music to accompany the photos by…. trust me, it vibes…
So… what a strange contemplation, what a strange feeling, at once I feel alone, isolated, never a real member of the village, always the guy who lives out in the woods or on the exterior portions, disconnected, but right here in the mix of the world, and yet… the exhilaration, as I climb over rocks to find nooks of a beach few eyes take in, not some new impossible spot, for surely they have all been found before (and they have) but there is this moment of discovery, like you are on the moon as armstrong once stood, ok, maybe not that grand, but still, the little kid in you, that devilish imp thinking you are doing something you shouldn’t, you are privy to the plot that no one else has seen, I can only imagine what a real explorer felt, even if they were not the primary, they must have felt this same rush, centuries are blind, humanity binds us, we have the same instincts, wants, desires, we just have different clothes to put on, call it technology, or progress, all the same, a chord links us all back to the first walking apes, until we become fully machines, which may or may not happen, not in my lifetime, I imagine myself downloaded into computer memory, my electrical impulses and what not, but I doubt I will see the day, as alone as I feel in seeking lonely places, I feel more connected than ever to life, to nature, to history, I am not expecting every one to understand, but this is how I feel out here, would I like someone else to understand ? and share this with? I would be lying if I said no, but I have learned in life you need to be happy with what you get, dreams are not a bad thing, no, they are a great thing, but your feet are on this ground so be there to… just try to accept life as it comes the good the bad, like the tide, highs and lows, always the highs and lows, but I must admit, being here, I feel my regrets, I wear them, but they do not wear me down, out there, back there, in the real, everything seems amplified, so I just suppose, I need a remote beach to repose, to retreat…no, to visit, when in need, once a year has sufficed but would I be better visiting twice… and more..
(later in the day) I saw a young couple walk past me on the jetty as I was filming, I say young meaning they were probably in their 20s, maybe late 20s, sort of goth dressed but not as goth as I recall back in the day when the Cure were huge, I don’t mean any of that in a bad way, just descriptive, plus dock martens are and always will be awesome, but anyway, they are dressed sort of androgynously, which makes sense in the scene, probably wearing heavier jackets than they should be, but yet she was baring her midriff, and she wasn’t thin, but it totally worked for her, well at least to my eye, and apparently his, they walked by determined to go to the edge of the jetty, I cut a waft of their cigarettes, or just his, hard to tell, but it brought me back, for sure cloves, there is something so special to me about cloves, I want to ask them where they got them but didn’t want to interrupt the moment, who needs some random jackass ruining your thing with your woman ? I don’t want to be that guy… but cloves, damn, I was a Black Djarum guy for some years, ever smoke em ? damn tasty… I went not many vacations without them, but that temptation has passed, my lungs are picky things, I watch, as the young couple meanders all the way out to the end of the jetty, the seas are not rough today, I would ponder each step myself, and haven’t had the balls to go all the way out… but good for them, shadows now, I can barely see them, as I fall back to my car, try to kick all the sand out of my shoes, look back once, not for a moment jealous, but for a moment of what if…
and I looked up, so there it was, literally, a window, is this me? fate? you? a blank slate? it just seemed… to all fall into place, and my hand moved, or did it move me? to watch this natural TV, this parade of, well, what is, no fake production could produce this so perfectly, or CGI could mimic this to a tee, no… just me, here, allowed to be in audience, lucky enough to capture this…
a blink and a wink
and summer will be gone
am I just dragging me (and be extension you) down? to think of such things… for it is not ‘officially’ summer yet but who relies on such things? to me, this is summer already, or at least the flavor has dropped in enough days to accompany me to that place of actualization, relation, maybe I learned a little more this year, for some reason, like a dumb or stubborn squirrel I would save up my personal days like acorns made of gold, a fool’s errand to be told, so this year I took a dart board approach, looked at the big board calendar in all scope, and shot for random gaps in these coming and current months of warm, and so far things have turned up for the better, two days off three weeks in a row now… I am pacing the walls of the asylum with free time, and also (more importantly I can tell you) my days have