Saturday, December 31, 2011

Settling In


They settled in the valley below Sentinel Peak—to feed, mate, and rest from a long journey, as monarch butterflies do.  They flutter about half-tired, half-excited, traversing their local environs along lines, like ants.  They have flown a long migration to home never seen; and now I see them, join them, directed in some way as they are, to leave friendly surroundings, pulled to unknown and much anticipated home.  It’s not so much that we want to leave as it is that we feel naturally and illogically pulled to another place.


I climbed above them this morning, summited a cone-shaped mountain, Sentinal Peak, just west of Tucson.  From there, I looked down as a fluttering monarch might, on home I had never seen.  Compelled to fly here, strongly and nonsensically, to live here a month, to explore these desolate mountains and deserts and report on conditions of scorched saguaros and ancient uplifted rock.

Last evening, I settled into a small floorplan at this motel and, on this New Years Eve, this eve of a new adventure, explored my immediate neighborhood.  I felt the culmination of a vibration that had pulled me here and away from home that was, away from what was good.  It’s not a search for home that drives me, but, like the butterfly, an urge to go.  I feel her inexplicable sense as to which direction; her simple and natural following a call.  Perhaps there remains in some of us an unidentified string of junk DNA shared in common with certain kinds of birds and butterflies.

Sentinal Peak viewed from Tucson has an “A” on its side, put there to exalt the University of Arizona.  Back in the 1950s, a “T” adorned the side of Hennigher Flat above Pasadena, cleared from of chaparral by students at Caltech.  I wonder if the propriety of such intrusions will reach Tucson.

My shadow is moving on in.

And yes, Occupy Tucson is alive today.


  1. Fly strong, land softly, dear Monarch! Flutter by! flutter by!

  2. Welcome to Tucson, dear Sharon, it is better off for having you adorn its wildness like a monarch. I like your analogies. We missed you last night (and Gail and Steven too!) Rick and I were talking this morning about all the people who would have loved to be there, the musical variety, including the hurdy gurdy and harpsichord as well as baroque flute were rich and high quality... at least 30 people will tell you so. Another time we will have a more music focused salon with those three players, so hopefully you will all be here then. Maja's scenes of her "new city" Paris, and poems expressing her experiences were beautiful and the water lilies of Monet too... bloomed here, even though you three butterflies were elsewhere. Looking forward at the end of this month long adventure to your stories and poems alighting in our salon once more. Love the saquaro and your shadow and views... I understand your love for adventure and the call to go, even though you love what is at home. It's the way we get more perspective, a new view, a different kind of time and space for thought and experience, and bring it home. See you here! (That has lots of meanings!)

  3. Ooo! Occupiers! Now we're getting somewhere! :o)

  4. Sharon,

    As always, but all the photos are just gorgeous. I love monarch butterflies and saguaros. The photo of your shadow and saguaro is humorous. And I love that reddish brown color of the house.

    The other day, I watched a program that an American journalist made a visit to the Mexican President, and they were showing the area monarch butterflies gather. The President was saying that the butterflies travel 500 miles to North America. Butterflies were all over the place and on the President's head or shoulder. It was an amazing site.

  5. fly strong
    land softly
    dear monarch
    flutter by
    flutter by
    a poem by Gail Radice

    Keiko, I actually saw no butterflies, but the flutter of people down below in the city brought them to Tucson.

    Kathabela, we have much in common perspective on far places, even if little in remoteness. It doesn't matter when crowds of people are so like crowds of cacti.