Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A visit to Brigadoon

Back in 1998 I spent a week in Port Townsend at a photography workshop. It was an amazing time: I made some wonderful friends, learned (and incredibly enough internalized) much of what I now know about photography, and explored this charming town in depth, discovering facets I continue to explore years later.

One of the places we photographed during that week was a lovely park that was sort of a cross between a park and a public garden, and ever since then I have tried to find it again with no luck. But when I was in Port Townsend last weekend, killing time waiting for the sky to clear so I could photograph those banks, this park reappeared, like Brigadoon, out of the morning mists.

It's called Chetzemoka Park, and it was right where I remembered it being, though I could swear I've driven by it many times without being able to find it. And it was just as lovely as I remembered it -- moreso, in fact, because the last time I saw it was in August, and this time, it being June, the rhododendrons were in bloom.

This has been an odd year that way. Lots of things that seemed to have gone missing in my life have begun to reappear: old friends, lost places, old affections buried by time and anger. The fearful part of me worries that this is "the beginning of the end," a process of reconciliation that must happen because I am about to die of some hideous disease. So I have to spend time with that fearful one, and listen to her, and take her with me into the fear, so she can remember it won't be so bad, whatever happens.

But the rest of me rejoices in all these little resurrections, and gives full credit to the increased habits of mindfulness. Perhaps, at last, I am becoming more aware of my surroundings; perhaps, at last, I will be able to see, not only these missing pieces, but that larger truth that waits always before me, eager for the final wholeness that comes with recognition that when we can step outside the demands of time all blends together in a rich and color-saturated oneness, like my friend Gillian's wonderful new paintings.

1 comment:

karengberger said...

This is one of our all-time favorite parks. We used to go there when the kids were tiny, and they loved to play on the play-equipment, swing on the glider, walk the paths (over bridges, through the allee of flowers and into the gazebo) and go down to the beach. When we lived on the Canal, I used to get my hair cut in Pt. T., and then we would picnic at Chetzemoka. I am happy that you re-discovered it; thank you for bringing up such pleasurable memories for me!