Category Archives: Letting Go

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

Also posted in Courage, Insight, Reframe Tagged , , |

New Directions

©IBKimage2009

©IBKimage2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s image is a giant palm leaf that I photographed at the Denver Botanic Garden Greenhouse in early winter 2009, using a ®Canon Point and Click digital camera – my first one – purchased  in 2007 to document family celebrations. It was a time of new direction in my life including a recent move to Denver from a place I’d called home for 40 years.  Six years later, I find myself once again composing in a new way.

 

After months of research, and indecision, and agonizing over making few images, and saving money for a possible new camera, I was finally able to name one key reason for my lack of enthusiasm … my now DSLR interchangeable lens  camera was just too heavy and the “bells and whistles” of this model were not a fit for the type of photographer I had become.  The delight of carrying that first camera with me wherever I went, now seemed burdensome with such a heavy one.  Perhaps it also reminded me that a lot of “heavy” changes had occurred in my life during these last 5 years and with the lessons learned, and losses grieved, it was time to “lighten up.”.

 

Two weeks ago, I traded in my camera and bought new and used equipment to support my current direction and interest. Stay tuned.

IBK

Also posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , |

Crossing Another Bridge

©2014IBKimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 … and it’s important to cross when you do, trusting the future in the present and trading anxieties and over-functioning for gratitude.

Joy!

IBK

Also posted in Aging, Courage 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 ®IPhone.  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 … 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 Courage, New Beginning, Seasons Tagged , , , , |

Balls in the Air … Balls on the Ground

©IBKimage2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continue to be in transition as our house is still on the market in one location and we’re almost finished with a remodeling project in another one 500 miles away. On a recent walk with an old friend in the new location I was able to speak out loud so many of the challenges, joys, griefs, and pain of this particular transition.  She held a space for me to “put it all out there” without judgment or a need to fix things. Sometimes we just need someone to “hear our hearts.”  As we came to the end of our time together, she reminded me that I had a “lot of balls in the air” and perhaps I could let some of them bounce to the ground for now so that I would be able to focus on the “ones that could break …”  A phrase of encouragement and affirmation offered a new perspective and way of thinking about my situation. Sadly, it reminded me also that some of the balls had already broken.

 

As I’ve lived with this phrase for the past several days, I couldn’t wait to share today’s image with you.  It comes from the Chihuly Glass Exhibition, which opened this week at the Denver Botanic Gardens. At the end of my walk on a day when they were assembling some of the exhibits (which continue until November 2014),I came upon this amazing boat filled with beautiful balls of glass …  Just think if we keep juggling and trying to make  everything fit into our timeline, we might miss the boat and what’s inside.

What balls can you let “bounce?”

IBK

 

 

Also posted in New Beginning, Seeing In New Ways Tagged , , , , , , |

Less Can Be More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year and Welcome to New Blog Recipients.

I’ve been trying for some time to organize my blog list and  learn new  skills.  My goal is to be able to send the blog from wherever I happen to be on a Thursday evening .  That now seems  possible and I look forward to being more regular in my posting.

Today’s image comes from one of my favorite places in Denver:  Queen City Salvage Yard.  It is obvious that people have dumped their excess to create space for other things in the places where they live and work.  The multiple colors on the grill work of this old car  indicate several paint jobs and restoration work as well as a long time build-up of rust.  It was only tonight however that I realized there was a lot of other “stuff” in the picture.  It was easy to lose focus .  A small cropping later with some photo editing tools, provided a different story.

 

©IBKimage 2013

 

I’d encourage us all to take a look in the new year at what we might want to focus on and what might need to be cropped. So many good things that take up so much space and time. Let’s go for the “less that is best”.

IBK

 

Also posted in Pruning 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 – wherever it goes, it will be just the right thing .

IBK

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

Stop

©IBKimage 2012

 

 

Having always been a curious sort from the time I was young, I’d sometimes get into trouble – especially if I asked people about things they’d  rather not disclose.  The phrase then was:  “Stop being so nosy”, or the firmer:  “mind your own business.”  I was always wondering how things worked and would order things like seeds to sell to the older single and widowed ladies in town , ostensibly to save them a trip to the store, but the true reward was the gift of time, conversation, and …a cookie or candy.  Most of the changes in my life were as a result of my interests and explorations and the freedom to experiment and change course.

