52 Photos ~ Crooked line

Crooked line

River within the river

Snow bridge

Morning lines

Rivers in bark

Rose lines

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

–The Indigo Girls, “Closer to Fine”


These photos and post are in response to this week’s theme for the 52 Photos Project. You should participate, too! Read about how it works here. You can see a gallery of everyone’s photos for this week’s theme here. To see a list of all my blog posts for this project, go here.

52 Photos ~ Round


Once More, the Round

What’s greater, Pebble or Pond?
What can be known? The Unknown.
My true self runs toward a Hill
More! O More! visible.

Now I adore my life
With the Bird, the abiding Leaf,
With the Fish, the questing Snail,
And the Eye altering All;
And I dance with William Blake
For love, for Love’s sake;

And everything comes to One,
As we dance on, dance on, dance on.

–Theodore Roethke


This photo and post are in response to this week’s theme for the 52 Photos Project. You should participate, too! Read about how it works here. You can see a gallery of everyone’s photos for this week’s theme here. To see a list of all my blog posts for this project, go here.

52 Weeks ~ Symmetry (46/52)

RSiegel_Week46 - Symmetry

I’ve been staring at this picture for a week, and I find I don’t have anything to say about symmetry.

Symmetry is complete unto itself, beautiful, self-explanatory, and nothing I can say would add clarity.

Bridges, too, are beautiful, and perhaps I have more to say about those, but didn’t I once before? (Not that I’m opposed to repeating myself here, as you’ve seen.)

But when I look at that picture, I think, “railroad bridge”, which naturally takes me to “trains”.

Which I love.

There are piles of things to write about trains—their hypnotizing clickety-clackety rhythm; their openable windows (at least in Europe); their elegant lean around curves; the glimpses of new towns; the rush through empty stations; the ability to get up and stretch your legs on a long journey; the lonesome whistle—but here’s one that became obvious to me this week: there are approximately a gazillion train songs.

Really. Stop for just a moment and you’ll easily come up with a dozen that mention trains before you even start to really think.

Off the top of our heads, in just a few minutes, we listed Gentle on My Mind, 500 Miles, Canadian Railroad Trilogy, 3.10 to Yuma, Steel Rail Blues, Betting on Trains, Rainy Night in Georgia, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Take the ‘A’ Train, The Last Train to Clarksville, City of New Orleans, Wabash Cannonball, The Locomotion, Paradise (Mr. Peabody’s Coal Train), Midnight Special, Runaway Train (Roseanne Cash), Runaway Train (Soul Asylum), Hello Hopeville, If Love Was a Train, The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore, Slow Train Coming, This Train is Bound for Glory, plus about seven others that I can’t remember right now.

Go ahead and try it. You know a long list, too, right? When the first rush of titles slows, you can always check out this list of train songs.

This morning, I’m writing in a dark motel room. Everyone else is asleep. And every 20 minutes or so, I hear a distant train whistle. Lonely companionship, regular and reliable as time.

Christmas eve morning. Sun rising. A song or two on my mind.

Cross that bridge and then… Bark!

Most every day, the dog and I take a stroll.


Our usual path is to take the trail from the driveway down into the river valley. From there, we have several choices, but the most interesting choices require that we cross the iron bridge.

Iron bridge over west branch

The bridge is no obstacle to me, but the dog fears it because the deck is an open grating that’s unfriendly to paws.

Bridge deck

Not only is it painful to walk across when you don’t have shoes, you can see the water rushing under it, which makes the crossing a dizzying prospect. And if you’re walking on paws that are not much larger than the holes, you might be worrying that a leg will fall through.

Our last dog, Phoebe, also feared the bridge. When she was a pup, we carried her across until she got sick of that and learned to cross on her own, head down, toes splayed.

Gryfe has the benefit of a set of wooden boards someone put down on the deck a few years ago, so he never learned to walk across the grating itself.

Even so, he’s terrified of the bridge. He always reaches it before I do, then he waits in front of it, unwilling to actually step onto it unless he’s absolutely sure it’s required. When I get there, he slinks along the boards, very slowly at first, then he breaks into a run when he reaches the second third, so he can quickly put that bridge behind him. On the other side, there’s the trail to the beach, and there’s the huge field where he can race in circle and chase red-winged black birds, and then there’s the really good trail, the one that goes up into the hills on the other side of the valley.

Once across, he used to race off to explore the treasures of the far side of the bridge. Recently, though, he’s developed a new habit: he’ll stand on the far side of the bridge, waiting for me, the slow poke, to get across, and then he’ll start barking, joyously. “Hey! I did it! Did you see what I did?! I crossed that nasty bridge! Did you see?! Did you see?!”

Yes, I saw. And you get to do it again on the way back from our walk, silly boy.

I could take a lesson from Gryfe: approach my fears cautiously but head-on, remembering that there’s really cool stuff on the other side, get the hard part over with quickly, and then bark my head off in celebration when I make it, even if it means I have to do it all over again the very next day.