In addition to some dollops of CaliforniaBlue sky, my Holiday 2009 Freeloaders’ Tour gave me several opportunities to reflect upon the seemingly timeless and cross-cultural need to fight the big-picture, we-are-but-an-indistinguishable-speck-in-the-universe thinking so beloved by French existentialists.

[Pass the Gauloise, s’il vous plaît.]

Sometimes a particular battle ends with a flag planted on the moon. Sometimes with an artistic work. Every so often, those who challenge injustice—because they believe all specks deserve equal opportunities for happiness and despair—gain a foothold. And of course, many wage daily war against meaninglessness by creating bonds with family and loved ones they hope will transcend generations.

And some, well, some just like to make their presence known. To say, “I was here.” “Behold my thought.” “I matter.” To add a layer to another’s experience. To go unquietly into that good night.

Can you blame them?

…sometimes those that come before us leave a legacy that competes with what’s in front of us…

(top to bottom: Small attractions at Golden Gate Bridge; human traces on Sonoma County old growth; inscriptions at Balboa Park, San Diego; a passerby’s proclamation at Carmel Beach; [jumping acrosss the ocean to Hawaii, since this is my favorite example to date] Story time on the Kalalua Trail—a spectacular yet grueling hike that tends to advertise itself with photos of blue sky rather than huge rocks and tree roots)

5 Responses

  1. Meaning seems to me non-solvable. For better or worse. Sometimes it’s kind of freeing. Yes, life is chaos. Yes, life is short. Yes, we will never know. OK. Have a cup of tea then.

  2. Hmm, I’m OK with the fallen tree trunk and of course writing in the sand; not sure it’s very fair on the plant life to go inscribing our names. But I guess we all want a legacy, that’s true.

  3. [I can’t help but think it’s pretty ironic that the plants that get “tattoo’d up” seem to thrive…maybe they like being part of the conversation.]

  4. Great thoughts great images, Vix….The last one is almost haunting in a way!

  5. Linda, I agree about the bamboo one–to take all that time to carve on multiple canes? It kind of makes me think of those who write journals on prison cell walls. / dark

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