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Category Archives: Photography

Gnarly

Gnarly.

When I was still teaching, students would throw around their favourite slang, usually in proper ways. Gnarly was a favourite word of one of the young men I taught for five years.

A young woman used beast. The first time I heard her say that I was unsure what she meant, but it described her play as the Michael Jordan of her basketball league.

Mike photographed a tree and entitled the post Gnarly. It is cool which is what the young man meant when he used gnarly. It is cool there is wisdom in that tree as it does its work. It is also cool to find wisdom in the everyday world of words.

Old Habits

Old Habits.

The picture at Kenne’s post drew me in with questions about old habits. What are the person’s old habits? Is he someone’s old habit?

We wear habits in a way. There is a corporal nature to them including ways we conduct ourselves, think about ourselves and the world. This corporeal nature, habitus, is connected to the word habitat. We inhabit habits and they inhabit us.

When we look in the mirror and see ourselves, perhaps we see the habits in a taken-for-granted way. They just are part of us. Or, do we have someone who is our mirror? Someone who helps us see who we are in clearer way with their honesty and candor?

In Buddhism, others can serve as mirrors. Sometimes, it is in their silence we find ourselves become clearer. Certainly, there is still a graininess to the image and a smokey filter but mirrors help dissipate the graininess and smokiness. The external ordering becomes a patient, compassionate internal ordering.

“Nature Has No Need Of Fortune”

“Nature Has No Need Of Fortune”.

The article linked has a wonderful and lengthy quote from Michel de Montaigne about character. Character is an aesthetic masterpiece words and deeds are expressing. It is reflected in and through living. We are painting a picture, writing a story, and becoming someone without knowing the next brush stroke, the next letter, and the next step fully.

When I looked at the accompanying image, I was struck by the space in the foreground and how the background was more cluttered. We move in the spaces provided in the immediacy of the moment without knowing for sure what is revealed. When we look further afield, we realize how the past is cluttered and the future uncertain.

It takes confidence to step into the unknown. Although the next step appears spacious, what will appear is not certain despite our best plans, our material resources, and our victories.

Explore, Dream, Discover

Explore, Dream, Discover.

I enjoy Mark Twain. He had a way with words and wisdom. We live life to explore, dream, and discover. We can close our eyes and be transported to whatever place we want in the world, perhaps the banks of the Mississippi.

Marcel Proust said that “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Imagine opening your eyes and seeing the world afresh in each new experiencing. To see the extraordinary in the ordinary would be have new eyes, exploring and discovering the world anew. We should catch the trade winds and leave those safe harbours, if only in our imagination.

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN IMAGES: THE SIMPLEST THINGS IN LIFE

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN IMAGES: THE SIMPLEST THINGS IN LIFE.

I mention my favourite poets regularly i.e. Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry and want to mention my favourite prose writer Paulo Coehlo. This post begins with a quote from Manuscript Found in Accra asking we let the simplest things reveal there extraordinary nature. The photography underscores this point.

It is in the ordinary the extraordinary is revealed is one of my favourite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh. When I am mindful, present, and attentive, I sense the extraordinary I rush past in my haste to get to the next moment.

Of High Solitude

When surrounded by the busyness of life, this poem is a call to other things where I find solitude. Wilfrid Wilson Gibson suggested the way the soul can find solitude in even the busiest of moments. I can look in and find those spaces even when they are not physically available. In those moments, I am present to those things and people who are most important in life. They are framed like a flower against the backdrop of majestic mountains.

Eagles and isles and uncompanioned peaks,

The self-reliant isolated things

Release my soul, embrangled in the stress

Of all days’ crass and cluttered business:

Release my soul in song, and give it wings;

And even when the traffic roars and rings,

With senses stunned and beaten deaf and blind,

My soul withdraws into itself, and seeks

The peaks and isles and eagles of the mind.

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Jasper Elk

I traveled the last couple of days and, as I went through Jasper National Park, I came across these two elk. They were just off the side of the highway and have a full rack of antlers.

This one was by himself eating.

Elk 5

This one was not as cooperative in showing his face.

Elk 7

The shy one decided the grass was greener over in the other one’s pasture and began to move over.

Elk 1

The interloper begins to push the original out of his pasture. You could hear the clash of the antlers and the intruder seemed able to push the first one back.

Elk 6

I was closer to an elk when we were in Yellowstone several years ago. There is a story to the picture I took as I climbed down the embankment into the ditch and a moment later one of the other tourists we were with tumbled down the embankment. I told her it was OK because I thought could run faster than her.

I was probably 50 or more feet away from the ones in Jasper. I was only about 15 feet from the one in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Elk

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