Category Archives: Courage

Aha At The End Of The Day


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. ūüôā

Also posted in Authenticity Tagged , , , |

Changing Our Viewpoint


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.


Also posted in Insight, Letting Go, Reframe Tagged , , |

Pepper On A Window Sill










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.


Also posted in Authenticity Tagged , , |

Time Well Wasted


©2013 Telluride













Recently, I had the privilege to hear “someone’s heart” about some major decisions regarding a hoped for direction¬†in a relationship and a desire to engage in more frequent work or perhaps a career change. After several interactions and some movement forward, I received a note. In essence:¬†“Things¬†didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped and I made some¬†sacrifices, but had I not taken this risk, I would not¬†now know so much more about me ‚Ķ and then this: ¬†“It was time well wasted.” ¬†I was so moved by such a healthy reframe and have been “dancing” with the phrase ever since‚Ķ time well wasted. ¬†We usually say: ¬†“It was time well spent” but this reframe opens ¬†many possibilities.


We of course want to have a lot of memories of ¬†time well spent¬†but we often don’t get there because we think it was (or is) such a waste of time to spend time on something we want to do or be.¬†It seems so frivolous or so much work.


Today’s image is a view from an abandoned cabin at the top of a trail in Telluride, Colorado. My¬†photo friend dragged me up there to see this “unreal view” of a cabin with multiple windows and doors that each had a unique stunning view of the surrounding landscape. The only post processing work here is a slight crop to¬†reduce the overall size of the image. ¬†Ah‚Ķ”time well wasted”.


What say you? Can you think of time well wasted that lead you to new places and insights?








Also posted in Blessings, Insight, Seeing In New Ways Tagged , , , , |

We Are Not Alone In Our Transitions




March 2015 was an unusually full month and the events that touched my life and others that I’m in relationship with, all had this in common: major transition. After the event comes the good-bye of one way of living or being – usually¬†involving grief, disorientation, wilderness wandering,¬†re-orientation and a re-definition process of who we are and how we respond in a new season in response to what is at hand.¬†¬†Easily listed steps to major transition, however can’t begin to document the¬†particular and unique effect that transitions impose on those experiencing them.


For my friends whose house exploded in the early morning hours and then¬†burned to the ground in 16 minutes, the magnitude of their transition (thankfully all 5 members escaped without harm) began instantly to be followed by many months of heart wrenching re-orientation. ¬†A church community says goodbye to it’s senior leader; an older friend dies and as an older one myself,¬† I realize the good-byes are more frequent and personal now.


All ¬†transitions are of course not this heavy. More babies were born in my network ;¬† letters arrived from long time friends from diverse places;¬†family milestones celebrated; several long phone calls (in a¬†world increasingly communicating in short hand –¬†oh wait … text messages); a friend’s new book written; resuming daily walking and … As our two friends in today’s image remind us,¬†it’s better, together.


Also posted in Waiting Tagged , , , |




Hello Dear Readers,

I’ve missed offering insight and encouragement in your life transitions, but today I’m ready to begin again. I’ve been in a season of rootedness vs. roaming and there have learned to wait for answers I couldn’t find, and in some sense, didn’t need. ¬†It’s¬†a season of asking new questions because this has been an year of new challenges. ¬†The best part of my year has been that I have experienced a few things that I had no control over and instead of acting ¬†to¬†get them ¬†resolved, I learned to be grateful for what I had lost. ¬†I’ve learned to wait and be given what I need; I’ve accepted help when it’s offered;¬†and relearned the difference between sentiment – feelings – and love, which takes into account how my actions ¬†affect¬†all involved. ¬†I wonder what it would be like this coming year if I could “be” more love than to “do” loving things. Both of course are important.

So as this year ends, I wish for you comfort for your losses; the courage to end well and care for yourself in addition to others; to write new chapters; or begin new books; the time to reflect on how you’ve been loved through your “ickies”as my friend S. says and continue to hope as¬†you notice the¬†seedlings sprouting up amidst the rocks.

Love and Joy Come to You and Yours in these days of reflection and hope.




Also posted in Blessings, New Beginning, Seasons Tagged , , |






Hello. ¬†It’s been a couple of months since I’ve shared a¬†word and image to offer insight and encouragement for life’s transitions. ¬†I’ve actually had to learn to speak some of those words to myself as I’ve worked through some challenges regarding my health. ¬†As I was making a routine left turn on a Sunday afternoon, my world started spinning‚Ķliterally and now after a couple of months of vertigo incidents¬†I am learning to live with the after affects of an acute vestibular event (probably a virus) that has damaged my left inner ear – the part dealing with balance.


