Tag Archives: Blackwood River

Patina Of July

Woebegone – Word of the Day

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The Blackwood River, winter is here.

 

July

July,
you camped at my window.
The constant patter of your tears
blurring, intangible,
drawing me to uncertanity.

Yearning,
longing,
the ache of melancholy,
grey clouds,
heavy laden.

Tears born of sadness,
become streams of redemption.
Washed earth
melting,
becoming.

July,
I opened my window
and bathed in your wellspring.
You drank my darkness,
I swallowed your love.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under life, love, nature, poetry, seasons

Morning Love

Evanescent – Word of the Day

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Post dawn, winter morn, looking east across the Blackwood. Dawns come and go, I’m asuming there’ll be one tomorrow, and even when I’m gone, they will continue. But this one faded into day, as they all do. Dawn has a fleeting beauty, which accentuates its attraction. For me whatever the day holds, it cannot beat the beauty of that dawn moment, it is something very special.

 

Morning Love 

Just as yesterday,
we agreed to see each other again.
The promise of one more time.
To catch even a glimpse of you,
my heart beats.
And, you came along.
though I never really doubted.
No, really, I didn’t.
And there you were,
beautiful,
Suddenly revealing all of you.
Your warmth and beauty wholly divine,
embracing my fragile longing,
an ancient ache,
to hold on to you,
momentarily assauged.
And yet,
no sooner have you arrived than you are leaving,
fading into the crowded day,
Neaera folding into Helios.
Though my eyes have telegraphed my heart,
and your beauty is captive,
a tenuous hold,
but at least a memory.
Till tomorrow then,
As again you will awaken my soul.

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under Country, life, love, nature, poetry

Take Courage

Exposure – Word of the DayIMG_0134.jpg

Augusta, the town jetty, and Blackwood River rising.

Fortunately we had raincoats and we knew the rain was coming, but nonetheless, with the wind whipping the rain along, and the cold air pressing in, we felt more than a little exposed. But, because we were prepared we enjoyed the walk. The tide was very high as predicted by the Weather Bureau. There was also a lot of flow from up-river after three major rain bearing fronts have been through and local flooding was expected. You can’t tell from the photo but the timber decking of the jetty looked as if it was floating as the water was touching the underside. We haven’t seen it like that for a while.

Weather exposure can be very serious, hypothermia or sunstroke, the risks are great if you’re not prepared. Preparation means covering up, sunblock, hats, raincoats, warm clothes, appropriate footwear. So that whatever the weather we put on what is necessary to be comfortable and to protect ourselves. However, we know not to wear winter gear in summer and vice versa, and usually we’re good at that.

We’re not so good with emotional exposure. We’re trained, or we train ourselves, to overprotect, and sometimes we wear the wrong emotional gear, like using the mask of happiness to cover depression, or the mask of confidence to cover fear. Rarely do we let others in, we become invulnerable, strong, a veritable fortress. Yet the best possible way forward, the only true way to wholeness is to trust others with our inner world. Of course, it goes without saying, you don’t grab a megaphone and announce your life to the world, but there are people in our lives we can talk to, take off our masks, and be vulnerable with.

As Brene Brown has said many times, in our society vulnerablity, to be exposed, is to be seen as weak. Brown counters this with “vulnerability is our greatest measure of courage.” Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” It is an opening of the self to another, whereby empathy becomes the healing counterpoint or the supportive staging point, depending on what we are going through. Brown’s research is thorough, and in it she discovered that every courageous act was underpinned by vulnerability. That tells me that we can only really flourish when we are able to speak our truth and take off our masks and be real with others, then we are whole and not just pieces or segments. The fortress life may serve us well but to really floursih we need to let the drawbridge down from time to time, otherwise we not only defend ourselves against the outsider, we imprison ourselves from the world. I’d rather be open than be a captive! Take courage.

cherry tree winter bare
cold has stunted many new buds
the wild branch has fruit

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature, psychology, quote, self-development

Into The Mystical

Mystical – Word of the Day

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The Blackwood River, Augusta, looking north east, one of my mystical places.

Mysticism comes from thε Greek root of μυω, which means to conceal. Mysticism crosses every religious boundary and belief system. That which is mystical is hidden. In the great debates about God from a Christian point of view there is the mystic view that God is both knowable and unknowable at the same time, that as such, there are elements of God that are visible, definable, but that mostly, God is concealed and unknowable.