 

Well into adulthood , I still had that luxury, but somewhere along the way, I found myself getting into trouble again because I was so curious about so many things, in addition to family and other responsibilities, that I kept  trying to devise systems to get and stay organized … this eventually became a career and I helped other people do that … and now today so many years later, I am overwhelmed by the choices that vie for my attention: travel here, try this, donate now,upgrade,download, only $2.00 for an e-book, press the button … Amazon delivers, punch your frequent buyer card and so on …  all of these opportunities can easily morph into agony of decision.

 

Today’s image of my hands  is a made on an ®iPad  in a program called ®Photo Booth, which allows the manipulation of images in a variety of ways.  Somehow it captures the paradox of the possibility  and an open handed prayer / plea for wisdom to minimize the choices that keep us bound.  I remember the gift of love, in those gifts of time and attention and treats, and want to offer that to a new generation.  To do so, I have to  hit the delete button on so many of the things that I routinely do… even if they’re great things – just not my things.  What about you?

Also posted in Aging, Blessings, Courage, Seasons, Wisdom Tagged , , , , |

Photo Friends

Callas at Lakewood

©IBKimage2010

 

I’ve been away for a photography workshop with Frans Lanting and associates in Santa, Cruz California. (www.lanting.com) I first heard of Lanting when he and two other world renowned  masters of nature photography came for a two day Denver event in mid April.  I was especially drawn in by his emphasis on the importance of telling a story with one’s images and his availability to participants attending – as well as his kindness and humility.  After a break on the last day, I heard him say that they (he and partner/wife, Chris Eckstrom) had one spot left for a May workshop in Santa Cruz where they are based.  Impulsively, and yet knowing that this was the next major transition in my photographic learning, I got a business card and signed up with Chris via e-mail that evening.

 

Sixteen came ; from the west, central, and eastern parts of the U.S. and from Germany and Japan/SanFrancisco.  Interesting, curious people ; a variety of ages, and acumen and what we all had in common was a desire to learn and to “do photography together” for 3 1/2 intense days, and become better storytellers learning  from a master and his skilled and delightful associates . How divine!

 

In the coming weeks I ‘ll share more , gleaned from my own new insights and the encouragement I received during my adventure.   There were brief times when I wondered what I was doing there, and the old sirens tried to call me back  to interrupt my journey, but thankfully those times were brief and time and tide as well as new photo friends, call out to come and see.

 

Today’s image is a direct result of learning new ways to see.  It started out as a color photo of a planter full of calla lillies, exquisite in their creme and green hues,and ended up as a black and white exercise in the use of negative space.  Less is more.  “I’m listening Frans …”

IBK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Blessings, Courage, Insight, Road Trip, Seeing In New Ways, Uncategorized

Endings

©2011MarkMatoon

 

With major transitions, come new challenges and responses.  This sound so obvious, but ask the survivors of a bombing in Boston if their lives will not be forever changed as they navigate their way through through emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges? How about our neighbors in Texas whose town blew up ?  What about the newly diagnosed cancer patient whose journey into the unknown is beginning?  And yet in all of these cases we’ve seen people step forward and surround those hurting, with “gifts of themselves” offered in love and compassion.

 

Most of our transitions are not this abrupt but the years spent in habit whether fruitful or barren, do seem to provide a well to draw on (or not) when our world and our relationships seem to be (or are) crumbling all around us.   Major transitions and pain also seem  to, after a time, help us see new ways that we might choose to adapt to our new “normals.”  Fire most certainly destroys, but it also refines and provides the fuel for our basic survival needs.

 

None of what I’m saying is new, but perhaps I’m reminded again that when our lives  change, whether in sickness or in health (or in death and destruction of recent days) we can boldly enter the wilderness of transition and perhaps marvel at how love finds us us when we are lost and broken. No matter what your transition, find a place of sabbath where you can “lay it all down” and slowly discover what your heart tells you to “pick up again” … leaving behind the demands and expectations of others; and the self created  burdens of perfection, “more” and “faster.”

Today’s image was taken by a photographer,  with whom I studied,on Nantucket Island in June of 2011, a few months after my mother died. The ocean always draws me to itself, and provides the water for my thirst.

IBK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Courage, New Beginning, Seasons, Seeing In New Ways Tagged , , , , , , |