When my husband and I take photo trips, whether near or far, I am often attracted to doors and windows. I like exploring small quaint towns that have been revived by artisans and documenting what I see. Maybe I am drawn to doors because they signify possibility to me: “one door closes, another opens…” I am curious by nature and enjoy imagining what might be behind each door. Who”s inside? What stories do they bold? If the door is painted, why did the owner choose that particular color? How does that color reflect the mood and personality of the inhabitants? The door is like a dressed up package. Untie the bow, knock at the door, and find out what’s in store for you. There are so many choices – all is possible. Hope is at hand.
In the same way, I am also intrigued by windows. Where doors are solid and impenetrable, windows are translucent and reflective. I can see through, into the building and also see a collage of images in the reflection. To me, windows represent both the past and the future. I can look both back and forwards in time. What is created in the photograph is a connection been the past and future – what I left behind and what still awaits me. Photographing windows gives me the opportunity to play with color and light. I am able to compose and create a unique collage. Below are some examples of the photographic play I did on a recent trip to South Carolina.
Something about water that is so pure and calming whether it’s in the form of river, pond, lake, waterfall, or ocean. The flow of water fills me with possibility. Water is smooth and easy. It can carry itself anywhere. It is versatile and resilient. And water is strong. It can sweep you away and wear great rocks smooth. Water is a force to be reckoned with. I try, in my daily life, to emulate the qualities of water. I want to adopt its beauty, tenacity and strength. I want to achieve its clarity and purpose.
Being close to water always puts me at ease and allows me to center myself. Whatever trouble I face or obstacles I encounter has always been set right with time spent by the water. August calls me to come to the water, and so I obey. Salt water and sand – just what I need to slow down, reflect, and write. I take my camera along to record the images that stand out to me.
Brave children stand
At the edge of the sea,
While watchful waves
Tug at their tender feet.
Come in, come in
The wind whispers,
But the children run,
Scattering shells across the sand.
Their laughter lifts in to the air,
Bounces on the shimmering sea,
The roar of the waves
Closer the children creep,
Tan limbs in pools of white foam,
Ready, watching for
That next wave.
Scooping up sea glass,
Small shells, smooth stones,
The children splash,
Dancing with the sea.
As giant clouds climb
Over the slate-blue horizon
Like dangerous pirates
Waiting to snatch their treasure.
Come away, come away
To a distant shore,
While the sun sinks in the western sky
Washing everything with gold.
Book Lists: Seven by the Sea
Come Away from the Water, Shirley by John Burningham
Flotsam by David Wiesner
Hello Ocean by Pamm Munoz
Home for Hermit Crab by Eric Carl
Mister Sea Horse by Eric Carl
Stella, Star of the Sea by Mary-Louise Gay
Wave by Suzy Lee
Middle Grade Novels:
A Swirl of Ocean by Melissa Sarno
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Fish Girl by David Weisner and Donna Jo Napoli
They Eyes of the Amaryllis by Natalie Babbitt
The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
Books for Adults:
Gift of Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw
The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island by Linda Greenlaw
The Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure by Jacques-Yves Coustea
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe
This post is dedicated to my cousin, Jeanne, who is like a sister to me. This past year, she had taken care of her husband who lost his battle with cancer last week. It has been a long painful journey and though I tried to provide comfort, I knew there was little I could do to truly help her, so I did the only thing left to do – I listened. My mother would always tell me how kind and considerate Jeanne was. She appreciated Jeanne’s cards and visits. My mother made me promise to watch over her. I would have done so anyway. Jeanne has the most compassionate heart. She is one of those people who are earthly angels. Jeanne encourages me with my writing, lifts me up when I am feeling almost hopeless, and tells me stories to make me laugh. She is the best friend-cousin-sister anyone could ever have! The best offering, I can give her now are my words and my pictures. I hope this small offering brings her peace and makes her know that she is greatly loved.
Walking up the steep,
Through the cathedral
I breathe in
their vivid color
And let out a slow
I am present
To God’s glorious
Here in the garden
Spring has arisen
All is right with the world:
Squirrels feast on seeds
In the undergrowth,
Birds on the branches sing,
My soul takes flight.
The following poems are in a form I hadn’t known about until last week. Fellow blogger, Ramona, had written a recent post containing a lovely golden shovel poem, which spurred me to try this form. It is a very comforting form because the writer takes a short quote that is meaningful to her and then use it as the base of her poem. It is a seed from which the poem grows. It also takes brain power to puzzle out how to combine one’s ideas with that of the original writer’s words. The last word in each line of the poem reveals the original quote from top to bottom. I think this is a form that I will continue to play with and have my students play with.
Three Golden Shovel Poems
The Earth Laughs in Flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Daffodils, hyacinths, and the
Tulips brightly bloom upon the Earth
All the green garden laughs
Exuberantly, right out loud in
A brilliance of flowers.Where Flower Bloom so Does Hope. – Lady Bird Johnson
April turns to May where
raindrops become flowers
pink, yellow, orange, purple bloom
up through the green so
quietly, so spontaneously does
this garden restore my hope.With the Coming of Spring, I am Calm Again. - Gustav Mahler
Dark clouds fill the sky with
An abundance of rain, the
Drops fall to the ground, coming
Faster and faster, all of
A sudden it’s spring -
Green and glimmering, I
Turn my face to the rain, I am
Suddenly peaceful and calm
Spring is within me again.