Tag Archives: Reflection

In Walking Away, We Can Miss A Lot

©IBKimage2013

 

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.

IBK

Posted in Blessings, Insight, Others Also tagged , , |

Off The Map

 

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©IBKimage2016

 

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.

IBK

Posted in Blessings Also tagged , , , , |

New Beginnings

©IBKimage2015

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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 , , , , |

Time Well Wasted

 

©2013 Telluride

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Recently, I had the privilege to hear “someone’s heart” about some major decisions regarding a hoped for direction in a relationship and a desire to engage in more frequent work or perhaps a career change. After several interactions and some movement forward, I received a note. In essence: “Things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped and I made some sacrifices, but had I not taken this risk, I would not now know so much more about me … and then this:  “It was time well wasted.”  I was so moved by such a healthy reframe and have been “dancing” with the phrase ever since… time well wasted.  We usually say:  “It was time well spent” but this reframe opens  many possibilities.

 

We of course want to have a lot of memories of  time well spent but we often don’t get there because we think it was (or is) such a waste of time to spend time on something we want to do or be. It seems so frivolous or so much work.

 

Today’s image is a view from an abandoned cabin at the top of a trail in Telluride, Colorado. My photo friend dragged me up there to see this “unreal view” of a cabin with multiple windows and doors that each had a unique stunning view of the surrounding landscape. The only post processing work here is a slight crop to reduce the overall size of the image.  Ah…”time well wasted”.

 

What say you? Can you think of time well wasted that lead you to new places and insights?

IBK

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Waiting

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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.

IBK

 

Posted in Seasons, Waiting Also tagged , |

Closed Doors

 

 

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The gate in today’s image is on the southeast side of the Denver Botanic Garden. I’d never seen it before on my visits, but this summer I’m exploring specific parts of the garden on shorter but more frequent visits.  I saw it quite by accident as I took cover from the noon sun to take a brief look at my camera  to see if I’d been able to capture the very tall Chihuly sculpture on my small screened ®IPhone.  My original shot went to the trash but then the gate right next to me came into focus. That’s what I was to see that day.

 

Notice the latch on the inside.  Sometimes when we are in a time of major  transition we have to close some doors as we retreat from the daily to the  respite of the closed door and it’s shutting out of distraction.  With time and and healing we can lift the latch and venture out … in the meantime we wait to know when that is and to whom we entrust the key to enter from the outside and walk with us on our journey.

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

Ah, Spring

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Finally, it seems to be spring more than just according to the calendar, and I hope that where you are , there are  surprises in your surroundings (or perhaps your hearts) that seemed so hidden during this especially long winter.  In my first spring here in Denver (2009) I was just learning how to use a digital  camera that I had purchased in 2008 when there were many transitions that were important to capture for later viewing: one son graduating from college, another getting married 2 weeks later, and a move to a new city after 40 years in another.

So, on a beautiful spring morning I walked down to Sloan’s Lake  about 15 minutes from my home and  began the 2 1/2 mile trail around the lake, camera in hand, looking for a picture “to take.”   Fortunately I didn’t find one, rather it found me.  Today’s image is one of five that someone carved on the trunks of large trees that had been cut down perhaps because of disease, but rather, I imagine, to make room for a new playground right next to it/them.

Wishing you delight and joy as you wander into a new season with it’s promises, perhaps also some pruning to make room for something yet to grow.

IBK

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in New Beginning, Pruning, Seasons Also tagged , , , |

Evergreen

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Looking closely at today’s image, you’ll see a small tree growing out of a rock field on a ledge near a waterfall at Yellowstone National Park.  The falls are more famous as well as spectacular grand views  often seen on postcards.  What intrigued me about this small tree, was it’s actual existence in a harsh environment. Think of the various conditions of wind, rain,  hail storm and at times extreme heat and cold; look closely at the small bend in the tree, suggesting at one time perhaps a boulder lodged in its trunk and yet it is quite hardy, crowned with healthy new evergreen growth.

 

At this year closes perhaps we can be grateful that in the midst of our sometimes  difficult conditions we at some point – if we’re open to that – are transformed by change and loss and after a time of grieving and  anger and inconvenience and love and nurture by those close in heart, even if far away, in the new season the new growth appears and the heart rejoices; changed, but with stronger roots to withstand the opportunities and challenges of being human.

Blessings to you and yours as you gather near and far in the coming days rejoicing in the love of God and neighbor.

Joy,

IBK

Posted in Uncategorized Also tagged , , , , , |

Waiting

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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.

IBK

 

 

 

Posted in Insight, Inspiration, Waiting Also tagged , |

Discovering the Grain

©IBKimage 2012

 

My father was a German master cabinet maker.  New projects began with a trip to the small town lumber yard where we lived.  He would look through the various  offerings and then make a choice based on the end use , the hardness or softness, the straightness of the piece, the unique grain running through it and so on.  I would watch him draft a plan for the object ; measure, cut, plane, sand, smooth, file, turn, nail together, dovetail, glue, bore, chisel and numerous other processes to get the end result.  The best part of all was when it was all ready for finishing.  In photography we call it post processing. The intent is the same, to take a well crafted wooden article (or a well composed photo) and bring out the best from the raw material. In wood-working this is usually done by adding a stain to bring out the beauty of the unfinished grain. My father disliked covering up the grain with paint.  Today’s manufactured particle board has to be covered up since there’s no unique grain.

In the Biblical book of Proverbs  22:6 we are told to “train up a child in the way they should go and when old they will not depart from it.”  The lesson is that instead of conforming our children to our desires and dreams for them, we actually are encouraged to help them find and recognize their “bent” and then provide an environment for that to develop and to provide boundaries and correction when off the path.

As we mature, it is often hard to continue to honor that bent among the many novelties calling out for our attention.

Today’s image comes once again from the Queen City Architectural Salvage Yard here in Denver where the discarded  can be restored and transformed with love to once again delight in its bent.

 

 

 

 

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