Edgewater is a real place, a small part of Denver, Colorado in the USA. The name Edgewater says what it is, a very specific geographic location. That kind of clarity can be a good thing. I also like the name because it carries another meaning, one that suggests proximity to the world of dreams and the subconscious. So naturally, the boundary between the water and the land is a place of connection. From that perspective this post is written, about something that happened here one week ago. An event that I can’t allow to slip away without comment. Changes take place at the edge of our experiences, not in the comfort zone. Its where growth happens. But its also where destruction happens. And in the early morning darkness of April 5, 2011, one of my neighbors fired over 100 rounds from an automatic weapon from inside an Edgewater home. Here is a picture looking east down 20th Ave of the neighborhood where the shots came from. Sloan’s Lake and downtown Denver are in the background.
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Each morning the sun takes another course into the sky. Light and warmth follow and the day begins, a common event of enormous circumstance. The sunrise informs and actuates the present. Each one is different. And deep within that mystery lies a gift for anyone perceptive enough to notice, anyone willing to accept it. It is the blessing for the day at hand, a fresh chance to create and to connect and to experience what it is that we were born to do.
This one was just too good. For just a few minutes the sky became spectacular.
As if in appreciation, the lake gave off a glow. But colors like that don’t last long. In a few moments they all ran together into blues and grey.
Then a goose came by.
Two geese walking, backlit by predawn light. Spring is definitely in the air.
If you walk into any large retail bookstore and look around for the section on Men’s Studies or Men’s Work, it may not be easy to find. If the store even has one, you’ll discover only a shelf or two in a seldom seen section, tucked away in the back somewhere. By comparison the Women’s Studies section will be prominently featured, with colorful book spines in purples, pinks and red and take up many shelves covering a wide variety of topics and issues.
I make this observation not to whine about unfairness, but instead to make a couple of points about men and myth. First, the commercial print acts as if very few men, dads or sons are reading about, writing about or caring about what I call, being and becoming a whole man, inner and outer. Thankfully there is some good writing out here in the blogosphere. Some of my favorites are listed on the right. The second point, is that the men that do appear as heroic figures in popular print and film seem to fall into some very narrow roles: its either swashbuckler, chronic alcoholic/drug abuser or serial killer/assassin. They generally have great abs, but not much satisfaction. (Thank you, Mick Jagger.)
Today’s sunrise was a fleeting beauty and what a difference a day makes.
Yesterday’s sunrise, completely obscured by snow and clouds, and still bringing light to the world.
In the predawn light of a calm, cold morning, a low-lying veil of white lies upon the lake. Above it, nothing but clear sky; I expect a hazy sunrise. But then, right before my eyes a light wind appears and blows the fog away in thin, delicate wisps. And just in time for the sun to rise into a clear sky, a little bit to the north of where it was the day before.
Sunrise is the context into which the rest of the day unfolds. It is the ideal time and place to dedicate oneself to the rest of the day, a fine first step toward individual expression, or even purpose. Missing one, leaves much to chance, to settle for existence instead of being alive.
Some days it is a link with the past and to any or all of the artists, thinkers and philosophers who have come before and been captivated or inspired by the majesty of the event. The list includes some true heavyweights; Copernicus, Galileo and da Vinci to name a few. These three were true kings of insight and perspective, each one of them. In their time the expression of the idea that the sun did not revolve around the earth was heresy, which made it criminal. Yet they held to their beliefs, expressing them at considerable risk to their own welfare, in writings, teaching and in philosophical debate. Ultimately their steadfast beliefs that the earth was not the center of the universe won out and in the process, raised the consciousness of the world from one centered in ritual and myth, and placed it onto a mental plane based in reason and deduction.
You can feel all that and more in a good sunrise. Its like standing on very secure and powerful shoulders.
A fiery sun rises into a clear, cold sky. Burning away
the night sky, turning it to blue. The intense yellow fades
into softening orange, pink and red. Like my friend Frank
Kramer, the Cajun poet once wrote:
In the morning skies,
Makes me feel
Like I have won
A Nobel Peaceful prize.