Friday’s Quick Pick/Photos & Poem: Advance, Retreat, Reveal

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Like a woman, spring offers glimpses
of secrets with calculated abandon,
loveliness just a hint until ready,
then as you move in to discover
the mysteries there is more waiting,
a few required shifts, a pause unexpected,
one last flourish before its unveiling.

Treat even these moments as small gifts,
for such restraint of exemplary beauty
brings sweet virtues to finest completion.

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Fridays’ Passing Fancy: Winter Light Festival, Soul’s Balm via Arty Fun

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How to beat the winter blues? Easy: welcome to the third annual Winter Light Festival in Portland, Oregon and get ready for a quirky experience!

Because I can’t describe it any better, here is a brief description from Wikipedia:

“The Portland Winter Light Festival is an annual winter light festival in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. Each year has been presented by the local nonprofit Willamette Light Brigade[1] and powered by Portland General Electric. The festival is always open to the public and free to attend.[2]   The event, first held in 2016, featured over 40 light-based art installations, performances, and other activities, and took place exclusively around OMSI. ”

OMSI is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, a wonderful place to visit. This year it was held at other venues as well, but we stayed around this spot as it was so lovely. There were 40, 000 attendees in 2017–likely a couple more thousand this year. But it was the first year Marc and I attended. By February we truly NEED more light to dispel the the usual winter rain-drenched gloom. But during our evening out there was no rain and it was warmer than usual.

The festival was held along the waterfront of the Willamette River. We had wonderful views from  the Tillikum Bridge, designed for cyclists, pedestrians and the popular transport, our Max train. This first bridge (we have 14 in the greater valley area) seen here is the Marquam Bridge as the sky darkens.

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Below, three views of the Tillikum, and a look beneath my feet. The rest are a few shots of what I saw. Enjoy! (As always, click on pictures to view larger sizes.)

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A giant metal dragon entertained an enthralled crowd of all ages.

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Down to the riverbank for some quiet.

And back into the happy fray to end the cheer-filled evening.

(Belated) Friday’s Quick Pick: Hawk Eyes

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Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

What was it you sought,
ecstatic heart pounding,
heroic wings bringing you to earth
amid city’s wilderness?
You wait for the denouement,
crows circling, black wings
cutting into sky with cries that can wound.

I want to be the one to rescue you
but there seems not one way out.
To leave in search of help may
sooner bring down crow strategists,
precise, swift against your loss of power.

Your eyes seek mine as I leave you,
a pawn in nature’s game, beyond my reach
but not without this moment of sudden recognition.

(This is a juvenile red-tailed hawk. I have never been within about 3 feet of one, able to study it, then wait with it. The deafening crows were arriving en mass. I have seen crows harass an owl to the point of exhaustion and one assumes, to death. I wonder what happened to this exquisite bird. The Audubon Society was called; I was too far from home to help it in time and I am hoping the Society was able to send someone out to soon retrieve it and care for it. But I will never forget this encounter.)

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Hold On

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Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

To be caught and barely held fast!
Drifting through without direction
and without needed restraint,
then to be found before finding,
held without holding, full in the balance.

It is no common or easy thing
to land in the tangle of living
and be content to rest, ashimmer
in elements and shifts of wind,
a being amid beings, simplified, whole.

The broad road feels safe, well trod,
yet in the narrows there is a rise
and spin that takes all higher when
one makes way through thorny places:
go on, blood that’s shed can turn to radiance.