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

Dragonfly wings ... shining silken garments. Now my heart is aching. Who will give it rest?
Young Dragonfly wings ... rich embroidered garments. Now my heart is aching. Who will give it peace?
Dragonfly bursting its cocoon ... plain white linen garments. Now my hearts aching. Who will give it love?
~The Book of Songs (cited: Anonymous,The Jade Flute.  Project Gutenberg
departing tears…Nikon D750 f/3.2 1/4000s 40mm

I have seen a road that wanders in green shade, that runs through sweet fields of flowers. My eyes have traveled there, and journeyed far along that cool fine road.

But I will never really walk that road; it does not really lead to where she lives.

When she was born, they bound her little feet with leather bands; my beloved never walks the road of shade and flowers.

When she was born, they bound her little heart with leather bands; my beloved never listens to my song. 

~Anonymous (cited: Various Authors, The Jade Flute Chinese Poems in Prose.  The Project Gutenberg
Double exposure…Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/400s 170mm

This week’s lens-artists photo challenge (Travels and Trifles) invites us to share our photo editing process that aids in the realization of our artistic interpretations.

The side-by-side images below (Nikon D750) were part of a nature walk that began with an intention to create in-camera double exposure photographs. As you will notice only one of the photographs below was created in camera.

After the initial adjustment and cropping edits within Capture One 21, the final images were created using the Analog Efex Pro 2 software.

f/8 1/250s 38mm 100 ISO

f/8 1/320s 38mm 100 ISO

f/8 1/125s 38mm 100 ISO

Often when I walk away from the editing process with a bit of frustration, I call to mind a mantra introduced to me by the photographer, Bruce Percey, “you can’t make a bad photograph good, but you can make a good photograph bad.

I have often found that what is “forgettable” and that which is “favorite” often times is grounded in the subjective experiences of the photographer and the viewers.

Be safe, be well, be sage.

White mulberry cloth
Sleeves parted from one another:
How difficult I find it, yet,
Such is the tumult of my thoughts,
I forgave his leaving. ~ Anonymous
(cited: Waka Poetry

Photograph submitted in response to The Life of B’s monthly square challenge … the absolute rule – Your main photograph must be square in shape!

Because of this, sad, sad has the whole day been to me.
You must go forth and journey, far, very far.
The time has come when you, the maiden, must go.
The light boat ascends the great river.
Your particular bitterness is to have none from whom you may claim support.
I have cherished you. I have pondered over you. I have been increasingly gentle and tender to you.
A child taken from those who have cared for it—
On both sides separation brings the tears which will not cease.
Facing this, the very centre of the bowels is knotted.
It is your duty, you must go. It is scarcely possible to delay farther. ... ~Wei Ying-Wu
(cited: Trans: F Ayscough & A Lowell, Fir-Flower Tablets

Photograph submitted in response to The Life of B’s monthly square challenge … the absolute rule – Your main photograph must be square in shape!

Once upon a time
A tiny striped caterpillar
Burst from the egg
Which had been home 
For so long.
"Hello world," he said. 
"It sure is bright out here in the sun."
(excerpt from Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers)
Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/500s 85mm 100 ISO
Nikon D750 f/5 1/400s 56mm 100 ISO
Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/4000s 35mm 200 ISO

Fun striped and checked findings for Leya’s lens-artists photo challenge!