Living in Waves

Photos capture and tell stories with light waves. Music does the same with sound waves, and we collect both here - enjoy
-Bert Keely

August 2017 - Howling at the Sun

This year's total solar eclipse was quite a thing to witness. But what I found most enchanting was the behavior of the witnesses. Click the photo for video.

July 2016 - In Over His Head

Just a few years ago it seems, our son Brandon was learning to swim. Now at the same neighborhood pool he's underwater with his own daughter Noli. Grandparents talk about how much fun this is, but few mention one of the greatest joys: watching your son be a father!

Dec 2015 - What Would Marcia Say?

My love of music came from my mother. She also gave my sister Cathy a rugged elegance and gave our little sister Ginny her gift of laughter. And suddenly Mom is gone.

Everyone eventually loses their mom. I've seen it many times, but never imagined feeling the way I do now. It' suddenly clear that for half a century there has been an umbilical cord connecting to Mom. The nourishment included her persuasion that I could become whatever I wanted. With no constraints other than to be safe, be decent to others, and appreciate the joys that come in life.

Mom never had any interest in controlling others. And yet this woman had a HUGE personality. How can one be so deeply influential without being pushy? Well, she was astute. But it also helps that she loved simplicity. So with a few words she could brightly light subjects that others would avoid.

Only when her body became weak did Marcia's essence become fully clear. She had always known what matters most in life. She had stayed curious, self-sufficient, responsive to others' needs, and funny - knowing how humor helps this world go 'round. Living this way, plus being lucky in love, had given her an astonishingly deep satisfaction. Focusing on things naturally within her control, Marcia showed us how an individual can easily make the world a better place.

Especially in the words she chose near the end - when each word took seconds to prepare - Marcia showed us how to live. Big questions will remain unanswered in life, and that's just fine. A little question we like to ask each other now is this: "What would Marcia say?"

Nov 2014 - Life's Second Half  

Not long ago, 50 was an age most humans didn't reach. It's now an age some of us aspire to double. And many of us now think of 50 as the start of life's second half.

My sister Ginny is a case in point. A brilliant Physical Therapist, being available to her patients means not getting many chances to take consecutive days off. But when she turned 50 she took a few off with me, just driving around Northern California and talking. Occasionally we'd come across a breathtaking view, she'd walk and I'd photograph. Just after sunrise at Death Valley's Zabriskie Point, she seemed to be contemplating the ups and downs that lay ahead. 

Raising our children I would often say "Life is short". In the back of my mind was the late Robin Williams saying "Carpe diem" to the schoolboys in Dead Poet's Society. Yes, life is short enough that we should seize each day. Even if 50 is only half way.

June 2014 - The smaller the venue, the better

Every June, dozens of the world's best musicians congregate in Telluride for the Bluegrass Festival. Some only play the main stage, but all walk through the town, and many participate in "Nitegrass' sessions where you can experience astounding music-making up-close.

For several years now, our friends Punch Brothers have closed the festival with a late nite jam at the tiny Sheridan Opera House. Jammed together around Gillian Welch are many of our very favorite musicians: Sara Watkins, Gabe Witcher, Bryan Sutton, Aoife O'Donovan, Chris Eldridge, Dave Rawlings, Sean Watkins, Paul Kowert, Chris Thile, Ronnie McCoury, Willie Watson, Sarah Jarosz, a mandolin player I don't recognize (sorry!) and finally Noam Pikelny & Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones.

2013 - Can't Stop Designing

I stopped working full-time in 2009, but can't stop designing. Home remodeling is an easy way to get a fix, Megan's new degree in Landscape Architecture drove this project: a green roof, solar trellis, and faux-slate roof with stainless steel eaves and gables. One goal was to make the carport - which is very close to the street - part of the landscape rather than part of the house. Another was to include solar panels in a way that feels integral rather than a tack-on afterthought. A third was to eliminate the fire hazard of shake shingles by re-roofing with something lightweight but also substantial. Fourth was to have no visible gutters or downspouts.

2012 - Getting high in the Himalayas

As soon as he felt recovered from triple bypass surgery, my running mentor Mike Nuttall asked me to accompany him on a 100mi Stage Race in the Himalayas. It became the trip of a lifetime, including a week exploring the Khumbu region around Mt Everest. I guess this was a 'selfie' (before the word became popular). I took it at 18200ft atop the Kala Patar ridge,  showing Mt Everest and Nuptse above and Everest Base Camp below.

2011 - Off to College in New Orleans

On graduating high school, our first 37 College Track students in New Orleans were able to meet Bill Clinton (also the first in his family to go to college). Great inspiration to aim high, as these students embark on their college careers! Thank you Bill for the down home eloquence that's in everything you say.

2010 - Gone surfing

I'm going to learn to surf well, before it's too late. This isn't a selfie, it's Darryl "Flea" Virostko, the Mavericks legend who was acting as Water Patrol at my favorite surf spot - Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz. The wave wraps a cliff, turning north into a dependable offshore breeze, and sometimes continues for up to a quarter mile before ending at Cowell beach.

2009 - The Wedding Singers

Megan and Brandon, singing Nick Drake's "Northern Sky" during Nate and Katie's spectacularly blustery Big Sur wedding.

2008 - The year BertsEye opened

This was when I started transitioning out of full-time work, to make room for other passions best pursued while young. Kris Kristofferson said "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose". It's nice to have nothing left but time: each day starts with asking "what sounds most exciting today?" and ends after following that excitement!

This was the end of a road trip day Megan and I spent driving home from Ithaca after her college graduation. I ran as far as I could out into the Great Salt Lake to find a moment of perfect stillness.
Alone except for a sun worshiper, a tumbleweed, and billion sand flies