Tag Archives: Busyness

Pull Up a Chair

©IBKimage 2017



In the busy outside interactions of summer in the city, it’s often difficult to find a place of retreat, where one can stand back and observe what moments ago one was in the midst of. On a recent evening photo shoot, in front of Union Station,Denver’s newly repurposed and renovated train station plaza, just such a place made itself known. A breakfast restaurant with outdoor seating, was closed, but oh the delightful configurations of myriad plastic chairs at rest before the next performance.

In the midst of the surrounding hustle and bustle, I observed our two chairs leaning in for a chat and thought about many past joyous moments of sitting with someone in deep conversation, totally oblivious to what was happening all around. We’ve lost something when we so often engage in transaction with our devices while at the same time trying to experience deeper interaction with the human soul across from us. Many times not just wanting to experience deeper, but hungering for it.

Posted in Authenticity, Insight Also tagged , , , , , |

Shift Happens

We’ve heard the term  ” ***t happens” … a deadline looms ; health issues change our routines; a new job requires re-orientation from familiar patterns; the dog dies; the old arguments resurface; you live with a two year old; and so on. It is  easy in these times to quickly seek an answer,to work at a solution, to make our case, and to do more, and seek what will bring everything back in balance.


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.  Paradoxically by shifting my focus to a series of small 30 minute diversions, I discovered an easier way to deal with the challenging.   In photography you often achieve focus by shifting your position vs. changing the lens.


On of my diversions is the greenhouse at the Denver Botanic Garden, today’s featured image.

Where is a place that you can take yourself too to find a renewed perspective?




Posted in Reframe, Seasons Also 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?”




Posted in Letting Go, New Beginning, Seeing In New Ways Also 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







Posted in Aging, Insight, Pruning, Seeing In New Ways, Uncategorized, Waiting Also 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.






Posted in Seeing In New Ways, Waiting Also tagged , , |


©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?

Posted in Aging, Blessings, Courage, Letting Go, Seasons, Wisdom Also tagged , , , |

©IBKimage 2012


When my oldest son was little I gave him a book that was in my toy consultant  sample packet.  The title:  “Little While Friends.”  He received it just before we went on a family road trip one summer where we explored three towns named Keystone in three states … among other things.  Stopping to climb rocks or while visiting a snake attraction, he would often find little while friends to interact with.  They didn’t have the same stature as friends from home or the familiarity and commitment of family, but it taught him early on that there are interesting people and sights all around that satisfy. Perhaps, like a beautiful mixed bouquet of flowers in a vase from the floral shop; they are precious because they are a fragile, time-limited treasures.

Now these little while friends don’t always have to be people … the beauty of nature in it distinct seasons, the gift of artists helping us enter into a place we hadn’t considered before; musicians stirring our souls; delight with new learning and new technologies that improve our daily living and help to restore in some manner what has been lost … but generally, it’s people we continually seem to say goodbye to; at airports and graduations, weddings and job changes, first day of school and retirement, and then a final ending whose tension we all live with confronted with so many “little while” choices, actions and engagements.

Our layered wall hanging in today’s image, by a fiber artist in Omaha, NE provided a little while delight on a restaurant wall, as a long time friend and I cherished precious time together over a meal,but more importantly it also reminds me that no matter how dark it might be, the light is thankfully always present. The story of death and resurrection, mourned and celebrated is thankfully” little while” and eternal.




Posted in Aging, Authenticity, Courage, Seasons, Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Winter Sentinel















Oh you beautiful tree of winter standing tall above the alley as I open the garage door to quickly hop into my vehicle for a run to the local coffee shop for my first stop of several on this crisp, snowless, early morning.  Thankfully, my camera’s in the house, so I have a chance to reflect on this chance encounter of morning light illuminating your  branches while while I go back to retrieve it.  Ever so briefly, the moment is available and today, unlike  other times, I sense that it’s important to notice.  Thank you that I have to look up to appreciate your beauty and presence as you tower over the litter strewn alley and overflowing garbage dumpsters waiting to be emptied of the week’s castoffs.  A reminder that light returns after the darkest night and that success often comes from the attention to ordinary everyday acts committed to for a long period of time …  Theologian and author  Eugene Peterson speaks of a “long obedience in the same direction.”


Wishing you moments of illumination this week.


Your comments regarding last weeks post, as to what you’ve learned from your transitions, are still trickling in, so I’ll share some next week.






Posted in Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , |












I have often driven myself into a frenzy because I have a “big” something to do.  A big project, a big presentation, a big deadline … and so on.  I remember the day that I took out the word “big” and  substituted a declarative sentence without the adjective.  It didn’t negate the scope of the project, but somehow it made it more manageable and gave me a calmer entree point into planning the execution of the task.


Perhaps we magnify our words to match the emotion we might have  about the thing that needs doing.  If we tend toward perfectionism, we know how “big” this might be;  if we’re in a  situation where we’re already doing some major projects, another assignment might “do us in”.  A phrase I often hear today is:  “I’m slammed”.  A translation from one who fits into the :  “back in the day” generation, I think that means, I’m backed against the wall and can’t do another thing or honor my or any other commitments


The geese in our image have flown in for the night for water, rest and renewal on a partially frozen lake.  Earlier in the week I had been frustrated about how poorly my pictures had turned out at the “big” night shoot downtown with a photography group.  I tripped over my tripod, couldn’t shoot the angle I wanted; forgot how to change settings  … but I learned a lot from others who generously shared solutions.  So after an hour of practice the next day in how to assemble my equipment, shoot a few practice shots, I made a quick trip to my neighborhood lake for a few pictures at sunset.

Wishing you some small moments of calm during a “big” time of year.


Posted in Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , , , |

Do vs. Dew

©IBKimage 2012










Hello Dear Readers,

I’ve taken a break from blogging because, quite frankly, I’ve just been worn out.  I’m learning that just because I can, I don’t have to.  Like the beautiful drops of dew in our image today, there are so many interesting drops of delight that can keep us fascinated and ready to engage in the next good thing.   There have been many good things this year and I’ve learned a lot, and challenged myself and met some wonderful people who have encouraged and nourished me. I’ve “tried on” new activities and discarded old ones (and some of the new ones).  Old habits came back to support me and to discourage me; friendships were renewed and deepened and others let go of; friends and acquaintances received serious diagnoses, and thankfully are recovering; grieving occurred and joy returned.  A year of being human.


I’ve also discovered again that it’s easy to let the good things crowd out the better or best things.  Much of my fatigue in the last month, resulted from activity vs. focused engagement on what is mine to do.  Yes of course a lot of our lives require daily maintenance and routine, and maintaining relationships, but if I neglect the inner life for too much outer activity, I won’t be able to distinguish the “dew from the do.”


Posted in Insight, Seasons, Uncategorized Also tagged , , |