Wednesday, September 29, 2010


For the next month, I will be taking a short break from my normal schedule of posting a new article or photo essay every four or five days.  Having just completed my fiftieth posting since beginning "Transit Notes" in April, I find that I need a little time to rest, reflect, and address a few personal matters that require my attention. As time and opportunity permit, however, I will continue to follow and comment upon the inspirational postings of my friends in the blogging community.

During my absence, I will leave this space with a small gallery of photos, some of which have appeared before.  I will also leave some of my favorite passages from the Tao Te Ching.  These words give me peace and comfort daily, and I hope that you will find solace in them as well. 

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

 Can you step back from your mind
and thus understand all things?

. . .  just stay at the center of the circle
and let all things take there course.

If you want to become whole,
let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight,
let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn,
 let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything, 
give everything up.

He who stands on tiptoe
doesn't stand firm.
He who rushes ahead
doesn't go far.
He who tries to shine
dims his own light.
He who defines himself
can't know who he really is.
He who has power over others
can't conquer himself.
He who clings to his work
will create nothing that endures.

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

Leaving Lisbon, Acrylic

When there is no desire,
all things are at peace.

. . . the Master concerns himself
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower. 
He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go.

Ordinary men hate solitude.
But the Master makes use of it, 
embracing his aloneness, realizing
he is one with the whole universe.

If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize here is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can't be gained by interfering.

Autumn Tree Life, Acrylic

Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.

The Master's power is like this.
He lets all things come and go
effortlessly, without desire.
He never expects results;
thus he is never disappointed.
He is never disappointed;
thus his spirit never grows old.

The mark of a moderate man
is freedom from his own ideas.

When two great forces oppose one another,
the victory will go
to the one that knows how to yield.

If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try and hold on to.

. . . whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.

I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, and compassion.

Peace and joy to everyone!


  1. Peace and comfort, indeed. Thanks for this, George. And I hope the "interim" gives you what you need, as well. It has been a real pleasure and delight to meet you. Sincerely, EFH

  2. To Kent,

    Thanks, Kent, and rest assured that I will return soon. During the meantime, I intend to follow your own postings. Have a nice day.

  3. What a glorious gallery of your paintings and photographs. I confess I was so anxious to enjoy the next in the gallery line-up that I did not read the quotes supporting them. Off to do that now.

    Sorry to hear you are taking a break. I so look forward to your posts. However, it is good to know what we need and to address it. Be well George.

  4. To Bonnie,

    Thanks for the nice comments, Bonnie. I will be posting again soon, and during the meantime, I will be following, as always, the wonderful things happening on your blog. I'm really looking forward to the other interviews.

  5. Hello George, there is more than enough beauty and food for thought to keep us occupied while you step back and take a break. I hope all the coils of life straighten themselves out and that you come back to us refreshed in mind, body and spirit.

  6. And what a wonderful 50 posts it has been, George. Whether at rest or in motion, I wish you much light and rewards in the coming blog hiatus and will be looking forward to your return. I appreciate you leaving the quotes and reprise of some of your stellar photography for us to enjoy in the meanwhile. I will also use the time to give your Zorba the Greek post the attention it deserves; there was much to digest there ...

  7. To Rowan,

    Thanks for the kind comments, Rowan. I will be back to new postings very soon. During the meantime, rest assured that I will be stopping by often to check out what's happening in your little corner of the world.

  8. To Lorenzo,

    Thanks, my friend. You are very kind and I'm quite sure that you understand the need to step back for a little rest and reflection from time to time. I will not rest, however, from your postings on "The Alchemist's Pillow." Our conversation will continue, for, as always, there is much to talk about — write about — sing about.

  9. I forgot to mention, that I have downloaded some of the images of your photos and paintings to place on my computer screen as background. That way you will be neither out of sight, nor out of mind. Have a fruitful time spell of rest and reflection.

  10. To Lorenzo,

    I always wanted my work to be displayed in the Prado, Lorenzo. Now I can rest in the thought that I have at least made it to Madrid, and to be quite honest, I think I would rather have my photos and paintings on your computer screen than at the Prado. Have a great day!

  11. Your time away will allow me space to re read your posts at leisure. Your Zorba post had prompted a determined search for the book. I finally laid my hands on a copy yesterday (the only copy I could find in all of the 4 major book stores in Singapore) and am now deeply engrossed; feeling very grudging of the time I need to attend other matters. A really delightful and captivating read. Thank you.

    Enjoy your R&R time

  12. To Rebecca,

    How delightful, Rebecca! I'm so glad that my posting on Kazantzakis prompted you to buy Zorba. I think you will find it interesting to see the interplay of the mind (Zorba's boss) and the heart (Zorba). There's much wisdom in this book, and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by again.

  13. The excellence of what you post here makes me feel shy of words today. I'll let these words say it:

    The Master's power is like this.
    He lets all things come and go
    effortlessly, without desire.

    You are a master, George. Of photography. Of painting. Of living. The only reason I would hesitate to say that is that it might embarrass you in this public place. I'll let that be as it may be.

