Photos, Artwork, & Musings on Life, Spirit, Entheogens, Time, & Travel

Posts tagged “Texas

“Big Bend – The Scale of Time” (film)

 

As a follow-up for the summer photography in my last post, I’m pleased to present a six minute film titled “Big Bend–The Scale of Time.” This is a short preview for my upcoming reflective landscape film about Big Bend National Park in Texas. I am in the process of re-shooting footage in high definition to entirely update and replace the imagery from an older film, while retaining the music track and eventually the incidental poetic script and narration elements. This HD film is hosted on Vimeo and is best seen full-screen.

The cinematography and photography in this short version all come from a brief three-day visit to the park in June, 2014. I plan to return at least twice in the coming months (for longer stays) and obtain much more footage to fill out the main feature. What imagery will I get on my next trip? In June, I didn’t expect to get caught in that dramatic lightning storm or see a cloudy, no-sunrise morning suddenly erupt into an amazing spotlit fan of golden light. Big Bend always surprises me with unexpected scenes of wild and gentle beauty that translate so very well into visual art.
I hope you enjoy my film.

A note about the music: This is my original composition and performance excerpted from the longer film. It won the Calypso Award from the Moondance International Film Festival in 2006, and also a prestigious Silver Telly Award in that same year.

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Big Bend National Park–Summer Photography

I have just returned from a short visit to the wonderful Big Bend National Park in southwestern Texas, USA. I’ve been traveling here off and on since the spring of 1962, taking photos and video, hiking and camping, and doing inner work and vision quests. With some extensive new photography equipment in hand including a Nikon D5300 and a computerized slider, I’m setting out to shoot new cinematography and photography of the park in multiple seasons. This is to remake an artistic film I created some years ago using standard definition video. Now, I can remake it in full HD with professional rigging for camera moves.

I’ll post more of the video elements later, but for now, here are some of the still photographs I made this week, accompanied by some script excerpts from the original film.

I hope you enjoy them!

I urge you to click through to the larger images for much higher quality!

MorningBigBend-borderTime

In Big Bend
The scale of time is different from
our time – the observers, ourselves – who come.

It is a different scale of time and of movement than
our time – our movement.

We are too fast to see it.
We cannot slow down.

Slow                 Down

EveningWindowView-borderWonder

There is an enchanted doorway –
a wonder and a sign.

A Temple of water
and air,

And walls of determination.

We briefly enter – and return again.

CastolonPeak-borderHeat

There is nothing between this sand and that yonder star
but empty space and a thin breath of blistered air.

A Weight Bears Down.
Relentless.
We cannot escape.

Our branches grow tough – and dark.
Our water, our blood, our thoughts
Dwindle . . . down.

The white light sears our flesh into dust,
and there is no wind to blow it away.

MexicanWallBoquillas-border

Stillness

The desert does not sleep.
It is an endless movement – the motion of survival.

We look and listen . . . and there is

Stillness

Silence

You can see it move if you are slow enough.
You can feel it, anyway,
if you are still enough.

Do not listen for it or watch for it.

Be Still

and Listen

and Watch

OldWindmillChisos-borderChange

This desert is young. This desert is old.
It depends on your speed, you see.

Some have come to change this land.
Some have changed it – some.

All who have come
Have Been Changed.

Some have gone now.
A fragrance lingers in secret places.
Their song echoes lightly on adobe and wood and stone.

The mesa shrugs, and it is gone.

SotolAndChisos-borderLife

She is clothed in riches. Bejewelled in green and yellow and brown.
An extravagance on this plate of rock – standing up, tasting the water.

Big Bend is not barren.

LIFE is everywhere in this Desert –
this Living Land.

Raising faces – arms to the air,
feeling deeply down for the lifeblood –
a watery current within.
Knowing how to keep that – and to hold it.

A Treasure.

WindowSunset-borderSpirit

The desert is a mirror.
The desert is a portal.

It reflects our souls back at us,
and then offers a Way
into another Realm.

We are opened up
and slowed down.

The soft voices of the Plants can be heard.
The wordless brotherhood of the Animals is known.
The marvel of the Eternal Moment can be felt
In our very ground.

Big Bend is a Heart Land.
A place of shifting Shapes.
It is a healer of the Spirit.

PetroStrip1

 

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Autumn Fire – Golden Aspens in Colorado

Aspens1-border

“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

Autumn is my favorite time of year in Texas because it lasts longer than spring and the temperatures are such a relief after our hot summers, but there is little leaf color until early December, and then only a hint of the kind of color one sees in the northeast or in the mountains of the great American West. I love to make a special trip to see the aspens change in Colorado. Here is one of my photos for you – just an autumn greeting and a wish-you-well for the upcoming Thanksgiving and other holiday times.

