August 7, 2015

Friday photos: marshes

Marshes, swamps, bogs, rivers, lakes. Most every ride in my home landscape passes wetlands, mostly marshes. The best of them are home to pickerel weed, cattails, Queen Anne's Lace and high grasses, here growing in bands.





The next remind me of landscapes much further north, in Maine or even Canada. In the Berkshires they are home to moose, bear, the beavers who create them.





Happily, spring regularly brings nesting wood ducks to the swamp at the end of my driveway, and several years ago a neighbor placed boxes on trees to encourage them, but time and rot took hold of this one.

 


Riding today I tried to imagine  colors that I have never seen, that I don't know to exist, but I couldn't do it. When I picked this photo to post, I wondered if that hard, somehow metallic, color of the water around the fallen duck box above, and the pickerel weed and water lilies below, might need a new and distinctive name.


This season I am not particularly energetic or ambitious. Perhaps  it is age? Maybe, but I'm only a year older than a year ago. Overtraining from my Paris-Nice ride? Maybe, but that was almost a year ago. Lack of an overriding, major, difficult, challenging goal, a BAHG? Maybe. Work-related stress and its related fatigue? Maybe.

Whatever the reason, I have been tired and unmotivated for too long. Four days a week, I come home from work and collapse. I used the word shattered to describe the feeling recently, and friends thought it too strong. But  if I get on the bike after work, and my legs are tired ... worse, my attitude, my head, my being, is tired, and generally I could put my head on the handlebars and go to sleep, that feels ... what? ....sort of shattered. Certainly not ambitious, not looking to accomplish anything.

But, the other 3 days, while they haven't been spent in serious training, I've enjoyed lovely rides in the 20- to 40- mile range, often passing next to beautiful wetlands.

Sometimes the marshes beckon to follow, entice me to go into the swamp, away from the world of the road, to see what magic they lead to.






Anybody else experienced this low-motivated, Iow-energy state? Theories about why, about the pattern? I'm giving in to it this season, which feels like a rest and recover year. But I intend that it is gone, over, finished when next year's training is meant to start.


In many ways I love best the edges, the parts of the world where images, time, cultures, experience, forms mesh, where it isn't so very clear where one thing stops and another starts.




12 comments:

  1. This is a really beautiful post, Suze, and it has me thinking. First let me say that I love your musing on color. I agree -- we do seem to lack words for colors, certainly in every day parlance. Perhaps we should look to paint chips for the terms we need. We might find "steely shimmer" or "charcoal smolder" or who knows what... :)

    On another note I am very aware of the lack of motivation and the fatigue that you're talking about. To be honest I know my own is associated with feeling down about many aspects of my life and also myself. And some of it at least for me is both a restlessness and a fatigue in terms of the life that I've been living and how much sameness there is in it. Get up, work, take care of the house, fall into bed. (Avoid the mirror, and try to ignore the aches and pains -- all of which is reminding me how many years have passed in the blur of raising my kids.)

    I am doing my best to set myself goals and projects into shake up my routine a little bit in order to get myself out of this state. I have some physical constraints and that makes it harder (pain)... I used to be able to walk miles and miles and that always allowed me the freedom in my head to feel better. Perhaps that's what you're writing does for you? I do try to appreciate what I still do and it's pretty day when the sun is shining... I'm thinking this might be a normal stage of life thing...

    Meanwhile I think your photos are just beautiful and the writing on this post as well. A lovely read for Saturday morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks D.A. for reading and your thoughtful response, very much of it resonates with me.

      I have a terrible time with tablet-sized-keyboard typos myself and know you meant riding. Yes, the freedom it can set loose in my thinking, and the quiet in my mind, is a big part of its appeal.

      Am having a lot of fun also with this camera ... so, thanks for that slso!

      Delete
  2. The new color of water: reflection of clouds in sky. You're right there is that metallic, unpleasant almost "attitude" to its quality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you're still reading. Hadn't thought of it that way, but there is something like attitude in water when it shows that color. It's new to me.

      Delete
  3. As a fellow sufferer at the moment, I can offer you several suggestions: asthma (always a big feature in my duller moments), old age (not applicable to you of course but every year things take longer to recover from), joint pain (very debilitating to 'get up and go' even when it doesn't actually stop you getting up and going.), the selfish stupidity and incompetence of the ruling class (I am not necessarily talking about politicians though they come into it) so that contemplating the state of the world is very tiring and finally: just being a bit knackered from doing too much.

    Work, as far as I can remember it, makes you drink too much, eat too much and feel bad so that may be it.

    A very nice set of pictures though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thought of you, and "Dr. Velo." Yes, yes and yes to all the above.

      Funny ! Can't wait to share your description of work with one of my colleagues, I love it!

      And, to put politicians right up there in totally depressing, not to mention internationally embarrassing, we have now Donald Trump, and then there is Ted Cruz who made a video of himself cooking bacon with a machine gun. Ahh, the level of public discourse here.

      Delete
  4. The photos are outstanding, but, I have to say, I could read your writing forever. Sometimes when I start reading your blogs, I want them to be story length. Hate it when it ends. This one was exceptionally terrific. Loved it from beginning to end. You make me smile. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marguerite, Thank you so much, your encouragement is a huge deal to me. And I must say, you make me smile ... and you make everyone else you work with smile, and be happier in the world. Except, perhaps, when you correctly hang up on them:-) ha!

      Delete
  5. Get a little kayak, then you can follow those "marshes [that] beckon to follow, entice me to go into the swamp, away from the world of the road, to see what magic they lead to." They usually lead to all sorts of cool and interesting stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, I've never been in one, though they look like fun. I'm certainly more comfortable with wheels on ground. You probably recognize most of those wetands, all I think, are in Otis.

      Delete
  6. Nice post Suze, Loved to read and specially those photos are really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter, Thanks for visiting and taking time to comment. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Delete

Please leave a comment, it's great to hear from you and makes the site more fun and informative for other readers!