Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Fine Art of Sitting

Loon: I’ll Watch Your Back. ATC-sized original hand-pressed linocut.
It’s a busy busy world, and everything we we do has a crazed sense of urgency.  We speak with denigration of people ‘just sitting around’, but much can be accomplished in this position, a thing that every other creature on this planet knows.
Green Frogs hard a work.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit some very good friends that live in an un-serviced cabin in the woods along the Magnetawan River.  There is no road access, and in summer we wait by the shore of Sunset Bay, Harris Lake for our friends to pick us up in their motor boat.  As we arrived early at our rendezvous, our weekend began with an introduction to the fine art of sitting. For ourselves, as we had no better option than to make ourselves comfortable on a mossy tussock and enjoy, and for the opportunity to observe an active loon nest (sadly barren, as we later were told), but the loon was a fine example of alert watchfulness (and an inspiration for a new linocut).
And that set the tone for the weekend. It was horribly hot, and flies (all of them huge and toothsome) were swarming in battle-ready battalions on the trails, and in this weather there are only two acceptable activities—swimming and sitting.  Of the former, we did enough to turn feet and fingers into pale shrunken things as we made forays along the forested shoreline to a small secluded bay, where, of course, we climbed up onto the rocky shore to sit once again in the shade of tall pines.  Back at the cabin, we turned sitting into an occupation, sitting on the couch, at the dining room table, outdoors at the picnic table, on lawn chairs at the east end of the deck, inside the gazebo, outside the gazebo, on the rocks on the shore, and I, all by my lonesome with camera in hand, on the sand of a little weedy bay to watch the frogs who are the Rock Stars of the fine art of sitting. You can learn something from these guys, as they accomplish a great deal just sitting around.
My husband, camera NOT in hand, followed my example, and observed the culmination of their labour, as one snatched an consumed a fly, and another snared a large dragon fly, which took quite some effort to massage down.  We’ll have to take his word for it; I wasn’t there.
Green Frog: Yum
PS. Canon 10 mgpx camera used, these frogs let me get REALLY close.


Jennifer Rose said...

i would love a cabin in the middle of nowhere, but then i stop and think i'm addicted to the net and would die ;p

people do need to stop and sit more tho. for some, life would be so much better if they took even 5 minutes to pause and watch what is going on around them :)

Quiltbug said...

I really enjoy the posts about life in the wilderness. I need to hear more about the visit and see more art work inspired by it.

Michelle Basic Hendry said...

Amazing that the frogs let you get so close.
I am a big fan of the sitting still because it is in those times we are most creative and truly think about things. One can only hear God/the Universe in the silence of being.

kaslkaos said...

Jennifer, they do have internet, although they need to count their megabytes (very expensive & slow, cellular service). Funny, no flush toilet, but they can send emails...
Thanks Quiltbug, we'll have to wait as I don't want to wear out my welcome with TOO many visits. They feed us very well. :}
Michelle, I sat with a relaxed attitude, and I think that helps. Also, I stretched my arms and held the camera at arms length on the sand, and, with 10mgpx you can do alot of cropping. But it was still really close. My friend treats her frogs well, and I think they are more trusting than usual.


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