Many have pursued mystical experiences. Aliester Crowley (1875 – 1947) was one of the most famous occultists of the twentieth century, trying to make connection with a world beyond. Carlos Castaneda trained as a shaman and explored mescalin using peyote as a mystical experience, inspired by the Toltec. Timothy Leary went with the synthetic drug LSD. There are trance groups, fasting practices, musical experiences, ritual practices and more. True tantra, like Tibetan Tantra, was only ever a form of meditative practice whereby the delay of orgasm and the control of orgasm is said to increase ecstatic experience, but for the purpose of prayer and meditation (and should not be confused with “Californian tantra” as I call it, or with Hindu left hand practices). Kabbalah originated as a Jewish mysticism, but now has non-Jewish paths as well. A number of celebrities have dabbled in Kabbala from Elizabeth Taylor to Madonna.

In the third and fourth centuries Christian men and women from Israel, Jordan, Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa went in droves into the deserts to develop a communal and contemplative life. And from John Cassian to Theresa of Avilla, to Thomas Merton, a few Christians became mystics, seeking the unknowable God.

I think the unknowable attracts, and we pursue it, partly to make it known, to unravel the mystery, to bring the hidden into full view, in the main, to experience what is concealed. Most of the writings of mystics that I have read reaffirm that God, Other, the divine, is unknowable, but that in the journey of mysticism, there is connection, ecstasy, love, wholeness, union and more.

For me any sense of the divine comes more through nature and the contemplative. The photograph shows a familiar walking space I take in, some days it is beautiful, some days it just is, but always it evokes a sense of mystery, of the divine in some way. There is something about certain places that does that for me. Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Elachbutting Rock, Boranup Forest, and more, are places that move me deeply, places where I sense an otherness beyond myself or other people. I have felt ecstasy in these places, I have been overcome with joy, they can be erotic (in the pure, emotive sense) experiences, I have experienced deep inner stillness, and sometimes a confusion of feelings rushing in all at once. Such things tell me I am more open in these spaces, yet I also know that my openness is also because I sense something more. This for me is the mystical.

As Van Morrison wrote in his song “Into the Mystic” – “Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.”

I stand in silence
mystical nature envelops
the heron smiles

©Paul Cannon

Van Morrison “Into The Mystic”

 

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under Alt-Religion, bush walking, Country, Haiku, life, meditation, mindfulness, music, Philosophy/Theology, quote, religion, Spirituality

A Friend

Introduce – Word of the Day

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I hardly need to introduce Augusta, and this particular part, the Blackwood River, as it is a constant reference in my writing. It is my favourite place and our true home. I first came here with a close mate, Nigel, in 1981 on a sudden whim, the same road trip which ended in meeting lyn, who would later become my wife. Lyn and I ended back here on our honey moon road trip in 83. And for nearly every year after we brought the kids for the summer holidays. Finally, we knew we wanted to live here so we eventually bought our home here, a place where we feel at peace, and where we feel that affinity with nature and community. This shot is the jetty where the river walk begins to pass the shire caravan park, and looks across the Blackwood to East Augusta. We were on a walk, as we regularly do, and I just loved the winter clouds and how the light played with them and the water, and the colour tones were unusual to the eye, hence the photo.

To return to the theme of affinity with nature, I find that my contemplative stance is richer in nature. I also experience nature as a soul friend, one who awakens my eyes, my heart to the deeper things, a spititual awareness, and one where I begin to feel more whole. Here my senses are engaged and I feel stimulated. Here I am content. so in that sense, I’m introducing you to my friend.

“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.” Gary Snyder.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, community, life, mindfulness, nature

SAD

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The last days of autumn, and the beauty of river and cloud along the Blackwood.

The days are shorter now as autumn gives way to winter. I am grateful for the change in season even though I don’t like the cold, somehow nature needs this, I tell my self, but I know deep down that I need it too.  But there is an impact that the seasonal change makes known as SAD (an auspicious aconym) or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

As winter progresses it is quite normal to feel tired and unmotivated, it is a form of the ‘blues’ but it now has a name – SAD. I think it’s probably an ancient hibernation process we are fighting, but that’s just a witsful guess, perhaps a latent desire to sleep in and ignore the cold air. However, exercise, dietary changes, sleep, meditation and a change in habit can recharge and motivate us. To do something different rather than force a summer routine into a winter context might be truly barking up the wrong tree. I note that several local young men are still clinging to shorts, t-shirt and thongs, and even though this week it has dropped to 3 degrees overnight, they are hanging on to summer as if to say, nature won’t force me to change. Yeah, right! It will.

SAD is best embraced and refocussed, a reframing of inner thought and responding energy, and to make friends with the season, and to live into it mindfully.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, bush walking, life, mindfulness, nature, seasons

Blackwood Seasons

Photo Challenge

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In this place there are a number of songs that seem to pop up fro time to time, one is the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” with that wonderful line “Turn off your mind relax and float down stream …” On so many levels that is applicable in this place, the Blackwood River, Augusta.

