brighten and then the sun will fade. and i think about waves and tides, when it comes in will also goes out, and the moon which is close to full will fade away in our eyes (but with the sun and the moon, when they are out of sight, we believe they have not disappeared). We see these cycles, and so many more, but still imagine time and history as linear and often fail to conceive of cycles much bigger than ourselves, or of ourselves as we exist on earth this time. And the falls are a cycle – i cycle i have seen, one that others read about, and a cycle in which we have faith, faith that the snow and rain will come and the falls will appear once more. but is any less faith required than that for other cycles that we have not seen, that are longer than us.

But it is not truly a circle – a labyrinth, a spiral of sorts perhaps? for the walls of the valley alter over time, rocks fall, cliffs fall, valleys are carved, people come in, paths are built, a crash – not always a smooth movement like what we see as the flow of water over stone – but movement that is at the same time barely perceptible and with huge instant changes.

I look at the dry creek bed and find it hard to believe that it is the same creek that i saw in the winter frozen with patches of snow or in the spring rushing along. But then again is it? Is it truly the same? And i must say no – though some of it is. I have faith that the creek (which looks like a path of stones) will be filled with snow and water once again – but it will not be the same snow or the same water as before, and even when it is full, the water is in motion. Thus will it be the same creek?

Still the rocks remain and endure. i assume they are mainly those that were there before – many which were hidden away beneath the water and are now visible. And what endures is exposed to so many conditions – rain, drought, cold, heat – and they thus appear (or are) different over time. Now they are all dry not wet, and their temperature is not the same – so are they the same rocks – parts eroded over time. Or is the cycle merely much longer? I look at the face of the cliff, the moss that grows and the damp spot of the lower falls, and the lines of darks and oranger stone which mark the path of the upper falls, and see what is hidden by the water, and is now revealed. While it looks enduring, it changes too. And we assume that this stone wall is still there even when hidden by the snow, ice and rush of water.

And i think of each of us – what is that part which endures and what merely passes through? And does anything endure at all – or is it always in the process of change – and if something disappears do we not expect it do return, or do we count on it coming back as it was. For even when the falls are full, they are never the same – each moment is different as what we see as drops of water fall over the cliff.
At the base of Vernal falls was a rainbow – both on the way up and on the way down – the seven colours, of the rainbow, or the chakras, of the energies we perceive. but it appears and disappears and moves around, showing all colours of the energetic vibrations of life. and all this that we see is but energy made visible to us, the word made manifest. we see the falls are gone right now, but “know” that they are there. They remind us that there is much more than meets the eyes, but also that all really only exists in the now.

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Time passes so differently when you are on the road and move through different zones of space – a day can seem like a week in all that you see and do – the time passes quickly while you are in motion and then you look back and morning seems forever ago and the place you were seems but a blur. I travel from “sunset” beach campground where i never saw the sun, to “humbug” mountain that seems quite beautiful.

I sit in my tent at humbug mountain state park, just south of port orford. The sun is setting and the sky is blue but i am too tired to make my way down to the beach – and the air is warm(er) and i do not shiver in the damp cool. I had not planned to come this far south today, but circumstance has led me here – and it is hard to imagine taking down my tent this morning in the cold thick fog.

I left around 10am and got here just past seven, but the nine hours and about 55 miles that passed in between seem longer than that – and maybe that is because i experienced the energies of many a place. i left that campsite and walked through the day area down by the beach and then cut up to the road where the fog blew in and visibility was poor. i was not sure if i would need to walk into town, but as i passed a home a man called at me – are you walking, do you need a lift to town, it can be dangerous with this heavy fog. he was building a home showing different materials – a simple place – and each kitchen cupboard was made of a different wood. His truck was full of building tools – i waited while he threw a chain saw and other things in back, and i sat up front with my stuff and heavy chains on the floor. he’d been out here off and on for several years, originally from michigan – and that is where his children live. he dropped me at the store in charleston where i had a much needed hot strong coffee and sat outside in the grey wondering if i would get out of this place – but here the sky was merely grey – the fog at a higher level above – i sat at the picnic table outside the store and watched as trucks, mainly of men, pulled on in, and then made my way up to seven devils road – the scenic route promoted from charleston to bandon where i was planning to go.

