The true person is
Not anyone in particular;
But, like the deep blue color
Of the limitless sky,
It is everyone, everywhere in the world
.

~Eihei Dōgen

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/4000 35mm 200 ISO


Yesterday my mother came to visit…it was a remembered touch that announced her arrival not as the frail woman with a fierce determination time had transformed from the woman who carried with her the stature of Danish Vikings…warriors, explorers, conquerors, survivors.  The English genes of a woman whose life was colored by an incessant search for security, an unquestioning moral and social mandate, and an aloneness I did not know. 

She visited as my mom and walked alongside me as I gathered the ingredients for homemade soup, she watched me — with discerning eyes — as I made the bed and gathered the laundry, and she sat with me as I flipped through a photo book of fading memories. Memories…the mundane moments swept away into darkness by brooms of discontent, negation, and yes…shame. The shame that arises from a felt sense of a marginalized family’s “being different.”

She woke the memory within the shifting images of a night when I saw her sitting alone within the silence of deafness nested within the silence of night.  Before her was a topsy-turvy pile of children’s scuffed and worn shoes. I watched her from the doorway, hiding as I did not want to be sent back to bed, slowly polishing each one and then matching them into pairs, forming a straight row — creating a sense of order.  When her eyes acknowledged my presence, she invited me to sit alongside her.  Moments passed as I felt her listening presence…a mother and a daughter sitting quietly in a dimly lit room, a protective barrier. 

As this remembering faded, I felt a gentle gaze that spoke of a silent loving-kindness. It was as if she came from a place of waiting knowing that the barriers that blocked me from being receptive to the multiple color threads that weaved her life had begun to weaken and fade and — for the first time — I entered, felt, and embraced her aloneness. And she, in return, eased the discontent that ebbs and flows throughout this time of uncertain isolation.

I have often wondered, since her passing, that if we had met – not as mother-daughter but as children in a playground would she have wanted to be my friend?

First published on April 2, 2020 … Stay at Home Order … day 8

Today my mother came to visit within an unexpected memory…long forgotten…time faded.

my mother came to visit

As if in a movie theatre, I silently watched as she cover her Crown Braids with a triangle-folded scarf.

She then covered a straw broom with a frayed-gray rag…held in place with two baby diaper safety pins. One with a yellow tip, the other blue.

Then a remembered sigh as she turned the broom upside down and began to slowly sweep the ceiling with special attention to living room corners. “Hidden spider webs,” she mumbled.

Spring cleaning had begun…

“Yes, a line is fine, but when a line swerves, when a line bends, watch what happens . . . a shape begins!…

“A square is four sides all the same — … blocks to build with, share and stack…

“A rectangle is like a square with something rearranged. Two sides are long and two are short. …

“A circle’s … the bowl Mom fills with hot noddle soup, … a cookie to eat, … a big drum to beat, bicycle wheels …

“A triangle is three — three sides, three corners too … the pyramids of old, a lunch of jam and bread, a napkin to fold …


“An oval’s like a circle, except it’s not …” (cited: R G Greene, When a Line Bends . . . a Shape Begins)

Join Patti’s (P.A. Moed) Lens-Artists challenge — to share shapes that are visually interesting and form a pattern or rhythm.

For the month of March, Paula (Lost in Translation) invites us to share images that illustrate one of five words – buffet, equine, gleaming, jagged, and lacustrine – within photos or photos that reflect each of the words.

I chose lacustrine which Merriam-Webster defines as: relating to, formed in, living in, or growing in lakes. The Roget’s International Thesaurus identifies lacustrine as: lake dweller, pile dweller or builder, laker.

Beginning with a poem written by Li Po:

The harvest moon is burning the waters of South Lake. Driving alone, I lean down to pick white lotus lilies.

Fierce desire pulls me… I yearn to tell them of my passion. Alas, my boat floats away at mercy of the moving current. My heart looks back in sadness.

~Li Po (cited: Trans: Anonymous. The Jade Flute. The Gutenberg Project)

And then a sharing of more music by Christine and the Queens…

May your spring be filled with days of laughter, pastel colors, awakening, family, friends, wellness, and hope.

“…each moment gives rise to the next, this is because that is. We do not exist in isolation; there is nothing that exist by itself alone.” (cited: Brother Phap Hai, Nothing to it.

On a pitch-dark

night road

I get lost

watching the moon

set behind the faraway mountain. Ryokan (cited: Trans. K Tanahashi, Sky Above, Great Wind)

Clouds drifting off:

the sight of

moonlit heavens ~Kizan (cited: Trans. Y. Hoffman, Japanese Death Poems)

Even more

because of being alone

the moon is a friend ~Buson (cited: Trans: Y Sawa & E M Shiffert, Haiku Master Buson)

This week’s lens-artists photo challenge is hosted by Tina (Travels and Trifles) who invites us to share some of those special moments that have taken our breath away.

be safe, be well, and be sage.

Glossy branches of jasper, 
A sprinkling of early blossoms,
Touched up by snow bring,
The first tidings of spring.
Soft and delicate in her new make-up,
Fragrant face half showing,
She emerges in the middle of the courtyard--
A beauty in the flower of youth fresh from her bath. 
spring
Nature must have regarded her with special favor,
To lavish on her such splendid moonbeams.
Come drain these golden cups of emerald
Till we are drunk.
Of all flowers this the one beyond compare. ~Li Qingzhao 

(cited:   Jiaosheng Wang, Sino-Plantonic Papers The Complete Ci-poems of Li Qingzhao: A New English Translation)

Like the morning moon,
Cold, unpitying was my love.
And since we parted,
I dislike nothing so much
As the breaking light of day. ~Mibu no Tadamine

morning light

In the peaceful light
Of the ever-shining sun
In the days of spring,
Why do the cherry’s new-blown blooms
Scatter like restless thoughts? ~Ki no Tomonori

morning light

This week Amy invites photographers to share their work using natural light.