aligned with the weather, mostly, the odd day of rain, good pounding thunder rain does lull me into a sleep, I would not equate to sleeping beauty, just the sleeping end of it, but mostly, and I am jinxing myself here, the climate has smiled on me, allowing me to traipse the wilds of new jersey (yes, there are wilds of new jersey) in pursuit of one of my passions, fossil hunting, not only are we graced with superior pizza and bagels here in the garden state, not far from my domicile lies in wait an open park where you are allowed to scavenge the brook bed (‘river bed’ sounds so much better but I don’t want to cast illusions as to me braving rapids, where I am braving perhaps my knee getting splashed), so you can actively look for fossils, yes, actual fossils, I have made a plethora of finds over the years, and even a piece I donated to a local museum due to it’s rarity and importance, but just being out there makes me wonder, among the nature a conundrum, where is the line between hobby and calling, or is there a line at all? this is my tuning fork or a place, we resonate, I feel at home, ankle deep in silty mud, spying a tray of gravel looking for millions year old treasure that is only really worth as much as stone, the exhilaration of the find, regardless of size, smaller than a dime, or smaller but still the thrill, or is this juxtaposition merely glaring to my position, here in my office, banging out the service calls and sorting through code, I can see out the window the sun, and how green the leaves have become, and I know I will blink, and the leaves will be gone, what about me?
notes… this is more of a diary post, still stream of consciousness about being… in a stream… go figure…
(a stream of consciousness experiment going on four years now…)
this is, well was, the first truly day of spring, no, not the first nice day, but one that seems to announce the semi-permanent arrival, I’d love to paint you some ethereal picture of beautiful perfections, but that is not to be today turning into night, the air, is a soothing temperature though, a soft flow, however, in one direction I pick up the heavy scent of lawn chemicals like a teen with too much drakar doused on, I almost feel for the pests and grubs that must absorb that cruel gruel, I used to think a wonderous sparkling lawn was a wonderous thing, no more, I loathe such a faux carpet as more of a waste of resources these days, and a desert of imagination, not half as alluring as a mix of exotic and native plants that change like chameleons with the seasons, the pandemic must be slowing a bit, just from the sounds of the world, or the ones drowned now out, for there is a not so subtle undertow roar of cars in the distance, emanating from the local four lane road, oak tree road – as if that name imparts some gravitas of nature to course pavement and the sounds thereof, of course, there is the delightful, occasional throttle mash dash, a bugle call for ego small down our town’s little famous stretch, a couple of robins are chattering, not some euphony as you might think, the sound more like a cantankerous old married couple arguing, knowing there is no point in this dos-e-doe, knowing they have an audience’s ear for their nonsense, besides their own (and they are the only ones enjoying this show), robins are not songbirds I tell you, at least not those of this local herd, well… at least my various bamboo plants are blooming, in actuality shooting up new spikes left and right – which does not sound as nice or flowery, but a new generation looking to take a place in the some-day-ending parade, this past winter was very harsh on my crop, they look like a blonde wig that has been tossed about the mall parking lot floor for a few weeks or more, you can clearly see the glory that once was, like an outline, or a memory, but you surely would not pick it up to wear it; a commercial airliner is roaring out there somewhere, horizon-ish, hidden by the darkened clouds, not quite dark enough to see the beacons blinking indicating and exact location, a lone goose passes by, one honk, no formation to amaze by, this only confirms the underwhelming litany of this night, yet… even with all this, and that damn dog barking it’s head off some blocks away, the people walking by yapping loudly on their important calls, the last blasts of the mating calls of leaf-blowers in landscaper hands, somewhere, even in this, this imperfection, my eye is taken, to a small broken branch, barely more than a mere twig, I watch as it swings back and forth like some hypnotic pendulum, am I getting sleepy? no, just the back and forth and the back and forth, breathing in… and breathing out… and I am found, all of time, all of history, have brought me right here, the enemies of my revelation send various types of gas chariots down the street to distract me, but they only make me realize, and crack a wry smile, I found peace in place, the subtle trick, the wave, a fractured stick, sometimes… is all it takes.
