Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Haunting Face

For several weeks he would appear each day at my elbow when I sat in the plaza after Spanish class. His expression never changed nor did he ever utter a word. A refugee from Guatemala in Mexico, there was no schooling for him, only this kind of mute begging. I took to buying us both lunch and he would eat slowly, his shoulder almost but not quite touching my elbow. His face wore the traces of brutality: the bruising across the nose and eyes, too many scars on such a young face.

Soon before I left, I took this picture. Tears had left uneven stains on his cheeks. On my last day, I said ,"Adios", I stroked his cheek and stuffed pesos in his hands. I thought I saw the ghost of a question in his eyes but perhaps not.

In time I forgot him until this week when I was asked if his picture could be used in the work of a friend. He would be a young man today and I can't imagine his life without shuddering.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Relections in the Chinese Garden

Winter may be considered an odd time to visit gardens. Yet, on a still, limpid winter afternoon, light, trees and water combined into exquisite sights. The first ones are from the Classical Chinese Garden and the last ones from the Japanese Garden.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Japanese Garden

A friend came to spend a few days in Portland. The Japanese garden was pretty on a clear, very cold afternoon.

Hardly anyone else to be seen,

not even birds except bronze ones.

Very few flowers also save these pink blossoms

and a single camelia.

But it was a great opportunity to try my new camera.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

AWOL in 2009 . . .

. . . but I am back at my computer after a short but very happy break with the whole clan in the Sierra Nevada. It was the first time in 10 years that all my children and grandchildren were together in one place and we loved it.

We played silly games. . .

which led to useless contortions . . .

some made the most of it . . .

More serious people sneaked in some work on the laptop

while others opted to crochet a warm hat . . .

and a big cousin braided a little cousin hair in perfect skiing style.

After all that snow fun, derrières needed warming up . . .

and stomachs had to be filled naturally.

All in all, the perfect family time.