Mt. Tam glimpsed from that path along Corte Madera Creek, Greenbrae
Sure, it would have been absolutely lovely to have that perfect photo of Mt. Tam to show on the last day of this project. But that only happens in the albums of a mind framed by the hard wood of perfectionism. Not that I didn’t spend a good part of the day taking pictures from the time the sun came up until now. In fact, I had taken more photos today than probably all the days of some months in the last year.
There were some richly green pictures of the slopes from this morning, but in the end, I chose one of the last-minute pictures I took on my bike ride along the Corte Madera Creek. I haven’t been on the bike for weeks and by the time I got out there, the sun was slipping fast behind the ridges and the clouds were gathering near the peaks, flattening the light. Still, even with the lesser greens and poorer light, I chose this picture as the last one because of the boat hauled unto the dock in it. After all, it’s the end of the journey in a year of daily photos of the mountain. The mountain will still be there, always in plain view, even in that of mine … that is, for as long as I live in this region.
Mt. Tam will keep on posing for others who are much better at capturing her profile in the changing light of the seasons and of the days. For my camera, for now, she’s saying good night … and so am I….
Mt. Tam glimpsed from the path along Corte Madera Creek, Greenbrae
Well then, it’s getting mighty close to “last call” around here. One more shot to come, so to speak, of trying to pour the spirit of the mountain into the glossy container of a single image for the day, and then it’s closing time around here.
Already I am wiping down the counters with the frayed cloth of neglect, stacking the empty glasses that never got filled with heady mixed offerings, capping some of the bottles of bubbly gone flat that I opened in haste, thinking they would make for quite the cocktail of words and images.
While I wait to ring the bell on that last call, I’ll just take a step back, as a rehearsal for tomorrow … watch the sun set on the mountain. I’ll just bask in the light a little more, seeing it for its alchemy, for the ways in which it has turned the fleck of every day into the solid gold bar of a year … at least in memory.
A monochromatic Mt. Tam barely glimpsed at noon from the Bon Air Bridge in Greenbrae and presented here unfiltered and unedited, in nearly black and white
It’s a Tuesday, but it seems to be a day more fitting of a Monday. It’s a grey day, flatly so, which makes it a perfectly blue day – at least in the limited color scheme of that old song, Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down.
I am down, but not in the dumps of any kind. It’s just a few weary bones, the odd sore muscles, and slightly blotted enthusiasm with so much cloud cover hanging low, like the ripe fruit ready for the picking from some deep-rooted tree of depression. Fortunately I am still sated enough on the leftover surge of endorphins from a few very nice bike rides.
It’s understandable, this soggy heaviness. After all, here in Marin, last week brought us over 10 inches of rain, filling the reservoirs to capacity early in the season. As the year winds down and our waters rise, I am reminded of how this project is winding down and the tide of possibilities for new ones rise in proportion. To resurrect my old blog or not. And if so, how to give it new shape? To embrace new means of bringing honey to the hive of the Internet? That is, take the energy I still and contribute to the changing shape of the vessels in which to store the nectar of ideas that power (or at least chart) change….
Mt. Tam glimpsed in the rearview mirror, Bon Air Road, Greenbrae
With the sun setting so much earlier these days, courtesy of daylight savings time that finally gave us back the hour it took away in the spring, I feel a lot more pressure to get out there and try to catch the mountain while it is illuminated in a myriad ways. That is not always possible, so once again, I have to make do with the only shot I captured while the sun was shining. And even this single shot of the day is distanced further in vision by appearing only as a reflection within the small frame of the rearview mirror.
What wisdom can be gleaned from a day like this one, spent in chasing chores, working out at an even (almost dull) pace, eating mostly leftovers, sorting through old photos, shuffling papers, carrying out routine bookkeeping tasks, tending to laundry, making lists with almost the same items for tomorrow’s to-do list, and so it goes? Then again, what need is there for that elusive form wisdom, when gratitude, felt deep into the marrow of bones, for the grand parade of the mundane is more than enough?
