Where am I?
Behind aging eyes open to the sights of daily life, ethereal beauty, and indescribable wonder, and before the infinite expanse of a decaying mind.
Recent PostsStreet Convo #2: Denny Sees to East They Are Rocks, I See Music? The Meaning of Independence Day Found in a Photograph Wait For Me Sunset! @ Point Lobos State Natural Reserve Capturing the Delcate Arch at Arches National Park Dark are the Skies Little Children, Do Not Play With Fire Love In Darkness The Great Creation, The Birth of Photography
Here are my stories, poems, and thoughts. Some are of my personal experiences, and some only whispered in my mind. Told here to live on as new dreams, and beginnings of new stories to come.
Denny exclaimed, "That's a really bright flashlight you have there--I can see it all the way from here!," nodding towards the beach from where I came, the distance muffling the crashing waves.
"Ha ha yeah," I chuckled. "It's a special super bright flashlight." I stopped and looked at him. A young man, maybe shaved three or four days ago?, wearing something like a one-piece painter's suit over his whole body, standing next to a mountain-bike with a sporty trailer hitched behind. Hmm. "What are you doing now?"
"Trying to find a place to pitch my tent."
"Oh, what do you normally do for food?"
"Where are you from?"
"I've been biking from... you know San Luis Obispo? Around there."
"You biked from all the way there!? Where are you headed?"
"Washington. I'm going to meet up with my mom."
Amazing. Well I was lonely, so, "You wanna get dinner? It's on me. We can go anywhere you want, or I guess, where you can bike to."
"How 'bout Denny's? It's right up the street." Sigh... Denny's. The absolute middle of the restaurant spectrum. Oh well.
Denny rode off and I drove to meet up with him a few blocks away. He met me at my car and asks, "Do you smoke?," and makes a gesture putting his fingers to his mouth, and puffing, relaxing his face as if enjoying the ecstasy of peace.
"Ha ha nope..."
So we sat down at a booth next to the window. "You can get anything you want man. It's too bad that they don't serve alcohol here, but you can get anything you want to drink too."
"You know what I feel like? Sometimes you really want breakfast. Yeah, that's what I really want." So that's what he got. Pancakes, eggs, the basic stuff. I ordered one of their fancier burgers. He only wanted water to drink.
Denny asks, "Where are you from?"
"Well, I just moved up here from LA about half a year ago for a job."
"Oh yeah!? I'm from there. I went to school there."
"Yeah, I just graduated. Got a degree in GTAW/SMAW welding from Cerritos College. I used to work at a BMW dealership [for 4 years I later verified], but I was through with that. I grew up in Bakersfield. But I'm through with working. I don't want the responsibility." He spoke with a smile, not a glint of regret from his eyes.
"But you don't want a job? You got the degree and all."
"I don't want the responsibility. I hate responsibility."
"So you just stopped working?"
"Well I got into drugs too. It was bad, but I went to rehab and I'm fine now."
"Oh that's really really bad. That can really f[uck] up your brain."
"Yeah I know. And I can't read either."
"You can't read?" I don't believe I've ever met a person who I knew couldn't read, as of yet. But he spoke so confidently, so eloquently. He was also quite charming. So surprising. "You married man? Got a girlfriend?"
"I almost got married. She really wanted to get married, but I couldn't. I wanted to, but I couldn't."
"She needed to stop whoring around."
"She kept whoring around."
"You mean as in she slept with too many guys? Or you mean that as a job?"
"Yeah, as a job."
"Oh." He still sat there with a half smile, but straight backed, with a mature confidence, as he has been this whole time. Between infrequent bites of his pancakes, and talking to me, he constantly brought his hands together crossed in front of his plate.
"Hey it's really nice of you to do this you know. I usually go to the local place where they give out food, but their food gets old. It's really nice to have a good meal like this."
"Oh it's cool man. I don't have many friends up here, and I like your company."
"No, it's really cool of you. Most places are not nice to people like me."
"What's the word..."
"Um, traveler..., nomad, gypsy?"
"No, gypsies are bad people man. I knew a few. They take what they want and go."
"I did see a TV show, a reality show, about gypsies. And wow, some of them are really f[uck]ing hot."
"Oh yeah. I know." As the waitress stops by, "Hey what's another word for homeless?"
She stood there pondering. Then guesses, "transient?"
"Ah yes!!! Transient!," he bursts, staring straight forward, hands folded, smile beaming. I don't think the waitress moved. At all. But then it appeared that her senses returned, and she walked away, looking straight away from our table.
I sat there thinking of what just happened while he shoved a few more pancake bits into his mouth. My mind wandered. "Yeah, it's hard man," I thought out loud. "I really just want to meet someone to go places with, or just watch TV cuddled on the couch, and get married and have kids."
"Stop looking man. Nothing has ever happened for me the way I wanted things to. But things always happen to me when I'm not looking."
"Yeah, I know. But sometimes you gotta have a direction to work towards."