It’s been a humbling experience to not be in control of your body movements; or to walk down the sidewalk looking as though one was inebriated; to realize that once again there is another loss to adjust to‚Ķ and then you begin to understand – too slowly sadly – that there are all kinds provisions given that enter into this time of transition. ¬†Family and friends providing comfort, encouragement, rides and arms for stability; a deeper prayer life not only for wellness but a deeper compassion for those who’ve lived with or are currently living with the reality of acute or chronic health challenges; ¬†digging deep for a sense of humor in all of this; but mainly accepting that this is a new normal, and I will receive what I need when I need it and don’t have to force the timing.


Today’s image is usually seen as a ¬†clear night shot of the colored lights in the fountains located at City Park with the downtown Denver skyline as a background.

After weeks of pushing myself to restart my blog, I realize that an abstract of reality  can be a gift to remind one of the essentials.


Also posted in Blessings, New Beginning, Seasons Tagged , , , |

Crossing Another Bridge















Today’s image is near the west entrance gate of the Denver Botanic Garden. ¬†I have spent the last 3 months crossing this bridge as I enter and depart ¬†during my frequent visits to the garden. ¬†I have also been blessed to live in a 9th floor apartment this summer, overlooking the garden. ¬†At the beginning of the summer my husband and I rented this apartment, in anticipation of our house, in Denver, selling. ¬†We would then continue to spend time in the city in the coming year, but also gradually make a location change to Lincoln, NE where we originally came from 6 years ago.


Well things didn’t happen that way. ¬†The house didn’t sell; ¬†my husband whose visual situation has progressed from impairment to blindness felt more secure in a place he had visual memory and experience ¬†for so he moved back into the house; and I’ve spent some time in retreat in the apartment . Graciously our landlord released us from a year’s lease and so next week this chapter ends as the movers move the remaining furniture back home.¬†Things seem about right for now and we’ve both learned that you can’t cross a bridge until you come to it ‚Ķ and it’s important to cross when you do, trusting the future in the present and trading¬†anxieties and over-functioning for gratitude.



Also posted in Aging, Letting Go Tagged , |

Closed Doors



©2014 IBKimage














The¬†gate in today’s image is on the southeast side of the Denver Botanic Garden. I’d never seen it before on my visits, but this summer I’m exploring specific parts of the garden on shorter but more frequent visits. ¬†I saw it quite by accident as I¬†took cover from the noon sun to take a brief look at my¬†camera ¬†to see if I’d been able to capture the very tall Chihuly sculpture on my small screened ¬ģIPhone. ¬†My original shot went to the trash but then the gate right next to me came into focus. That’s what I was to see that day.


Notice the latch on the inside. ¬†Sometimes when we are in a time of major ¬†transition we have to close some doors as we retreat from the daily¬†to the ¬†respite of the closed door and it’s shutting out of distraction. ¬†With time and and healing we can lift the latch and venture out ‚Ķ in the meantime we wait to know when that is and to whom we entrust the key to enter from the outside and walk with us on our journey.

Also posted in Letting Go, New Beginning, Seasons Tagged , , , , |

Something Old is New Again

©IBKimage 2012


It’s very interesting how things that we’re struggling with “all of a sudden” resolve. ¬†One day, without notice, something that has been taking away so much of our physical and mental effort, finds it proper proportion in our life, or even disappears. ¬†It was one of those weeks for me. ¬†I was grateful for a negative result on a diabetes test and all that would have implied. ¬†The gratitude turned into action as I examined the layers of denial that I had piled on during the last few months.

All of the things that I can do, (and know how to) ¬†to stay healthy, both physically and emotionally and spiritually, I decided to take a sabbatical from. ¬†Who knows if it was rebellion, passive-agressive behavior, or perhaps ¬†just a realization that in our very human transitions, we sometimes just need ¬†a long “soak” in a dry tub. Having no idea of what’s next, but trusting my creator,redeemer,sustainer to provide what I don’t even know I need. ¬†Until then, we can take small next actions, engaging again in habits that satisfy and then gradually … the old is new again.

Today’s image comes from the Queen City Salvage Yard here in Denver; a delightful garden of oldness tucked underneath a busy I 70 East viaduct. ¬†Here so close and yet so far away from the cacophony of daily activity, are yesterdays front doors, and old car bodies; tools and gadgets from another time, once on grandfather’s tool bench; and rusted hand pumps used to bring cool water to the farm and town kitchens before pvc pipe carried the running water to the faucet.

The paint is peeling on the door in our image but look at the beautiful grain and pattern underneath.  Someone will find this new old door and in just the right season Рwherever it goes, it will be just the right thing .


Also posted in Aging, Blessings, Letting Go, New Beginning, Seasons Tagged , , , , , , |