Posts Tagged ‘sunset


landscapes in the early morning light (shortly after sunrise)

a few days ago when it was still in the 80s and the santa ana winds were blowing from the northeast and out across the ocean i managed to get over to the other side of our coastal mountain and watch the sunrise over the mountains to the east, the ones that cradle the orange county valley and separate us from the desert.

this weather event (it’s what they call it here, an event) produces stunning sunrises and sunsets (see my week of one day’s sunset, 2, 3, 4, 5 here), but the timing of your arrival can be a bit hit or miss, especially if you’re walking a dog, which i was on this day’s early morning.

as much as i wanted to get to a point where i could see the sun actually top the mountains on its rise from the eastern world, my canine companion was more interested in the early morning smells of dogs and rabbits and coyotes and birds and grass blades and cracks in the sidewalk and the sprinkler timers and a tree or two and succulents and gravel and streetlights and a stone bench and had to stop several times and sit down to scratch an ear that’s been aggravating him recently and while he was down he might as well lick his penis, cause that’s what dogs do and then he’d look at me like “what next?” because he’s blind and i have to keep him heading in the right direction so he doesn’t run into trees and large rocks and junipers and stone benches and succulents and cacti and sprinkler timers or off into the street or down the wrong driveway as they slope away from our community’s circular main road so i set aside my needs for his, after all, he means more to me than the opportunity to take photographs of the sun rising over the eastern mountains of orange county so that i can post them on my blog(s) and facebook in order that people who pay some attention to what i’m doing will ❤ or comment or re-blog or whatever it is they do when they find something i’ve written or photographed moving or funny or ironic (irony having not died as many felt it would when “seinfeld” went off the air in 199? or was it 200? who can remember or care for that matter it was so long ago and that hair of elaine’s drove me crazy), so we continued on our way and all the while i could sense that i was missing that moment, that special time when the sun is just creeping ever so slowly up and over the mountaintops and its radiant crown (think crown like the statue of liberty’s) moves into view and everything takes on the golden glow of apollo’s chariot as it races across the heavens toward the darkness in the west. too many metaphors <sigh>

the trees turn toward the light, a move so subtle that you may miss it should you be distracted by the glory of early morning sunlight, lining up along the parade route like ensor’s acolytes in his “the entry of christ into brussels” from 1889–have you seen that painting? it hangs at the getty center in l.a. and has always been a favorite of mine, you can see and read about it here–crowding around the sunlight without fear of igniting themselves, self-immolation not on their card for today.

this is the apocalyptic eucalyptus from my 2009 post “trees that i am friends with” which…i cannot believe that i’ve been contributing to my blog for over three years now. i admit it seems as if i’ve been doing this all my life, but only recently realized that i have committed tens of thousands of words to, to, to what exactly i have no idea, but i will say it has brought me some comfort and joy.

and at last, with some flag-waving, the dog and i turned our backs on the sunrise and the fog laying quietly in the valleys and arroyos as the grand landscape unfurled at our feet.


a week of one day’s sunset — day 5

and this concludes our week of sunsets (and moonrises–i am incapable of leaving well enough alone.)

this was an evening of no ugliness.

no matter how hard you tried to find a flaw in what you were viewing (i wasn’t btw), there were none to be found. all points of the compass gave and gave you nothing but beauty.

a panorama even produced a delicate line of beauty (with a nod to hogarth.)

after the sun set and as i was walking back home, a patch of gaillardia (aka “blanket flower”, from the family asteraceae – sunflowers) called out to me, “take our picture, too! we’re worthy and just as beautiful as the sunset.” as it turned out, they were right.


a week of one day’s sunset — day 4

with my back to the sun.

seriously, no post-photo manipulation.

okay, maybe a little.

but still, even with/without it was magnificent.


a week of one day’s sunset — day 2

the sun drops behind santa catalina island off the southern california coast.

i thought i’d have something to say, but i guess not.

sending good thoughts and best wishes for a speedy recovery to my friends on the east coast who have been affected by hurricane sandy; stay warm & dry!


last night ~ this morning

last night, the sun sat on the shoulders of the canyon ridge across from us and set it on fire.

this morning, the flames licked up the clouds on the other side of the my world.


feel like falling down

let’s start with sunset last night, shall we?  i fell down earlier this week, missing the last step of several & in that split-second of knowing i was going down as my foot searched for concrete, but instead found only air, as they say ‘my life passed briefly in front of my eyes’.  now mind you, not all of my life (there’s too much to cram into less than a second of conscious thought,) but enough has filtered through the pain this week as my body heals itself (you should see the bruises, holey moley) to make an impression (like tombstone rubbings.)

greeted by a milky dawn (but later than dawn, more like post-dawn, but not yet morning, what’s the word, what’s the word?) i started to reflect on what would be the movie of my life, if it were to ‘flash’ before my eyes (or those of someone else?)  what little snippets of joy, disappointment, & debauchery would avail themselves of the opportunity of presenting their version of events to the movie screen that is the optical contraption stuck into our heads?  would it be cleansed & polished, or sketchy & grainy, color or black & white, perhaps with sepia overtones?

where would the truth begin & the fiction end?  the deception of the valley below as liquid as the ocean, perhaps turned upside down in sympathy as i tilt & turn to break my fall.  there’s still time left for a denouement or have we climaxed already?  time is fleeting & when you fall, although it feels suspended, like a flooded river rushing by, the blurring of the outside regions of your vision provide a softer edge to the images forced into perspective by your mind’s eye, your subconscious desperate for the light of day (or the dark of night as it was in my case.)

bright orange, a slap of cold water on the face, the shock of landing hard on multiple tender points (forearm, knee, ankle); that smack of concrete & brick, the prickle of vegetation scraping your face, all come into focus (your vision of your life forgotten as the reality of what has happened dominates your senses); that sudden snort of dirt as your face gets closer to the ground than it has been in years.

i’ve tried to pull up some of the images that did flash through my mind as i fell, but i fear that they are inventions of what i would like to see & probably not what actually transpired in the tick, tick, tick of tipping over from the great height of my physical being (my center of gravity is higher than most people’s & once gravity does take over, i fall hard.)  does you life only flash before your eyes if you’re going, going, gone?

it’s hard enough to construct the truth from your memories of lengthier events in your life, but to try & recapture seconds (or less) seems quite the challenge.   i am living with the after effects (pain, surely, but also the conversation, the re-telling, the sympathy from friends, strangers — anyone who’ll listen, quite frankly.)  i am sure though, that there were bursts of scenes from my life that popped (a flash bulb) & fizzled & came & went & rose & fell & titillated & prepared me for the earth.  (happy ending: i lived.)



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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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