Thursday, October 25, 2012

celebration of lines

Pat and I recently celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. We have a tradition most years of spending the weekend in Red River Gorge in Kentucky. We love it there. I am a huge fan of tradition, so going to the same place to do the same thing each year is pretty meaningful to me. Seeing the same incredible rock formations, walking the same paths. (Okay. We tried a new one this year, but we're going to go back to the old rough trail again next time.) This year, I noticed that the enormous fallen tree that had been uprooted my first time there now looks fairly unimpressive. Some things change, I guess.

At one point, I turned the camera around and snapped a picture of myself. Glancing at the picture, I realized my face is to be counted among the "things that change." I hadn't really noticed it. Some of you will say you still don't, but it's happening. I have some places eager to wrinkle here. A couple places have made a habit of it. Part of me wants to panic; part of me wants to just say that the corners of my eyes and my forehead are just settling into the shape that suits them. It's just that I looked pretty much exactly the same for ten years and, well, now I don't.

You may have seen a video circulating that compares the marks children leave on women's bodies to various beautiful marks in nature. Maybe it's because I had seen the video. Maybe it's because I've always enjoyed noticing the lines growing and eroding in the Gorge. Maybe it's because I like taking too many pictures. But I spent a bit noticing the lines of time and change around me that weekend while realizing in a new way how time, growth, impact, friction, and movement leave their marks. Rising up and eroding away, growing and decaying, stretching and shrinking back can have a way of beautifully occupying the same space. Too bad it's a struggle to appreciate the beauty of time on a face (especially our own) in the same way we appreciate the way these forces impact the rest of the natural world. Of course we grow in wisdom and beauty on the inside, but I'm going to choose to believe what happens concurrently on the outside serves only to emphasize the goodness of that inward progression.

Here are my observations on lines of growth and change in Red River Gorge. Lines marking growth, lines of imperfection and idiosyncrasy, lines from holding on, lines from letting go, lines of protection, lines of newness, lines from fading away, lines that help you see, lines marking great feats, outlines of tear-drops, lines of companionship, lines of separation, lines from miles traveled, lines going deep. 


P.S. For another of my gleanings from this time in nature, head over to my other blog: godsmountainpeople


Sue said...

Happy (belated) Anniversary. Your pictures are lovely and you write beautifully. I found your blog when searching for news of Lia and her family. I started reading her story when Rhys was writing on Caring Bridge (I saw the link on the blog of friends who have a 5 year old son who had Wilm's tumor but is currently NED, no evidence of disease!!). Although I don't know the Frank family, I was drawn to their story and prayed they would find a cure or at least a way for Lia to have a better quality of life. All of that being said, I was so sad to hear the reason that Rhys stopped writing. Do you have any more news of their situation? Hopefully there has been some resolution.

keep growing said...

Thank you for your kind words!

There will likely be no discussion or news of events until there is a resolution, so I have nothing to report. I wish I did. The good news is that believers can be led to pray specifically with or without news, so I'm trusting God to do that and hope I'm not too hard of hearing. I'm sure you and many others are, too. As soon as there is news to share, I will certainly spread the word.