Author Archives: IBK

Pull Up a Chair

©IBKimage 2017

 

 

In the busy outside interactions of summer in the city, it’s often difficult to find a place of retreat, where one can stand back and observe what moments ago one was in the midst of. On a recent evening photo shoot, in front of Union Station,Denver’s newly repurposed and renovated train station plaza, just such a place made itself known. A breakfast restaurant with outdoor seating, was closed, but oh the delightful configurations of myriad plastic chairs at rest before the next performance.

In the midst of the surrounding hustle and bustle, I observed our two chairs leaning in for a chat and thought about many past joyous moments of sitting with someone in deep conversation, totally oblivious to what was happening all around. We’ve lost something when we so often engage in transaction with our devices while at the same time trying to experience deeper interaction with the human soul across from us. Many times not just wanting to experience deeper, but hungering for it.
IBK

Posted in Authenticity, Insight Tagged , , , , , , |

Changing Our Viewpoint

©IBKimage2017

A lesson I keep learning from my photography is that if you can’t capture a desired image which the eye sees, you have to move yourself to account for  the camera’s limitation.  Similarly, by shifting  position one can make an image look like it’s taken in sunny Italy, when it’s less than a half of a mile from a busy part of Interstate 70 in Denver.  In today’s image we’re seeing a pump house along Berkley Lake near my home, where I often walk in the evening when the summer heat dissipates.

 

Walking around this lake has also given me an opportunity to see some stunning sunsets, without the interference of electrical wires ubiquitous  in the alleys in my older neighborhood.  There’s a point here I think that perhaps helps us when we are anticipating, in the midst of, or just having encountered a transition of some kind.  Shifting our perspective and choosing (or being forced to by circumstance) to view a situation in a new way, can fix our eyes and hearts to perhaps see new viewpoints that can … in the moment … or after a passage of time, bless in new ways.

IBK

Posted in Courage, Insight, Letting Go, Reframe Tagged , , |

It’s Not ‘PERRRRfect’

 

©2010IBKimage

 

 

 

No matter where we go today we encounter the world of the perpetual “perfect” as spoken in cliche in many interactions.  I don’t think ‘perfect’ gives us enough vocabulary to describe a current situation and/or an often challenging transition that one might be in the midst of.  So today I encourage you to embrace the freedom of the imperfect …whatever that means for you.

 Today’s image breaks a lot of the ‘rules’ of photography but in the course of several gloomy days in a wet 2010 spring, it was an imperfect image that captured a beautiful moment of grace  as I walked my neighborhood that day.

IBK

Posted in Authenticity, Imperfect, Reframe Tagged , , , |

What’s Right In Front Us Often Reveals Next Steps

©IBKimage 2011

Six years ago can seem like yesterday or twelve long years depending on what has occurred in the interim. The lessons or reminders of that time are certainly a part of who we are today and yet in seeing something from the past today we are often tempted to add judgments about what we did or didn’t or could have done differently. What we have in front of us is all that we can respond to … in ways unique to who we are, our current situation, and what gives us joy even in the midst of challenging transitions.

Todays image was taken six years ago, a few months after my mother died. The sea as always is a place of blessing for me and its gifts nourish in myriad ways. And you?
IBK

Posted in Stopping, Waiting Tagged , , , |

In Walking Away, We Can Miss A Lot

©IBKimage2013

 

I spent a long weekend in Brooklyn, New York where I visited my youngest son.  We walked, we talked, drank great coffee, ate ethnic food and talked about the times we find ourselves in. All too soon it was time to go. I took the subway to Penn Station in New York, and then the New Jersey Transit to the Newark Airport and then to my gate,and a two hour weather delay …

 

While waiting and on the subsequent 4 hour flight to Denver, I thought about the millions of people who maneuver in urban contexts for work, and school and play and worship, and how amazing it is that people from all different places generally get along pretty well. Several people had offered assistance as I carried my rolling bag up the subway exit steps; answered and confirmed directional inquiries; shared stories of being immigrants who opened a restaurant using their Palestinian grandmother’s recipes … and so on.  Our waitress on one of our last meals together in the city, was a puppeteer and singer, songwriter, from Maine, who went to school in Colorado and knew the brother of my son’s high school friend from Lincoln, NE.

 

Perhaps because of the density in a large urban area, there is a forced closeness in encountering people who are not like us, and yet in our daily actions, and hopes and dreams, we are exactly alike.  When we have the luxury of living with more space, we might be tempted to walk away to our own comfort and miss the blessing of new insights. Pity.

IBK

Posted in Blessings, Insight, Others Tagged , , , |

We All Come From Somewhere We Consider Home

©IBKimage 2012

The place we currently live may or not be where our heart considers home.  I was born in Northwest Germany within a mile or so of the North Sea.  When I was almost 6 my family emigrated to the U.S. and we settled in South Central Nebraska … flat like Northern Germany but wide open spaces where patchwork quilts of prairie and farmland replaced the sea that one is always in relationship with when living near it.

Many years later I live in landlocked Colorado surrounded in Denver by beautiful mountain vistas, and yet as my mother before me longed for the sights and smells and sounds of home near the sea, (even though she adapted beautifully to her new land, and learned it’s ways and language, ) I too find solace in remembering where I came from and am nourished by the sights and sounds and smells of the water.

You all have places where you’ve come from and where your heart remembers  being home … sometimes it’s not the place itself, but the peace you felt when at a loved one’s home who resided there.  Anyway, I encourage you in this busy, noisy, chaotic world, to take yourself home for a bit and “sit with that for a spell”.

