The Snail Trail, part 11

As I’ve been detailing in recent posts, I’ve become preoccupied with altering a photo of a complicated snail trail.

However, my snail trail colorings have begun to slip from curiosity and exploration into planning and process.

I take dream advice seriously. Thus, I doubt that it was coincidence when an irritable dream voice recently told me (in a C’mon, get with it tone), “You’ve got a snail trail. Learn how to wander.”

I’ve set aside ideas for more snail trail embellishments. For the moment, at least, I’m not pursuing them.

I confess that I’m not sure how this snail trail can teach me about wandering when I can’t even follow its frigging path. Which brings me back to the impatience/patience thing. Doesn’t feel like I’m getting anywhere, I’d better turn versus Oh is it time for a turn? Alrighty then!

So, time for a turn. Here I go.

More soon.

Or maybe not.

The Snail Trail, part 10

As I’ve been detailing in recent posts, I’ve become preoccupied with altering a photo of a complicated snail trail.

Forget the lines, consider the curls was another path I explored.

These became some of my favorite images and yet I began to feel a growing unease. My explorations were starting to feel rote.

The Snail Trail, part 5

As I’ve been detailing in recent posts, I’ve become preoccupied with a photo of a complicated snail trail.

After various failed efforts to follow or reproduce the sea snail’s route, I tried to follow it in spirit. That is, I attempted to stop steering and instead make turns without forethought, as they present themselves.

It’s not my first round at this particular rodeo. With and without snail trails, my life proceeds most gloriously when I am able to live it without trying to steer and plan. My days become deeper and richer. My fiction writing brings wonderful surprises.

And yet it takes daily/hourly/momently effort to put steering and planning on pause.

And so, the Snail Trail Project has become another opportunity to practice wandering. I began to dabble with shapes in the trail and have wound up spending weeks decorating those shapes. Early on, in the colorized trail shapes I saw an impala, prancing. In a recent dream, impalas played an important role, so I colored the snail trail to emphasize the impala:

It takes a certain squint to see the impala, kicking up one heel.

The Snail Trail, part 4

As I mentioned in my most recent posts, I’ve become preoccupied with a photo of a complicated snail trail.

After I abandoned my effort to recreate the trail, I imagined walking it as the snail had. Twist, turn, twist, return, reverse, retwist.

I thought, ‘Snail is patient. It takes a lot of patience to move like that.’

I thought about it some more. And at some point I started to feel like Pooh with one of his conundrums.

I decided. The snail trail is a great symbol of Patience.

The snail trail is an equally great symbol of Impatience.

The Snail Trail, part 3

As I mentioned in my most recent posts, I’ve become preoccupied with a photo of a complicated snail trail.

After I traced the trail, I attempted to recreate the path that the snail took. I used my puzzle-solving skills. I used scientific strategies for interpreting geologic history, such as the principle of cross-cutting formations (if a line is on top it is “younger” – it happened more recently than the line below).

Hooo boy.

I started at one end and moved forward.

I started at the other end and moved backward.

I messed with the image contrast and shadows.

I got my other glasses.

Every time I thought I figured out one small piece of the middle maelstrom, my next choice would contradict the previous.

Only on the simplest loops was I able to (maybe, mostly) determine the snail’s path.

I stopped trying when self-combustion became imminent.

I decided the snail’s path would remain a mystery.

As if that were up to me.