early morning reading

“Klaas, all really wanted to say is this: we have so much work to do on ourselves that we shouldn’t even be thinking of hating our so-called enemies. We are hurtful enough to one another as it is. And I don’t really know what I mean when I say that there are bullies and bad characters among our own people, for no one is really ‘bad’ deep down. I should have liked to reach out to that man with all his fears, I should have liked to trace the source of his panic, to drive him ever deeper into himself, that is the only thing we can do, Klass, in times like these.

“And you, Klass, give a tired and despondent wave and say, ‘But what you propose to do takes such a long time and we don’t really have all that much time, do we? …

“And I repeat with the same old passion, although I am gradually beginning to think that I am being tiresome, ‘It is the only thing we can do, Klass, I see no alternative, each of us must turn inwards and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others. And remember that every atom of hate we add to this world makes it still more inhospitable. …'”

cited: The Interrupted Life The Diaries of Etty Hillesum, pp.179-180.

Trans: Arno Pomerans

earth friday

If there be no little pines in the field
How shall I find the symbol of 1000 ages?

~The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu (cited: Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)

Snowy Range, Wyoming (2018) … Nikon D750 f/4 1/2000 34mm

“These lands, siblings of the Rockies,

hold many lessons and ways of being.”

D Martinez & L Schnider (CSU) The Land Holds Memories, September 2019

“Where the prairie converges with the plains, the foothills watch. They have long been the relatives of these lands and witnesses to all adventures, explorations, and settlings. The plains and prairie have also long been partners in this space; they are the original innovators, the knowers and teachers. The foothills remain present as protectors of those west winds and incubators of the snow and rain that feed these spaces, peoples, and purposes.

Our sense of this place, our sense of this land, is beckoned through this convergence and their an­cestral traditions. Waters flow in snake rivers, are cradled in valleys where corn and long grasses, such as Indian ricegrass and needlegrass, grew and grow, dozens of flowers, includ­ing prickly poppy, yucca, rabbitbrush, and prairie sunflowers, bloom and nestle; these are the homes for the bison, prong­horn, and deer, as well as swift fox, burrowing owls, and gold­en eagles.

These lands, siblings of the Rockies, hold many lessons and ways of being. The clay still holds knowledge and foot­prints of beings, events, and experiences. It, the clay, waits for new stories and new understandings. Communities were here over 12,000 years ago; those were the times of the mammoth. And, although they are often called the Paleo-Indians, they were here: relatives, ancestors of societies and knowers of land, sensors of place, and practitioners of purpose….”

earth friday

“for us to survive, both as individuals and as a species, we need a revolution in consciousness.”

Love Letter to the Earth, Thich Nhat Hanh, April 21, 2019 Plum Village
Poudre Canyon…summer 2018 Nikon D750 f/7.1 1/200s 39mm 4000 ISO

Another with same thoughts
May be gazing at the pale morning moon 
Of the Long-night month– 
No sight is more sorrowful

~Izumi Shikibu,

Trans: AS Omori & K Doi, Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

BELOVED MOTHER OF ALL THINGS

“I bow my head before you as I look deeply and recognise that you are present in me and that I’m a part of you. I was born from you and you are always present, offering me everything I need for my nourishment and growth. My mother, my father, and all my ancestors are also your children. We breathe your fresh air. We drink your clear water. We eat your nourishing food. Your herbs heal us when we’re sick. …

“Sometimes I forget. Lost in the confusions and worries of daily life, I forget that my body is your body, and sometimes even forget that I have a body at all. Unaware of the presence of my body and the beautiful planet around me and within me, I’m unable to cherish and celebrate the precious gift of life you have given me. Dear Mother, my deep wish is to wake up to the miracle of life. I promise to train myself to be present for myself, my life, and for you in every moment. I know that my true presence is the best gift I can offer to you, the one I love.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Love Letter to the Earth Plum Village

lens-artists photo challenge: pick a place

Poudre Canyon.

“...climate investing is still burdened by many preconceptions and myths.”

