Tag Archives: Light

Away for Christmas and New Year 2017-2018

©2018 IBKimage

And just like that … there it was, the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France across from the park my son and I were walking in on a gloomy, damp January day. In three days I’d be flying back to Denver after spending 2 weeks in Germany, pre and post Christmas with friends, and then a train ride to Paris to visit a son who was visiting too.

There are times in life when traveling thousands of miles to be with others in a special season is exactly the best gift one could receive. Well, for me anyway, since my first home was in Germany many years ago and I had always had a desire to go back for Christmas as an adult. It was everything I had hoped for and then some. Sleeping at sea level on gloomy winter days with little sunshine is the most relaxing sleep that I can ever remember. The German word for my adventure is Erholung: Rest, Recreation,and Recovery.

In this year of 2018 my wish for you is to find a place of Erholung, whether near or far away to reflect on what is really important to you as you navigate the seasons of your life.


Posted in Hospitality, Insight, Inspiration Also tagged , |

Off The Map













In November of 2016 I spent the weekend in New Orleans to participate in a surprise 70th birthday event for a dear friend of 42 years. Having arrived a day early, and settled at the Auld Sweet Olive Bed and Breakfast ,I ventured out with a map. I was in a residential neighborhood called Faubourg Marigny, which, along with my inn, an 1830’s creole house, was a plethora of colorful residential historic homes of the “artsy” variety.The instructions  by my host were simple: out the door and to the left, and another left and right and I would find my way to  the French Market area; out the door and to the right several parks and other areas of interest.  All went well on day one .


The next morning I explored in greater depth and made my left, left, right and then  saw a sign indicating that a foot bridge was ahead and where there’s a bridge there’s usually water, so straight ahead. Hours later I looked at my map and turned away from the beautiful urban park along the Mississippi River and found the street to return “home”. I  realized that I’d made a mistake and started asking people if I was headed in the right direction.  Some said yes, others no idea; it was getting dark and my feet were hurting.  I approached an  older woman who was standing on the sidewalk.  “Excuse me, could you tell me if I’m heading in the right direction to get back to …?”  She looked at my map, put her hand on my shoulder and with a  lovely southern accent proclaimed:  “Well my dear, you’ve walked yourself  right off of your own map.”  She told me that it would take “at least an hour” but I would get there by following the path I was on . “Once you cross the railroad track, you’ll be just about home” she called after me.


Today’s image was taken on a side street near the French Quarter away from the crowds and for just a second on a cloudy day, as I looked back at where I had come to …”off of my map”, I was rewarded with light.  🙂 May your “off the map” exploration assist you in seeing new opportunities in whatever stage of transition you might be in, wherever you are.


Posted in Blessings Also 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.




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

New Directions











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.


Posted in Letting Go, Uncategorized Also 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.



Posted in Seasons, Waiting 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 , , , , , |

New Beginnings



Dear Readers, I’m back from my summer sabbatical of sorts and happy to be. The discipline of a weekly blog makes me think more clearly about a theme that I’d like to explore and during the week I receive a phrase here and there, read a sentence in a book, hear a song  or interview on the radio and so on.

Like little grains of sand that collectively become the beach, these bits of blessings gradually form a word pattern. When  partnered with an image, a story emerges. At other times a picture is the theme and provides a wonderful opportunity to process the many distinct experiences I’ve had in a week and try to make some sense of it.

Sometimes in the days and weeks that seemingly fly by while one is confronted with the realities of being human – illness, death, major life transitions, celebrating milestones, mending relationships, moving, fatness, and so on,the very things that can help us along the way through, are often the tools that sit idly in the shed.

As I bemoan the fact that my image making and “wordsmithing”have taken a backseat this summer, I realize, like the small tiles in todays image, when joined together a beautiful pattern make, that the small  acts of presence and and listening, and celebration, and grief, and encouragement,and humor, are all  a way that love can illuminate the darkness and elevate the joys.

Delighted to be back “in the saddle.”










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




With major transitions, come new challenges and responses.  This sound so obvious, but ask the survivors of a bombing in Boston if their lives will not be forever changed as they navigate their way through through emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges? How about our neighbors in Texas whose town blew up ?  What about the newly diagnosed cancer patient whose journey into the unknown is beginning?  And yet in all of these cases we’ve seen people step forward and surround those hurting, with “gifts of themselves” offered in love and compassion.


Most of our transitions are not this abrupt but the years spent in habit whether fruitful or barren, do seem to provide a well to draw on (or not) when our world and our relationships seem to be (or are) crumbling all around us.   Major transitions and pain also seem  to, after a time, help us see new ways that we might choose to adapt to our new “normals.”  Fire most certainly destroys, but it also refines and provides the fuel for our basic survival needs.


None of what I’m saying is new, but perhaps I’m reminded again that when our lives  change, whether in sickness or in health (or in death and destruction of recent days) we can boldly enter the wilderness of transition and perhaps marvel at how love finds us us when we are lost and broken. No matter what your transition, find a place of sabbath where you can “lay it all down” and slowly discover what your heart tells you to “pick up again” … leaving behind the demands and expectations of others; and the self created  burdens of perfection, “more” and “faster.”

Today’s image was taken by a photographer,  with whom I studied,on Nantucket Island in June of 2011, a few months after my mother died. The ocean always draws me to itself, and provides the water for my thirst.













Posted in Courage, Letting Go, New Beginning, 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 , , , , |