movement, movement

This Is Home

Posted in 35mm, photography by amoslanka on September 22, 2010

this is home


Canon AE-1 35mm
Kodak Portra 400nc
Stapleton, Nebraska

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Come Tortoise, Standing Still

Posted in community, life, poetry, portland by amoslanka on June 12, 2009

I’ve traveled quite a distance in the past month or two. I have traveled to different parts of the country recently, though these are not the travel I refer to. Really, where I stand now is not so noticeably different from whatever vague moment could be considered a beginning. I only mention this because I’ve been what feels to me like racing through time, thoughts, emotions.Less of a journey through space, however, more of a journey through circumstances, intuitions, and feelings.

Travel of any kind always feels like a video on fast-forward, a feeling only reinforced by the speed with which a setting passes while driving in a car or the speed with which one experience or thought, feeling as though it will carry reverberation with you for a life time, is soon replaced with the next feeling deserving the same consideration as the last. It seems it was the rainy winter of Portland only a few days ago, and somehow all these memories from the past several months were only packed into the passing notions of a spontaneous song, soon to be forgotten as soon as my mind moves on to what’s next. I don’t desire to live life this way, and hopefully steps I take to form a better life for myself and for those around me will do just that. Slowness is my honest desire.

What I’m most troubled by is that I have no idea how this works. I have no idea to achieve that, and as the clich√© goes, I’m stumbling blindly. So blind, in fact, I’m not sure whether I’m moving at all or simply standing with a hand reaching out for another’s.

I spent time in Laurelhurst Park this evening near my house, a large park with a duck pond. The ducks and I are commonly acquainted, and they often suggest ideas to me I haven’t yet considered.

It occurred to me while at the park how good people are, particularly in my neighborhood. This is one reason this was on my mind, and here is a picture I took of Pax. This goodness is a goodness I’m not use to. Small town Nebraska, ultra-conservative Colorado Springs, yuppie-ville Hood River. This isn’t a rag on those places, because they are good places too. They may lack this certain kind goodness, but there are things Portland lacks as well, and there’s something about this place that feels like home without my having to coerce my mind into believing so. Its something about my life I likely cannot explain to those other places and may not have understood before I arrived where I now stand.

This goodness I’ve found in places here where I now live is a goodness I would only have speculated about or understood in idealism. Consequently I feel much less than adequate or worthy of living in such a place. That sounds extra cheap, I’m sure. Self-pitiful, whatever. What does one do when they know not how to acclamate old lives with new ones, the new ones they’ve searched for and somehow found? What does one do when they feel the momentum of past expectations and behaviors dragging them beyond what those constructs were suppose to bring them to? or when they cannot turn sharp enough to escape the ruts circling the campfire to get to the campfire itself?

I have no answer for that. I only have friends near and far who’ve heard my joys and sorrows, and the words of those who express what I otherwise cannot.

come tortoise, standing still
go hummingbird, my will
come tortoise, stumbling blind
go hummingbird, my eyes
come tortoise, empty hand
go hummingbird, my plan
come tortoise, undefined
go hummingbird, my mind
come tortoise, letting go
go hummingbird, I know
come tortoise, come and die
go hummingbird, my I
goodbye, I

Dear Mystery Texter

Posted in random by amoslanka on September 7, 2008

I don’t know who you are, but you’re obviously from Hastings, Nebraska, and obviously you’ve been listening to Jerry Reed lately. I find it hard to believe that you are Reed himself, since he passed away a week ago. I can appreciate the song though, it speaks highly. Hmm. Perhaps you’ve been listening to Rush Limbaugh lately? I hear he’s been playing Jerry Reed songs to make fun of Joe Biden. Clever, Mr. Mystery Texter, clever.

Jerry Reed РAmos Moses

Well Amos Moses was a Cajun,
He lived by himself in the swamp.
He hunted alligators for a livin,
He just knocked ’em in the head with a stump.
The Louisiana law gonna get ya Amos
It ain’t legal hunting alligators down in the swamp, boy

Well everybody blamed his old man,
For makin’ him mean as a snake,
When Amos Moses was a boy
His daddy would use him for alligator bait.
Tie a rope around his waist, and throw him in the swamp,
Alligator bait in a Louisiana bayou

About 45 minutes southeast of Thibodeaux, Louisiana
Lived a man named Doc Milsap and his pretty wife Hanna
hey raised up a son who could eat up his weight in groceries,
Named him after a man of the cloth,
Called him Amos Moses

Well, the folks around south Louisiana
Said Amos was a hell of a man
He could trap the biggest, the meanest alligator
And just use one hand
That’s all he’s got left cause an alligator bit him
Left arm gone clean up to the elbow

Well the sheriff caught wind that Amos
Was in the swamp huntin’ alligator skins
So he snuck in the swamp, gonna getcha boy,
But he never come out again.
Well, I wonder where the Louisiana sheriff went to?
You can sure get lost in a Louisiana bayou!

About 45 minutes southeast of Thibodeaux, Louisiana
Lived a man named Doc Milsap and his pretty wife Hanna
They raised a son who could eat up his weight in groceries,
Named him after a man of the cloth,
Called him Amos Moses

I actually was called Amos Moses at one time. It was back in high school and it was my girlfriend’s family that called me that. I don’t think it had anything to do with alligators though.