‘Nothing Is Inevitable Here’

Do not despair of our present difficulties,
Believe always in the promise and greatness of America,
Because nothing is inevitable here
Americans never quit.
We never surrender.
We never hide from history.
We make history.
Farewell, fellow Americans.
God Bless You, and God Bless America.
Senator John McCain, Cornville Arizona

Sunrise in Cornville Arizona. Monsoon lingers in the Verde Valley,  clearing the smoke from this seasons  wildfires, replacing it with the smell of the creosote bush, cypress, mesquite, and juniper trees. Though the official first day of autumn here is weeks away, the punch of summer heat is gone, the mornings cool and inviting once again. The hummingbirds that will leave soon, create a worried melodrama at the feeders. Serious consumption for upcoming migration south of the border calorie burn. 

An early morning drive up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff for a browse around, Thai food, and then coffee at the booksellers. After, a good long look and photo taking time with two very different public murals.

The City of Flagstaff grows more attractive whenever we visit, the diversity and optimism of being a college town is lightly visceral one moment, smart and thought provoking the next. The Public Arts Commission supports and encourages  public art. I  adore the wall murals, am fortunate to have the time and opportunity to photograph,  and am appreciative to Flagstaff for offering them to everyone equally.  Pleased to now share those photos with you:
Victorian Citizens are shown in the “Piano Room”  mural at the  Leroux Street Parking lot at the former Speakeasy Bar. It was painted by Sage, Jill and Dan Drilevich and Ricco Distefan in 2010.

The woman depicted on the left resembles Gustav Klimt’s 1907 portrait called “Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” That artwork sold in 2006 for $135 million. Familiar to many from the film Woman In Gold, starring Helen Mirren.

The second mural  we visited depicts a much different theme and time period:

Mural Joe painted the True Blue mural in downtown Flagstaff that honors some of the aspects of Northern Arizona University and the NAU Lumberjack.

Entire mural is quite striking and each scene tells it’s own story while flowing smoothly into the next.

Located a youtube video of the artist creating the mural.  Provides an inside look in the creating art on such a large scale and unconventional ‘canvas.’

It is family, friends, the arts, music, books, and nature that I seek out to balance the continued divisive and unsettled times globally. Days long media breaks, a catch up with the Sunday Times.  Liberally self prescribing doses of activism on getting the vote out in my own country (America) for the upcoming  Midterm Elections on November 6, 2018. Prescribed in response to anxiety and concern over what my country and yours, our shared global community  will look like in ten or twenty or thirty years from now.  What opportunities, choices, potable water, breathable air, education, and liberties will be available to the Grandchildren coming up into their adulthood.  Mine, yours, everyone’s Grandchildren.

Been taking the camera along, it’s familiar presence a gentle reminder to slow it down and pay attention.  To notice and appreciate the delicious light filled length, variety, expansiveness of a given summer day in the high desert. The photos above are some favorites of the summer,  the slideshow below showing the difficulty I have choosing favorites.

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Thank you for your support and interest in my photo essays. Wishing each and everyone of you  a safe, prosperous, and engaged month of September.

Music: Aretha Franklin:  Think- Natural Woman

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Instant Illumination

There are very few human beings
Who receive the truth,
Complete and staggering,
By instant illumination.
Most of them acquire it
Fragment by fragment,
On a small scale,
By successive developments,
Cellularly,
Like a laborious mosaic.
The Aspen leaves  were certainly singing and dancing high above our heads, and the entire forest was filled with their music. I’ve never scaled an Aspen Tree.  Soft wood, many of these tower above over  80 feet, live 150-200 years, and reproduce by seeds or roots sprouting and creating colonies of clones.

 

Lots of people were up at the Snowbowl in Flagstaff Arizona to view the Aspens this year, and a full school bus number of children were in the midst of a shared ecstatic experience, rolling about in the golden leaves, hugging the trees, laying with arms and legs stretched out,  gazing upward singing along to Aspen tunes. Laughing out loud , carefully selecting fallen leaves to pocket –   talisman’s for their journey.

Wishing an excellent week to one and all.

New Oxford American Dictionary:
verb [with object] 1 climb up or over (something high and steep): thieves scaled an 8-foot fence.2 represent in proportional dimensions; reduce or increase in size according to a common scale: (as adjective scaled) : scaled plans of the house.[no object] (of a quantity or property) be variable according to a particular scale.3 North American estimate the amount of timber that will be produced from (a log or uncut tree).

In A Huge Scale

“I decided
that if I could paint that flower
in a huge scale,
you could not
ignore its beauty.
A walk to the car from an excellent lunch at Ewa’s ,
Thai Cuisine in Flagstaff,  discovered this very cool street art along an alley wall. Just had to photograph and share for this weeks Erica V’s Word Press  Photo Challenge: Scale . I could not find the artists name anywhere unfortunately.  It really plays with scale well I think. Standing looking in is quite striking .

