Monday, May 31, 2010


I am reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Part One right now. I finished The Hobbit (which I loved!) and have dived into the Trilogy. I tried to read this while in college and really could not get into it. I had read CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and loved them, but Tolkien's was too intricate or detailed or something for me at that time.

As I am reading the tale I am struck by how hard it would be to ever divorce yourself from you life experiences and create any piece of art apart or separate from those experiences.

Tolkien says in his forward to The Fellowship of the Rings, "An author cannot of course remain wholly unaffected by his experience, but the way a story-germ uses the soil of experience are extremely complex..."
However, a few paragraphs earlier he says, "As for any 'inner message', it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical." Hmmm...

I think that "inner messages" are imbedded in all works of creativity. I think that because we bear the image of God we cannot help but leave parts of ourselves in our creative undertakings whether it be writing, photography, music, painting, sculpting, or creating a family. We leave our mark in some way whether subtle or overt on everything we design or undertake. I believe this because I see my Creator's mark on everything and everybody he's designed in the world around me. I see his power, his beauty, his humor, his love, and yes, his judgement. I see some of who he is in what he has created, it cannot be helped!

When I look at my children and their children, at the way Fred and I have decorated and arranged our physical surroundings, our music, and at the things I have photographed, how I photograph them and the things I've written I see parts of me and who I am in all of it. Sometimes it's unsettling. Other times I love it!

Therefore, I know that each time someone shares something that they have created they are opening a part of themselves up to others, subject to others' interpretation for sure, but an invitation to a glimpse into their soul. I count that as a privilege and never take it lightly and am forever grateful to those that open themselves up through sharing their creativity in some way with the rest of us. I may not like what I see or read or hear, but that is a subject for another time eh?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Mother's Eyes (Mother's Day 2010)

A Daughter’s Reflection/My Mother’s Eyes

I sit in the driver’s seat uncomfortably aware of my elderly mother staring at me. I steal a quick glance at her and state more than ask, “What?”
  “Nothing,” she replies, “Just looking at you.”
   “Oh,” I reply, mildly annoyed.
   This has happened on other occasions in the past year and I think, “This is just part of the getting older scene. Less tact, less inhibitions, a certain rudeness or inappropriateness of social behavior that seems to come with the terrain.”
   Later, I speak with my girlfriend about this and how it makes me feel uncomfortable.
   Over the phone, across the miles her reply takes a moment to be formed. Then, “Don’t you ever, or haven’t you ever found yourself staring at your girls, just wanting to drink them in? I mean, it’s as if I am trying to memorize every plane and detail of Em’s facial features. All the subtle nuances, the essence of who this daughter of mine is. Don’t you think that maybe that’s what your mom may be doing?”
   I am stopped short by this. My mom and I have never connected well emotionally. She admits she never was good at showing affection. She said that physical affection was never a part of her family dynamics growing up, but she never doubted that she was loved. I thrived on physical displays of affection and affirmation and only my dad did that. I needed my mother’s love that way. Parts of me were stunted by its absence.
   Maybe now in the twighlight of her life she is trying to somehow connect with me on an emotional level. She certainly has become more desirous of hugs, when I arrive and when I leave. And, she holds on longer and longer each time.
   Maybe she’s afraid of forgetting me, losing me, either because her mind is changing rapidly and she’s aware of it, or because she knows she’s closer every day to leaving this realm. Maybe she’s trying to commit me to memory,her daughter, this woman who’s complicated and struggling with her and her demise; commit her memory of me to a place deep in her heart that will never slip away. Maybe she fears losing me in her memory as much as I fear it.
   Maybe she just realized all the years she let go by without holding, touching, and loving me the way I thought I needed it and now is pouring her love and affection into me by this one act. By absorbing me through the windows to her soul, her eyes, and holding me there in her mother’s heart for eternity.
   Maybe, God in his wisdom knew that in order to love my own daughters and son well, lavishing physical affection on them as they grew up and once they were adults, I needed to be starved of that in my own life. Then, in the intricate thread of His redemption woven into my life and the remaking of my life’s story, on all levels, He used that hunger for me to know and understand the power of a mother’s heart and affection in her child’s life. Maybe in the midst of it all I am finally being loved and held in the arms of my mom through His amazing grace and during this last chapter and season of our lives together here!
   As I have struggle to understand what it means to “honor my mother” with whom my relationship has been difficult, I sense in the midst of all of this that God is saying “she loves you as she can and I will always love you completely.” I can rest in that.    

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Water Play at Nonna's

I love the relaxed freedom of summertime for all of us, but especially for kids. What a sweet week of one-on-one time with Sonya on Tuesday and Teddy on Friday!
And then there's Teddy...who found Poppi's Fountain...
I love his curiosity!

Friday, May 28, 2010

I got a few!!!

Well, I got a few okay shots, but no cloud action. I also have a mirror/ghost image of the moon floating around in the photos. I read up on that a long time ago and will have to reread that article! Anyway, it's midnight and I am turning in! Enjoy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I have no moon shots to post from tonight's full moon!

So I went outside tonight with my camera and tripod to take some shots of the full moon rising through the clouds- it was amazing-looking. Of course it went under heavy cloud cover by the time I got everything situated! I may go back out now or later and try to get some shots, because within 10 minutes of going back inside it reappeared from behind the clouds!! But I'm tired...sooo professional eh?
This has happened to me so many times. We are driving home, the full moon is rising and it's spectacular. I bolt into the house gather up everything, best guess at the settings, they seem to work and then, I lose the shot!
I have insomnia pretty much every night, so I hope that I get up and take some shots of it tonight later.

Here I am Thanks to Missy!!!

Just getting up and running and am very excited to share thoughts and photos of my journey in life that I call my Never Ending Story. Stay tuned.
Thanks Missy!