    While you're away, I'll miss your posts a lot. But it may be a very good thing after all, because I can come back again and again to this post, read a line or two, absorbing them slowly, and meditate on an image, each of which are so incredible I almost can't take them in, in one sitting. I think like Lorenzo I may replace my current desktop image with one of yours, and change them periodically. What a nice communion we can have while you're away!

    I'm disappointed you won't be at the ball tomorrow. But we can dance in our imaginations.

    I hope all is well, and that your peace and balance will remain intact during this time.

    All good things. I'll try to let your blog go for a month, effortlessly, without desire. :)

  14. I certainly understand the need to occasionally slip away for a recharge—but know that in your temporary absence, you create a large emptiness here at Riverdaze. You and your wonderful posts will be missed, my friend.

    That said, I wish you the best, always, and hope that whatever you seek—solace, renewal, understanding, or just a refilling of the spiritual/intellectual/creative well—you find in unexpected abundance.

    Until you return…

  15. Another thing :) is that I will continue reading my Henry Miller Reader and will begin Zorba, like Rebecca, both of which I picked up from my university library for a nice long 6 month faculty checkout.

  16. Gee, for being shy, I sure am wordy.

  17. To Ruth,

    You are too kind, my friend. I can assure you that I am a master of nothing, just a work in progress. I do enjoy all of these passions, however, including the passion I have for witnessing the creative journeys of my friends. Rest assured that I will be over at your blog with each posting, knowing always that I will find synchronicity with someone or something. My best wishes to you at the ball. Damn, that Darcy! He always gets the best dates.

  18. To Grizz,

    Thanks for your kind note, Grizz. I'm going to be away for a few days in October, but I also need to spend a little more time in October just walking and reflecting. I try not to forget that a good life, like good music, requires moments of silence between the notes.

    Rest assured that Riverdaze and the riverbank sage himself will never be far from my mind. I will continue to follow each and every one of your postings.

  19. To Ruth,

    Of course, you are wordy, Ruth. You write prose, you write poetry, you read, you play with words — all of which is to say that you are wordy in only the best sense of the word "wordy," if I may be so alliterative. As to shyness, however, I find myself surprised, to say the least. Looking at your post on the attire you will be wearing to the Willow Ball tomorrow doesn't remind me a shy farm girl getting ready to go milk the cows.

    In any event, I hope that reading Henry Miller and Kazantzakis will make you wordier because I always like the words I hear from you.

  20. Happy 50th blog-versary, George! You really are such a tremendous boon to blogworld, and I have so much enjoyed reading your posts and discussing them with you over the past months. We'll see you when we see you! Take care, and have a good break.

  21. A Perfect Post...For While We Wait!

  22. To Robert,

    Thanks, my friend. I'm quite sure you understand the need to step back from time to time and get some perspective on things. It's all part of the creative process, as I see it, whether in art or in life.

    As I've said elsewhere, I will continue to follow and comment upon my favorite blogs, including yours. I look forward to reading more of your postings, especially those about your recent walk on the South West Coastal Path.

  23. To Wanda,

    Thanks, Wanda, you're very kind. Rest assured that I will continue to be following your always beautifully illustrated journey on "Moments of Mine." Have a great day!

  24. George
    We will return here in your absence to mull over the contents. I seem to be taking a break from posting myself, mainly due to lack of walking.
    Enjoy the sabbatical.

  25. To Tramp,

    Good to hear from you, Tramp. I hope you will return at your leisure and find something in the images and words of this posting that will resonate with you. During the meantime, enjoy your own break. I certainly hope that your back is returning to good health. Have a nice day.

  26. George,

    I just want to tell you that in the short time since we crossed blogs, I've found great beauty and delight in your posts and photographs and paintings.

    Enjoy the break. I'll look forward to finding traces of your path in the comment sections of other blogs.

    good wishes,


  27. To Neighbor,

    Thanks for the lovely comments, Neighbor. I'm taking a break from posting for a few weeks, but I will continue to follow the postings of others, including yours. Thanks, and have a great day!

  28. thanks for popping in today all teh wisdom you imbued into this one...hope you enjoy the break and see you on the other side..

  29. To Brian,

    Thanks, Brian. I've only seen a couple of your poems at this point, but I like what I see and I look forward to more visits to your site. It was great to find out more about you through Bonnie's interview. Have a great day!

  30. Beautiful photographs, beautiful paintings, beautiful words from that wellspring of wisdom. Thank you.

  31. To Teresa,

    Thanks for the lovely comments, Teresa, and for dropping by again. Have a nice day.

  32. This beautiful post sums up the essence of your blog quite nicely and illustrates why we will be coming back for more after your break, which I hope you will enjoy and will serve you well.

  33. To Fireweed Meadow,

    Thanks so much, Fireweed. I look forward to carrying on our conversation, both here and on your blog. Have a nice weekend.

  34. George, your pictures are so beautiful. I am in awe. And you always know the best words to include with them.

    I will miss seeing you here, and I'm glad your break from posting won't be permanent. I see your interview below, and I'm off to check that out now. Have a wonderful time off!

