Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Half-Reminder

In a very real sense, life on our blue planet is founded upon savagery.  We are surrounded by predators.  Consider the hawks in stiff circles above.  The leggy spiders bursting from shadow to light as they ambush hapless passersby.
Big fish eat little fish.
And, of course, we fully acknowledge the apex beasts afield: wolves, bears, big cats.
Our own pets—sweet as they seem—are predators just the same.
On occasion, a field mouse will somehow gain entry to my house.  My 20 pounds of housecat is first to notice such events.  He immediately switches into hunting mode when he detects a mouse.  I will find him hunched at various places around the house watching corners or peering under furniture.  I might notice him sniffing along the floor.
The day before yesterday, my cat switched into hunting mode.  I saw him sniffing at the space under the range.  He lingered near the toe space below the kitchen sink.  While I was in Missoula teaching a class yesterday, that girl texted me a photograph of what she found on the living room floor.

-- Mitchell Hegman

Monday, March 19, 2018

Door Check

I’m not sure what the deal is with my 20 pounds of housecat.  He’s developed a new quirk.  Now, when I find him at the door and try to let him outside, I am required to open and close the door three or four times before he will actually walk outside.  He sits there watching the door (not looking outside) with great interest as I conduct the “practice openings.”
It’s as though he is some kind of building inspector making sure the door is in perfect working order before he will use it.  Or, perhaps, my cat has developed obsessive compulsive disorder and I and the door are caught up in one of his OCD loops.
 -- Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Driving Open Range under Low Clouds

The open range can quickly close in on you.  Low clouds can press down hard, squashing distant mountains into a nearby mist.  An empty highway will soon dissolve into gray on both ends.
Seventy miles-per-hour becomes perfectly still. 
Without an accompanying fence, or a river to tag and run alongside, a quiet highway becomes dangerous.  If you’re not careful, you’ll crawl deep inside yourself.
One wrong song on your sound system and you’ll quickly find the road has led you back to that cliff you almost jumped from many years ago.
-- Mitchell Hegman

Friday, March 16, 2018


I checked outside early this morning and found the stars as they should be.  At present, my 20 pounds of housecat has opted to sprawl across my lap as I sit drinking my first cup of coffee.  On my television's Sirius XM 60’s on 6 feed, the Beach Boys’ I Get Around fell immediately into Hugo Montenegro’s The Good the Bad and the Ugly.
Cats are a sort of ego grounding mechanism.  If you are of a mind that you are “kind of a big deal,” that the world is going to stop if you don’t get out there and spur it along, having a cat sprawled across your lap will tone you down in a hurry.
-- Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stephen Hawking

Stephan Hawking died yesterday.  Bound to a wheelchair, he lived fifty years longer than expected after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.  More importantly, as his body continued to shutdown, his brain unleashed.  His contributions to research in physics are remarkable.  But his biggest contribution to humankind might be the grace with which he faced his utterly debilitating disease.
He gives us all hope that we might flourish in the face of the worst hardship, in the face of our own demise.
Following are two quotes from Stephen Hawking:
—“I believe things cannot make themselves impossible.”
—“In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind.”
-- Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

To a Practical End

For a time, I clung to dreams that I might change my corner of the world in some significant way.  I swashbuckled my way through imaginings of what might come.  I saw myself paralyzing forever horrible diseases.  Maybe three or four of them.  Perhaps I would invent a glowing widget that would improve all doodads.  Having now struggled to simply reach the age of retirement and still keep my refrigerator filled along the way, I am today happy I can change my own socks.
-- Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Avenging Angels

I have known more than a few people who aspired to be avenging angels.  Such aspirations always turn out ugly in the end.  The “avenging” necessarily comes first, and “angel” is enduringly beyond reach.
-- Mitchell Hegman