LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

I woke up thinking about the Nazca lines in Peru. A few references note that a person named Mejia Jespe first reported seeing them from the air when he flew over them in 1926, but a quick search doesn’t reveal anything about who Jespe was or what kind of airplane he was flying in that desolate country in those early days of flight. Anyway. That’s a rabbit hunt for another day. But can you imagine the thrill he must have felt, leaning out the window of his small plane, and seeing those huge drawings on the ground?

In that twilight time just between sleep and wake, there is a rich chemical broth where creativity draws first breath and can be released only if we begin to ladle it out before our feet hit the floor.

It was in such a twilight state a few weeks ago that I thought, for the first time (strangely), that I would like to find, reconstitute (like powdered milk), and re-post all the old entries for Switched At Birth and The Way Home, starting with the first one in September of 2003. (And thanks to Dave Bonta at Via Negativa pointing me to The Wayback Machine, I have been able to locate many of them, thus saving months of typing.)

This morning, in another twilight state, as dawn approached I overflew thousands of words and images and began to see them in a different perspective. It gave me courage to begin to approach memories from that unwritten word space in late 2005 when we experienced a time of life-changing family tragedy and to fill it with love. Words will come after the space is buffered with surrounding layers, those time-cooled healing unguents. 

Re-posting strong images from the natural devastation of 2004’s Hurricane Ivan (click here to see The Ivan Album) and then walking through the beauty of the woods as they exist at this moment provides perspective about the ongoingness of things.

IMG_0658

Old snags, snapped or pulled apart in the storm, have provided years of food and shelter to a diverse population of birds and bugs. The storm slammed old longleaf and slash pines to the ground, shaking loose a tsunami of seeds at just the right time to germinate in the roughed up, rain softened ground and now, there is a vibrant population of young pines that are dazzling, green and fresh.

The Wrecking Crew

And the sanctioned destruction (see original post here) of workers dismantling our screened porch before construction on the new part of our home could begin was a powerful image for me to revisit, sitting here today in serene comfort, the noise of drills, hammers, saws, and five different radio stations at loud war with one another long stilled.

Cartharsis? Maybe not quite, at least not yet. But with the patient doggedness of an historian of everyday life, the hunger to dig up the bones and fit together all the fragments of an archeologist, and the eager heart of a Mejia Jespe, I fly.

0 thoughts on “Overflights

  1. Sarah says:

    It’s so lovely to be taken to a place most of us know only in devastation and be shown new growth. Thank you!

    Like

  2. Sid Jones says:

    Regardamente el Senor Jespe y la Nazca:
    Faucette airlines began flying from Lima to Arequipa in the ’20s. Pilots noticed that there were complex lines crossing the valleys of Palpa and Nazca, but no one saw the major forms.
    Mejia Xesspe was a local archaeologist who came to the conclusion they were road systems, but actually never flew over them himself.
    Paul Kossock, professor from Long Island University, did the first overflight in 1939 and saw the lines for what they were…
    From: http://wikitravel.org/en/Nazca
    Haven’t had the chance to go myself (yet). Columbia, Venezuela, and Trinidad are it for the S. America…
    Love you guys!

    Like

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