Category Archives: Waiting

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?

Also posted in Stopping Tagged , , , |

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 New Beginning, Seasons, Seeing In New Ways, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |





We are often in a hurry to bring a task to completion; hurry along a discomfort that we want to avoid; have pain end and so on.  We are often eager to fulfill our own plans instead of waiting to hear or discern other options. When we’ve lost something we have an opportunity to discover what’s most important in our life … and yet if we forgo the waiting we miss the opportunity to welcome the light to dispel the darkness.  T.S. Eliot in a poem called: “East Coker” states this beautifully:


“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; Wait without love, For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith ,But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting; Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought; So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”


Today’s image comes from an early morning waiting for light in Telluride, Colorado.



Also posted in Seasons 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 Courage 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, New Beginning, Seasons, Stopping Tagged , , , |

Just because you can …











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, Uncategorized Tagged , , , |

Time Out











A friend’s husband suddenly dying, adult children grieving; a funeral; another  passing a “swallowing test” two months post “brain surgery”enabling a  drink of water and a taste of food for the first time in 2 months; an adult son’s 29th birthday and visit for 3 precious days; reuniting as a family around a table to share a meal and our lives; papers delivered and entrusted to our accountant to prepare our tax return; meeting together with new people for breakfast at my favorite “restaurant office” graced by familiar servers who know my food habits; attempting to help my almost blind husband answer the phone he relies on after a security update “messed things up”; (and not in a patient way I might add); saying some hard things and setting boundaries; sitting in a parking lot and forgetting how to get back onto NORTH I- 25 in rush hour after going SOUTH;   all of this and more in 8 days.


I share this  not to make my life stand out as unique, or more accomplished than yours in any way, but as a way of documenting the blessings and challenges of being human.  When we’ve talked to too many people or managed too many projects or spent too much time trying to communicate clearly in too many venues; or tried to please too many people; or neglected our sleep too long or managed to eat too much to comfort too many realities; or done too many good things … then we must stop and intentionally put ourselves in “time-out”for the sake of our own physical, spiritual, and emotional health.  We can not be empty vessels and expect to overflow.

The place in today’s image is at the Denver Botanic Garden where I plan to “be” in my time-out tomorrow … you have your places. Wherever we go let’s be open to not doing anything but being.






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












Very early one morning, in October, a group of photographers attending a Frans Lanting Workshop car-pooled to Four Mile Beach near Santa Cruz, California .  In the dark we gathered our equipment and layers of clothing and walked a half of a mile to the water. I had forgotten my headlight, but others guided us along the path with a variety of light devices .  We arrived at the water’s edge and heard the tide coming in before we saw it. After the initial shock of  the cold tide coming in over my water shoes ,worn for stability on the slippery rocks, I was overcome with emotion and could only weep at the beauty pressing itself into all of my senses and my soul.


We set up our tripods on the wet sand, and I peered into the fog and tried to find something to take a picture of.  Gradually I saw the shape of a surfer and then several more and then as dawn’s light appeared, the waves,  rocks, and vegetation magically appeared.  I took a few pictures, and  then proceeded to move to another view.  At that moment our leader Frans happened along and asked another participant and I if we’d like some coaching  in what we were seeing and so on.  Yes of course we did and he proceeded to tell us to watch how the incoming and outgoing waves created very different patterns and flows and many other things that I had never, ever, had thought about.  I can only describe it as a seeing beyond.


I took a few pictures and started to look for  another view.  Frans kindly but emphatically asked:  “Where are you going ? You’ve got a great spot here … work it … learn to wait for it” … and oh my, how those few words from a gifted teacher have taken me in new directions both personally and as a photographer.   My impatience and jumping from one thing to another has often stopped me from experiencing something that I was to learn.  I remember a long ago phrase that nurtured me well when I used to (and still do) get ahead of myself.  Wait, watch, pray, trust and obey.


Today’s image is from that sacred morning.  In the midst of the fog,churning waves and low light, our early bird is perched and … waiting.

It’s good to be back and in the coming weeks I’ll share some insights that I’ve been learning in a time of intense transition and … waiting.





Also posted in Insight, Inspiration Tagged , , |