Categories
Featured Photography Thoughts for a Rainy Day ☂

Goodbye 2020!

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Potamic River, D.C. | Erica Robbin

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.”

~Unknown

Like so many of you, I’m definitely not going to miss 2020. Ready for this year to be over.

Stressful, lack of concentration, uncertainty, isolating, frustrating, dispiriting, maddening, and absolutely exhausting.

Do I dare say the word unprecedented?

Like a whirlwind storm and pretty disorientating. The familiarity and security of basic routines and promises, the anticipation of favorite holiday festivities, hobbies, pastimes, traditions, all disrupted. Many times I asked myself, “What day is it? What month are we in? What about that meteor coming? Aliens?”

It feels so good to get texts from other time zones, celebrating and wishing me so much for the New Year!

I took these photos in Washington D.C. An annual legislative trip. The landscape is a picture of the Potomac River. It had been freezing and snowy. A bit disappointing for plans to go around touring the city at the time. But that storm left. Clearing overnight. The early hours of sun warmed up the ground, melting the snow into what actually became a rather beautiful, site-seeing morning.

Storms that pass remind me that I have a lot to be thankful for. A greater appreciation for things to come.

Hopeful.

In spite of the circumstances, though my upcoming winter trip to D.C., like all other events and leisureliness, will be postponed, digital in avenue, a pause in the path we’re in, abandoned plans replaced by newer ones.

I’m excited for brighter days.

Much to look forward to.

Here’s to brighter, happier adventures. A different outlook on life.

A grateful one.

Happy New Year, 2021!

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Categories
Audiobooks Book Clubs Book Reviews Books Featured Nonfiction

Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters by Annie Dillard

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In this dazzling collection, Annie Dillard explores the world over, from the Arctic to the Ecuadorian jungle, from the Galapagos to her beloved Tinker Creek. With her entrancing gaze she captures the wonders of natural facts and human meanings: watching a sublime lunar eclipse, locking eyes with a wild weasel, or beholding mirages appearing over Puget Sound through summer.

Annie Dillard is one of the most respected and influential figures in contemporary nonfiction and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Teaching a Stone to Talk illuminates the world around us and showcases Dillard in all her enigmatic genius.

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Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters by Annie Dillard

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was alright.

Here’s the thing I’m learning about myself. Well more confirmation about my taste in books actually.

I’m just not much for books that are super contemplative.

Contemplating your naval type stuff. I like action. Like John Wick action. Take me somewhere I didn’t see coming. An underlying life lesson is fine. Some distinct pull from reality or unique observation. Or a cutesy little story about a relationship gone awry and a character who ruins, then saves the day. Or educational, I love educational.

So I have to be honest in that I don’t have the patience for books like this.

I read this one for Life’s Library. I must say it’s introducing me to books I wouldn’t normally read and I do find some value in that.

I read alternating print and audiobook. The audiobook was narrated by Randye Kaye. The audiobook was great at some points, but mostly sounded too much like a computer with mixes of voice inflection that were either jarring or mismatched. Words were typically ran together which was less to my liking. Funny enough though, when sped up, the running of words actually became more isolated, distinct, and more thus more clear.

A variety of POVs. First person present, ugh. Deep contemplation with inferences I didn’t feel attached to most of the way.

A lot of similes which sometimes I appreciated, but so many made it feel like a college entrance exam.

Too abstract for my taste and mood right now. It was overly descriptive for my liking.

There were a lot of general mere observations which I found rather boring to read about. I just didn’t connect to all of the stories. Not real memorable for me.

So what did I like?

I found the mundane activities described about attending the Catholic church, a childlike outlook, deciding which parts were performative and which were meaningful, was confirming to experience.

My favorite part was the telling of the girls of the village wanting to braid and re-braid hair. I think that’s always something so strong among every culture, with integration and an expression of acceptance, endearment, exploration of the world and self, building connection, a bit of joy, skill, and bonding, is girls, mothers, sisters, friends, doing each other’s hair.

I liked the mention of solar eclipse. Having witnessed a few totals and partials in my lifetime, I could appreciate that chapter. The excitement, yet eeriness of birds going silent, darkening, and wondering what people back in the day thought about the world ending.

I also liked the little booklet we got in our subscription package. Has some good writing prompts in there that I might try answering on my website/blog. 32 questions in all. Might be an interesting personal exercise.


View all my reviews

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Categories
Featured Photography Travel Stories

Petra: A Sandstone Journey

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Lines is this week’s photo theme so I thought I’d share about some of the most fascinating rock features I have ever come across.

Petra, Ma’an Governate, just south of Amman, Jordan, is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. It is a historical and archaeological city famous for its rock-cut architecture, most notably The Treasury (Al-Khazeneh), which is at the end of the passage al-Siq. Pictured here is the rock texture of a cave wall I came across.

The word petra comes from the Greek word petros meaning “stone” or “rock.” These stones in particular are sandstone layers created in part from sand dunes over long periods of time. Like other rock formations, the top layers are the youngest and the older at the top. The waves lines are created because sand dunes have more movement at the top compared to the sedimentary rock that forms beneath it. The colors are just amazing, consisting of various shades of orange, rich brown, an almost gray-purple, and red. In fact this Nabataean city is also known as the Rose City of Petra because of its rosy hue. 

On a side-note, One Strange Rock is a series that’s currently airing on National Geographic and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Be sure to check it out! Episodes have featured stories about our earth’s formation and I’m thinking they might include Petra’s stunning rock formations in an episode.

I hope you enjoyed my post!

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