Six Climate Investing Myths Debunked, Morgan Stanley
  • Myth 1 – The climate problem is all about global warming
  • Myth 2 – An ESG strategy addresses climate solutions
  • Myth 3 – Renewable energy is the main solution
  • Myth 4 – Renewables need subsidies for compelling returns
  • Myth 5 – Early stage clean-tech investing is a wild goose chase
  • Myth 6 – Climate investing depends highly on political and regulatory changes

Lens-Artists photo challenge: pick a place – how about the earth?

the linden tree

Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/25s 150mm 100 ISO

“Thursday Morning, 9.30. On a summer’s day like this I lie in bed as if cradled in sweet arms. It makes one feel so indolent and languid. And when he sang, ‘The Linden Tree’ last time (I thought it so beautiful that I asked him to sing me a whole forest-full of linden trees), the lines on his face looked like old, age-old, tracks through a landscape as ancient as creation itself.”

(cited: E Hillesum, An Interrupted Life p. 115)

lost in translation: pick a word in august- ursine

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

~A A Mille, Winnie-the Pooh

Ursine… Ricoh GX100 f/2.9 1/28s 7.3mm 80 ISO

Image and quote submitted in response to Lost in Translation’s Pick a Word Challenge: Ursine

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 fatherless child

Nikon D750 f/7.1 1/40s 50mm 100 ISO

“… literature provided me with alternate threads by which to darn a harmonious, yet delusional, understanding of death, of fatherless children, of a family. To move into this realm is to be cuddled in the arms of a chair, mesmerized by the pages of a book unfolding like an accordion, embraced by a transparent sound barrier, and transported into fantasies found through fictional characters.  While my mind’s eye grasped the hand of my naïve emotional self and together we observed the telling of storied lives, there was a seeking mind that simultaneously identified revealing markers to create a map, not to a place of hidden treasures, but to a place that felt like a home.

 I was six years old the first time this happened.  Martin and Cooney’s Five Little Peppers and How they Grew eased my aloneness with the emptiness left by my father’s death and filled it with a reformulated concept of family.  Later, it was Alcott’s characters within Little Women and Little Men who gave me permission to vicariously be a fatherless child united with loving adults who validated sacrifice, patience, and compassion.  Burnett’s themes of grief and loss within The Little Princess identified the behaviors, choices, and attitudes necessary to survive the evils of dark despair until the rescue by an unknown and unidentified savior, just and righteous.”

~B Catherine Koeford, A Mediative Journey with Saldage homesickness for a place, a time, a person that cannot be

are we not all travelers

The Chinese expression for “nostalgia” is xiangchou, literally “village sadness” … the grief that accompanies the traveler who cannot find a way back to the home village.

Vera Schwarcz, Bridge Across Broken Time
Sony RX 3… f/2.8 1/400s 25.7mm 800 ISO

Hiraeth (pronounced [hiraɪ̯θ] is a Welsh concept of longing for home. Many Welsh people claim hiraeth is a word which cannot be translated, meaning more than solely “missing something” or “missing home.” To some, it implies the meaning of missing a time, an era, or a person. It is associated with the bittersweet memory of missing something or someone, while being grateful of their existence. It can also be used to describe a longing for a homeland, potentially of your ancestors, where you may have never been. Similarly, the Cornish equivalent is hireth.

lost in the woods —

only the sound of a leaf

falling on my hat ~Tagami Kikusha (trans: Makoto Ueda, Far Beyond the Field)

Hiraeth bears considerable similarities with the Portuguese concept of saudade, Galician morriña, Romanian dor, Gaelic cianalas, Russian toska (тоска), German Sehnsucht and Ethiopian tizita (ትዝታ)

dogwood photo challenge: inspiration

Week 24 Inspiration: Who inspires you (Inspiration comes from many places. Tell us about who inspires you.)

Sony NEX-5N f/13 1/800s 150mm 100 ISO

My introduction to Bruce Percy’s color landscape images invited me to study the amazing images of Michael Kenna and to visualize landscape photography through an eye towards minimalism and muted colors. “As I’ve grown older, I’ve found that I’m much more attracted to the wilderness and the people that live on the edges of it. Photography is a great way of getting closer to the land and the cultures that inhabit it.” ~Bruce Percy cited: Wotfoto.com

Ricoh GX100 f/3.5 1/620s 10.5mm 80 ISO

What I have found interesting in this exploration and study of various photographers, is that while I am inspired by Bruce Percy and Michael Kenna, I am also drawn to the street photographs created by Jasper Tejano who offers the viewer amazing colored images of life on the street, “… color street photography, to me, presents life with much more realism and dynamism. Especially with my work on silhouettes, the darkness of my subjects will just drown in the different shades of gray. I need color to make my subjects emerge from the frame.” ~Jasper Tejano

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