Author Archives: IBK

Away for Christmas and New Year 2017-2018

©2018 IBKimage

And just like that … there it was, the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France across from the park my son and I were walking in on a gloomy, damp January day. In three days I’d be flying back to Denver after spending 2 weeks in Germany, pre and post Christmas with friends, and then a train ride to Paris to visit a son who was visiting too.

There are times in life when traveling thousands of miles to be with others in a special season is exactly the best gift one could receive. Well, for me anyway, since my first home was in Germany many years ago and I had always had a desire to go back for Christmas as an adult. It was everything I had hoped for and then some. Sleeping at sea level on gloomy winter days with little sunshine is the most relaxing sleep that I can ever remember. The German word for my adventure is Erholung: Rest, Recreation,and Recovery.

In this year of 2018 my wish for you is to find a place of Erholung, whether near or far away to reflect on what is really important to you as you navigate the seasons of your life.

IBK

Posted in Hospitality, Insight, Inspiration Tagged , , |

Friends for the Journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many years ago at about this time in December my mother, brother and I left Germany from the airport in Hamburg. We were on our way to North Platte, NE where my father would be waiting to to be reunited with his family after an 8 month separation …he having come before us by way of an ocean liner to New York and then by train to live in a small farming community in Elwood Nebraska. We were people from the North, specifically the North West coastal area. All the rest of our relatives and friends remained there and at that time we believed that we would probably never see them again. Fortunately that turned out not to be true.

My grandparents were married for 62 years and after my grandmother died, my grandfather moved to an apartment in a senior residence facility where he welcomed my mother, his daughter once a year until his death at 102. During these visits my mother was delighted to experience the healthy North Sea air, enjoy all foods German, especially her beloved fish, freshly caught the night before and offered at the Friday farmer’s market in the town square.

In addition, she had the privilege of staying with her dearest friend in a neighboring village and sharing life present , as well as past …bonded together by friendship and shared experience in good and terrible times. In addition to this relationship she was also blessed to know as an older women the love and friendship of her friend’s only son and daughter-in-law who welcomed her into their lives. In the years after her friend died they loved her as their own. After my mother’s death 6 years ago my family and I traveled back to Germany to honor my mother’s wish to have her ashes spread on the North Sea. Her “adopted adult children” joined us as we traveled on a small ship on a rough sea day to say goodbye.

Next week, I’m flying back to Hamburg for Christmas where my mom’s friend’s children will meet me at the airport and take me home with them for a Christmas visit.

Today’s image: My mom on the left and her friend beside her.

Wishing you all a time of reflection and memory of the friends of your journey.

Blessings in your transitions, comfort for your losses, and hope for a new year coming.

Joy,
IBK

Posted in Blessings Tagged |

Something Old is New Again

We often press forward,crossing items off of the proverbial “bucket list”, reaching for the next level in our fitness, clearing out those numerous e-mails before we leave our desk, learning how to use a new tool, and so on. In our culture what’s new is constant new offerings every day.

And yet, it’s also wonderful to look at something old in a new way. Maybe you haven’t played a musical instrument that you’ve enjoyed, for many years; a new reed, a polishing cloth, a few false starts and your delight returns; Same is true for most hobbies … picking up that paint brush, finally altering your aunts old wool coat with its memories to fit a new generation; seeing an old relationship in a new way, minus the personal feelings evoked and so on.

I experienced that this week in looking at an old image in a new way because of an improved post processing procedure. A clearer picture now, taken on a beautiful fall day in November … was actually a 4 year old image made in July. As we transition through our seasons, we can reflect on the old in the today and often find new insights.
IBK

Posted in Inspiration, Seeing In New Ways, Stopping, Uncategorized Tagged , , |

Transitions

©2017IBKImage

Good Morning,
For awhile now I have been offering insight and encouragement in life’s transitions, through this blog and perhaps it’s been my life’s work for a long time. As I was moving some books from an old to new position this week, I picked up the 25th Anniversary Edition of William Bridges 2004 book: “Transitions …Making Sense of Life’s Changes”. Add 13 years to that and you have a book that has and is still making an impact on people’s lives 38 years later.

The original 1979 book and the teaching in it by Bridges, I now realize was the beginning of my understanding that change and transition are profoundly different The subject of the book in Bridges own words … “is the difficult process of letting go of an old situation, of suffering the confusing nowhere of in-betweenness, and of launching forth again in a new situation. … so (1) an ending, (2) a neutral zone, and (3) a new beginning.” The story of the Exodus at the time of Moses is certainly an example of that. Leaving Egypt; The Wilderness Life; and The New Land.

We often confuse the event – the change – with transition – our reaction and reorientation to the change. We believe that we can quickly go from one event (change) to another without the process of transition, however long or short it may be.

In future blogs I’ll revisit some of what I’ve summarized here, but for now I encourage you to think of some of your own changes and transitions and how they’ve perhaps “grown you” albeit often with hard work and pain.

Today’s image is in the Rhino Neighborhood in downtown Denver, where everything old is now new again and an example of major transition in a city that is one of the fastest “growing” in the country.
IBK

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , |

Aha At The End Of The Day

©2017IBKimage

Having just returned from my first trip to Montreal,Canada, I was eager to load digital images into my computer for review and processing. While waiting for the import, I discovered a photo I had taken at Berkeley Lake in Denver. Earlier in the evening I was trying to answer a question that one is always asked about one’s photography: “what kind of photography do you do?” It’s a simple enough question but I’ve really been struggling to answer it… portrait,landscape,nature,documentary,travel,street,wedding,commercial,architecture and so on?

In the midst of this muddling and frustration, an answer came. It followed a pattern: when one is busy doing something else, the aha often sneaks in the side door. I am a photographer who loves to document the extraordinary beauty in the ordinary and to write stories about what it’s like to be human in everyday ways and challenges and to encourage courage in life transitions. It’s a reminder to step into “who you are” and not get stuck by comparing yourself to others.

So today’s image is not from Montreal, but rather from a place I know well, close to home, at the end of the day and in this case a portrait and landscape all in one. 🙂
IBK

Posted in Authenticity, Courage Tagged , , , |

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 , , , |