  35. Hi Julie,

    Thanks for the generous comments. Hope you like the interview. While I'm taking a short break from active posting, I will continue to follow my favorite sites, including yours. Have a nice weekend.

  36. I am sad that you are going off on a sabbatical, now that I have found you;
    Of course, I accept your decision and wish you well.
    Looking forward to coming back to this wonderful place again soon.

  37. To Friko,

    Thanks for the comments, Friko. This is just a brief respite from active posting. I will be back before you know it — no later than the end of this month. During the meantime, I will be following your always excellent postings.

  38. A break? And I just met you. Oh, well. I'll patiently wait for your return. Enjoy your time, but don't stay away too long!

    Beautiful images and inspiring words.

  39. To Willow,

    Thanks so much, Willow. It will only be a short break, two or three more weeks at most. I just have a few things that are going to require my attention during this period.

    Sorry that I missed the ball last Thursday. I was called away on some of life's unfortunate business. I did, however, really enjoy all of the creativity that you put into the ball, and I got a chance to see the postings of many of those who attended. Rest assured that I will be there next year.

    Thanks again, and will be following your site while I take a small break from active posting on my own.

  40. Hi Luuuuuua,

    Thanks for the comments and for stopping my my site. It's lovely to have someone visit from Romania. I have taken a quick look at your blog and love the photographs.

  41. George, I'm not going to very original in my comment, I'm afraid. Just wanted to say that I came by to look at your photographs and am gobsmacked by some of them. You have a fine, fine persepctive, and have done some extraordinary things with your camera. These are professional-quality shots and are absolutely exquisite.

  42. I have come here multiple times in the past few weeks, drinking in these gorgeous images and drawing in inspiration from the words. It has been a reliable oasis for the soul, George. Each time it has brought me something new. This morning, I enjoyed studying the baby bluebird getting a breakfast of champions. Long gone are the days when I hand-feed my sixteen-year-old son, but I hand-deliver him to his rowing practice before sunrise and think about your words on yielding as a strength. I've learned to yield to the alarm at 4:30 because fighting it makes it much more painful. I know that you probably thought about greater victories than merely rising early, but it's helped me. Thank you.

  43. To Deborah,

    How nice to hear from you, Deborah, and thanks so much for the lovely comments. I can't think of a higher compliment than being told that you were "godsmacked" by some of my photographs. If I am doing my job properly, it is to simply call attention to the things of nature that are inherently "godsmacking."

    I have been reading your postings on "The Other Woman," and find them very interesting and exceedingly well-written. I look forward to commenting at the end of the series.

  44. To Dutchbaby,

    You honor me, Dutchbaby, by your lovely comments and your return visits to this posting. I am especially pleased that you find this posting to be an "oasis for the soul," because that is what I had in mind when I created this post before taking a short break. Combining the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching with images of nature always seems to bring peace to my life.

    It's wonderful to hear you say that you are seeing tangible benefits from yielding to the demands of life. As Lao Tzu reminds us over and over again, resistance to reality is the cause of much, if not all, of our suffering. Suffering is diminished, however, when we yield to reality and place ourselves in harmony with WHAT IS, versus what we desire.

  45. True Beauty, George.... The Tao Te Ching has a place of honour on my desk... you have presented it so lovingly.. Take care.

  46. hello. you are probably still on your break.. I too have been away from the blogworld for awhile- I taught a workshop a couple of weeks ago and am now home and trying to get back into the groove- your pictures and words here are so beautiful and inspirational and this is a wonderful post.

  47. To Gwen,

    Thanks for your lovely comments, Gwen. The Tao Te Ching is always near my desk as well.

  48. To Donna,

    Thanks for the generous comments, Donna, and welcome back after your own break. No matter how many times I read the Tao Te Ching, it always seem freshs and undeniably true.

  49. Hi George, I know I commented on this post, because I remember your photos which are treasures. I was having some difficulty commenting at one point - perhaps you didn't get it. At any rate, I hope you soon come out of "retirement" and begin to blog again! I am focused on the 3rd photo from the bottom, trying to decide if it's one of your paintings or something else entirely... Also, I love the colorful peppers and the birds - well they are all great.

  50. To Barb,

    Thanks, Barb, for the lovely comments. I don't think I have received any prior comments from you on this posting. My habit is to always post comments immediately and respond to them.

    I will be returning to active blogging within the next couple of days. I just needed a small break to address some other matters which required my time and concentration.

    The third image from the bottom is a close-up photo that I took of a backlit painted window I discovered some months ago while walking through a local airport. Sometimes the most interesting images are in the details of things found in common places.

    Thanks for persisting with your comments. As you know, I really enjoy your own site. It permits me to enjoy vicariously the many pleasures of Colorado. Have a nice weekend!

  51. What a treat. Absolutely beautiful. Best to you and your family over the holidays.


  52. To Greg,

    Thanks, Greg, and a happy holiday to you and your family as well.