Transfixus Sed Non Mortuus

Here I Stand, Pierced and Transfixed

Browsing Posts tagged beauty

Sunset in Detroit

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Bryan Levy Photography captured a beautiful time lapse of a Detroit, MI, USA sunset.

The power and prowess that hawks (and other birds of prey) can display in an instant is truly an amazing thing to me. I think that the sheer poetry in motion of the video is spectacular. The beauty of this glorious world we live in can really take me aback sometimes, especially as I know that I’m little more than dust, and that is where I will be someday. The magic and power of life is truly a beautiful thing and I am entirely and absolutely grateful for it.

Have a listen to David Attenborough’s “What a Wonderful World.”

This past weekend, I was able to go on a camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Glen Arbor, Michigan.

My friend John and I were coming from Ann Arbor, and Gordon was going to meet us at the campsite. So, around 10:30am on Friday, John stopped by my apartment. We loaded up, went to his parents’ house to load up some more items, and then we were on our way.

Along the way we passed by Frankenmuth, and John started talking about how he had never had the chicken dinner from Zehnder’s. We thought that maybe we should stop, but we decided that we would wait and see if Gordon wanted some on the way back. Nevertheless, all that talk of food got us hungry, so we stopped at Cracker Barrel for some respite.

Kimberly, our waitress, was quick and efficient as she brought us our appetizers and drinks. I got a the cranberry apple iced tea with corn muffins, which I really enjoyed. For the main course, both John and I had the chicken fried steak, which was most excellent!

Soon, we were on our way again. We continued on I-75 for a long way till we reached Grayling, where we cut off onto M-72, which pretty much took us all the way to our destination. We did stop in Traverse City for groceries, and after spending a small fortune for our two-day trip (which is pretty standard, it seems), we were on the road again.

We reached our campsite number 57 at DH Day campground between four and five in the afternoon. The rain had been sputtering the whole ride up, but it had stopped for a few minutes by the time we arrived. So, we rushed to get a tarp/lean-to up before the next storm rolled through. The wind battered the tarp as we assembled it and we were a bit concerned about the tarp’s integrity. There was little that we could do about it anyway. We set up the tent during this period as well.

After we had gotten everything in order at the campsite, we took a stroll down to the beach. The rain had started sprinkling again at this point and the wind had really started blowing down across Sleeping Bear Bay. It was actually a beautiful sight in its power and majesty, and it was certainly a sight of the bay that I had not seen before. Large waves heaved and crashed on the shore while the clouds swirled and swayed overhead. Through it all, a strong wind blew. It was awe-inspiring.

After our walk, we got back to the campsite and started a fire. Within a few minutes, we had a lovely fire going that kept out a good bit of the cold and filled our nostrils with the lovely smell of burning wood. Our lean-to tarp held up fairly well against the buffeting that the wind was handing it, but we noticed that a few of the rivets had started to pull away from the plastic tarp material. We made a few adjustments to help ease the stress a little bit, and before long, we were fairly safe and comfortable once again. I must say, though, we didn’t trust the tarp all that much and were ready should it fall down.

We ate a dinner of hot dogs and brats that had been cooked over the fire. It was completely delicious and tasty!

Gordon showed up a while later for desert. He made a banana boat while John and I made a reese’s-peanut-butter-and-marshmallow “hobo pie.” It was all incredibly amazing and yummy!

We then sat around the campfire and talked for a while before retiring for the night. I woke up quite a few times as the wind and rain howled around us. Once, I had a dream that the one of the tent poles was blowing away. I sat up with a start, practically hyperventilating, only to find out that it had been a dream!

At last dawn came, and though the sky was still quite cloudy, John and I set out for a morning jog up to Alligator Hill. We ran for quite a while and when we couldn’t run much further, we stopped. However, about thirty steps from where we stopped was our destination: the first overlook of Alligator Hill. It was beautiful to see Sleeping Bear Bay, though the chill of the air and the sweat on my brow blended to cause me more than a few shivers. We took in the sight for a little while, and then headed back at a much slower pace to cool down.