Blackwood Seasons

Time softens, flattens, slows,
the blade a pleasing splosh and slurp
as we glide the water,
Dolphins at the bow, Whiting below.
There are memories here
of life seasons.
Kairos, time within time.

My footfall feeling the earth
as we weave the trails.
Either the softness of green,
or the crackle and crunch of the dry.
Blind ends, bends that beckon,
stumps covered in moss and lichen.
The granite is unyielding.

Light plays across the leaves
and bathes the bush in a warm palette
that pleases my eyes,
in reality my mind;
though it really is my heart.
Surely, it is my heart.

Birdsong pushes through 
the whispering breeze,
the leaves as triangles and tibrels,
the bough as cello.
Though I hear a kangaroo in the distance, 
I cannot see it,
nor the scuttling ghekkos and skinks.

The rain.
Of course the rain, petrichor abundant.
And rivulets forming little creeks
running home to big sister and brother.
I relax.
Iam home,
I am in my place in the world.

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, kayaking, life, poetry

My Favorite Place

via Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Augusta, the place where two oceans meet near a river mouth, and where heaven touches earth.

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Above; Early Morning from the deck, looking east across the Blackwood River, and the Southern Ocean beyond.

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Above: The Southern Ocean, and part of our routine has been to walk this beach as part of a loop.

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Above: The Blackwood River, not far from the river-mouth, and this is part of our regular walking route.

Augusta is my favourite place. Although it would be true to say, I have many fave places, but Augusta would be top of the list. It’s not where I work, and I’m not yet living there full time, but we have renovated an older more compact house to be our next step, and later, into retirement. We fell in love with Augusta 35 years ago when we spent some time here on our honeymoon. And we returned regularly over the years for family holidays, eventually being able to afford to buy a house and renovate it. We work about 1.5 hours away and so we come down for our days off and holidays etc. It is my fave place because it has bush walks, river walks biking and kayaking, ocean and beach, forest. The flora and fauna are magnificent, the views are great – restful and restorative. It is a small community and relatively. For us it is a place of happiness, and where we can be creative too.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, boats, bush walking, community, Country, life, nature

Cacophany

via Daily Prompt: Cacophony

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The Pied Cormorant, commonly called “Shag”, though this is erroneous, because originally shags and cormorants were distinct, now the term has become interchangeable (though that is now in dispute). The name Cormorant evolved from and is derived from the Greek meaning Bald Raven (φαλακρος κοραξ) and later from the Latin corvus marinus or sea raven. It was orginally thought that the Cormorant was relative of the raven (up to the mid 16th C.), mainly becuase of its hooked beak. In the photo, taken on the Blackwood River a few years ago, the one at the back right is displaying the Cormorant’s particular wing drying habit, having dove into the water pursuing fish. As we passed by they had called out. Now they are not as discordant as a Raven or a Black Cockatoo, but nor are they a sing-song bird that can charm the ear with fine song. Instead they created a raucus cacophany that jarred my ears. But it mattered not, they were simply in their element, and I was an intruder. I was glad to be jarred, to be privileged to hear their conversation. It was like I had been invited to the conversation.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Planet

via Daily Prompt: Planet

Photo (mine): Blackwood River, swollen after late winter downpour. The Blackwood sustains several eco communities along its approx. 300 kms from the junction of Arthur River and Balgarup River (near Quelarup) via Boyup Brook, Bridgetown, Nannup, and down to Augusta and into the Southern Ocean. The river has been vital to the forests and natural communities for thousands of years, but chemical runoff, salinity, erosion, and pollution have affected the river over time.

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I’ve just finished reading a most wonderful book: ‘Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants’ by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I would never have had the privilege had it not been for Carol Hand at carolahand.wordpress.com  (check out her blog Voices From the Margins).

Kimmerer (a native American) draws together the wisdom in developing a relationship with nature, and she draws out how this has already been done by the indigenous peoples of America, but sadly marginalised since European settlement (repeated on every continent). The book is refreshing, moving, and challenging. It is also deeply distressing where Kimmerer tells how America’s waterways and lakes have been filled with industrial waste and all but destroyed. Kimmerer’s point – that when we despise and treat nature with utter contempt and use it greedily without thought, we kill off our best and much needed friend. As a fan of deep ecology the book resonated strongly, and from a spiritual point of view the ecology, economy and relationships also resonated strongly. An amazing reading journey.

The book is also a reminder that other indigenous peoples have also been ignored, and their wisdom scorned, yet such wisdom would contribute to protecting and rescuing the planet.

Our planet is the only one we’ve got, we need to treat it like someone we really, deeply care for. If we do we can live and breathe together.

Paul

pvcann.com

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