Catching Sunbeams

The old man worked his way methodically through the meadow, his long cloak brushing through the tall summer grasses. It was almost dusk and he still had a lot of work to do before the Solstice was over. On this, the longest day, he had been up before dawn setting out his traps along the ley line than from the ancient gnarled oak and down the hill towards the brook. It was a pattern he had repeated twice each year for longer than he could remember. It had been well over a hundred and fifty times by his reckoning. Although the summer had always been easier than the winter, these last few years were really taking their toll on him. His joints ached but he would soon be finished. He recalled how, all those years ago, as a young boy, he had bounded through the fields, full of enthusiasm as he had learned his trade from his predecessor. How he had been scolded and told to slow down and feel the rods to make sure they were placed perfectly and had done their deed.

He had thought the tradition would continue forever, and be passed down for generations to come, but he was wrong. First, the Great War had taken so many from the village and then the revolution that brought technology had relegated so many of the old ways to mere folklore. He was truly amazed at the speed of the change. He had no apprentice, and over the last few years he had resigned himself to being the last Collector.

As he reached the final rod he carefully unfastened the iron jar from his belt, traced his forefinger over the runes on the lid and removed it. With a clockwise twisting motion he extracted the iron rod from the ground and gently tilted the hoop over the mouth of the jar with practiced, steady hands. He muttered his short incantation and gently tapped the hoop, watching as the sunbeams slowly, almost reluctantly, drifted into the jar. Replacing the lid, he added the final rod to the quiver on his back and turned to watch the sunset.

This had been another good harvest.

160421_SunbeamCatcher

~ Richard

© 2016, Richard Reeve

 

52 week challenge: week 16

WEEK 16: Portrait: Movement – Most portraits are stationary, so this week explore adding some movement. Dancing, twirling, or even hair flips.

Lots of choices this week – skateboarding, bicycling, etc. In the end I went for more localized movement – portrait of a drummer jamming in the basement…

160419_BasementDrummer

~Richard

Surface Thoughts

160417_SurfaceThoughts

More fleeting than white horses

that rush in the foam,

these sparkling diamonds  

dance lightly on wavelets;

a brief but dazzling reflection

of our home star,

their fluttering white brightness

skates untroubled across rippling surface,

paths shaped by ephemeral  winds.

Like transient thoughts

they twinkle

when exposed.

No two moments the same.

~Richard

Spring has finally sprung… the tulips are here

It has been a month since we “sprung forward” with the annual clock moving, and we have since had some odd weather in Pennsylvania, fluctuating between a nice 70°F (21°C) all the way down to 21°F (-6°C) depending on the day. We even had one full day of snow last weekend!

All very frustrating, but all part of the change of Seasons.

Well, today was finally nice enough for me to get outside into the garden and start work tidying things up, cutting the lawn, building up the veggie plots and generally appreciating the outdoors life. And what’s more, over the last few days the tulips have finally come into bloom.

160416_Tulip
Happy Spring!

~Richard   

I’ll have a P please, Bob

Any British followers may know that today’s post title refers to a long running quiz show, Blockbusters, that was hosted by the late Bob Holness, the veteran radio and TV presenter and erstwhile James Bond (at least on radio). During the show contestants would have to pick their way across a lighted board by choosing letters and it became almost a rite of passage to use a variant of the phrase  “I’d like a P please, Bob”, in order to elicit a giggle from the young audience through the use of the great British double entendre.

Anyhow, for totally unrelated reasons, and more for the use of corny alliteration, my blog description centers around words beginning with the letter p, and yesterday I added another one –Pottery!

In my continuing quest to seek out new activities, expand my skills and broaden my mind’s artistic capabilities I have started a pottery course at Chester County Arts Association.  I think it has been over 4 decades since I played around with clay and last night was great fun. We were given a basic introduction to different art pieces and “practical” pieces being made in clay and I proceeded to make a couple of hand made pots and a few stamps for use in the future. Then the highlight of the evening – I was shown how to use the potter’s wheel.

Again, for those British readers, “The potter’s wheel” was an oft shown piece of film in the bygone days when the TV was not being broadcast 24/7/365. This black and white short film used to be shown on the BBC during the program “interludes” from February 1953 and throughout the 60’s and showed the work of Georges Aubertin. Although it predates my TV viewing by a decade or so this iconic short was occasionally shown during the 1970s and it stuck in the back of my mind.

So, with the visions of great pots and bowls being made I embarked on my training from my instructor, Meghan, and following an initial failure, I was pleased to have produced this as my first ever pot from a wheel!  

160415_Pottery

The strange thing is that, basic as this is, I felt so pleased at having been able to do this – almost like a young schoolchild again, coming home with a barely functional pinch-pot ashtray that I had made and glazed all those years ago. I think I am really going to enjoy the next few weeks of pottering about in pottery!

~Richard

6 sentence story – War of the Worlds Redux

They had never really understood our true nature.Had it really never occurred to them that the attackers in the tripods were merely doing our bidding? The seeming ease of their conquest should have warned them, but their pious arrogance precluded further analyses.

By the time our Martian hosts had expired we had already moved on – initially hibernating and then carefully molding our genes as we adapted to the new environment.Our new hosts were smaller but much more robust and so varied.

And we now have  all the time in the World!

160414_Insects

~Richard

Haiku: Java

As I reported on an earlier post, I have been assisting my daughter with some Java programming recently, which has been both stimulating and frustrating. As today’s loose schedule calls for a haiku I thought I would use this as a subject matter, playing on the double meaning of the term…

~  J A V A  ~

Rather like caffeine

this ubiquitous language

awakens my brain

160413_DrJavaHaiku

~Richard

The Elephant in the Room

Many eyes and ears have been on the Donald, and many mouths left agape in bewilderment, over the last several months as he blusters and bullies his way towards his goal as Republican Presidential nomination. Others have fallen by the wayside over this time and his only main rival now appears to be Ted Cruz.

Now, I cannot be unique in finding it more than a touch ironic that the GOP logo is an elephant since it seems to me that the party is now so obsessed with beating Trump at all costs that they fail to address the other elephant in the room, that is – who this would put as their top guy if they succeed in derailing Mr T.

I could wax lyrical about my opinions on Ted’s big adventure, including the childish Dr Seuss filibuster episode, his religious zealotry, compassion-less views on immigration and women’s issues, and more, but instead I offer up a graphical statement that represents my opinion, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words…

160412_BigoTED2
~Richard

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