thankfully at the top of a small hill there was a warehouse with a gravel lot – a place for cars to stop and safe for me to stand for what i saw up ahead was a narrow twisty shoulderless road and i did not know if the fog would come back down. there was little traffic, and what there was tended to be overstuffed cars, trucks and trailers of tourists and i stood a while in the cool wind. Finally a shiny SUV with nevada licence plates pulled over and offered me a ride – a middle aged couple going to bandon, but they said they would need to stop at the garbage dump, if he could remember where it was. They were out here checking on his parents place where they no longer live, services closed down except for electricity. and so he needed to dump the trash before they returned home the next day. The gps – on large display, did not show such places as we drove down the country road – at times the ocean was just over the cliff so i believe – for you could see little except for the grey – and while the road twisted up and down hill – it was not so scenic with the straggly miniature trees – he commented on how he knew they can be stunted near the shore, but i saw some large stumps and said it must be a fairly recent clearcut. A fork in the road, and we head back to the 101, and there the dump is = open tuesday through saturday, and today is a sunday.

As we near bandon we see a patch of blue sky – and they had said they’d seen sun only once in the week – on the friday (the day i came). The road had two lanes in each direction, and when we passed the state park we were in the center lane – and besides i wanted to at least visit the old town. We drive to the town – and come to a bridge – no sidewalks that i can initially see – then one off the edge but locked and closed and i wonder how i will cross back over the bridge. And the park is further out than the two miles stated on the brochure.

We pull into the old town slightly after one and the sun is out and the sky a pure blue. It is busy on this july sunday afternoon with people, tourists, walking about, eating fish and browsing gift shops – but a car pulls out and they are able to find a parking space on one of the little streets. I get out and the winds are back with all of their ferocity; i walk by the harbour to use the bathroom and better off tourists stare at me. i walk on the boardwalk which is empty with the “breeze” and sit down on one of the uniquely carved wood benches and smoke a cigarette. I go through the town with its touristy crafty shops and one man busks on the sidewalk beside an empty store. then i find a nice cafe with strong coffee, yummy cookies and wifi and sit and post entries and connect and charge my battery for an hour and a half of so. but then it is near three and i still do not know what i will do for the night and the cafe is closing so i wander on outside.

I go to the visitor center across the street, with a sign to hold onto the door because of the wind. two senior ladies welcome me and one congratulates me on travelling this way. I ask about the bridge and find out it is also under construction and full of equipment and a single lane during the week – and i panic for a moment and then figure i will just head south. But i am hungry and have little food with me, so i go back down to the water in the bay and treat myself to fish and chips at the well-known bandon fish market. They are closing down – i am their last customer, and while tables were fairly full when i arrive, the town has emptied out by the time i leave at about 3:45. At the market one couple asks about my travels and a mother warns her child about people like me. the sun still shines in town but the fog is coming in thick – a huge dark bank threatens just off shore – so i head to the highway and leave the town without visiting the famous rocks – and realize i am not staying in the place i wanted to see and that is ok with me.

The town spreads out along the highway for a couple of miles – the roadway not built up to much with the hotels about a mile off by the shore, but a sidewalk goes out that far, with two lanes of traffic in each direction and nowhere to pull over and stop – so i walk along for quite a while, aware of the grey that lingers over the shore – but the sun shines here and the wind is on my back, pushing me forward and on down the road – and i know the other campground would have been several miles against the wind. As my pack gets heavy and the far end of the shoreline drive merges with the highway i wonder if i should have wandered down there.

Once i get to a place with a shoulder i do not have to wait long for a lift – still it is almost 5pm and i am grateful the days are long. At first he seems reticent, but then opens up and tells me of god, and the story of how he was reborn – not too preachy, but spreading the word, and describing the physical sensations, a lightness in his heart and the veils being lifted when he accepted the call. I had asked him if he was from here, and said no been out here about 4 years, from texas before that and not sure where originally – had come out briefly and then his boss called and asked him when he would return, he said he did not know and his boss hung up on him. and then a few minutes later his boss called him back and said, yes you stay they for that is the place where god told me you had been called. i think he had found the bible before then – but it was a nice story that took me south of langois, and to a straight stretch of road with a few homes and a pullout – across the street from where he lives.

