On a mist-marked morning

From the Portland Rose Garden, OR. Taken by Andrew Mackay
From the Portland Rose Garden, OR.
Taken by Andrew Mackay

Vine-laden trellises
bear witness
to those arriving
on a mist-marked morning

a brick pathway
unfurls
once straight
now

thorny tendrils hold
searing colors
so vivid that their
full luster stays
until the ship sails
to what lies beyond
this
mortal coil.

Where one wonder ends

From the Portland Rose Garden, OR. Picture taken by Andrew Mackay
From the Portland Rose Garden, OR.
Picture taken by Andrew Mackay

The world is a rag-tag
collection of things that
aspire to be simple,
to stand on their own
cry loud their strength

a wanderer
with laugh lines well-set,
as like a love letter folded
ten thousand times
will find beauty bursting from
each corner-
the ground, the sky, the wind
each new pulse joins innumerable
others
and where one wonder ends
and the
next one begins,
matters not.

Now, another stranger

Panorama of mountains west of Mount Whistler, British Columbia.
Panorama of mountains west of Mount Whistler, British Columbia.

By the way, you can click on any of these travel photos to see the big version. These are all huge pictures, you just have to keep them to a certain width to fit within the blog template.

Coming back into civilization, it is impressive how quickly you go from having some sense of familiarity with strangers to gaining complete detachment and anonymity. For most of this trip, there has been only one major road, with junctions often hundreds of miles apart. Thus you may pass a car or some cyclists, or they may pass you. At some point down the line, you will see them again. There is a sense of shared journey even if you don’t know anything beyond their car and the origin of their license plates (I played the game, and ended up with 34 US states and nine Canadian provinces).

Whistler is a giant tourist facility, even in summer. Besides mountain bikers and upscale shopping types, huge summer programs ferry blue-hatted upper-middle class children to the chair lifts and from activity to activity. This is the familiar feeling: to be lost amidst a large crowd going a million different directions. Even at home in the Bay Area, this is the environment I live in. At some point there are too many people and too many agendas and destinations. It feels odd to come from rural British Columbia and enter the system as a temporary outsider. No wonder people have culture shock when they move to a city, or from a rural environment to a developed country.

Black Tusk, Coast Mountains, British Columbia.
Black Tusk, Coast Mountains, British Columbia.

The natural scenery is now behind me, to be replaced tomorrow with the spectacle of the Vancouver Celebration of Light.