Tag Archives: Transition

It’s Your Turn Update.

©IBKimage2012

©IBKimage2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

IMG_0895

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best, IBK

Posted in Uncategorized Also tagged , |

New Directions

©IBKimage2009

©IBKimage2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

IBK

Posted in Letting Go, Uncategorized Also tagged , |

We Are Not Alone In Our Transitions

©IBKimage2013

 

 

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.

IBK

Posted in Courage, Waiting Also tagged , , |

Stopping

©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…

IBK

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

Evergreen

©2009IBKimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

©IBKimage2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 , , , |

New Beginnings

©IBKimage2012

 

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.”

IBK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Stop

©IBKimage 2012

 

 

Having always been a curious sort from the time I was young, I’d sometimes get into trouble – especially if I asked people about things they’d  rather not disclose.  The phrase then was:  “Stop being so nosy”, or the firmer:  “mind your own business.”  I was always wondering how things worked and would order things like seeds to sell to the older single and widowed ladies in town , ostensibly to save them a trip to the store, but the true reward was the gift of time, conversation, and …a cookie or candy.  Most of the changes in my life were as a result of my interests and explorations and the freedom to experiment and change course.

 

Well into adulthood , I still had that luxury, but somewhere along the way, I found myself getting into trouble again because I was so curious about so many things, in addition to family and other responsibilities, that I kept  trying to devise systems to get and stay organized … this eventually became a career and I helped other people do that … and now today so many years later, I am overwhelmed by the choices that vie for my attention: travel here, try this, donate now,upgrade,download, only $2.00 for an e-book, press the button … Amazon delivers, punch your frequent buyer card and so on …  all of these opportunities can easily morph into agony of decision.

 

Today’s image of my hands  is a made on an ®iPad  in a program called ®Photo Booth, which allows the manipulation of images in a variety of ways.  Somehow it captures the paradox of the possibility  and an open handed prayer / plea for wisdom to minimize the choices that keep us bound.  I remember the gift of love, in those gifts of time and attention and treats, and want to offer that to a new generation.  To do so, I have to  hit the delete button on so many of the things that I routinely do… even if they’re great things – just not my things.  What about you?

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

Waiting

IBKimage©2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 , , , |