We met up with my friend Emily around midmorning, and then we went for a few hikes around the area. Emily is a really cool friend of mine who works for the National Park Service right there [she’s in the youtube video I posted earlier this month]. Because she’s stayed in the area for the past few summers, she was able to lead us on a few really fun hikes and show us some really cool places I had never been before. The weather also cleared up by the afternoon and it turned into a remarkably beautiful day.

That evening we had dinners wrapped in tinfoil that we cooked over some of the hot coals from the fire. I browned some beef and chicken, and then we laid out all kinds of great vegetables to blend in, like carrots, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, and potatoes. We didn’t go hungry, that’s for sure!

We sat around the campfire for a while and Gordon entertained us with his awesome musical repertoire. I cooked another reese’s-peanut-butter-and-marshmallow “hobo pie,” but this time I added apple pie filling, and it was deliciously good! I will have to remember that one! Emily cooked a few s’mores as well, and overall, I think it was a great fall campfire!

We took a long walk on the beach in the moonlight after the fire had died down, and that was amazing as well. The stars were out, but the bright moon held many at bay and out of sight. Nevertheless, the wind blowing in and the waves crashing on the shore only added to the beautiful twinkling ambiance of the moon, stars, and lights across the bay.

We then went back to our tents and crashed. I slept till after sun-up, and since John didn’t want to take a run, I took a long walk in the morning light. I took a few pictures with my camera during this walk that I really liked as well.

After my walk, we cooked chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and got ready for our return trip. We picked up and cleaned up the area, and within an hour we were on the road. Our original plan the night before was to go for one last hike before we headed for home, but Gordon didn’t have time for that, and we had already started thinking about the Zehnder’s chicken dinner that we had promised ourselves at the outset of the journey.

So, we headed back towards Ann Arbor, and stopped at Zehnder’s along the way. John was duly impressed with the meal, and I know I was gentle, happy, and well-filled by the time we were done with it all.

We got back to Ann Arbor, and said our goodbyes. I then got ready for the new week, but with a certain lightness to my step. The weekend had really brought a lot of peace and happiness to my heart. Even as I write this, I still have that little spark of joy that must have been fed like a fire in a gentle wind. I feel like I saw so much beauty, and I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand how beautiful it all was to me at each moment along the way. What a great feeling!

This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of being able to camp at DH Day Campground up by Glen Arbor, Michigan. It was a weekend filled with hikes, campfires, ghost stories, snacks, brotherhood, and all-around generally good fun!

We camped at a site that was a stone’s throw from the dunes that led to the lake, and it was simply gorgeous. Here’s a view from the edge of the woods where our campsite was:

View of Lake Michigan

This was the view from the edge of our campsite at DH Day Campground

We were able to go on a few hikes around the area to examine some of the gorgeous land that is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Here’s a few pictures:

View from Pyramid Poing

A view off of Pyramid Point

Climbing the Dune

My friends Adam and Andrew climbing a dune

A View of Sleeping Bear Bay

A really great view of Sleeping Bear Bay

Sunrise over Glen Lake

The sun rising over Glen Lake

Even though it rained a bit while we were there, it didn’t dampen our spirits. We hiked to an abandoned homestead in the rain, and sat on the porch, watching the rain and mist come rolling down from the high hills over a meadow. It was a wonderfully peaceful sight to see.

At the evenings, we sat around the campfire and we were entertained by the musical stylings of Adam on the guitar and Gordon with the harmonica. We told a few ghost stories, laughed at a few jokes, and roasted marshmallows and banana boats.

I feel both tired and refreshed after such a wonderful weekend. It was simply glorious!

