Tag Archives: Engagement

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 , , , , , |

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?

Posted in Stopping, Waiting Also tagged , , |

In Walking Away, We Can Miss A Lot



I spent a long weekend in Brooklyn, New York where I visited my youngest son.  We walked, we talked, drank great coffee, ate ethnic food and talked about the times we find ourselves in. All too soon it was time to go. I took the subway to Penn Station in New York, and then the New Jersey Transit to the Newark Airport and then to my gate,and a two hour weather delay …


While waiting and on the subsequent 4 hour flight to Denver, I thought about the millions of people who maneuver in urban contexts for work, and school and play and worship, and how amazing it is that people from all different places generally get along pretty well. Several people had offered assistance as I carried my rolling bag up the subway exit steps; answered and confirmed directional inquiries; shared stories of being immigrants who opened a restaurant using their Palestinian grandmother’s recipes … and so on.  Our waitress on one of our last meals together in the city, was a puppeteer and singer, songwriter, from Maine, who went to school in Colorado and knew the brother of my son’s high school friend from Lincoln, NE.


Perhaps because of the density in a large urban area, there is a forced closeness in encountering people who are not like us, and yet in our daily actions, and hopes and dreams, we are exactly alike.  When we have the luxury of living with more space, we might be tempted to walk away to our own comfort and miss the blessing of new insights. Pity.


Posted in Blessings, Insight, Others Also 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.


Posted in Courage, Waiting Also 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 .


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

A Man and His Sons



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.












Posted in Inspiration, Seasons, Seeing In New Ways, Uncategorized Also tagged , , , |

Night Sky















I grew up in a small village in South Central Nebraska.  Whenever I wanted to see the stars on a clear night, I looked up.  Living in a city these many years later, I can look up and see some stars in my neighborhood, but not the unobstructed view of my childhood.  Stars light if you will.  I have a desire this year to intentionally spend some time in places with a plethora of unobstructed stars, but in the meantime I wander in my city at night and am delighted to capture the beauty of light illuminating human craft.

Perhaps what I’m really thinking about in this new year is that I’d like to focus  on “blooming where I’m planted.” Observing and listening and delighting in what is, and deepening the learning in some of what I’m already engaged in, but also leaving room to be delighted and surprised about what is “out there.”

Today’s image is  near Union Station, in downtown Denver.

Happy New Year to you and yours!


Posted in New Beginning, Seasons Also tagged , , |

Dancing In The Moment

© IBKimage 2012














We are most anxious it seems when we think back to what was or forward to what will be.  Regrets  for actions taken or not taken;  fearful for actions to be taken and so on.  I’ve been reflecting a bit this week about why I love photography.  When I raise my camera to my eye and look through the view-finder I find that I enter a world of the present moment.  All yesterdays and tomorrows disappear and the focus is to capture ever so briefly a moment in time that allows me to repent of my  own efforts and be “graced” and humbled by what has been provided.  Many years ago I read a book entitled:  “Everyday Sacred” by Sue Bender.  In short, her thesis was to be open to the holiness of living in the everyday moments.  Seeing the familiar in a new light and searching for the beauty of the common is certainly one  way  that I love dancing.


Today’s image was discovered during a walk,  near a 400 year old house in Meldorf, Germany.  On my recent trip there I looked up to see the dancer in the side window of an artist’s residence and studio.

What music calls you to dance in the moment?  What might you let go off to start or continue dancing?










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

Take Me Back











Hello Dear Readers:

After a two week hiatus or possibly three I’m back at it and delighted to be.  I’ve had visits from friends; our almost 9 year old grand nephew flew in for a visit; and tomorrow our younger son returns to D.C. after a delightful  time with us and other family members.  As grand as it’s been we all are ready to get back to our normal normals.   Watching the olympics and hearing the backstories before the ascent to the medal podium, reminds us again that the steps we take every day are the ones that will come to fruition in some way or other in the next week,month or four years. The time we invest with others, or to learn a new skill or overcome a prejudice or accept a health challenge, etc. does start with just one step.

I remember the exact moment I was finally relieved of the burden of believing that when everything is right and I had  the right tools, and I’d learned enough and I had enough money and …. then I would do x.  Now I know that as I begin somewhere the joy comes from the result of the discipline of using the tools, learning from doing the thing, budgeting money for my choices and by “doing x” I’m actually  able to look back with satisfaction that where I had been was not where I was now.  One of my late mother’s gifts was the phrase: “Every age is interesting and has its own blessings.

As this very active summer begins to wind down and my body is needing to be back in touch with a new normal, I’m reminded of a commercial from my childhood for a bath salt product called © Calgon.  A tired beautiful woman in the city would get into the back of a limousine equipped with a bathtub.  After a long soak (60 second commercial) she would step out of the vehicle dressed in evening clothes and ready for a night on the town with a waiting beau.

The tagline for the commercial: ” Calgon, take me away.”  It was my fantasy for a long time to take a bath in a moving car.  Fortunately, I took up photography a few years ago and can be “taken away” by todays image in Acadia National Park in Maine.  When I need a rest from the busy the sea serves me well.

Thanks for letting me meander and offer two blogs in one.







Posted in Aging, Blessings, Insight, Seasons Also tagged , , , , |

Just Function

©IBKimage 2010











There are people that bring a smile to your face every time you think of them.  The moments in time that you are privileged to spend with them in the various seasons of your life, leave an indelible imprint on your life and heart.  One such person is someone whom I’ve rarely spent time with in person because of geographic distances over the years, but every now and then we schedule a “visit” and spend about an hour  on the phone, entering each other’s lives and “catching up” about where we left off the time before.  Almost 40 years later I’m still aware of a time when she gave me the gift of a wonderful collection of words that came from such a conversation.  I’m always challenged by them.


“The challenge is to not ‘over-function’ or ‘under-function’ but just function.”  What a wonderful antidote to the ubiquitous “perfect” that we are bombarded with every day , from the mouths of many in numerous contexts and our own “perfecto meters”.  The outcropping in today’s image has been functioning for  thousands of years, shaped by the elements, marked with upheaval,and gracing us with its particular shape and texture of rich and royal hues.

Could we just function today and celebrate the moment … or alternatively, just muddle through?







Posted in Insight, Letting Go Also tagged , , |