August 2015

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It’s been a busy summer.  What follows are some photographs from Quebec, earlier this summer.  I wrote some deep thoughts in my journal about our French neighbor while stowed away in a cabin up north, far north, as close to the Arctic Circle as I’ve yet been.  It’s an interesting place.  It’s a strange kind of nationalism that one encounters–a country within a country truly.  Our cities and states here in the U.S. seem like such distinct microcosms to us, but really they are not so much.  We Americans are more alike than unalike.

 

Saguenay Steps

In either case, the journey is what has been on my mind.  Thus the stone stairs and vista.  Deep, meditative spiritual stuff.  This is Saguenay Fjord.  A distant place, beautiful, sparsely inhabited, and largely unspoiled.  Hardy French northerners live here, and even the tourists are mostly fellow French northerners.  These smooth rounded peaks were gouged and polished by glaciers thousands of years ago.  The water of the fjord runs deep, as deep as the peaks that tower above it, and it is rich in iron, red ferrous tides sweeping throughout.

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I’ve learned a lot about being happy this summer.  Specifically the great cost of happiness for some of us.  I’ve learned in these sunnier days how to draw strong boundaries and place myself first and that escaping the cycle of bad habits has little to do with the habits themselves.  There’s this journey.  You cross boundaries and set boundaries.

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This is a hidden spot in the Montreal Botanical Garden, tucked away behind an Asian temple.  It has become one of my happy places, and I look forward to making it back there.  There are these times in your travels that you say to yourself, I will return.  Other places come and go, but some, a few–you just know you will be back.  This place was so.  I’ve been carrying it with me and look forward to returning as well.

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