Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

 

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

It’s Your Turn Update.

©IBKimage2012

©IBKimage2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my last blog I supplied the image, and I asked you dear readers to supply the words in response to this question. What thoughts about transition come to mind for you as you reflect on this image?

 

Here are some of your thoughts.

“Some images bright, still central. Others are fading or emerging. Discerning which are trying to emerge requires time, prayer and a community with which to discern.”

 

… the path is not always straight or easy to decipher.

 

“Life is the interplay between light and darkness, sunshine and shadow, and hinges on our interpretation of what we see and experience. Just when we think we have something figured out and labeled, we might take another look to see that it has shifted and our perception has changed. What seems good or positive at first glance may not be for our highest good, and what seems evil or negative may be a gift in disguise. That is why it is good to give thanks in all things and not judge by appearances.”

 

Reading these and other responses made me think of the word shift as integral to transition. A shift in focus,attitude,perception, thinking and so on … thanks for participating and now a little shift of my own.  The original image actually looked like this.

 

IMG_0895

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best, IBK

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 Letting Go Tagged , , |

Seeing The Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©IBKimage2010

 

In 2010 the Denver Botanic Garden featured the works of British sculptor Henry Moore. As I left the garden on a partially cloudy day, having photographed many of the enormous pieces in their stunning placement in the gardens, I turned around for one final look and captured this image.  Until I pulled the image up for another look this evening, I hadn’t realized that a partial rainbow was present.

I identify with this ponderer having spent the last 10 months pondering (and agonizing) , along with my husband, as to where we might live as our circumstances have changed, especially his increasing blindness, as well as age-related re-evaluations. Do we stay in Denver but move to a place more amenable to current needs or do we move back to Lincoln, NE, a place where we lived for 40 years before moving to Denver 6 years ago, as empty nesters . Both have their draw; friends in each place, some new, others known a long time, but both there through major transitions; wonderful health care providers; faith communities; service opportunities; performing art centers; and so on. It’s agonizing when there’s family in both places, and family far away; the contrasts in scale and weather and public transportation are significant; can we really go “home” again?  Home ,according to our grand-nephew , then 4, when we moved away, “is where the people are”.

So in the end, we couldn’t leave either place now, so our decision became “both/and.”  This week we rented an apartment in a high rise building in the city; next week we put our house up for sale in the same city; today we unpacked a rented van full of meaningful memories in a place we used to call home (albeit a different dwelling ) starting a journey into a very new season.

The rainbow in today’s image reminds me that the Light is always my source of strength and love; what a tremendous blessing that we have this both/and option .  By the way, did I mention that the apartment balcony on the 9th floor overlooks the Denver Botanic Garden  with mountain and city views in the background … ? Be still my beating heart!!!!

Joy,

IBK

Just because you can …

©IBKimage2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the last few months I have been engaged in a long distance remodeling project. Now that the project is almost complete I have reflected on how important it is to assemble a first rate team for such an undertaking.   Like an orchestra with a variety of players and  instruments contributing their own distinct tone to the whole, just so the role of the skilled craftsmen/woman provided their unique skills for an amazing transformation of a home with amazing “bones” but in need of some much needed renewal for a different time.

During this time I intermittently did some of the physical work of  deconstruction, which has it’s own rewards, but also it’s downside … in my case resulting in a shoulder that has needed some care from a wonderful team of physical therapists, and acupuncturists. It’s been a while, but finally I seem to be making progress.  Last week my physical therapist gave me a phrase that related to not overdoing it with the home exercises … “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”  What she meant in this particular case was that even though I might not have as much pain, I could still be overworking my muscles, and actually be impeding progress by overdoing it … you know, if a little is good, more is better …

Well, I can’t let go of that thought.  I changed it slightly as I started sharing it this week.  “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to…”  and by repeating it in various contexts, it (the phrase) has changed me.  I challenge you to apply this phrase to your own life and see what happens.

