Monday, October 6, 2008

A Walk by the River

Yesterday we took a vacation from politics. We took a Sunday walk along the river bank...

We saw all kinds of water birds. We saw ducks and geese...

We saw herons...

We saw egrets...

Above, in a cloudless sky, we saw... what? A turkey vulture?

We even picked watercress for a Sunday evening salad. Delicious!

Where were we?

Los Angeles.

What was once one long, ugly concrete ditch running through the city is now--in our part of town, at least--returning to its natural state. We're delighted. A great walk!


Cardozo said...

Reshaping the Urban Landscape

Some background on the LA river restoration which, (I fully agree!) is a breath of fresh air in our city and a cause for celebration.

robin andrea said...

How fantastic that such a restoration can take place in a city as big and populated as LA. It's very hopeful. Lovely images, Peter.

carly said...

Your pictures are wonderful. And not only is the river a serene meditatiive escape, but it contains many lessons for the meditative enlightenment of the sage.

pic 2. When water encounters a rock, it is not stopped by it, it simply bends around it. This is a lesson in adaptability, perseverance, and character, because like water, the man of character merely bends around obstacles.

The rocks are worn round, allowing us to see a constant law - something as hard as rock is no match for something as soft as water. Soft always prevails.

Water flows continuously in accordance with the seasons. Thus the demarcation of time influences continuity. The wise man neither hesitates nor misses the right moment.

Everything around the river is dependent upon it for its life, the plants, fish, birds and thousands of other things. There are many constant realities at work here. The interdependency of everything sustains the whole.

The surface of the water evaporates into the air creating the clouds in pic 2. A fixed constant is at work, nothing is gained, nothing is lost. The action is a circle of equilibrium. Every ending is a new beginning.

In pic 4,5 - notice that some of the leaves have grown according to fixed laws of fractal geometry as blades or split leaves. This is so the foilage underneath may receive light. It is a fixed law that nature provides by geometric progression. And that geometry is in every single speck of nature.

Notice the surface of the river. It contains ripples. This, due to hidden things beneath the surface, hidden forces which act upon the water and can only be seen by it manifesting them. This is a hint of hidden forces in every aspect of the world. Atheists, in particular, should note this lesson. The sage notes hidden manifestations.

Water fills up the empty places on the earth and clings fast to it as it flows on. This fixed law demonstrates how water, flowing on, escapes stagnation by filling up all the
hollow places in its path. In the same way character is developed by
thoroughness that skips nothing but, like water, gradually and steadily fills up
all gaps and so flows onward.

The waters on the surface of the earth flow together wherever they can, as for
example to the ocean, where all the rivers come together. Symbolically this
connotes holding together and the laws that regulate it.

The social organization of ancient China was based on this principle of the holding
together of dependents and rulers. Water flows to unite with water, because
all parts of it are subject to the same laws. So too should human society hold
together through a community of interests that allows each individual to feel
himself a member of a whole. The central power of a social organization
must see to it that every member finds that his true interest lies in holding
together with it.*
...........Another natural universal law which man ignores. To his peril. In nature is everything we need to know. All we need do is mimic it and further its yield. Everything else is bunk. Like the grafiti in the last pic, the ego of man trying to vie with nature instead of living within it.

P: I sent to your email the face of Capitalism , reinforcing my points of the other day about the naiveté of some people who think capitalism is essentially a good system. That face speaks volumes about the minds of all capitalists. It is a universal image. the image of a natural law and the viral nature of man.

*book of changes

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I didn't realize that the L.A. River was undergoing entropy anywhere.

A day off from politics is the perfect antidote to the anger, disgust and trepidation we all feel. And your photos are lovely.