sphoto number 1

          I've been asked why there aren't more snapperhead pics of cats, myself, loved ones, Portland locales, or locals even (whenever I end a sentence like that, my inner ear hears the voice of Snagglepuss).  My tweet-able response (by which I mean, Mom, 140 characters or less) has always been:  When I rely on my eyes and brain my memories are strengthened.  Camera = crutch.  Carrying a camera weakens my experience.
          Along the same vain:  Van Gogh is attributed with saying that it isn't the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to.  The feeling for the things themselves—for reality—is more important than the feeling for pictures.  And I do soverymuchespecially love finding a quote by someone I admire which parallels my own thoughts on a subject.
          However, I do have a collection of items, like snapshots, which act as memory-stimuli, even though they aren't snapshots for anyone else but me.
          Here is the first one I collected:
          You see a polished sphere, about two inches (47mm) in diameter, made from veined red jasper sitting in a curved malachite dish.  I see Moab, Utah, 1990.
          Obtained at the end of a vacation from the Moab Rock Shop, it reflects all the elements of those two weeks:  Sitting up at night on the rim of a canyon watching a brilliant, close-falling, meteorite; tent camping in Canyonlands; hiking in Arches; trekking the length of Shafer Canyon Road from Dead Horse Point State Park to Devils Garden Campground (before it became easily accessible for two-wheel drive vehicles) in a front wheel drive Oldsmobile.
          Here's the most unique thing about this type of memory trinket:  overlaid and conjoined with that trip is my first visit, thirteen years prior, (with Brian Ottinger, a college friend) where we drove the same road, dirt and boulders at that time, but in the opposite direction in my shit-colored VW beetle (we each took turns riding on the rear bumper holding on to the curved flange of the roof-edge); bathing in the frigid Colorado River; and camping at Slick Rock Campground, as well as all my more recent visits to Moab and the Canyonlands National Park area (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007).
          I wouldn't want to live there, but my favorite place to visit in the US is Moab, Utah.

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