"Look, every time I planned something it went wrong. Nothing has ever happened to me the way I planned. Just the other day I had that feeling."
"Yeah, you know," looking deeply, and still smiling, directly into my eyes. "I needed it man. I needed a woman. But it's been a while. Months. I just thought that morning I really needed it. And that night, she came by. We talked and smoked. She asked if we could go somewhere, and I mentioned I had a tent. She was so happy!," and an even greater smile pushed open his already happy face. "She followed me back to my tent, and it was great!!!"
"Wow, do you guys still hang out?"
"No, I dunno where she went after that. Probably back to where she came from, a few cities away. She mentioned she came from out there. I think I might have seen her in some other city, but that's it."
"You know, I really needed a smoke. I mean really needed it. But I stopped thinking about it. And I was sitting, and I turned my head, and I saw this sitting on the ledge!" He holds up a small plastic jar about an inch and a half in diameter and maybe four inches tall, opaquely painted purple. He smiles even more.
"Yeah I know!"
"What the hell. What are the chances of that?"
"Yeah. Things happen when you're not looking man."
Denny, by Dean Chiang
(FYI, the words are from memory, but statements are real. This was what happened that night.)
"If I could live forever
"If I had the mountain's strength
"If I could defy time
"If I could never tire
"Hark my bretheren
"The Father of all days
As all their friends have given to death
After multi millennia of wind and seasons
The Four See to East
by Dean Chiang
Sounds and rhythm all about
by Dean Chiang
Crescendo4th of July, 2014
Thousands see these rocks from above, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, each day. Some may take note of the curious threesome, seemingly placed purposely, but perhaps their former Zen garden home was washed away. Or some may see a different profound beauty, the kind found most anywhere if one were to just let their eyes rest and their mind wander.
They are rocks, I see music, what do you see?
On this year's Fourth of July, I embarked on a mission to take photos, but without a true destination like a traveler only looking for a journey. I've always found photography to be one of the greatest hobbies, because in searching for the great moments to be captured often times raw humanity is revealed during the experience, along with a piece of the puzzle of life.
We Just Like to be Naked4th of July, 2014
I asked, "So what's the occasion?"
This article can also be found @ POTN: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1387166
I was really not feeling it. I had moved up to NorCal just a couple weeks ago and I knew I wanted to go to Point Lobos for some pics as the ones I saw on the web were very nice. It seemed like the perfect day--a Fri so it wouldn't be so crowded, clouds in the sky, and still Springish (heard Summer would be very crowded) and so there might be a colorful sunset. But there are just those days you don't feel like packing all the gear, doing a 70mi drive, and then stand around for hours taking pictures in solitude.
Still... though that spectacular burning sky will remain elusive, I didn't drive no 70+ mi in stop-and-go traffic for nothing! Point Lobos seemed rather small from the map, with lots of little turn-ins to park and enjoy, and so at the first stop I found I got out an surveyed the area. It was a large cove before me with the ocean out in the distance with lots of rocks peaking from the water. Not too bad. Went back to the car and got my gear and set out to walk around. Well, after climbing some rock stairs I found a nice seascape in front of me, and this little bird posing...
I snapped a bunch of pictures of it, but the sky was getting dark so I hopped back into the car and drove down to what I guess is the "point" of Point Lobos. Got out of the car and started to hike the trail that was right there. And man, it's pretty! Walked around and found a few nice spots, setting up my tripod, snapping some pics, then packing it all up moving from scenic place to place. Then eventually I decided this was where I was going to get "The Shot" of whatever meager sunrise decides to show up.
So with my tripod extended and my camera armed, I set off to capture a gazillion images. Played around with ND filters and such, but I ended up liking the last bracket I took the best, which was without any filter...
I wanted to capture the shimmering of the water as the weak sunset warmed it from above. It did look beautiful as I stood there above the bluffs.
By the time I finished packing up from that picture, it was already getting pretty dark, but I thought the place closed 1.5hr after sunset (and I was wrong, but...) so I set off to see if there was anything left worth taking before having to go back. So I found this place and took some time to get this:
The original picture was extremely blue with little coloring from the rocks. I had hoped that some of the earthiness with orange and red tones would come out, but it was far overcome by the blueness of the dark sky and water. Black and white seemed the only way to go. Well, anyway, by the time I finished it was already past 8pm and I was worried they would lock me in, so I put on my headlamp and headed back to the car. It turned out I walked quite far away, so I was starting to get nervous trying to find my car. And sure enough, as I approached there were blinking red lights. Oh oh!... The ranger truck drove over and gave me a little verbal reprimand, starting with "Where you live? You ever coming back here again?" I thought carefully about my answer and nodded... turns out they close just half an hour after sunset!--not 1.5hr! Sigh, I misread. Well, anyway, I apologized and he followed my car to make sure I went straight for the exit.
Point Lobos was beautiful, and I could tell under the right conditions there would be sublime pictures. But for this lonely and cold night, these were my takeaways... hope you liked!
Dean Chiang 4-18-14, Xyclopx
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