How wonderful it is to be able to attend (by choice) to the mundane, the near-boring, the habitual, the by-the-rote, the usual, the same old stuff in this world in which so much seems in peril, especially when we glance at through a rearview mirror and then mistake that reflection for a crystal ball….
Mt. Tam glimpsed in a haze with my voting station clearly in focus
Haze hangs over the mountain on this otherwise sunny day. The temperatures have already reached the 80s, at least that’s what my car’s gauge told me. That it’s hazy on the horizon is an apt visual for today, as so many of us are heading out to vote and wait to see the results.
There were no lines at my voting station, just a steady stream of people coming and going, all upbeat and excited to be there, at least the group into which I ran. I am going to spend the rest of the daylight hours outside as much as possible, away from the news and gurgling stream of pundits. Then, tonight, when I turn on the TV, I suppose, between the analyses, there will be the onslaught of new ads replacing the political appeals with ones urging us to get shopping for Christmas. In this, politics is business as usual, for no matter who wins at the polls, the business of business will go on.
Still, if you can, get out there and vote!
Mt. Tam glimpsed as reflections, Altura Way, Greenbrae
And so September takes its leave. Tomorrow a new week and a new month. The hottest day we never had all summer is still yet to come — apparently tomorrow. The cicadas are working overtime, striking up the cacophonous choral, eager to usher in warm nights, even if the heat will wane with the setting sun.
Mt. Tam glimpsed from the path along Corte Madera Creek, Greenbrae
A busy day, most of it gone by in a daze … and every time I would glance at Mt. Tam as I ran errands, in the car, on the bike, or on foot, a day shrouded in haze as well. But there was that moment by the Corte Madera Creek, the bicycle leaned against the picnic table, when I sat down long enough to take in the landscape changing practically in front of my eyes as the late September light kept retouching the colors laid down by a summer that had moved on to work on the canvasses of memory.
Mt. Tam glimpsed through the handlebars of my bike by the Corte Madera Creek, Greenbrae
Last day of summer. It seems the sun remembered too. Got much warmer today. The spouse and I had plans to take our bikes up to Napa, ride around, go have dinner, take to easy. So far, we just took it easy, which meant that the bike ride happened a lot closer to home than originally planned.
I got a new stem and handlebars for my bike to help deal with neck/hand issues that have been popping up for me on these longer rides. I can’t afford a new bicycle yet, but certainly can cough up a few bucks here and there for new parts. These new parts, I am happy to report, have solved some 75 percent of the neck/hand issue, at least on the shorter ride I managed to squeeze in.
Still, I feel a little restless having to say goodbye to summer. These days of transitions in the light used to be my favorite time of the year. Not so much lately, as I am getting older. The memories of summer and possibilities still too warm in my mind and the encroaching darkened chill of winter at the edge of my heart.
Mt. Tam glimpsed from he path along the Corte Madera Creek in Greenbrae
It’s “crab season”¹ on the creek … that is, it’s that time of the year again when high school kids are trying out for crew in the Junior program at the Marin Rowing Association. Watching them out there focused and working hard brought back memories from years ago when my sons did this, year after year. All in all, some six years I spent getting ready with them around late September, gearing up for the fall regattas and helping them train with the best way I could: feeding them the right stuff to give wings to their oars. Well, not the oars, but the energy that powered their bodies to move the oars….
1. Crab, or Catch a Crab: “A rowing error where the rower is unable to timely remove or release the oar blade from the water and the oar blade acts as a brake on the boat until it is removed from the water. This results in slowing the boat down. A severe crab can even eject a rower out of the shell or make the boat capsize (unlikely except in small boats). Occasionally, in a severe crab, the oar handle will knock the rower flat and end up behind him/her, in which case it is referred to as an ‘over-the-head crab.”
To see what it’s like to catch a crab in action, take a look at this video
Mt. Tam glimpsed at 7 pm by the Corte Madera Creek in Greenbrae
Seems to me, this picture needs no words. Besides, the afternoon’s mild wind managed to blow away whatever description I might have hung on it. And the light … that light slicing through the gaps in the ridges just so that it could spark the water into a scintillating dance, well it just blinded me to the finer points of language.