painting it red,

painting it red,

painting it red,

The ATC oracle speaks. Did it say anything to you?

in her dreams,

atc-in-her-dreams-6-16-small
in her dreams,
I present these oracle-like artist trading cards for your review and possible edification! You remember such items from the past, maybe – here they are again.
I make these cards and then I give them a phrase cut from printed matter, chosen at random but maybe not. See if you get any kind of push or insight or set off on any train of thought from looking at and reading these, even if it’s just to say, “Whaaat?!”

rain fell,

rain fell,

rain fell

I return to posting these oracle-like artist trading cards, for your review and possible edification! You remember such items from the past, maybe. Anyway, here are some more.

I make these cards and then I give them a phrase cut from printed matter, chosen at random but maybe not. See if you get any kind of push or insight or set off on any train of thought from looking and reading these, even if it’s just to say, “Whaaat?!”

scribbling

scribbling

scribbling

 

I present these oracle-like artist trading cards for your review and possible edification! You remember such items from the past, maybe – here they are again.

I make these cards and then I give them a phrase cut from printed matter, chosen at random but maybe not. See if you get any kind of push or insight or set off on any train of thought from looking and reading these, even if it’s just to say, “Whaaat?!”

this particular morning

Today I return to posting these oracle-like artist trading cards, for your review and possible edification! You remember such items from the past, maybe. Here are some more.
I make these cards and then I give them a phrase cut from printed matter, chosen at random but maybe not. See if you get any kind of push or insight or set off on any train of thought from looking and reading these, even if it’s just to say, “Whaaat?!”
this particular morning

this particular morning

Time Passes

I was walking in the Pennypack Ecological preserve today, a place I haven’t been for some time. Now, let me explain – I walk on the Pennypack Rail Trail, paralleling the Pennypack Creek, almost every day. It’s a wide, easy-to-navigate trail and follows the old rail line. Across the creek lies the Pennypack Ecological preserve. It can be accessed from the rail trail by two bridges.

The preserve is criss-crossed by a network of footpaths, quite rough, most of them, and there is one main trail, a former road now in disrepair. I crossed the creek from the rail trail to the preserve side, intending to walk along the road and re-cross later at the other bridge.

I took a whole adventurous walk, but I’ll tell more about that later on. For now, I wanted to mention this sight. In April, 2015, I took these photos of a toppled uprooted tree located right beside the trail. The overturning of this tree was quite recent.

Now in October 2016, take a look. Here is visible evidence of time passing.

roots-pp-eco-pres-10-21-16-small

The roots are now wearing a wig of fast-growing vines.

Off the Beaten Path

When we were in Reading, PA, a few weeks ago to visit the Goggleworks Center for the Arts, I noticed a small green building set in a tiny cemetery, right up beside the highway, as we were speeding along toward home. We’d never noticed it before, and we said – we have to try to take a look at that next time we’re here.

So, that next time was yesterday – we were visiting Goggleworks again, for their annual art festival. On the way home, we zipped off the highway exit and found the spot very easily – just a few yards down the road. We parked the car along the street and walked over – along a portion of the Schuylkill Trail that happens to pass by it.

 

Sure enough, there sat the brick building inside a stone wall along with an assortment of gravestones. Before we worked our way down the white-painted timbers that served as steps down the slight slope, we looked at the marker. Hmmm. Already we could tell this place had a story.

reading-cemetery-1-10-16-small

The gist of it was this: the Fix-Gerber-Bittner families established this cemetery in the early 1800’s. It was much larger than the present plot when it started out. But as time passed, it almost seemed as if this little bit of ground had a bull’s eye on it. Industrial developments all took pieces away from it. Graves were moved, somewhat carelessly, too, it seems. This small place is all that’s left. It’s essentially ownerless, now that the families are defunct.

So we went in for a closer look, down the steep steps.

reading-cemetery-b-10-16-small

We examined the building first. It had nothing to do with the cemetery – according to what I read later, it was built in the 1870’s or so by a friend of one of the families, to store dynamite (because it was outside city limits, where there was apparently a restriction on such a thing).

reading-cemetery-2-10-16-small

I examined the walls of the building – the layers of peeling paint speak to a long time it has been sitting out in all weathers.

It seems incongruous, at the least,  for such a destructive agent as dynamite to take up residence in a place full of the hopes for eternal rest. I reflected on this idea a bit as we walked around the cemetery.

Another factor mitigating against eternal rest is the highway’s neighborly presence. Neighborly in the sense of – a loud intruding kind of neighbor.

We walked around. The cemetery has friends – it is being cared for by the Oddfellows in Shillington, PA.

reading-cemetery-13-10-16-small

The grass is mowed and everything is neat. But the ravages of time are apparent. There are pieces of headstones separated from their graves, and my later reading told me that it’s suspected there are unmarked graves as a result of the carelessness of those who moved graves to accommodate the various canal and highway projects. Weather has also done damage – I have noticed that marble headstones do not stand up to the years as well as granite. Inscriptions fade and melt away.

This monument commemorates several people who served in the War of 1812 and the Civil War. I know this because I checked the dates on the flags – these flag markers specify the conflict served in by each veteran as they are being honored.

reading-cemetery-4-10-16-small

This marker is the footstone to the grave of a very young person.

reading-cemetery-10-10-16-small

We left the cemetery and climbed the small hill, back up to the road. This little place gave me a lot to think about. For one thing, how unimaginable this world of today would have been to the founders of this cemetery, and what sadness they might have felt at seeing their family resting spot, thought to be forever, so vulnerable.

But I hope that they might have also seen that there are still people who care. This cemetery has friends – the Oddfellows, and the Berks County Association for Graveyard Preservation.  The grounds are neat and veterans are honored. There is talk of highway construction that could affect the cemetery, but people are sticking up for it, according to a recent article in the Reading Eagle. That made me feel good. So much has changed in 200 years for this cemetery, but people still think it’s important not to forget those who were here before us.

 

it was little wonder that

it was little wonder that

it was little wonder that

Sunshine Project – Epilogue

The Sunshine Project is over. Spring is here. Winter has passed. I am very grateful to have arrived at this point. I want to thank everyone who has followed along on this journey. It has made a difference to me to do this project and to know that others have supported me.

I will not go on at great length about what I gained from doing this activity. But I want to say that having a framework such as this project provided had benefits beyond what I had expected. Not only did I have to get out and participate in the world each day, something that has been hard for me since my illness, but I had to write about it, and reflect on my experiences. In this way each day had a shape and a meaning. I learned something every day; I went places I had never been before; I got a lot of ideas about things I want to do after the project – plein air painting, visits to local historic sites, writing poetry in libraries instead of holed up at home. I feel I’ve been on a pilgrimage and returned renewed and with greater knowledge. Thank you, Sunshine Project.

Happy sunshine.

Here are all the sunshines from the project in one array.

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