Monday, November 30, 2009

Perseverance Furthers

I woke in the middle of the night and two words floated mysteriously into my head: perseverance furthers.
What the heck does that mean? It's 2:00 am, and I am trying to remember where I know these words, when it hits me, it's from the I Ching. The I Ching? How long has it been since I counted out yarrow sticks to divine meaning from the moment? More than thirty-five years. Yet here I was lying in bed, contemplating two words straight out of those sweet, new-age hippie days on the 14-acre farm in West Linn, Oregon circa 1974, and now stirred the night with their mystical divinations.
Perseverance furthers.

So, in the morning I googled "I Ching" and found this from the very first hexagram:

The creative works sublime success,
Furthering through perseverance.

It actually doesn't matter that this really means nothing to me. I am more struck by the remembering of the words than considering the absurd poetry of hexagrams divined by yarrow sticks or coin tosses.
What I know is that I have been trying to photograph trees that are lit like fire by the setting sun.

I had Roger show me how to use the digital camera with manual settings to open the aperture more and close the shutter more quickly. I needed light and speed to capture these wildly lit moments.

Light doesn't always materialize in exactly the place it is expected. The trees stay green at the end of the day, their needles dark and calm, where two days before they had been utterly transformed. The rains come too, folding sunset into its endless gray. The sunset orange glow rays move on, especially now that the sun is diving south as quickly as it can to reach solstice at its celestially appointed hour.
But I did persevere and found the lingering light in some trees across the road. I've read that this affect is called alpenglow, the low angle of the sun and maybe a bit of high altitude. I don't know. I am just awestruck by the fire of it and am glad to see it burn like blazing embers in the trees.


  1. Beautiful, thanks!

  2. Uncanny.

    I just googled "Perseverance furthers" because the phrase just popped into my head this evening as I was particularly pleased with the result of my recent efforts to solve a problem out in my blacksmith shop. There were times when I thought of abandoning my approach, but then chose to just keep at it, and today was the fruition, achieving exactly what I had hoped and planned for.

    Your posting was first in the list of hits.

    Amazing. I too threw yarrow sticks, back in '68-'74, and actually got something from it, but haven't really gone there since then. The brain, the mind. What we don't know. Just amazing.

    Anyway, thanks, it was fun reading your post.

  3. Thank you so much for your comment, Chad. We were throwing yarrow sticks in the same era. Maybe it was the time of the year, or maybe the time of man...

  4. How funny. I googled perseverance furthers this evening. I was a hippy living in the lower Sierras going through a major transition and used the I Ching as a crutch. It's been roughly 35 years, but that's the phrase that's stuck all these years.

  5. Hello Rob, Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm so glad to know that "perseverance furthers" still resonates. Waving hello from the Sierra foothills, still the place of aging hippies!

  6. Nice to find this still keeping the internet sane

  7. I understand its beauty...I just saw this yesterday at sunset..beautiful! Such a terrific capture!

  8. Over the long term, something is proven to be just, in the sense of being correct for onself, because it works in practice for the highest good of all involved.

  9. Fascinating how your "Perseverance Furthers" post from 2009 has drawn readers in subsequent years. I'm surprised that I didn't comment in 2009. Looking into my archives for November 30, I see that I was posting, page by page, the book I put together after R died. Maybe I wasn't doing too much commenting during that time. Who knows? I can comment here now! I do hope that the trees that only appeared to be on fire are still safe from fire

    1. am-- I lost most of the comments on this post because we had been using Haloscan for comments, and that was discontinued in 2008. We lost all of the comments from 2005-2008. It was such a bummer. It's likely that you did comment back then. I loved these Alpenglow moments, and yes, I hope these days the trees are merely lit by the light of the sun and not by fire.

    2. am-- Whoops, I meant 2009. That's when we lost all of our comments.