Windows

“Originality houses many rooms, and the views from the windows are all different.”~G Davenport 

Aluminun Lines (1 of 1)Whenever I go to Prescott Valley and have my camera, I end up stopping to shoot this building as it is the only modern building that I have come across in central/northern AZ. And I am like a raccoon…I like shiny, metal things! LOL

Alley

“Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.”~M Bates

Cafe Roka  (1 of 1)
This building must have been built at around the same timeframe as Whiskey Row here in Prescott…the design is very similar.

We had dinner at this highly rated restaurant while in Bisbee and while it was quite good (I had pistachio-crusted chicken), I have become very sensitive to sodium and my dish was just too salty for my taste. They give you a 3 course meal; a teeny, teeny cat saucer of soup, a mini salad and then a spoonful of lemon sorbet (to cleanse the palate).  I needed a saline cleansing after the entrée and did not get it. Oh well, I guess as in beauty, taste is in the eye of the beholder.

The other thing I have to proclaim:I am not a fan of bed and breakfasts. I feel like I am in Granny’s creaky, old house. Don’t get me wrong; I loved going to both my Grannies’ houses as a child……..but this Granny seemed to have a penchant for scary, cheap knickknacks (think clowns and assorted strange statues and creepy-faced dolls), boards for beds and old linens. And then in the morning? You get to eat without a shower and in yesterday’s clothes with strangers!!  Well, I guess some actually get up before 7 AM to do all the morning primping to be at breakfast at 8 or so; for me that doesn’t happen on vacation, unless it’s a dawn photoshoot, and that means just rolling out of bed. At the table:”What do you do? Where are you from? What are you up to today?, etc.” And this is all pre-caffeine. Yikes! It’s just not my thing. LOL I think my next trip in that area will be the Chiricahua Mountains and into nature instead of to Bisbee. It’s a lovely, eclectic town and I would recommend a visit but 3 times was the charm for me. But really, how can anyone complain about going away on an adventure? Not I. 😉 It is all just research in the alleyway of life!

Shape

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” ~P Picasso

FLW Spire Yucca (1 of 1)

This Frank Lloyd Wright designed spire was originally a design component of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Arizona State Capitol Project from 1957. It was actually erected  after his death (in 2004) and is a 125 Ft tall drink of blue water. It looks rather out of place and lonely from afar (at least in my opinion), but comes to life when you stand near and look up, especially when backlit and the sunlight dances off the sides.

My goal here was not to record how it looks as a whole but more to capture its abstract design of shapes and intersecting shades of blue. The yucca spire adds some contrast and for me, reinforces Frank Lloyd Wright’s inspiration of Zen-like organic forms.  

Temple

“God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.” ~Chanakya

Temple and Moon (1 of 1).jpg
Literally in cow country and fairly isolated, a Buddhist temple has been planted among the bovine outskirts of Chino Valley.

Well, if your feelings are your temple, there are times when your temple needs a good housecleaning! 

I went on a little adventure yesterday.  I’d go on BIGGER ones if money were no object but as it is, I always try to find one every now and then that is doable. So a friend and I set out on a short journey down a non-paved road to visit the Garchen Institute in Chino Valley.  We passed through so much wide open land on the way out and we both commented on how great that is to see.  The skies were blue and the tall grass golden and we opened the windows just to get a whiff of fresh air, at least until the dust started infiltrating the car. My friend is from the Chicago burbs, I am from the NYC outskirts and we talked about how difficult it might be to leave the West.  Once you get used to those vast open spaces, it becomes claustrophobic to be so surrounded by things…even beautiful things like trees.

We walked around the grounds and I took pictures, we had a picnic lunch and eventually sat for a meditation in the afternoon.  He had never been to anything like this and he was afraid he might do something inappropriate (like laugh) so we vowed not to look at each other while in the service (even though I peeked here and there just to see his reaction).  Afterwards, he said he only felt like chuckling when they blew the conch shell at various parts of reciting both Tibetan and English prayers. I drag him (although he says that that is the wrong term and he goes willingly) to places he’d probably never go to himself.  I seem to be the “dragger” in most if my relationships, maybe because I like adventures so.  In the end, our lives will mostly be about our experiences so I feel that one should experience whatever you can that you feel is good for your soul. Your “temple” needs to be well lived in………….

Escape

“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.”~A Rand

escape
In the end, your choices do make up more of your life than does happenstance, choice much more so than chance.

I am now trying to figure out a choice as I feel the need for change.  While I love where I live, I am contemplating a move. It’s a lovely town but I am wondering if I might be better off elsewhere. I am fortunate that I have certain freedoms which allow me such change and now I am pondering the bigger question……to where?  I will most likely stay in AZ for now so I am exploring places N, S and E of where I am now.  Notice I left out W as I do not see too much in that direction (at least as far as living is concerned).  Change can be scary but also kind of exciting.  I do not have difficulty with change but I sometimes hem and haw about the decision choices involved with a change such as this. But one thing is for certain, change can almost always be changed if you do not like your choice!

Storm

” It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”~F Douglass

I’ll do without the earthquake. 🙂  I think he is more or less saying we need the passion, not comfortability. Although both is the optimal!

 

I have been experimenting a lot with B&W processing and much to my surprise, I am becoming more and more taken with it.  I still love color but I now can see clearly the merits of using it for certain images.

This was taken at Arcosanti, a prototype for an experimental, self-sustaining community in Mayer, Arizona. It was actually raining cats and dogs when I snapped this (as I held my umbrella and tried to walk towards my car).  In the minute or two that I was out there, my everything got soaked.  But I have to say, other than concern for my camera, I loved it and smiled all the way to my car. There is nothing like a deluge to clear the air and make you feel like a kid splashing in the puddles again.  Did everyone do that as a child?  I hope so!  I remember it vividly, walking in the current (we had sewer drains back in NY) with my pants rolled up and umbrella in hand. One time we even collected tadpoles in the puddles…don’t ask me how they they managed to make a home there so quickly. Anyway, too much rain is depressing but a bit here and there is good for the soul!

Brick

“Better to be a strong man with a weak point, than to be a weak man without a strong point. A diamond with a flaw is more valuable that a brick without a flaw.”

˜W Boetcker

Formerly a house of worship, this building now holds artwork and a theater.

Prescott Center for The Performing Arts
Prescott Center for The Performing Arts

I was walking around yesterday in near perfect temperatures, a breeze blowing and clouds rolling around in the sky, and I thought that I am lucky to be living where I am. Granted, there are thousands of great places to live and every place has both its good and bad points. But this place is a cute, little town. Victorian buildings, a Courthouse with a nice tree-lined Square, museums and enough trees to keep me happy.  So, at least for now, I am content to be where I am, although I am also open to living other places some day in the future.

People often see images of Prescott and say, “That doesn’t look like Arizona”.  Arizona is a very diverse state, one of the things I appreciate about living here.

 

Door

“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”~L Wittgenstein 

I inevitably end up in the El Barrio section of Tucson’s downtown when I visit.  First off, I am always looking to find at least one side of the street in the shade and therefore without harsh shadows and secondly, to see what I can find new.  This door was a new find and in a way it is quite different than the vibrantly shocking color and mostly whimsical nature of the architecture in the area.  This is more “Better Homes and Gardens”, much of the rest of El Barrio is more like “La Planeta Electrica ” (“Electric Planet”, a completely fictitious magazine of my own making).  I think I will post a few of those images in the next few days so you can see just what I mean.

A more subdued door in Tucson’s very colorful El Barrio.