Friday, August 27, 2010

Raleigh's First Trials

When I started the not-in-real-time journal for Botswana (which is still not totally completed, I think that there is part of me that doesn't want for it to end), I never dreamed that I would be using that same approach for other topics as well. But somehow a cold virus that knocks you for a loop can let things pile up a bit. But the bright side is that I have had a few days to think about the experience before posting these photos and links to my new YouTube account. As you can probably surmise from this photo, Raleigh did pretty well his first time out. Most importantly, he loved the experience, and so did I. As you will see from this video (click HERE to access YouTube), Emma did as well, so much so that when she saw Raleigh out there, she could not control herself, pulled out of her collar, jumped off of Mike's lap, and onto the course. Fortunately the judges didn't disqualify me and Raleigh was able to take another go at it. Emma got a taste of the experience and is anxiously awaiting the time when she can really compete, rather than just messing up Raleigh's runs. He did go on to win a blue ribbon, (and her interference may have been a blessing in disguise since I had given him some inadequate signals and he was heading in the wrong direction anyway). But we both felt good about that second run (click HERE), and it was a great way to end the weekend. Many thanks to all of the good folks at CPE and Humdog who put in so much time and effort to make the weekend possible and give such joy to about 100 people and 150 dogs. We are looking forward to the next trials.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pilgrimages of all sorts

Since this is a blog, a work in progress, I don't hold myself to chronology (as you might have noticed), so I am back to the Benedictine Experience. This is a sketch that I did on Desert Day, the Thursday when we have the opportunity to go deeper into silence and solitude, our own personal deserts. We made up sack lunches, were given some ideas to ponder, and then were left to our own devices. I took my sketchbook and walked back into the hills where I found a bench under a live oak tree overlooking the valley. The day was really hot so the shade was welcome and necessary. My plan was to stay there until the sun moved so that it was no longer shaded and then move on. As it turned out, it was shady all day, so I sat on that bench for over three hours---painting the valley, drawing other pilgrims as they walked up the path, reading, eating my sandwich, and having a little nap. It was glorious.

Speaking of fellow pilgrims, Helena Chan was new to BenEx this year, and brought wonderful fresh energy and insights. I sat next to her during a few of the discussions and couldn't help but glance over and notice her notes. She uses the same kind of black bound sketchbook and Artpen that I often use, but the results are very different. She is an engineer, and a very neat person, which really showed in those clear, straight lines of beautiful script and perfectly organized thoughts. And she had no ink on her fingers from that pen! I was so impressed and amazed that I couldn't resist commenting, and pointing it out to others. Helena wrote a bit about the week which she posted on St. Paul Cathedral blog on August 2. She writes beautifully, in both senses of the word, and it really is worth a look.