Category Archives: New Beginning

New Beginnings











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.




Also posted in Seasons, Seeing In New Ways, Uncategorized, Waiting Tagged , , , , , |


©2014 IBKimage


On a recent trip to Brooklyn, NY this family of “parts” caught my eye while walking briskly down the sidewalk , arm in arm with two my own family members.  The middle child up in dad’s arms wears a ®Meineke Care Care Center shirt to let us know that …yes you’ve arrived at the place to have your car fixed. The clever metal sculptures comprised of old mufflers and other under-the- car parts, offered great delight and a pause on a windy cold November morning.


Often we’re so distracted with our lists, and goals or pleasing others that we  spend our energy on a busy life vs. a chosen life. I first heard the phrase a ‘stop doing list’ in a a newspaper article written by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great . In a course on creativity and innovation at Stanford Graduate School of Business, he was challenged by the teachers in what he called the “20-10 assignment”. You receive 2 phone calls: 1.”You’ve inherited $20 million no strings attached; 2.You have a terminal disease and have no more than 10 years to live. What would do do differently and, in particular, what would you stop doing? ” This was a major turning point in his life. The ‘stop doing list’ became … “a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.”


So what does this have to do with  today’s image?  Perhaps someone decided to stop throwing old parts away when they were fixing cars and start reassembling the parts to finally realize a dream of creating something. What do you want to stop that will release energy for starting or rediscovering something that is  authentically you.


My ‘stopping’ list in this new year included not judging myself for needing to pause after numerous transitions and several losses, including friends dying. Happily by ‘stopping’ I’m now ready to re-engage in one of my passions … offering insight and encouragement through life’s transitions…


Also posted in Cropping, Seasons, Stopping, 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, Courage, 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…literally 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… 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, Courage, Seasons 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, Letting Go, Seasons Tagged , , , , |

Balls in the Air … Balls on the Ground













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?”




Also posted in Letting Go, Seeing In New Ways Tagged , , , , , , |

Ah, Spring

IBKimage ©2009













Finally, it seems to be spring more than just according to the calendar, and I hope that where you are , there are  surprises in your surroundings (or perhaps your hearts) that seemed so hidden during this especially long winter.  In my first spring here in Denver (2009) I was just learning how to use a digital  camera that I had purchased in 2008 when there were many transitions that were important to capture for later viewing: one son graduating from college, another getting married 2 weeks later, and a move to a new city after 40 years in another.

So, on a beautiful spring morning I walked down to Sloan’s Lake  about 15 minutes from my home and  began the 2 1/2 mile trail around the lake, camera in hand, looking for a picture “to take.”   Fortunately I didn’t find one, rather it found me.  Today’s image is one of five that someone carved on the trunks of large trees that had been cut down perhaps because of disease, but rather, I imagine, to make room for a new playground right next to it/them.

Wishing you delight and joy as you wander into a new season with it’s promises, perhaps also some pruning to make room for something yet to grow.







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


Also posted in Aging, Blessings, Courage, Letting Go, Seasons Tagged , , , , , , |

New Beginnings



Dear Readers, I’m back from my summer sabbatical of sorts and happy to be. The discipline of a weekly blog makes me think more clearly about a theme that I’d like to explore and during the week I receive a phrase here and there, read a sentence in a book, hear a song  or interview on the radio and so on.

Like little grains of sand that collectively become the beach, these bits of blessings gradually form a word pattern. When  partnered with an image, a story emerges. At other times a picture is the theme and provides a wonderful opportunity to process the many distinct experiences I’ve had in a week and try to make some sense of it.

Sometimes in the days and weeks that seemingly fly by while one is confronted with the realities of being human – illness, death, major life transitions, celebrating milestones, mending relationships, moving, fatness, and so on,the very things that can help us along the way through, are often the tools that sit idly in the shed.

As I bemoan the fact that my image making and “wordsmithing”have taken a backseat this summer, I realize, like the small tiles in todays image, when joined together a beautiful pattern make, that the small  acts of presence and and listening, and celebration, and grief, and encouragement,and humor, are all  a way that love can illuminate the darkness and elevate the joys.

Delighted to be back “in the saddle.”










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




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.













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