earth & sky & william blake

Joey, a dog, and I, a human, took in the sights & smells at Skyview Park, just a half mile from our house yesterday.  Joey, as is his want, was much more interested in earthly delights while I (perhaps due to my height and completely worthless sense of smell) was captivated by the views.

Off we went down the yellow gravel path that leads to the ocean should you be so inclined; it’s a rather dramatic descent that makes the return hike an incredible workout, but for a portion of the trail, it is wide, smooth, filled with vistas (and with scents.)

Like a veteran’s cemetery, they have lined up markers along the trail denoting the indigenous flora, although one would be hard pressed to tell the difference as upon closer inspection each plant looked much the same as the last.

The vistas open up as the gravel crunches underneath & your footfalls keep time with the snuffling of Joey as he zigzags from scent to scent, from pee station to pee station.

Aliso Creek/Wood Canyon Park to the north of the trail.

And to the south, homes along the coastline, trying desperately to mimic the western coast of Italy — on a really clear day you can see down to La Jolla.

And as the descent steepens, Laguna Beach appears with the Palos Verde Peninsula humping like a whale in the distance.

Oops!  Pee break.

Before the path narrows and descends to the ocean, you have the opportunity to glimpse, like a mirage, Santa Catalina Island. At this ‘rest’ stop there is a picnic table (as there are scattered along the path to this point.)  This one was covered with graffiti.

Some of which showed promise artistically & philosophically, but others resorted to the usual demeaning tropes — as if ‘sucks dick’ was a bad thing.

But that was redeemed by this quote from William Blake:

“If the doors of perception were cleansed then everything would appear as they truly are, infinite.”  In spite of the misspelling, that a sentient human felt compelled to share Blake at this view point in Orange County astounds me (and relieves me as well.)

Which made me look skyward for my own inspiration.

…and thoughts of Titian skies: roiling clouds as backdrops for Renaissance fantasies of religious mythologies; bolts of satin, heaving breasts (female), the plated armor pectorals of gods with swords poised to cleanse the world of its evils.

Baroque beatification of beauty.

An armada scuttling across the ocean with visions of wealth, the reality: death.

But up and out we climbed, Joey and I, toward a form of redemption through friendship grounded, open, and for a moment ours alone.

2 Responses to “earth & sky & william blake”

  1. 1 Julie Lucas Runco
    May 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I was looking up a picture of Monet studio and there you were..
    I felt I stumbled upon a secret garden of photo’s.. their beautiful each one is like a painting.. and if you don’t mind I will use a couple for practice when I do my watercolors (I will not sell or profit from them, I know the copyright stuff) I am a painter in Oregon but lived in California for 58 years, yes I am old as some of those hills 58. I vacationed in La Jolla every year when I was a child so I love those photo’s and you did capture some European coastline thing going, great job.

    Clouds, great, palm tree angles, all good.
    Thank You for the tour,
    Julie Lucas Runco
    Cottage Grove, OR

    • 2 robtpatrick
      May 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      Dear Julie,
      Thank you for the very kind comments, they are much appreciated. If you use my photographs as a launch pad for your own watercolors, please do whatever you want with them! I am flattered that you would think them worthy subjects for your own work. Drop me a photo when you’re done, I’d love to see them (maybe they’ll even become part of a blog post!)
      Best regards, Robert

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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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