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

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

“it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

“it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

“it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the winter of despair,

“we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

“we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way

“– in short, the period was so far like the present period,

“that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received,

“for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” ~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

Quote from Charles Dickens’, A Tale of Two Cities, and images submitted in response to Travels and Trifles first photo challenge for 2021.

Opening a door of gratitude…

Reading an author’s words that have traveled through time and space.

Regret that dropping sun’s dusk;
Love this cold stream’s clearness.
Western beams follow flowing water;
Stir a ripple in wandering person’s mind.
Idly sing, gazing at cloudy moon;
Song done—sound of tall pines. ~Li Po*

Camping with family in the Snowies

Watching clouds drift over Cameron Peak

Watching children explore life through play

Waking to the silence of an early Spring’s snowfall

Being grateful for photographers inviting me to see the beauty of the blue and yellowish-brown colors of early spring

Driving through Wyoming on clear roadways

Seeing the smile of togetherness

Opening myself to the wisdom of words spoke by those younger than I

Sharing precious love-filled moments

This week Amy (The World is a Book) invited us to share precious moments we have had, before or during the pandemic.

*cited: Trans – Arthur Waley, The Poet Li Po Project Gutenberg ebook

Photography, in a nut shell, is lines, shapes, colors, and feelings

In photography negative space is perhaps the most important element as it embraces the subject within your image — the element of interest — helping it stand out and inviting the viewer’s attention.  It is the aspect within a photograph that generally doesn’t attract much attention.  It is sometimes referred to as white space and has the potential to change what appears to be an average subject into an outstanding image.

The simplest example of positive and negative are the words in this blog.  These words draw your attention while the background doesn’t.  The words are positive space, and the white background is negative space

Negative space awakens feelings of peace, calm, quiet, loneliness, isolation. It is less about the subject within a photograph and more about awakening a feeling in the viewer.

Negative space can create a sense of lightness, airiness…it can strengthen the positive emotions in a photography, emphasize the feelings of your subject, conveying whatever story you as a photographer wishes to evoke in your viewer.

Negative space provides “breathing room” giving the viewer’s eyes a place to rest and preventing an image from appearing too cluttered…creating a more engaging composition.

Negative space, in the world of photography, may be more important especially if the photographer tends towards creating images that are simple; yet effective. Michael Kenna, Bruce Percy, and Masao Yamamoto are three artists known for their minimalistic images.

This week’s lens artists’ host is Amy (The World is a Book). Hop on over and join in the fun.

Stay at Home Order … day 25 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

O for a friend–that we might see and listen together! 
O the beautiful dawn in the mountain village!– 
The repeated sound of cuckoos near and far away.

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


Sony RX1003 f/2.8 1/125s 25.7mm 80 ISO

in the silver dew
one sleeve cold…
morning sun

~Issa (cited: haikuguy.com)


Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/1600s 35m 100 ISO

A nightingale’s song
Brings me out of a dream:
The morning glows

~Ryokan


Sony RX 1003 f/2.8 1/250s 19.48mm 80 ISO

at dawn
not a soul in sight…
lotus blossoms

~Issa (cited: haikuguy.com)


Sony RX1003 f/2.8 1/126s 22.38mm 80 ISO

In the Autumn night 
The pale morning moon was setting 
When I turned away from the shut door.

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


The pale morning moon* … camping with my family in the “Snowies”

This week Ann-Christine invites us to look at our morning – or Any morning -maybe there is a special morning that we will never forget.

*The waning moon is called the morning moon because it can be seen after dawn