While on my exclusion throughout the Caribbean we stopped in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is rich in history and story as it is a U.S. Territory that’s developed its own culture and many different and like ways of doing things in the small Caribbean Island. I made my way to the beautiful town of old San Juan. This place has the best mix of nature and architecture that I have seen to date. The vines and flowers hang over single room apartments with balconies. The buildings are painted bright colors light orange or yellow and the paint has aged in a very interesting and enjoyable way. The look of patina covers the town from the small restaurants serving full pork to the expansive cemeteries surrounded by 20ft walls and covered in vines and small plants. In another cemetery the graves all face the ocean and their protected by the military fort built there during the 17 and 1800’s. “When this is over…we will got to the rainforest, or a beach as white as bone. We will eat grapes from the vine, we will swim with sea turtles, and we will walk miles on cobblestone streets. We will laugh and talk and confess. We will.” I chose the quote because it actually has lots of parallels with Puerto Rican culture. This is shown with the mention of vines, sea turtles and especially the white beaches, which line the island making for beautiful scenery. Puerto Rico could definitely be a place for a transcdentalist.
This run took place while I was on a cruise and I walked up to the track on the top floor and was greeted by the stunning view of a rising sun in the distance, which had turned the clouds from a creamy white to a creamsicle orange. My walk was left with only two major views and that was the ocean or the sky but this didn’t take away from the eye grabbing colors and fantastic sights. The only compatible view are the ones at night of the incredibly clear sky perfect for seeing the moon and the lights of close by boats and small islands near to us. The beautifully clear skies were perfect for watching while making laps around the track. In a spiritual sense thinking about the clouds makes one think about what type of an idea a creator would have had to create something so unique and in the literal sense awesome. “I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” This quote embodies the connection between nature, spirituality and people and that those connections can be applied to transcendentalism.
The Chattahoochee river and river trials have so many different and beautiful views weather its seeing the slow moving and calm waters in Helen Georgia or seeing them moving rapidly closer to the Atlanta area. The trails off of Powers ferry road offer the overall best views in my opinion. There are quick and slow moving waters with geese, ducks and small turtles roaming throughout. On the trails there’s usually some wildlife such as the corn and garter snakes or the beautiful wildflowers that have started to wilt due to the cold weather. The main trail is wide and follows the river but the better trails are the ones that have been overgrown and go against the rivers flow and require rock climbing and the occasional amount of wading through water to complete the trail. There are plenty of great elevation changes that give great views of the river as well as the geography in Georgia. One of the best views of the area is the trees that grow over the river. These trees do this to be as close to water and sun as possible and it gives the appearance of one reaching for the other on the other side of the river. Another interesting view is the one from the bank of the river and looking into the tree line where you can see skyscrapers from Atlanta tower over. When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.(– Jalal ud-Din Rumi) I chose this quote because it describes the same feeling a transcendentalist would and that is spiritual movement parallel with natural movement.
On this early morning I took a short walk through my neighborhood and down Terrell mill rd. The best view from this short exploration was the trees with no sun behind them giving them this sort of silhouette look that made it look like arms stretch over the skyline. The trees had a very God-like presence because they are older and bigger than us and that they will out live us people and figuratively see what happens in the future and what has happened in the past. On Terrell mill the sidewalk is joined on one side by a busy street and on the other usually trees, the occasional well groomed lawn and every so often in a empty lot there is lost of overgrown Ivy and Kudzu that’s taken over grassy lots and covers all old buildings or trees in the area and gives those things a new look of greenery and vines. Kudzu could be thought of as a spiritual device because it takes something broken like a broke down building comparable to a sinner and turns it into green art, which would be comparable to a forgiven sinner. “Listen, can you hear it spring’s sweet cantata. The strains of grass pushing through the snow. The song of buds swelling on the vine. The tender timpani of a baby robin’s heart. Spring.” (Andrew Schneider) I think this quote fits well with my entry because kudzu is a vine and the quote describes the coming of something better, which would be spring.
On this late Sunday I decided to go to a local Car Show and have a run afterwards held at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody. As I started to drive towards the show I could see more and more of the leaves falling to the ground leaving the streets damp and colorful. My attention was grabbed as I entered the park not only was there beautiful scenery but a great layout of classic Japanese cars which happen to be my favorite. The background of the show was filled with eye catching orange, red and yellow leaves complemented by the tall and old trees that stood in the back. Getting to the car show there was old and new owner and cars of all different sorts. I especially enjoyed the pristine 1985 Mazda rx-7 GSL-SE that made its way out to Dunwoody. During the show I decided to walk around and find good areas for photography. I decided to run afterwards because of the fantastic 55-60 degrees and dry weather making for great conditions. “At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.”( Rainer Maria Rilke) I used this quote because on my run the smells of damp leaves filled my nose and was hard to not enjoy.
On this very early Saturday morning I took a run around the rolling streets and hills of my neighborhood. The sight of beautiful trees lined the streets some were just starting to lose their leaves and some were completely bare. Being that a large focus on transcendentalism is Nature and the beauty of our surroundings I noticed the smallest and most subtle details while running such as dew on top of grass or birds making nests. These beautiful views that are taken for granted made me think of my own spirituality and how I believe that nature is something created by God. Though my spirituality was involved I focused more on actually noticing the picturesque views that were in front of me. I especially enjoyed seeing how the cracked concrete was against the fall and soon to be winter weather that had so many different colors. “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”(John Muir)” The world globes itself in a drop of dew.”(Ralph Waldo Emerson). I am using these quotes because they embody the spirit of transcendentalism. Especially the quote of Ralph Emerson as he is one of the fathers if not the father of transcendentalism and his quote describes the world as a dew drop. I think he does this because they both the Earth and a dew drop have so much beauty.
This Blog is going to be about me and my biweekly runs around my neighborhood or at the chattahooche and how these runs speak to me and are interpreted using transcendentalism.