i stood there a bit and began to feel cool – walking out of bandon i had built up a sweat – and so piled the layers back on. After a bit a woman and her teenage daughter pull over and are going as far as port orford. She asks me if i mind if she smokes a cigarette – and i say no – it is just when i get out at the grocery store that she tells me she didn’t know it was sunday, not working with the cancer and all – i say i’m sorry to hear – and she says its ok now, just the chemotherapy – and i realize then that the scarf over her head is just not a fashion statement. She tells me of some young hitchhikers she picked up earlier in the week, on their way down to get some trimming work, and she pointed them to the right place. but though california talks about legalizing pot, and some of it is legal and medicinal, that is a type of farming that i do not want to get involved in – and i have met some others who are on their way down – planning to work in the season there. She lets me off at the grocery store, and points out the library and the community center where if you need something they are pretty good with hotel vouchers and food stamps.

I shop at rays and then walk through town to the overlook at the southern edge – large boulders and rocks stand proudly offshore and humbug mountain is just a few miles down. It is a wonderful view and i sit on a bench for a while admiring the ocean and the sun but then head up to the road where i hope for a lift the six miles south to the park. port orford has such a different vibe, more bohemian and a bit of an edge, something is off, and i feel closer to northern california. I feel less sure hitching here for on my thumbing trip on down the coast 24 years ago, this was a place i had to wait for a while (and there was a man heading up on the north end of town who had been there for 3 hours or more), and it was here that i got the one not great lift, where i got dumped out on the twisty road (across from this very park) for not going down to the beach for some fun.

I wait a while on the edge of town by that overlook – i turn towards the traffic and then the rocks and wonder where i might have to sleep. but after a while a car pulls out of the parking lot and a guy from humbolt country drops me on the road by here. the regular hiker biker area is full but a sweet camp host and friendly ranger put me in overflow with a cyclist who had just arrived. it is now dark out, and some traffic can be heard on the road, and i know that some mosquitos buzz outside (very few so far on this trip) and it is time for bed and if the weather holds i might stay a second day (and with a numbered site in the nice looking area) .

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Time and place are so intertwined for me. When asked when something took place i think about where i was, and then can come up with the day. The other day when i was travelling, carrying my pack on my back, i imagined a conversation where someone asked me when i last did my laundry. My clothes were clean and I knew the answer was the day before. I tried to think of when had been the time before, and before that – when i first got to San Francisco so that meant three weeks ago, and then Antigua – so about 3 weeks before Antigua, yes it was there, oops was it really 5 weeks – yes with hand washing in between, yes a big hand wash in San Marcos, and before – oh Leon – my first time there, and Orosi.
And so it was, and again for other actions that happen sporadically like when i had a drink – a beer last week in San Francisco – oh when, Santa Cruz (guatemala) so must be about a month before and then oh yeah Antigua the night before i left for Xela or the night before that about 5 weeks previous and so it goes. And i wonder if this perception is because of my life as a vagabond, gypsy and traveller the past several years. But then i think about other major events, not necessarily of mine, but of the world, or in my world – and i remember them in part by where i was living, what apartment did i have, of where my place was at the time. But then again, i have moved around alot. Still it is the way i date much in my life, by where i was.

But then my mind returns to laundry again. For a period of time i did it regularly, every week or so following no particular schedule at all. I was in buffalo, at my cousin’s house, a house that had a washing machine so i could do it regularly. The specific time of that activity no longer defined by place, as for a while, the locale remained the same. My cousin did hers on the weekend, usually a Sunday, so she could define the day by this activity.
And it makes me think, for how long has time and dating been associated with what one does, and that is how we remember – Monday is washing day, working at dawn, it was after dinner so it must have been a certain time. It is by what we do or where we are that we often remember time. I think back to history class and how i found it difficult to memorize dates, and to this day does it really matter if something happened on the 15th or 16th unless it is in relation to something else – was it before, during or after.

