Looking At Life From Behind The Lens

Orange Truck, puddles and clouds

Today is Day 8. I am so glad you are here. No really. Because practicing the art of noticing is exponentially better when you are here. If you would like to read in reverse, days 1-7, just click here to play catch up. It is safe to say I am a bit smitten by the art of noticing. And with all art forms comes practice. Diving into our craft, our art, no matter what form it takes and working at improving, fine-tuning. It goes on for all of our days.  And this noticing, it involves all our senses and some additional tools too. My camera is my third eye, my second brain, my backup band-width for my memory. It is my journal. Would you like to pull up a seat for Day 8? It is chilly today and Autumn is sneaking into my life, changing the colors of the sky. Bringing with her sweaters and the beginning of a crunchy sound under my feet and in my food. Grains and apples. The bite of a cold morning.

If we were having coffee, mine would be pumpkin something. Welcome to 31 Days of Noticing.

31 days button 500x500

There is a tension in my life. One of trying to record moments without any tools. My husband, I call him The Patient One, constantly encourages me to put my camera down. I simply cannot. I love the art form of photography. I am constantly stretching myself to see the world in new ways…..from behind the camera lens. As  writer I rely on my camera as an important tool. When I  sit down to write my poetry  I often  use a photograph as a prompt to trigger memory, to fire the neurons in my brain, to recall details and images. Is it a crutch. If so, it is an exquisite crutch. Though I am a novice, I love taking photographs.

But my husband believes that translates to my being “less present”. He sees it as a distraction. He reminds me of the importance of being in the moment, fully present. Maybe he is encouraging me to put down the visual aid and to enlist only my God given parts and pieces of myself.

So we dance, when we are together. Around this. I pull out my camera and start snapping, clicking, finger trigger-happy on my camera which is my phone, which is my camera.

Maybe I don’t trust my memory. Perhaps because Dementia runs in our family. Perhaps I feel less and less capable of recalling and remembering the scope of detail, the infinite amount of beauty in the people and landscape of my day. Perhaps I see myself as an archivist. The family historian. And honestly, I love the art form that is photography. It reminds me of where I have been and what I have seen.

And my photographs help me to focus on gratitude, love, and a “right” perspective.

Time stops for the camera but not for me. Beauty freezes in the click of my camera, but not for me. My poetry and my writing rely often of long periods of time spent reviewing my life through my lens. The lens of my photography.

I am a visual being. I know that about myself.

So as long as I have this extension to my other senses, I will take hundreds and hundreds of photographs. And I will share them with you. Are they perfect? No. Are they blurry? Sometimes yes. Are they technically perfect? Well, no.

But they help my noticing, my writing, my poetry. And they bring me so much joy.

It is my privilege and joy to be on this journey with you. This time of exploring the art of seeing our world, really noticing it. Here are a few images I’d like to share with you. Will I see you on Day 9? Oh I hope so.

OLD OLD trees as sculpture & IVY

Ready, set, go notice.

Close Up Cross Labyrinth

Little White Shed And dirt road

Bend, Bow, and Bare “Letters From The Village” – Day 3

Day Three in the series “Letters From The Village” in which I pen a poem of praise, writing as if in letter form to the bending bowing limbed beauties. The wood from which the cross was cut and hewn.oak park tree my fave

trees in oak park


trees skyward

Bend, Bow and Bare

You teach us well the lessons
How to bend and bow
To stand and lift, turn toward the sacred
Stretched skyward in tall praise.

You show us well the lessons
Of how to bare a soul, strip down to  simple naked frame
Stand stark, vulnerable, 
No covering to hide the shame or blight

You live well this life of shedding, pruning back
Of cutting back dead wood, this vital piece, the
Part that leads to vibrant verdant growing, new life
I watch you walk through seasons dignified, majestic, stark to full

Simple beauty,

I stare, eyes fixed in silent solemn  awe,

I gaze on your reverential stance displayed in vertical repose

Dear Ones who show us how to bend and sway rooted deep in soil of life
You lift up strong, your limbs in praise
And bear your radiant fruit in due time
You who holy held the son of God on wood hewn cross He bled

the sins of all were carried on His back while nailed, obedient, to you.

The pain, the nails

The perfect sacrifice.

And so we bow

and bend lower, lower still

lower day by day inside the shadow that you cast for us, recall His holy sacrifice

The bark, stump, root, limb, leaf, bud and branch

Metaphor for us,

We the people of the cross.

We bend, we bow

We break, we bare,

We look to wooden ways, the forest and the trees.

amen ,no alleluia’s at this time, stark worship on these days


The stump, the root, the cross, a final sacrifice received

Bent humbly, praising God

You teach well these lessons

Of both the  forest and the trees.

big bent tree sepiatrees, moss, bluetree cowpraying praising tree

Red, A Christmas Poem

berries in sunlight

Red bakes velvet
Berries burst crimson
Bows tied ruby
Birds feed scarlet, tipping by the window ledge
Lights flicker scarlet, winking at the wonder of it all
Christ’s blood shed, sacrifice,
life poured out


But first the manger, birth and life

Waiting watchful vigilant we

For the coming of Christ the King
Red the beating hearts of we

who worship
Celebrating ,glorious triumphant birth,

a Baby, Savior
The King, draped in robe of Royalty.

And all the world awaits his birth

While dressed in fabric festive, crimson

And all the words written, captured, printed holy, 

All the words as gift for us, holy, holy ,holy  they are, there



Joining Deidra for her Sunday Community…what JOY!


May I Simply ,This Thanksgiving

In the days, these days, trembling like a mother ripe with life

May I simply

Seek to love with words, eyes,  mouth, my spirit whole and filled

And may I only

Focus on the beating pulsing heart of all that really matters

And may I, please, only

Give extravagantly and always more than I take, haughty fleshy self-filled soul I am

And may I, please, quite simply

Experience every moment to the marrow, bone and muscle, to the gifted core

These moments on this side of heaven, never needing wanting more.

And  may I simply this Thanksgiving seek beyond the narrow path

Gaze out wide and far,

Unfurling generosity of spirit to the  otherwise invisible place

Seen not by me

But shown by Him.

And in so doing, drip extravagant gifts

Plumped with one million granuels of grace,

Thanking always the Giver

With the movements of my life.

Joining Jen today at Finding Heaven Today dot com