A safe and interesting weekend to each and everyone.

New Oxford American Dictionary:

Scale:

noun1 a graduated range of values forming a standard system for measuring or grading something: company employees have hit the top of their pay scales.the full range of different levels of people or things, from lowest tohighest: two men at opposite ends of the social scale.a series of marks at regular intervals in a line used in measuring something: the mean delivery time is plotted against a scale on the right.a device having a series of marks at regular intervals in a line used in measuring something: she read the exact distance off a scale.a rule determining the distances between marks on a scale: the vertical axis is given on a logarithmic scale.2 [in singular] the relative size or extent of something: no one foresaw thescale of the disaster | everything in the house is on a grand scale.[often as modifier] a ratio of size in a map, model, drawing, or plan: a one-fifth scale model of a seven-story building | an Ordnance Surveymap on a scale of 1:2500.(in full scale of notation) Mathematics a system of numerical notation in which the value of a digit depends upon its position in the number, successive positions representing successive powers of a fixed base: the conversion of the number to the binary scale.

Photography: the range of exposures over which a photographic material will give an acceptable variation in density.

Musican arrangement of the notes in any system of music in ascendingor descending order of pitch: the scale of C major.verb [with object] 1 climb up or over (something high and steep): thieves scaled an 8-foot fence.2 represent in proportional dimensions; reduce or increase in size according to a common scale: (as adjective scaled) : scaled plans of the house.[no object] (of a quantity or property) be variable according to a particular scale.3 North American estimate the amount of timber that will be produced from (a log or uncut tree).

verb [with object] : 1 climb up or over (something high and steep): thieves scaled an 8-foot fence.2 represent in proportional dimensions; reduce or increase in size according to a common scale: (as adjective scaled) : scaled plans of the house.[no object] (of a quantity or property) be variable according to a particular scale.3 North American estimate the amount of timber that will be produced from (a log or uncut tree).PHRASES off the scale of or to a degree or level that is far in excess of what is normal or notionally measurable: meteorologists warned that conditions would be brutal, with soaring temperatures and humidity off the scale | viewing figures are likely to go off the scale because of all the hype.play (or sing or practice) scales Music perform the notes of a scale as an exercise for the fingers or voice.to scale with a uniform reduction or enlargement: it is hard to build models to scale from a drawing.

PHRASES: off the scale of or to a degree or level that is far in excess of what is normal or notionally measurable: meteorologists warned that conditions would be brutal, with soaring temperatures and humidity off the scale | viewing figures are likely to go off the scale because of all the hype.play (or sing or practice) scales Music perform the notes of a scale as an exercise for the fingers or voice.to scale with a uniform reduction or enlargement: it is hard to build models to

 

The Mother Road: Route 66

Escaping the Verde Valley heat and smoke  with a drive up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. A walk about downtown, a pause  to photograph the train, then delicious lunch at Street Side Saigon,

Setting off back to cross the tracks to downtown in search of pie……..and suddenly the gift of discovering this absolutely stunning mural.

Such a joy to photograph and share with you, and perfect for this weeks WordPress  Photo Theme of “Delta: ”   ‘This week’s photo challenge, share a picture that symbolizes transitions, change, and the passing of time.’

This is what the artists Margaret Dewar and R.E. Wall have to say about their magnificent work Route 66.

The Mother Road lived for about 60 years in its full glory. We were able to put together a chronological storyboard that offers a little piece of the spirit of each of the ages in ten year increments, from 1926 – 1985. Route 66 books and even modern travelers tell us that it was a virtual microcosm of American culture all comprised into one great road stretching from Chicago to L.A.The Phoenix Avenue Route 66 mural is located 1 block from the Route 66 that exists today. The Phoenix Avenue corridor of the mural was the main drag of Route 66 from 1926 to 1934, but was decommissioned and re-routed a block away and north of the tracks. Many of the businesses that started up here, included the Downtowner, Sierra Vista, and the Du Beau Hostel, which was the first motor lodge in the country can still be found along Phoenix Avenue. They were disappointed to have lost the road and thus allowed to erect giant neon sign towers that promoted their businesses and could be seen from the new Route 66. Today, the City of Flagstaff is showing an interest in spotlighting the former role of Phoenix Avenue in Flagstaff history.

I encourage you to visit The Mural Mice at their  their website for a listing of where their other public murals are located, and if opportunity arrives to see one in person, definitely do. The slideshow below contains lots more of the photos I so happily took on an exceptional  summer day in Flagstaff, Arizona. An excellent and safe month of July  to each and every one.

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