Category Archives: Inspiration

Reflections on the Strength of Our Nation

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Last summer, I shot this photo near Boston, Massachusetts, just before Independence Day. I think I intended saving it for the next Fourth of July, but the tragic events of this week have me reflecting on our strengths and it feels appropriate today. To be able to look at fear and respond with humanity and action is what this flag symbolizes to me. There is pain, suffering and the realization that each of us as an individual can choose to do right by others rather than wringing our hands and asking “Why us?” . This is the measure of who we are as a people and a country. All those that took action, offered help in what ever way they could, and made a difference , set the example. We are a nation of individuals who can accomplish so much when we act rather than complain to and about each other.  Those that cause suffering need not be understood, just denounced and recognized as inhuman. For each negative act, a positive one will take away its power. As a people, we still have decisions to make and a course to set .


Hanging Out to Dry

clothelinecolir-webIt was a perfect spring today. Lots of sunshine, a slight breeze and a blue sky made me think about hanging wash out to dry. At my grandmother’s house in Pennsylvania, it was one of the few chores that I really enjoyed. Fighting stiff sheets in the breeze while trying not to swallow the wooden clothespins grew into a talent. I loved grabbing the pins and stuffing them into the swinging bag. My cousins and I would race to the finish. In Manhattan, we had a clothesline strung from our fifth floor apartment across the airshaft to a friend’s apartment in the opposite building.The clothes dried, but not much could be said for their cleanliness, and if you missed grabbing a pair of underwear, they were lost forever. To my knowledge, no one had ever safely navigated the bottom of the air shaft. It would be like an archeological dig.These photos taken at the children’s garden in the Memphis Botanic Garden sum up the experience and beauty for me. I think we’d help ourselves and our planet if we resurrected wash lines.

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Imagination Sets Sail

chihuly-boat-webBorrowing a rowboat filled with Chihuly glass that I shot in St.Louis several years ago, adding some spice and playing around  freely, provided my imagination with the perfect mode of transportation. Whimsical and fragile during the day, it would sail powered only by a deep breath. At night, after settling into it carefully, we would glide through the sky and out twinkle the stars until sunrise would lead us home. A perfect vehicle for imaginary journeys, and it’s free.


Appearances Are Deceiving

 

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A rocky outcropping of beach, the sun is shining and it’s oddly silent. Sitting in Charleston Harbor this little island  looks peaceful until you take a broader view and see the remains of the fort. Until you wander the ghostly maze  of ruins and can almost hear the voices and booms of cannons. Until you realize this is the site of the opening act of the bloodiest , most confusing time in our country’s history, The Civil War. This is Fort Sumter. Growing up in the north and living in the south, I have come to hear so many personal reactions to the war. Currently in Memphis, they are actively working to rename parks that honored Confederate generals. At reenactments at Shiloh, the Star-Spangled Banner isn’t heard, but The Bonnie Blue Flag and Dixie are sung lustily. Both events are unsettling. My hope is that the serenity of this small sunlit beach will spread to others , that peace rather than conflict will finally prevail, and the “War”  will have truly ended 148 years later.

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A Recipe for Creativity

watercolorbridge-webTake a quiet, rainy, gray Saturday morning with little ambition.Add a bit of a bridge shot in IR, layer a watercolored paper towel,then  an invert filter . Hopefully this results in a dreamy garden landscape. Like cooking but with less mess and zero calories, it’s just as satisfying. Enjoy!


Indulge Yourself

 

cupcake-webyA Friday afternoon in my favorite bookstore was the perfect time to celebrate the end of a busy week. I couldn’t resist the strawberry cupcake with pink icing beckoning to me from the display case. One part of my brain complained about the number of calories; the other told me I deserved to treat myself special.So I did. Enjoying the first bite, I noticed how the pink cake looked against the red pleated paper wrapper. I grabbed my phone and received a number of strange looks as I took several shots. While the cupcake lasted a bit longer because of the impromptu photo shoot, the main benefit was giving myself permission to indulge without guilt. That’s not always so easy to do, but it often meets unspoken needs.

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Crashed the Hard Drive, Found a Sunset

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Unexpectedly, one of my hard drives crashed. Thousands of photos remain trapped in a plastic encased tomb. Unsure of what I actually lost, I began searching through the hundreds of backup CD’s I’ve burned.(Really, I had burned them!) So much of the raw materials remained but I rarely save experiments until I’m happy with them. Therefore, many layered pieces are MIA. I should be inconsolable, but I discovered that I’m not.At least not right at this moment. As I searched through CD’s, I found many images that I had forgotten. It was rediscovering that specific point in time. To celebrate, I present a nine-year old sunset !


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