Looking down the grassy slope, the wooden fence and shaded road beyond were a reminder of how fences can bring a sense of safety, but also restrict freedom of movement — and perhaps even thought.
As counterpoint there was a simple bench made of new wood sitting high on the hill overlooking some ponds from a circle of white stones and shells. The bench seemed to reach to the sky in the breeze. That connection with the sky and the expansive view of the horizon recognized no boundaries.
Cross Winds - 2012
[Note: The “celery fields” is a local park created out of an old landfill and a series of county flood control ponds. The covered landfill creates an artificial hill overlooking the ponds that are home to many birds.]
To be tethered is to be restrained, tied down, prevented from moving about freely. And that can feel uncomfortable to those of us whose moving about is usually unrestricted. However, some actions, when totally unrestrained or untethered, can trample the rights of others. So being tethered can also refer to being grounded, in touch with reality, one’s actions balanced by consideration for others and for nature’s limits.
The predominant feelings within a community or culture toward restraint or being “tethered” may help set the tone for economic and social discourse. And problems may arise when one attitude toward restraint gets out of balance with the other.
We no longer trust beauty as a serious means of investigation. But it can be ... In fact, beauty can be incendiary; it can be subversive; it can make us cringe.
-- David Maisel, Photographer
"It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it." -- Anais Nin
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders of the universe, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.” -- Rachel Carson