Travelling i often lose track of the date and occasionally the time. It is when i write it down that i know, or when i decide to look at the corner of my screen. I once knew it well, when i would write the date hundreds of times i date, with my initials beside it.
And then i think of watch time. Talked to my father the other day, i in the west and he in the east, but at that very moment that we spoke, the same time, it was different clock times for each of us. So place did define time. Or i think of my flight back, and the flights of others i have talked to – how a four hour flight can take 2 or 6 depending on the direction you are flying, if you take off at 10 am in one place, you can arrive at noon or four or even two depending on the direction you are flying, and in every case you have been four hours in the air. We recently changed the clocks, early this year. We manipulate the time that rules us so. When i first got back, from lands where day and night were of approximately the same length, i was thrown off kilter in my judgement of the time. And with the movement of clocks, it did not seem right, the sun setting so late, and night-time beginning at a later hour.

I returned to a place where i was 9 months ago, but with my journey it seems like it has been years. For since that time, i have experienced much and been to so many different places. But now that i am here, in some ways it seems, like i had barely been gone. And time shifts, speeds up and slows down and what is more real, that which we perceive or that which is stated on a calendar or a clock. how many times have you been on the “wrong day” fully acting if it were correct – it is when acting with others, be they near or institutions that the collective agreement matters – why was someone not here, or something closed if you are on your own time or date.

My life has been long, the last several years and i feel that i have aged alot. At times what happened a year, or 10, ago seems more recent than what happened last week, and as i move between places and actions, my mind often brings me to the last time i was there. If i lived a life, more regulated each day, five days on, two off, going to and returning to the same place each day, time may seem more linear and stable – but would that be time itself or the activities and the locales where they took place. I used to keep a calendar where i would write where i was every day of the week, and that way keep track of the passing of the time and look frequently to see where i had been the previous month, quarter or year, and that way align the feel of time with its thought.

The sign rises and sets every day or – so it appears for it is us that moves and changes out place in relation to the sun – and the phases of the moon – as it moves around it – appear with regularity. And thus time seems stable too – for there are cycles that are fairly predictable. but just as there are different cycles of the movement of the moon, earth, and sun, time in our lives moves at different paces.
Time has been moving so quickly through mine, that i will no longer remember where i was when, If my movement slows down, then will time?

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i am in monterey – a place i was two years ago and being here brings back thought forms and emotions of the time. in some ways all that has occurred in the time lapsed seems to be erased – all that i have experienced, the places i have been, emotions processed, people met, seems but a blur. The time spent here two years ago in some ways seems closer than the time spent say in Oaxaca which was but two weeks ago, or even in San Francisco, two days ago. How time and place (or space) are so intertwined, and at times almost inseparable like a single zone in one. And i feel like i have returned to a zone, and in some ways had never left, like it was a separate me who had lived the other life.
But in some ways what i entered into was a zone not linked to place a all – it was an energetic zone that cuts one off from place, space, and all that surround, it was the stress zone – the one that is so intense, that the body begins to hurt and back clenches and what i call stress bubbles or knots return. It is a zone where one is encapsulated by something other, something pressing that will not let go and takes over the self so that all else seems so distant and unreal. Where that energy is more real that all else that is around.
Today (or yesterday by the time this is posted) i shopped for this machine – riding city buses through what is now surreal landscape to me – housing tracks – spread out for the military and for a school, down highways and into enclaves of big box stores surrounding large parking lots. In one area i walked down streets devoid of people, cars and houses was all you saw. And on the bus it is the poor, those going to the VA hospital, the handicapped, and the latinos who work the low wage jobs visible in their black or khaki cotton or poly pants and non-slip black close-toed shoes. I felt alien of sorts. And the zone possessed me in the library where the guy at the desk was helpful though i could not tell you what he looked like except tall and with dark hair. For the stress zone makes you somewhat oblivious to all.
I went to Carmel to try to relax but could not see – only the shiny cars and the high ratio of 50+ year old blonds, with money but not looking too content – more of an east coast vibe,with the matrons out. And the dogs – for it is a dog friendly place. It was a beautiful day – high 60s, not a cloud in the sky, flowers abound, smell of trees, and a strong breeze on the white sand beach. I lay there, heard the loudness of the waves, the roar of the ocean which did not comfort and felt the sun upon my face and the sand blowing, but i lay caught in worry, in grief, in indecision, in regret, not being able to truly be there. And i know i have been in that zone plenty of time. I walked back up and caught a bus, not looking in any of the galleries or expensive stores on my way. I did not know which bus would come first, but it was the one that took me out along the strip mall, motel, fast food and chain store boulevard to the big box stores so i knew it was time to break down and buy.
I walked the huge parking lot, into Costco where i cannot shop (not a member) to check their prices and they were about the same – the huge overwhelming warehouse with the oversized grocery carts. and then i went again to office depot, a sterile, quiet environment and this time there was someone who asked if i wanted assistance – i had already decided on this machine – and it was the same price everywhere – and i stood in the computer zone under bright florescent lights looking for the longest time. and then back on the buses.

