Slices of Sky

Eye candy is typically absent from these contemplations—at least as long as we’re referring to the physical eyes.  So, may I offer this selection of images showered on me as I recently motored home in satisfaction, grace, awe, and wonder?

The resident background image and the single column content of this website don’t make a great showcase for other photography.  But if you right click/control click or double tap on any image you can see a larger size in a new tab.  If you have a big display, so much the better.  If you’re on a phone… oh well.

 

It wasn’t until midday on Sunday that I was made aware of an opportunity to resolve a persistent piece of karma which had long ago outworn its welcome.  In the blink of an eye, I was driving Sue’s truck, heading south on a mission—courting as well the potential for a second, separate objective to coincide with the first.  Little did I imagine a third, grander prize outcreating my meager intentions.

The bright, hot early afternoon flashed by along the eighteenth century eastern foothills of the Manzanos, then dropping down the enormous alluvial fan birthed from Abo Pass, crossing a nearly dry Grand River, skirting the quiet flanks of Sierra Ladrónes, and coasting into the sleepy Wild West village of Socorro.

Mission number one effortlessly graced in almost no time up above the New Mexico School of Mines, I drove back down the hill for gas.  Continuing then, under the freeway to the edges of the river, I patiently endured relentless washboard until I found what I was looking for.  Having miscalculated appropriate footwear needs, my sandaled feet suffered sand stars, goat heads, and other unseen hazards lurking in the ankle deep dry cottonwood leaves and unknown detritus of 80,000 square miles, where I gathered a sizable stash of tamarisk branches for a project coming up later this summer.

Tired now, but happy to have completed an errand on my list for a couple of years, I turned my attention toward getting home.


For those of you who may appreciate Doug West’s desert serigraphs, you might know that he spent many years working out of a studio in Socorro.  As the freeway pulls up out of the flood plain, I began to notice that the sky and surrounding terrain was starting to look remarkably like a serigraph.  So much so that I had to just stare—and then laugh.  I had never seen that before.

Here’s a sample taken at the exit at Bernardo where I pointed the Tacoma toward Abo and Mountainair.

View of the dramatic, though subtle sky at this point, with landform values on the skyline equal to the sky, making them inseparable from the sky to someone who is colorblind. Southern Manzanos to the left of Abo Pass. Chihuahuan New Mexico to the right.

 

In the short time getting this far, I had noticed three separate weather cells seemingly converging on the same point from different directions—generally aligning themselves with my path.  Logically impossible, each of the three seemed to occupy half of the sky.  Halfway up the grade, these classical Western rainstorms in dazzling formation were chasing me up the road, accompanied by winds that could almost have pushed me up the hill.

Vertical image of towering dark thunderheads, with a tiny slit of sunlit clouds peeking out from between dark downpours across the horizon.
Ladrón Peak, on the left, site of many forays and fiascos over the years

 

And spreading to the north with the mesmerizing beauty that only desert rain can manifest.

Horizontal image of the same procession of downpours, heading up the Rio Grande valley.

Skies have captured my attention throughout adult life, as they invariably mimic inner imagery.  Before it was over, this day’s journey would be filled with breathtaking beauty everywhere I looked.

 

This particular image occurred at the confluence of two of the three cells vying for my attention and dominance of the sky.

Indescribable cloud formation produced by titanic energies colliding on their willful courses.

 

The unfolding drama became so intense in the latter third of the journey that there were times when I could drive no more than sixty seconds without having to stop yet again for another futile attempt to capture the next spectacle before me.

I was reminded of the imagery of being at a seminar with the Master, and running around with my hat, trying to catch each precious drop of celestial grace falling from the sky.  Desirable, yes; impossible, yes again.  Laughable and exhilarating.  Thankfully, unnecessary—the supply is infinite.

Bosque Peak.  Its summit plateau is a shepherd’s dreamscape.

 

Mosca Sunset.  When I stopped the truck for this image, I was listening to an amazing remote satsang from the Master recorded in early June.  He was discoursing a list of twelve questions young chelas might postulate to Him—and His answers.  Just as I was opening the door to this sunset, He was saying, “Sri Gary, why do I not have more spiritual experiences?”

The juxtaposition of this chela’s hypothetical question and the experience of this day/moment induced an explosion of wild laughter that propelled me across the road and into the ferocious wind and arms of the beauty spread before me.

Anyone watching from behind a juniper might think, “This guy’s got a brick missin’!”.  And they would be right.  Every time the Master removes another brick, the happier I get.

The northern end of the Manzanos with Mosca Peak on the horizon, golden last rays of sun streaming in under the storm wracked clouds.

 

Almost home, yes.  But miles to go.

A more sedate view of the sky, as the sinking sun withdraws its warmth from the tumultuous afternoon show.

What a day.  What a life.  What a glorious succession of moments.  None exceeding the present one.

 

 

 

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