Sunday, November 22, 2015

Why I write

I see the world and frame it in words.  I’ve no skill as a photographer.  My photographic attempts are flat and lifeless reprints of what I was trying to capture.  Although drawing and painting appeal to me my hands are unable to shape what is in my head.  So I write.  Superb photographs capture the visual elements and invite the imagination to fill in the sounds, scents and feelings.  Drawings and paintings pull harder at the imagination to flesh out the moment.  Words demand that the reader actively engage themselves:  their desires; their history; their imaginations; their souls.  Words are the mind’s coloring books.  Each of us takes the outlines and fills the moment with color, light, history, destiny, and feeling.  We read through the lens of our lives, making our own personal edition, our own snowflake.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November Comes

November comes and
strips the green robes of summer,
scrubs away the blush of the rose,
lays bare the world for all to see.
Her lines and shape, the solid forms,
the substance lovely and essential.

© Maria Amodei 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Tending sheep on a November evening

Early dark robs the colors and leaves only contrast.  The sheep pull fresh wads of grass, squeaking and munching sounds clear in the cold air.  They are only light outlines against the dark evergreens that make the horizon.  A filigree of maple trees stands against the sky, like nets waiting to catch the stars.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Don't be Rude

I had two ram lambs in with my ewe flock. I had agreed to loan one to a friend in town, so needed to separate him out and load him on the trailer. The flock was behind electronet on a remote graze. Since the rams had been in with them for a few weeks I wanted to be careful not to move the ewes excessively. Extracting a particular ram lamb who blended well with the group was not going to be easy. Song is my best dog to sort with, but I had brought Levi, definitely better at taking the cut and holding groups apart. Levi, the flankless wonder. He needs regular maintenance to stay flexible and I’ve not had any real opportunity to train this summer. No big surprise that his flanks were just a sideways flare in a walkup. I could have spent a few moments tuning his flanks then worked with what I had. He’s quite good at reading my mind when separating stock and really helpful in creating and maintaining groups. Instead I lost my cool when I did not get the flanks I wanted. I verbally berated him. Was he doing what I asked? No. Was this a reason to go off on him? No. Once I’d adjusted my attitude I spent a few moments working on the flanks and stop and he improved noticeably. Then I got into the sorting and releasing sheep and my partner Levi was clueless. The dog that is so attentive to my meaning, so clever at helping me separate groups and hold them apart, was inept. He was clumsy, in the wrong place at the right time and the right place at the wrong time. I am so sure of him being where I need him that I can watch the stock completely, but then he was not there. I was frustrated and again complained about his inept work, slowly realizing that I had robbed him of the sureness of mind that allows him to think on his feet and be the complete partner that I have learned to depend on.
That was yesterday. Today I saw this article about a study on how rudeness among medical team affects their ability to work through problems and think clearly.  http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/10/rudeness-in-hospitals-could-kill-patients.html?mid=fb-share-scienceofus