Tag Archives: Transition



Good Morning,
For awhile now I have been offering insight and encouragement in life’s transitions, through this blog and perhaps it’s been my life’s work for a long time. As I was moving some books from an old to new position this week, I picked up the 25th Anniversary Edition of William Bridges 2004 book: “Transitions …Making Sense of Life’s Changes”. Add 13 years to that and you have a book that has and is still making an impact on people’s lives 38 years later.

The original 1979 book and the teaching in it by Bridges, I now realize was the beginning of my understanding that change and transition are profoundly different The subject of the book in Bridges own words … “is the difficult process of letting go of an old situation, of suffering the confusing nowhere of in-betweenness, and of launching forth again in a new situation. … so (1) an ending, (2) a neutral zone, and (3) a new beginning.” The story of the Exodus at the time of Moses is certainly an example of that. Leaving Egypt; The Wilderness Life; and The New Land.

We often confuse the event – the change – with transition – our reaction and reorientation to the change. We believe that we can quickly go from one event (change) to another without the process of transition, however long or short it may be.

In future blogs I’ll revisit some of what I’ve summarized here, but for now I encourage you to think of some of your own changes and transitions and how they’ve perhaps “grown you” albeit often with hard work and pain.

Today’s image is in the Rhino Neighborhood in downtown Denver, where everything old is now new again and an example of major transition in a city that is one of the fastest “growing” in the country.

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Changing Our Viewpoint


A lesson I keep learning from my photography is that if you can’t capture a desired image which the eye sees, you have to move yourself to account for  the camera’s limitation.  Similarly, by shifting  position one can make an image look like it’s taken in sunny Italy, when it’s less than a half of a mile from a busy part of Interstate 70 in Denver.  In today’s image we’re seeing a pump house along Berkley Lake near my home, where I often walk in the evening when the summer heat dissipates.


Walking around this lake has also given me an opportunity to see some stunning sunsets, without the interference of electrical wires ubiquitous  in the alleys in my older neighborhood.  There’s a point here I think that perhaps helps us when we are anticipating, in the midst of, or just having encountered a transition of some kind.  Shifting our perspective and choosing (or being forced to by circumstance) to view a situation in a new way, can fix our eyes and hearts to perhaps see new viewpoints that can … in the moment … or after a passage of time, bless in new ways.


Posted in Courage, Insight, Letting Go, Reframe Also tagged , |

It’s Your Turn Update.














In my last blog I supplied the image, and I asked you dear readers to supply the words in response to this question. What thoughts about transition come to mind for you as you reflect on this image?


Here are some of your thoughts.

“Some images bright, still central. Others are fading or emerging. Discerning which are trying to emerge requires time, prayer and a community with which to discern.”


… the path is not always straight or easy to decipher.


“Life is the interplay between light and darkness, sunshine and shadow, and hinges on our interpretation of what we see and experience. Just when we think we have something figured out and labeled, we might take another look to see that it has shifted and our perception has changed. What seems good or positive at first glance may not be for our highest good, and what seems evil or negative may be a gift in disguise. That is why it is good to give thanks in all things and not judge by appearances.”


Reading these and other responses made me think of the word shift as integral to transition. A shift in focus,attitude,perception, thinking and so on … thanks for participating and now a little shift of my own.  The original image actually looked like this.













Best, IBK

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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 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 , , |


©2014 IBKimage


On a recent trip to Brooklyn, NY this family of “parts” caught my eye while walking briskly down the sidewalk , arm in arm with two my own family members.  The middle child up in dad’s arms wears a ®Meineke Care Care Center shirt to let us know that …yes you’ve arrived at the place to have your car fixed. The clever metal sculptures comprised of old mufflers and other under-the- car parts, offered great delight and a pause on a windy cold November morning.


Often we’re so distracted with our lists, and goals or pleasing others that we  spend our energy on a busy life vs. a chosen life. I first heard the phrase a ‘stop doing list’ in a a newspaper article written by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great . In a course on creativity and innovation at Stanford Graduate School of Business, he was challenged by the teachers in what he called the “20-10 assignment”. You receive 2 phone calls: 1.”You’ve inherited $20 million no strings attached; 2.You have a terminal disease and have no more than 10 years to live. What would do do differently and, in particular, what would you stop doing? ” This was a major turning point in his life. The ‘stop doing list’ became … “a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.”


So what does this have to do with  today’s image?  Perhaps someone decided to stop throwing old parts away when they were fixing cars and start reassembling the parts to finally realize a dream of creating something. What do you want to stop that will release energy for starting or rediscovering something that is  authentically you.


My ‘stopping’ list in this new year included not judging myself for needing to pause after numerous transitions and several losses, including friends dying. Happily by ‘stopping’ I’m now ready to re-engage in one of my passions … offering insight and encouragement through life’s transitions…


Posted in Cropping, New Beginning, Seasons, Stopping, Waiting Also tagged , , |
















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.



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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.





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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.





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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 , , , , |