My Nashville friends that think I’m strange
to make my home out on the range
think it’s nothin but a God forsaken land.
“Why don’t you bring your guitar and family, Move on down to Tennessee?”
Well, I just smile ’cause they don’t understand.
But if they ever saw a sunrise on a mountain mornin’,
watched those cotton candy clouds go by,
they’d know why…
I live beneath these western skies

I got peace of mind and elbow room
I love to smell the sage in bloom,
catch a rainbow on my fishin’ line.
We got county fairs and rodeos,
ain’t a better place for my kids to grow,
just turn ’em loose in the western summer time!
And if you ever held your woman on summer’s evening
while the prairie moon was blazin in her eyes,
then you’d know why…
I live beneath these western skies

You ain’t lived until you’ve watched those northern lights.
Set around the campfire and hear the coyotes call at night,
makes you feel alright.

So guess I’ll stay right where I’m at,
wear my boots and my cowboy hat,
but I’ll come and see ya once in a while.
I’ll bring my guitar and sing my songs,
sorry if I don’t stay too long.
I love Tennessee, but ya know it’s just ain’t my style.
I gotta be where I can see those Rocky Mountains,
ride my horse, and watch an eagle fly.
I gotta live my life and write my songs
beneath these western skies.

When I die you can bury me
beneath these western skies!
Yippee aye…
~Chris Ledoux

I was really impressed to come across this amazing artist. He has a website at the end of the video which is pretty cool as well.

Across the skies the monuments stand.
Shrines of wonder, man worshipping man;
computer ethics mock a dying land.
Down below like rats in a cage,
Success, survival, two needles in hay,
It’s Romans One facing Satan’s stare

Ah, but mountains
are holy places
and beauty is free.
We can still walk
through the garden…
Our earth was once green!

Pull down the forests we need more wood
Extend the grazing we need more food
Burning our bridges before the flood
Out on the oceans where it’s relatively safe
It’s not so easy being big as a whale
We’re all in a race on a bigger scale

Ah, but mountains
are holy places
and beauty is free.
We can still walk
through the garden…
Our earth was once green!

Homosapien, I’ve had enough
Homosapien, I’m giving up

At best your wisdom’s a shot in the dark.
So make yourself pretty, make yourself rich.
Leopardskin, sealskin, money and sex!
Apartheid, genocide, thalidomide, life,
It’s your choice…

Ah, but mountains
are holy places
and beauty is free.
We can still walk
through the garden…
Our earth was once green!


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We camped at the edge of a clearing near the dawning of the day. Last night’s field of fireflies had long since gone away. Perhaps they went to sleep, or maybe they went because we wanted a part in their play. Animals younger than we were wakened by the timepiece burning at the edge of the horizon. Shadows shortened like a melting city of ice, refracting like the multi-faceted sky above us. There were quiet rustlings all around from wind, insects, and lagamorphs. Wisdom seemed etched in the trees around us, in the dew upon us, and in the silence of our hearts as we strained to hear the truth that was budding all around us.

It was that moment, so precious in its mortality, that carefully kicked our hearts’ offering and granted us friendship. We didn’t belong there, but we pushed our way in anyway. We sweated out our secrets from the world outside. Our ears, carefully tuned to satisfy our needs in another world were useless in the great cacophony of this one. But perhaps it could have been a symphony in another’s ears. Perhaps it was a breathing painting in another’s eyes.

Like the grass’ chaff in the wind, we took what we could understand and looked through the hard-formed windows right behind our eyes and heard through the filters that were right between our ears. Our mistakes went where all mistakes go at the dawning of the day, and we saw each and every one of us for what we were. It was as if each of our number, hundreds of souls, stretched for a far off mark at the same moment, in the same space, and at the same time.

I went to see the animated movie “The Secret of Kells” last night at the Michigan Theater. It was very well done. The visual effects were quite stunning. It seemed that they didn’t waste any lines, every color was quite vivid.

There was a haunting melody in the movie:

Basically, it says something about life being mist, but it’s the melody that is quite haunting and interesting.

For a cartoon, I really liked it, a lot.