dogwood photography’s photo challenge: story telling – color without color

Week 34 Story Telling: Color without Color (Tell a colorful story, but do it in black and white.)

Image submitted in response to Dogwood Photography’s annual 52-week photography challenge.


we soon learn to adapt ourselves

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge… Nikon D750 f/7.1 1/4000s 78mm 800 ISO

“… What a bizarre new landscape, so full of eerie fascination, yet one we might also come to love again. We human beings cause monstrous conditions, but precisely because we cause them we soon learn to adapt ourselves to them. Only if we become such that we can no longer adapt ourselves, only if, deep inside, we rebel against very kind of evil, will we be able to put a stop to it. Aeroplanes, streaking down in flames, still have a weird fascination for us – even aesthetically – though we know, deep down, that human beings are being burnt alive. As long as that happens, while everything within us does not yet scream out in protest, so long will we find ways of adapting ourselves, and the horrors will continue.”

cited: Trans: Arno Pomerans, An Interrupted Life The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941 – 1943, p. 81.

Image and quote submitted in response to Travel with Intent’s Six Word Saturday Challenge

mine mine mine

Our suffering is the suffering of the deer, the fish, and the squirrel.

Thich Nhát Hanh, The Other Shore

What am I grasping at now? Are we chasing a butterfly? Are we chasing a cloud? So many things can pull us away from our loved ones and make us runaway… If you’re still demanding something, thinking it’s essential to your happiness, or rushing around in search of something, then you are still caught in the idea of attainment.

into the light

A lotus is very beautiful as a lotus. It doesn’t need to become a daffodil. The truth is that in the lotus there is a daffodil and in the daffodil there is a lotus. We can be the flower and we can be ourselves at the same time.

We are the deer, the fish, the squirrel; and the squirrel, the deer, and the fish are us. Our suffering is the suffering of the deer, the fish, and the squirrel. When we are able to see that the nature of all things is our own nature, we become free.

(cited: Thich Nhát Hanh, The Other Shore)

a cry in the night

A repeating dream born of a yearning for solace. No, not really a dream.  More a nightmare of a different sort where the sudden appearance of a dial phone transforms me into a relentless pursuer.  A series of events, where I stumble over one into another, the phone line is silent; “this number is no longer in service;”  I can’t recall the number as I dial; a nearby phone book opens up to blank pages; I have no coins; my mind goes blank when I pick up the receiver.  Failure becomes an enemy which I fight, again and again, until waking releases me.

Are these incessant-themed dreams a telling of memories when the house settled into night?  Those moments of private passage where thoughts and images become ethereal and reality is colored by deep silence and blinding darkness?  And then…unexpectedly consciousness responds to a gentle, “ring ring” with, “hello.”  Uninterrupted exchanges between sisters, separated by darkness—confiding, sharing, questioning—creating our night time stories and lulling us into sleep?

Within a family of deafness, it was you—the eldest—who heard my night cries…my first spoken words.  And in exchange, it was I who acknowledged you as I heard your voice especially within the stilled silence of night. 

Are these dreams an attempt to reconnect with childhood moments of friendship, of sisterhood, of validation?  Or, an obsessive voice calling for another in the darkness of despair?   A child’s soul—voiceless—hidden within the darkness of absolute silence decrying the definite disconnection by death?  

Within this day of remembrance, I wish to know that my prayers pierced death’s barrier and you hear my deep gratitude for the solace you nourished within our childhood as well as my hope that these foundations of our sisterhood that have intertwined within the passage of time will awaken to a renewed togetherness.