Since my wife Elfa and I started our company Pacific Bay Financial over 35 years ago, we have mostly agreed on every decision. Nevertheless, Elfa sometimes challenges my points of view, especially when I change my mind within a short period of time.
My response to this is simple. A decision about anything is only the direction of the thought. After gathering more information the direction may change with a change of one’s point of view. Let me use the taking of photo images as an example. I can stand in one spot and take 360 different images; and just by turning my body slightly and seeing (and capturing) different angles, in addition to many outside factors, like the time of day and availability and quality of light, the images can look quite different.
Since Elfa and I along with our daughter Tamar and her husband David are fully vaccinated, we could take a trip there and visit with them. We’ve driven to LA many times and usually take Highway 280, which connects to the 101, and at a certain point 152 takes us to Highway 5. However, this time I missed the exit and was considering turning back at the next one. My wife Elfa said, “just keep driving, 101 will also get us to our destination”. So I did, until suddenly GPS told me to take exit 46, which I followed, and this is how we discovered “Blackwells Corner”, which is part of California’s history. We stopped to get gas and to visit a local convenience store, where we found another part of history. Turns out, that this was the last shop where on September 30, 1955, movie actor James Dean bought some items before he was killed in a car crash a short time after.
Blackwells Corner is located in the Antelope Valley of Kern County, with Bakersfield as the county seat. This is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, which I would never know about, if I would not listen to my wife’s advice, “Just keep driving.” I encourage you to take this route, have lunch at the restaurant, buy pistachios and take pictures with the 50’s memorabilia, as I did.
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The title of this essay sounds like an oxymoron. Nevertheless, visiting The Sea Ranch is exactly that. This is the place where humans managed to integrate into nature without destroying it. Due to Covid-19, we were unable to visit here for more than a year. Years ago, we owned a second home in The Sea Ranch, but now we just return when we can and rent different houses located on the meadow side (there are also homes on the forest side).
This last time, our short vacation was from Thursday until Monday. The Sea Ranch is one of our favorite places in the world to visit to relax, to breathe fresh air, to walk along the ocean, on one of the 50 miles of trails, to read, to write and of course to photograph. While there, I also started working on my next photobook, “42 Encounters with Love”. Meanwhile, you can find my other books at EncountersPublishing.com.
As part of my morning routine, I read excerpts from the book, “Kabbalah 365: Daily Fruit from the Tree of Life” by Rabbi Gershon Winkler. Recently I read that “Darkness is but a garment of light” (Seifer Ha Zohar, Vol.1, folio 226). He explains, “It is still light, but veiled; the darker it is, the more layers of the veil. Likewise, everything in life is one with the opposite. For example, if you are feeling anger, this is an extremely thick veil for the opposite – appeasement. So gradually, try to remove the layers until you discover appeasement. If you are feeling hate, it is a thick layer of the opposite, love. And so with everything, all is one.”
This definition is different from the one I found in Online Dictionary – “Darkness is partial or total absence of light.” For me, photographing in the darkness always produces unexpected results, which allows light to manifest itself.
If you’ve traveled abroad, you may have encountered dogs sniffing passengers’ luggage for drugs at the airport. Dogs are employed in this occupation because their noses have around 300 million scent receptors making them superior smellers to humans who only have about 5 or 6 million.
I learned about this in an article which appeared in The Wall Street Journal titled, “Your Next Covid-19 Test Could be a Dog’s Sniff”. The other article, which was published by the American Lung Association on the same subject, “Can Dogs Sniff Out COVID-19?” pointed out that dogs can detect different diseases, including lung cancer, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.