notes… I wanted something dissonant… and probably something you never heard, I have eclectic tastes to be sure… but this evening felt like an immersion and birthing all in one…
notes… Franklin Lakes, NJ, about a 15 minute jaunt from the office in Hackensack. Even in the super bitter cold there is merit in being out in nature. or I am nuts… ah, take your pick…
So… this park was built originally as a work project after the great depression, it was designed by the same architects as Central Park NYC, and oddly it is like an oasis in the middle of bustle, just like Central Park (it stretches miles along) , I have been trying to show off my state, my home, and honestly explore all the nooks and crannies here in New Jersey that I don’t know, so this was one of those days, I figured the hurricane would have cleared out most of the weather, not so much as it was a mixed day but… a good one, just the same, great walking park, great for families at the southernmost end with tons to do and a dog park !!!
post script: I did bring my trusty journal but no inspiration, which is typical, sometimes, ok, many times when I am out and about in nature I am absorbed by it, so I rarely write when I am on vacation or exploring, I must have looked like quite the odd duck, all dressed up in my work clothes hiking all along and peeking over the brook banks for those perfect duck shots, one woman asked if I was with the survey team (for the trees) and another asked if I was that nice young man who took the photos for the newspaper, I was neither, just someone determined to show that New Jersey is many things, yes, we have our down areas but for a small state we have more than people know, and being a homegrown joizee boy I should highlight all that because even I am unfamiliar with all the amazing things here, but I will show them off, or that is the plan, and maybe write some interesting things in the process…
I made a pact with myself, when I started this blog, that my goal was honesty and personal growth, part of that movement in the nation me is to actively notice things that I see everyday and check them out (instead of passively passing them by), essentially we should see beauty every chance we get, and I also think history is beautiful, there are ugly moments, sure, but history is a vehicle in which we can gain experience without having to live through something ourselves… and learn. Even in a country as new as this (in the scheme of thing’s america is very new) we have plenty of history, especially here in new jersey. So saturday I decided to check out this place I have driven by hundreds of times…
I have mixed feelings about the place, I like that it is a little enclave in the middle of major roads (Route 4, 208, rt 80 is not too far), there is a nice path from the lot through the park (it splits, I only went left this time), it is interesting that the park literally is in people’s backyards when you are walking, some owners have gates that open to the park, others, well, their fences seem less comfortable if you get my drift, unfortunately the nakedness of the winter reveals the debris and litter of humanity, is it overwhelming ? no, but certainly noticeable, I picked up a few pieces as I always do, but this place is in serious need of a dedicated patrol to pick up the flotsam, a little effort goes a long way, I guess this is the paramus river, I should google it but I don’t feel like it, the roar of the tiny rapids does pose some nice sound and almost (almost) drowns out the car traffic buzzing about and over, I shall check this out further in the future… it did not inspire a thought on the spot, but upon reflection tonight I wrote this (first draft just for this post):
upon red mill
the common ground now a park
with visions before the founding
now nestled between highways and routes
older than the country still
may outlast the bustle ’bout
and shared the land with history books
for washington surely crossed this little nook
and burr in yuletide of times sure partook
certainly before his career paced north to new york
and even lafayette on his farewell tour
did endure to pass these grounds
and now casual walkers, bikers and pavement encircle
the visitors of note leave their bags and baubles
but I might imagine the red mill will grist for it’s own will
and endure on beyond more generations
I posted a couple of quick vids on my youtube account as well to give you a feel.so, that promise I made to myself… maybe I honored it here, but I am still struggling to be ‘it’ all the time, there are plenty of times I don’t stop and admire… or do the right thing, I’m working on it, so should you, we are barely here in the scheme of things, I know it so easy to say that, I know, I am just a guy and I do not live up to my own standards, but I am trying, I want everyone to give effort, and make this world better, step by step.