John & Anne Wiley

2012/07/21

Symbols

In my youth, the notion of living far from people held a strong appeal. Partly perhaps a symbol of independence, and partly a hero’s journey. A foray into the wild to vanquish demons and return a man. So when I fly past scenes like this, there’s still a deep part of me that resonates.

1174 On the Beach

1174 On the Beach

I am there, alone with the pounding surf. Contemplating life and meaning, living off the land. Well, that’s the image anyway. The reality is of course quite different. Near this spot is a very different symbol carved in the dusty earth.

1173 Alien Landing Zone

1173 Alien Landing Zone

I guess there’s a chance it’s a marker for an alien airport. Using their scanners from space to detect this spot, they home in to touch down and begin their invasion. Or maybe it’s just a symbol of someone’s practice on a dirt bike. Another symbol nearby is written on the water.

1172 Water Marks

1172 Water Marks

The seaweed accents an oil seep, symbols of life. All the marine life visiting the fast-growing kelp, and the life long past that has transformed into oil that bubbles up from the sea floor. Surveying all these symbols, I recall another that we enjoyed recently.

04_770 Shape & Sound

04_770 Shape & Sound

As we sat listening to a jazz ensemble from this year’s Music Academy concert series, I pondered the symbols (and cymbals) in the music. Interwoven strands of life painted in sound. We were just outside the circular performance area at Paseo Nuevo, and as you can see I was also contemplating the symbolic shapes. A tree of life reaching past a concrete window between worlds. A brief retreat much nearer than that cabin on the beach. A half step back from the circle of humanity, yet still very much engaged. Now I choose the circle, the life and companionship of community, and the beach is a fleeting impression passing beneath my wings.

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