Tag Archives: Gratitude

New Beginnings

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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

 

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

Hope

 

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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.

IBK

 

 

Posted in Blessings, Courage, New Beginning, Seasons Also tagged , |

Reflection

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Sometimes when many words have been spoken, a time of silence is renewing.  Being with and not doing for is a wonderful change of habit. After an intense period of time, a shift in focus brings new awareness. Sometimes a picture is enough with few words necessary.

Wishing all of you an intentional time of reflecting on the beautiful in your life and  how you are blessed by it.

IBK

Posted in Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , |

Something Old is New Again

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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 .

IBK

Posted in Aging, Blessings, Courage, Letting Go, New Beginning, Seasons 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.

IBK

 

 

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

A Man and His Sons

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Calm

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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.

IBK

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

Dancing In The Moment

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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?

IBK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Nebraska author Willa Cather once said: “Some things you learn in calm, some things in storm…”  The last two weeks I’ve had the privilege and pain to learn in both conditions. In the calm of this week, the storm of vertigo and pulsatile tinnitus have suddenly, after a three month fury,  thankfully blown out to sea. Turns out that it might have been too high a dose of my thyroid medicine which under different conditions was just right. A dear friend’s visit brought delightful hours of conversation and laughter and comfort when recounting incidents of a broken heart.  Finishing a project after weeks of interviews, listening, editing and learning, preparation for sharing, provided a time of calmness tonight, after a  storm of self-doubt, anxiety of wondering  why I had any credentials to do this, and so on.

Like the lighthouse on Nantucket Island surrounded by a morning fog, we often can’t see clearly what it is that is directly in front of us and instead work so hard to see or engage in activity to clear the fog, often resulting in a stormy tempest in our soul or less dramatic, fatigue.   And then … the fog rolls out to sea without our effort.  We can stop filling in the blanks and things are clearer.

Next week I’ll be traveling to Germany with my family to spread my late mother’s ashes on the North Sea near where she lived before being emigrating to America ; it is also the place where I was born.  In the intervening years since my last visit to our hometown, on the occasion of her 80th birthday, much has been revealed in calm and storm.

I wish you shelter and companions in your calms and storms.

IBK

 

Posted in Courage, Letting Go Also tagged , , |

Waiting

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I’m up late tonight or early,eagerly waiting for the outside temperature to drop by at least 40 degrees from its high of 94 earlier this afternoon.  The windows are open … ahhh here comes the north wind blowing in the cooler air. It’s been a long summer of waiting for the temperatures to drop below 90 during the day  and  then it does.

We spend a lot of time waiting for:  answers, test results, hearing back  so that we can proceed , in line,on hold,apologies,a call,an offer, a loan,an acceptance,a letter,family coming for a visit, traffic, stop lights to change,proposals, news from the front,rides ,resolutions and so on. Some of us wait well, others not so well  and perhaps what waiting generally  implies is that we cannot control the outcome of what we’re waiting for. And then the waiting stops and there are answers, resolutions,  tears, joys, disappointments, anger,babies born,forgiveness given, jobs offered, jobs lost, votes tallied,lives significantly changed and so on.

I was blessed this week by an abundance of “waitings” that offered up hope for the future: a new son born to dear friends, a generous offer to take over a care ministry that I was covering until we found someone; wonderful news from a young man who is healing after months of debilitating cancer treatments and complications; neighbors’ 2  1/2 year old son surgically relieved of his liver tumor; news of progress and healing of a friend’s broken heart, my  own positive results from some medical tests and some rest and renewal  in the mountains courtesy of a generous friend’s invitation over the holiday weekend.

Thankfully, we rarely have to wait alone.

Today’s image is of my host’s dog Tink, who waited patiently in a tree along the trail while we , like paparazzi photographed him from every angle.

IBK

 

Posted in Seasons, Uncategorized Also tagged , , , |