Today’s image is a humorous example of our phrase for the day.  The setting is Belfast, Maine, and just because they could decorate this old theater this way, doesn’t mean they should, or have to.  🙂

Best, IBK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Aging, Insight, Pruning, Seeing In New Ways, Waiting Tagged , , , |

Welcome

©IBKimage2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are used to seeing things in certain ways that help us recognize familiarity.  Putting letters of a familiar word, as in our image today, in a non-standard position can make us feel uncomfortable.  It can also make us stop and think about how else we might want to express something familiar in a new way to perhaps  look at the parts that make up the whole or find a new application.

Our word today is a familiar one and we all have experienced what it feels like to be truly welcomed by someone; or perhaps we invite people in to our spaces to share our life in some way with them; we used to say you’re welcome when someone thanked us for something, but now we often hear:  “no problem,” which seems to answer something else.

I’d welcome the opportunity for some feedback about how you welcome the stranger in your midst(or family and friends.)  Perhaps you struggle to interact with those who are not you or don’t interest you.  Why is that?  These are some questions I’ve been living with this week. I send them on for further pondering.

IBK

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Insight, Inspiration Tagged , , , |

Evergreen

©2009IBKimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking closely at today’s image, you’ll see a small tree growing out of a rock field on a ledge near a waterfall at Yellowstone National Park.  The falls are more famous as well as spectacular grand views  often seen on postcards.  What intrigued me about this small tree, was it’s actual existence in a harsh environment. Think of the various conditions of wind, rain,  hail storm and at times extreme heat and cold; look closely at the small bend in the tree, suggesting at one time perhaps a boulder lodged in its trunk and yet it is quite hardy, crowned with healthy new evergreen growth.

 

At this year closes perhaps we can be grateful that in the midst of our sometimes  difficult conditions we at some point – if we’re open to that – are transformed by change and loss and after a time of grieving and  anger and inconvenience and love and nurture by those close in heart, even if far away, in the new season the new growth appears and the heart rejoices; changed, but with stronger roots to withstand the opportunities and challenges of being human.

Blessings to you and yours as you gather near and far in the coming days rejoicing in the love of God and neighbor.

Joy,

IBK

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, Letting Go, Road Trip, Seeing In New Ways

A Man and His Sons

©IBKimage1989

 

February is a frequent  birthday month in our small family, including my own, so I gave myself a two week sabbatical from blogging.

I pinpoint the time that I became a photographer  to the  Spring of 2008, when I took my year old digital point and shoot camera to Seattle with me on a return visit to the neighborhood where I had lived for 2 plus years while attending graduate school as an  “over 50”, and more importantly  to reunite with friends from my time there.  My friend B. took my husband and I to a small Japanese garden  and it was really through her encouragement that I started to “see in new ways”.  She had such a wonderful sense of composition with her own photography, that I was inspired to keep going.

Several years ago I scanned all of our old film photos into the computer and today as I was reviewing some, I came across today’s image which I took on an old film camera , so a seed was perhaps planted then that finally sprouted in another season.  It was especially poignant since the guy in the red shorts turned 28 today.

I’m reminded of the beautiful lyrics of a song from the old musical, “Fiddler on the Roof; sunrise, sunset,swiftly flow the years, one season following another, laden with happiness and tears; …”    No matter how young or old we are, it matters that we are present in other peoples’ lives and that we engage with others in relationship.  My friend’s love and encouragement started a whole new way of seeing for me, and allowed me to share my words and images with you 5 years later.

Think of someone that had that effect on you and how it’s changed your life.

IBK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Inspiration, Seasons, Seeing In New Ways Tagged , , , , |

3 Pictures a Story Make

©IBKimage2012

It was a cold and post blizzard day in December in North Platte, Nebraska  and  Interstate 80 was closed heading east.  Having started early that morning in Denver, we were hungry and with time on our hands we looked for a sit down restaurant.  We all like Mexican food and this restaurant seemed “just the ticket” and a respite from the overcrowded emporiums that also sold “food”.  As we “rounded the bend” we saw hundreds of pigeons proceeding to land on …  I’ll let you fill in the rest of the story. We did have some great lattes at Starbucks though!

Oh, wait … a fourth picture!

..

🙂  IBK

Tagged , |