Hangry For Peaceful Moments

There is a phenomenon in nature known as ‘crown shyness.’ Some trees have gaps in the canopy. Those reluctances to touch are intentional. When I think of trees, -when I depict them in paint or ink or graphite, I am most apt to ensure they intertwine, ‘holding hands in the sky’ (so to speak) much in the same way they ‘hold hands’ (roots) underground. But….there are exceptions to everything and like people, not all trees are huggers or touchy-feely. I don’t like the term “crown shyness” as an umbrella term for this phenomenon because there are reasons some trees are like this, and none of them are due to shyness~~

as shyness is literally interpretted, that is.


The reasons for this are self explanatory, really. Wiki states this:

Some hypotheses contend that the interdigitation of canopy branches leads to “reciprocal pruning” of adjacent trees. Trees in windy areas suffer physical damage as they collide with each other during winds. As the result of abrasions and collisions, there is an induced crown shyness response.
endquote wikipedia
I personally believe that branches which do not touch, also are less likely to spread bug infestations.
These branches have intent, do they not?
They come just so close, and choose to grow the way that is best for them.
As a society of trees.
As a whole.
It’s intuitive intention.
A friend of mine became the target of hate recently. An out of the blue anger response was directed at him and provoked by nothing. 
My friend dared ask an out of control man to stop threatening a woman’s life in front of his grandson. He was threatening to strangle her to death because she ‘bumped into him’ without saying excuse me, (he was sure this was because of his race/color) and he was talking of “settling it outside” with her and went on to say “slavery is dead,” ??? etc. etc.
This happened in a doctor’s waiting room. The people who witnessed it looked terrified and refused to make eye contact or speak up. 
My friend politely asked him to not speak like that (of killing someone) in front of a child. That is when the tirade was turned against HIM. 
My friend was met with “bugged out eyes,” gesturing, and was called a “trump supporting ‘cracker’ ” “I’ll be waiting for you outside cracker.” 
and @#$% 
and @#$%” on and on
by this hate-filled dangerous man.
My friend was calm throughout. Three police cars eventually came. 
My friend was not seen as a real person here,  In fact his life was threatened …..as was the woman’s life~ whom no one ever really saw ‘bump into him.’
Why? Why was he so geared up as to start imaginary race fights?
Anyone knowing me and/or my social media presence knows I am quite anti-Trump, and so is my friend. He was assumed to be a bigot  (he is not -nor did he -swap any insults -or act in any way like a bigot) – it was because he was white. 
This is a shocking, unexpected, weird trickle-down effect of the state of the world right now. 
Because my friend wasn’t truly seen as a person. He became an imagined symbol. An imagined enemy in this guy’s mind. This fellow clearly sported an attitude of: 
“it’s us against them.”
My friend became less real in this violent person’s head, as if the person saw my friend as an imagined slight against him personally because their colors were different, as if the violent man was desensitized to reality.
Instead of Unity of principles, values, etc. 
In this age of rising narcissism, decreased empathic qualities in people, internet humiliation and shaming, blurring of truths, acceptance of hate and spreading of lies, and so on and so forth, Crown Shyness as it might apply to humans,  is not a bad idea! For self preservation.
That being said, I’m hangry for peaceful moments. I have to really seek them out sometimes, in particular when scary things happen close to home, (unprovoked) and when images just like this personal incident pervade every waking moment. 
The challenge is being able to find moments of peace, or to actively make them.
Said Nina Simone:
‘You can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.’
This is true. 
My grandson, who is 10, had a pair of eclipse glasses but they turned out to be nonapproved and so I fashioned a viewer from a WheatThins box, tin foil, and a piece of white paper. At the last minute, a wonderful friend gave me a pair of eclipse glasses (thank you Diane!) and although the viewing box worked, the glasses were very impressive indeed. Here is a photo my son Jeremy managed to take:
I tried to take a photo as well yesterday —which was the day of the eclipse. 
I turned my back to the sun, put my IPhone in selfie mode, and amidst the glare, snapped off a photo. Quite unimpressed with my photo, I ran the photo though a filter afterward to pretty it up. 
Here is the photo with the filter, and if you enlarge my face, an image of the eclipse is seen on my forehead that isn’t in the unfiltered photo.
Speaking of actively seeking peace where one can get it, it is a pleasure watching Al’s garden develop.
My beautous kale, I have had about 7 harvests already with more promised. I like it crisped under the broiler on an oil sprayed piece of foil (lined cooking sheet) with a squirt of fresh lemon and chopped garlic, and a dash of parmesan and black pepper.
When the various peppers are all come to harvest time, salsa will follow.
There are 50 or more tomatoes and 10 adorable baby watermelons bursting with life. I can’t call a tomato adorable although it is dapper. It is a happy moment to see when the watermelons get their stripes.
My morning glories are doing well enough too. Despite insects and weird weather. 
Here they are climbing a hula hoop which rests against the house. Next year I am making the hula hoop into a peace sign and training the vine onto it. I did not think to do that early enough this year. 🙂 oh but next year….you are warned!
After ‘the incident’ that I mentioned earlier, a stop at a hot dog stand and a short beach walk ensued. My grandson immediately put his hand under the glass table and prompted me to do the same, as seen here.
It really is an artist’s job to reflect the world around them and my grandson -and granddaughters too- have an artist’s sensibility… 
I think my recent paintings, some finished and some as yet unfinished, reflect this. .  .  seen here:
Collage. Mixed media.
Moonshine Mosaic (I have prints of this available, the original is sold)
It looks as if a strand of my hair is on this tree!
Here are some beach pictures I took, I didn’t take many.
These sharp beach debris felt good on the soles. Ooch. Eech. Ouch. That is an impersonation of my sole(s) saying- thank you for the wake-up call!

I was walking along, and the water was typically warm in some places, shockingly cold in others, as is the beach’s nature. I saw a long thick rope that had washed ashore waving clinging seaweed attached to it- in the current and I wondered about its origins. I was thinking about Crown Shyness too -of all silly things, and how I wished more people knew how to practice this.
I was also thinking (because I had just seen in the doctor’s waiting room on the TV, the latest terrorism incident and had just had a scary encounter with that pitiful violent man) about how seeking peaceful moments is important.
My friend and grandson were peacefully reading books when the sudden violence had occurred. 
I watched my grandson on the sandbar in the distance, he was a silhouette, and I thought about the art I’ve been creating, with silhouettes of hopeful people, fists in the air. 
When I paint this sort of thing I imagine that peace eclipses hate, a passing shadow over the bright of light, like the eclipse so brilliantly symbolized- dark and light. 
I was thinking that good intent should be pushed into the world from all over globally, (for example my friend keeping his calm demeanor. Being Proactive and alerting a security guard instead of Reacting and trading insults…)
and as I watched my grandson, without any prompting from me, he put up his arms up like this. I love synchronicity.
It’s so easy for apathy to overtake empathy. Push push push peaceful intent into the world. Won’t it help blot the dark? I think peaceful intent is an energy all its own, that can surpass, the way one snowflake melts and zillions can stir up a blizzard…and peaceful intention is more powerful if practiced by the masses. We can hope. And we should.

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