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Monday, June 21, 2010


summer solstice

A visit to Carpenters' house today to do some puttering about, casual yard work, I found a bottle of local wine in the refrigerator called Bullhead Blush. I had to have a sip of something called Bullhead Blush. It's ok, because it came from the Blue Ridge Gallery in Pine Swamp and I'll replace it before they're here next. I thought I'd sit on the deck awhile with some cold red wine. American stylee. I'm no purist, or so I like to believe, don't need it at a particular Centigrade, anything. A memory popped to mind of a moment in London at a pub, which I could never find to be a big deal, a bunch of people standing and sitting around drinking and talking. Gotta be a cultural thing. I was sitting at the bar drinking a Worthington E beer and a man beside me ordered a drink with every detail stipulated, temperature, the works. Being a curious sort, even knowing in advance it's a stupid question, I asked him why so particular. My accent and entire demeanor told him I was a Yank and didn't know nothin, so why pretend otherwise? He looked at this ignorant American and told me he drinks for the taste. Why do Americans drink? I didn't like his tone of voice and the smug English accent. I'd about had it with you-Americans by then, so I said, "To get drunk." That's not my own reason, and I wasn't willing to discuss any of it with him. His nose went up in the air and that was that. I lmao inside.

I watched the clouds from the deck with the peak of the roof overhang framing the expanse of sky and trees. The scene is always changing. I watched one cloud that was shaped like a backwards Carolina C in white on the Carolina blue sky, watched it twist and fade into a thin form that for a moment resembled a feminine sculpture by Rodin, the cloud the essence of the marble. It faded and separated into 5 whisps of cloud that faded into the blue leaving no trace a cloud had ever been there.

I watch the clouds change shapes, watch their directional patterns, wonder what is directly under them. This one pictured above looks like it came up beyond Whitehead, maybe from about where Bledsoe Creek Road meets Spicer Mountain Road. I spent so much time on Jr's porch watching the cloud patterns, finding the currents the clouds traveled on, like Gap Civil where the clouds come through that go over Sparta, that is when the wind is from the west. The cloud above was moving upward like maybe air currents that ridge Antioch Church Road rides the length of, maybe that ridge sends the current upward. That's a guess that I know is not the case, so don't take this for fact. I don't know enough about clouds to tell facts. Just what I see. As in life which is equally nebulous and continually changing. I feel like I'm gradually becoming aware of the world around me as my creation by my own interpretation, which is entirely different from the next man's interpretation, and the next.

My question is, if it's different to every possible perception, where is the reality of what it is? All I can say to that is it's in every perception. Outside perception, does it exist? I don't know. I've seen a tree fall in a forest one time when I was at the Nile on the New River painting. I barely heard it. Brought to mind if a tree falls in the forest and there's nobody to hear it, does it make any sound? Sound is vibrations. Why particular about human hearing it? What about lady bugs? If there is forest, there are zillions of bugs, and zillions of critters that eat bugs, like birds and spiders. Sure, it gets heard. A tree doesn't fall over in a vacuum where it's entirely alone in a controlled in vitro environment. Only in a vacuum could a falling tree not make a sound. That's not going to happen. Besides, that's not in a forest.

Since I've been back here at Air Bellows I've lost track of watching cloud patterns like I've lost track of the crows. I'm so surrounded by trees I have to be out someplace to see the clouds enough to study their patterns. So I don't know whence they cometh nor where they goeth. They form and swirl around a bit and fade away. The only pattern I've noticed to the northeast, the direction I see out this window where I can only see the clouds when the trees are bare, it looks like they are of a flow around Bullhead passing from Glade Valley to Cherry Lane around Bullhead where hwy 21 goes. I'm suspecting strongly that the flow pattern runs from Gap Civil and follows hwy 21 around Bullhead and possibly leaves the mountains at Roaring Gap. That's only one possible channel of the many I saw from Jr's porch over time and changing wind directions. From up here on the mountain it's an entirely different perspective. They even seem from here to go counter to the flow directions I saw from Whitehead. If they were predictable, they wouldn't be clouds, would they. I think that's what I like about people, too. Predictable is dull to depressing. Clouds that never change would have to be made of white marble. That wouldn't work. It would make interesting sculptures.

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