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I write this from Orosi, a small Costa Rican town in narrow valley of shapely green mountains beneath textured grey sky. A town where i will write about in the following week, as this is where i will remain for a week. Will have time to get to know it and to be embraced in its feel.

It is a small walkable town of  about 5000 people so i read. It has a main street, a language school which is why i am here, a few stores, restos, warm bathing pools, a historic church, and more i am sure. It also has a calmer way of life which i notice as i stroll up and down the main street, and down the middle of some side streets, with few cars and still unpaved. The air is rich and it is green.

And how far away this morning seems (never mind yesterday afternoon or last week). This morning i awoke in Alajuela, sun shining bright, listening to another snore. went out in the early morn as town was waking up, most shops still closed, stands setting up, a few milling about, trucks unloading  and it was hot. I went out later, to shop a bit, the market getting busy on a Saturday and traffic picking up. I looked for a shop i had spotted the other day, but they fell into a blur. which one of the many that look all the same was it. I left the hostel, walked a last time on now familiar streets got onto the bus to San Jose. I left the now familiar behind.

The bus, on the autopista, i enter another zone. Going into San Jose, a traffic jam, another, though this time i had a vague idea of where i was. Off the bus, a busy pedestrian mall full of people and stores, bigger shops and a few more international chains that in Alajuela. The main square by the museum, it seems alive, i think i might like to stay for a few days next time i pass through. down another street i walk, away from the center and onto another bus. Zone transition time. Bus goes out of town in other direction, through traffic, and then out to autopista, past some shanties on the way.

Into Cartago, coming in it looks provincial as guidebooks say. Fields, then homes, then center, pass through quickly, another zone. Off the bus, near las Ruinas, the square, a panderia, a line of buses, the ruins to check out, the centre of this town, try to cross the avenue with others and traffic does not stop. no one know where my next bus is. i eat and smoke, and walk a few blocks. Another zone, one which i will visit more when i pass through again.

Find the bus, pull out on secondary road, through Paraiso, past a mall and a university, down semi-rural roads, all new. Then we descend – from the top look at town on valley floor, a river, a magical walls of green as we twist on down, shade grown coffee, green beneath a canopy of green, another zone, and into down, main road, a church, square, soccer field, the store where i am to get off, another zone – one i will explore.

Into the hostel where i will stay – that a zone in itself.

As i pass through many places, most new to me, some barely familiar,  time shifts differently that if i had stood still. It becomes a bit of a blur for i have passed through much in such little time – a blur. And in that time i have also passed through many versions of me – concerns of this morning now disappeared, intense sensations forgotten. In motion time and space blur and all seems more rapid.

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When we feel the energy of a place, what exactly is it that we are feeling? Just how porous are we? How much do we pick up from our surroundings and how much of what we feel in a given place that which we carry with us? And what do we add to the general “vibe” of the place?  I have been called over-sensitive and at times i can be overwhelmed by a place – be it the glory and peace, or a sense of unease. But at other times i am not conscious of what i am picking up at all or of what i am giving off.

Do we create a bubble around us and become self-contained? But that is an illusion for all is intertwined,  for we breathe the air and it circulates. By withdrawing ourselves we block the flow of life, become a barrier, within and without.

When we feel the vibe of the place is what we are picking up from the presence of other people at a given moment? is it the vibes of the material elements and other living things in our surroundings – the plants, the animals, the earth and stones? And how much the position of the stars, the sun and the moon, the time of day and of the year and the weather that flows through? And how much of it is remnants of the past that are contained in the structures, the elements and in our minds?

Can place be separated from time or from ourselves?

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