I took this one just outside Silverton, Colorado a couple of years ago.

 

What does autumn go on paying for
with so much yellow money?”

― Pablo Neruda

 

 

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Moonrise

MoonriseGulf-border

From the swirl of

Unconsciousness

She rises.

A lantern

Glowing,

Revealing a

Pathway into

Dreams.

starband

An image I took of the moonrise over the Gulf of Mexico at Surfside Beach, Texas on October 23, 2013.

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Contemplating an Ocean Sunrise

Lost — Yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever. – Horace Mann

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I recently returned from a two day getaway to do some writing at the coast – in this case, USA’s “third coast” in Texas at the Gulf of Mexico. Having grown up in semi-arid west Texas and loving the great desert southwest landscapes of our country, I have not spent all that much time at the seaside or on the water. Thus, it fascinates me and also daunts me.

My eyes are captivated by the water in its ceaseless motion and I delight in the sound of the surf washing over the sands. Like the stone canyons elsewhere, the beach and surf environments, when not overrun by development, seem truly timeless. A single day spent walking the shoreline and listening to the ancient fractal sound of the waves is a time span that might have been a week or a month – or simply extracted from our normal clock-time altogether. As I walk slowly back through the sandy dunes and the susurrus of the water fades into a sudden, stark silence, mundane time begins once again.

It is a good meditation and a healing.

~   ~   ~

I took this photo at Surfside Beach, near Galveston, Texas, shortly after sunrise.

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Brujo Canyon

“In the desert, water in any amount is a tincture, so holy that it will burn through your heart when you see it. . . . If you want to study water, you do not go to the Amazon or to Seattle. You come here, to the driest land. Nowhere else is it drawn to such a point. In the desert, water is unedited, perfect.”
– Craig Childs, The Secret Knowledge of Water,(Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2000)xiii-xvi

A quote from one of my favorite books on the desert by Craig Childs, The Secret Knowledge of Water. It is unlike any other nature or desert book I’ve ever read. Simply marvelous.

My photograph is from Big Bend National Park, on the flats of Terlingua Creek. I was hiking to the right-hand fracture, called Brujo Canyon (meaning magic or sorcery). I almost did not make it back across due to lack of water and overexertion. A hard lesson. I almost died in that awful, bright, oppressive, scintillating, intriguing, dangerous, wonderful place. It was a white hot dance and a reducing to that which is most simple. Beckoning and deadly.

Marvelous.

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Summer Storm-Big Bend NP, Texas

Storm through the Window __ Photo ©2012 David P. Crews

“I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.”
-Eden Ahbez

A summer storm vies for attention with the setting sun in the Window in the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park, Texas. I’ve been visiting and photographing this amazing place on the planet for over 50 years.

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Texas Wildflowers

Texas Bluebonnet _____ Photo ©2012 David P. Crews. All rights reserved.

Texas wildflower_____Photo ©2012 David P. Crews. All rights reserved.

“If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake – Aye, what then?”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (from “Coleridge’s Notebooks: A Selection”)
Seamus Perry, Oxford Univ. Press, 2002, p. 127
Derived from Jean Paul, Geist (1801) 

 

 

 

 

The Texas Hill Country is one of the world’s most beautiful wildflower shows, featuring the state flower, the bluebonnet. The last few years, the flowers have been more sparse due to the record draught, but better rains and a mild winter have made this year’s show much better. I took a day to tour the Hill Country from Austin, to Fredricksburg, to Llano and the Highland Lakes for this photo tour. See the entire show at my Flickr site. Click here or on the title below.

Click image to see the entire flower tour.

Texas wildflower___Photo ©2012 David P. Crews. All rights reserved.

“The Amen of nature is always a flower.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table”, p. 184
Thomas Nelson and Sons, London, 1906

Bluebonnets near Fredricksburg, Texas___Photo ©2012 David P. Crews. All rights reserved.

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Desert Places

Big Bend Badlands – Photo ©2004 David P. Crews

“They cannot scare me with their empty spaces

Between stars—on stars where no human race is.

I have it in me so much nearer home

To scare myself with my own desert places.”

–       Robert Frost  – from “Desert Places”
A Further Range  –  Henry Holt & Co. (1936)

Photo of badlands in Big Bend National Park, in west Texas, just north of Castolon.