Local Wilderness – anxiety relief

Trabuco Arroyo, O’Neil Country Park – copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale

I think we were fortunate in selecting the home we moved into some twenty-plus years ago; our neighborhood is adjacent to an access point into the Trabuco Arroyo, which is part of the O’Neil Orange County Park system. Also designated a wilderness park, which means that in addition to the bunnies, ground squirrels and coyotes, we have other things that are a bit more dangerous, including roaming mountain lions. Other than one dirt service road that meanders through it, everything else is pretty much left to its own. And its about a five minute walk from my front door, thus, a really quick and wonderful destination to walk, look, photograph and get lost in one’s own thoughts.

On my recent walks, I have been considering the recent and tragic decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, thus a much needed place to temporarily escape to and try to get one’s bearings on what is in progress in America, which is not the democracy I have grown up to expect. And no sense of me ranting over the inequities being handed down by a group of Justices who only represent the sad opinion of very small minority of Americans. Nevertheless, all that more inspired to make sure I vote in the mid-term elections, while knowing that I enjoy living in a progressive state, there are others who have to live in oppressive states who will desperately need help. One aspect of anxiety is remain my focus on what I can do while being concerned about the plight of others. Okay, maybe a little rant. LoL.

Regretfully, these recent political and judicial events make it difficult to work on my artist book project, as it really saps my energy. Nevertheless, I continue to make a little progress. I am content to make small steps, which in turn keeps moving me ahead, and then I can look back and see what I have accomplished. That in turn has been creating and rebuilding my energy. Sort of what occurred during the initial darker days of the pandemic when we were not sure what the heck was going to happen, and none of it looked really hopeful.

Thus, talking a short walk, noting the flowering California Buckwheat, and intrigued by some landscape compositions, I did a little bit of photographic creativity. Good for my artistic soul. The photograph above is not nature per se, and not an urban landscape either, even with the houses on the far ridge-line overlooking this narrow slice of wilderness park land. Its a place in-between, sort of representing where we are today. In retrospect, this patch of Buckwheat has a reddish bloom in the foreground with an intense blue sky overhead, which could be a metaphor for the current politics in America when I think about the political conflict between Red States and Blue States. Perhaps like the last American election, the immense blue sky overwhelms the smaller red terrain, thus encouraging and hopeful for the mid-term elections this fall.

As I stated above, really fortunate that I have this wonderful natural escape hatch so close by. Does not hurt that it’s also a bit photographic, or at least I think so.

Cheers & make every day an Earth Day

Doug

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Pre-publication SaleThe Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, the artist book is $50.00 USD (regularly $60.00) & the Artist Special Edition (book + print) $100.00 USD (regularly $125.00), plus CA taxes for US sales and shipping. This special price ends in July. Message me (doug@douglasstockdale.com) or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Call for artwork:

SouthEast Center of Photography (SEC4P) open call for the exhibition The Green Environment, being juried by Douglas Stockdale. Submissions are now open and Submissions Close 7/31/22. For more information about the exhibition, here.

Book workshop:

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop (Sold Out), a virtual event on Zoom; November 5 & 6 and 12 & 13, 2022, 10am – 1pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). Wait list available for sign-up.

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