Today’s image is along the Eider River in Northern Germany at sunset where I got to be for a while. A river that cuts through flat farmland.

IBK

 

Posted in Aging Tagged , , , , |

Pepper On A Window Sill

 

©IBKimage2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many times when we are in transition we choose or have to learn skills not previously known that will help us travel a new path. This week I’ve been reading a book by Chuck DeGroat entitled: Wholeheartedness: Busyness, Exhaustion and Healing the Divided Self.   I was particularly drawn to a  a section in chapter 7 about “returning to our core, recovering our true self”.

 

  …”But this is the journey – from that lonely, exposed place where we find ourselves after clawing our way to  the top, to the lush valley below with streams of living water. The journey is from a place of exhaustion to a  place of rest, from a place of fragmentation to a place of wholeness and wholeheartedness. … in contrast to the upward mobility of our world, this is the way of downward mobility.I (Chuck) call this a descent into wholeness…. We become more whole as we unburden ourselves as we let go of what we thought we needed in order to experience what we already have.”

 

This last line of the quotation above, made its home in my thoughts today.  I/We so often work so hard to get to or through something  with our own effort and timelines when if we would pause to engage with what we already have, we might  discover some burden we could leave behind as we journey forth.

Today’s image was made on a day where I hit the pause button and noticed the light on a pepper in the  windowsill . It attracted my attention and provided, and still provides, delight.

IBK

Posted in Authenticity, Courage Tagged , , |

Off The Map

 

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©IBKimage2016

 

In November of 2016 I spent the weekend in New Orleans to participate in a surprise 70th birthday event for a dear friend of 42 years. Having arrived a day early, and settled at the Auld Sweet Olive Bed and Breakfast ,I ventured out with a map. I was in a residential neighborhood called Faubourg Marigny, which, along with my inn, an 1830’s creole house, was a plethora of colorful residential historic homes of the “artsy” variety.The instructions  by my host were simple: out the door and to the left, and another left and right and I would find my way to  the French Market area; out the door and to the right several parks and other areas of interest.  All went well on day one .

 

The next morning I explored in greater depth and made my left, left, right and then  saw a sign indicating that a foot bridge was ahead and where there’s a bridge there’s usually water, so straight ahead. Hours later I looked at my map and turned away from the beautiful urban park along the Mississippi River and found the street to return “home”. I  realized that I’d made a mistake and started asking people if I was headed in the right direction.  Some said yes, others no idea; it was getting dark and my feet were hurting.  I approached an  older woman who was standing on the sidewalk.  “Excuse me, could you tell me if I’m heading in the right direction to get back to …?”  She looked at my map, put her hand on my shoulder and with a  lovely southern accent proclaimed:  “Well my dear, you’ve walked yourself  right off of your own map.”  She told me that it would take “at least an hour” but I would get there by following the path I was on . “Once you cross the railroad track, you’ll be just about home” she called after me.

 

Today’s image was taken on a side street near the French Quarter away from the crowds and for just a second on a cloudy day, as I looked back at where I had come to …”off of my map”, I was rewarded with light.  🙂 May your “off the map” exploration assist you in seeing new opportunities in whatever stage of transition you might be in, wherever you are.

IBK

Posted in Blessings Tagged , , , , , |

New Beginnings

©IBKimage2015

©IBKimage2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Readers:

I left you here in the conservatory at the Denver Botanic Garden when I posted a blog on July 31,2015.

In that last blog I said:  “Having recently experienced several non routine events in some areas of my life, I’d like to offer an insight. Instead of spending so much energy trying to work to keep it all under control,I wondered what I might need for myself during a time that required more of me than I might have …”

 

As it turns out that was my last blog in almost 18 months. A number of things are now settled  and I’m ready to start anew. I’ve learned a lot about  strengths and weaknesses ; cleaned out a metaphorical and literal file cabinet to make room; faced realities that I have less energy than before and want to be more authentically me. You all have experienced transition in your own unique situations and seasons.

 

The absolutely best thing that has happened is that I have learned to listen more thanks to several loving people  who have held me accountable to take a look at my  “dance in the moment enthusiastic narratives” and in essence stop “fire hosing people” (my term, not theirs).  Some of you may be smiling now …  Anyway, my very quiet, husband of many years finally said to me:  “enough context, get to the point”.  “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

 

Looking forward to offering insight and encouragement through Word and Image as we navigate life’s transitions … and I do have a few good narratives to share.

Joy,

IBK

 

Posted in New Beginning, Seasons, Seeing In New Ways, Uncategorized, Waiting Tagged , , , , , |

Shift Happens

We’ve heard the term  ” ***t happens” … a deadline looms ; health issues change our routines; a new job requires re-orientation from familiar patterns; the dog dies; the old arguments resurface; you live with a two year old; and so on. It is  easy in these times to quickly seek an answer,to work at a solution, to make our case, and to do more, and seek what will bring everything back in balance.

 

Having recently experienced several non routine events in some areas of my life, I’d like to offer an insight.  Instead of spending so much energy trying to work to keep it all under control,I wondered what I might need for myself during a time that required more of me than I might have.  Paradoxically by shifting my focus to a series of small 30 minute diversions, I discovered an easier way to deal with the challenging.   In photography you often achieve focus by shifting your position vs. changing the lens.

 

On of my diversions is the greenhouse at the Denver Botanic Garden, today’s featured image.

Where is a place that you can take yourself too to find a renewed perspective?

 

©IBKimage2015

©IBKimage2015

Posted in Reframe, Seasons Tagged , , |