The photo challenge for this week? Escape. So many associations….especially if you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. With whom would you plan an escape? I planned one with my oldest daughter yesterday. It was the only day I wasn’t scheduled to work in a museum this week, and she had just finished her last paper for her Master’s degree in Linguistics, so we decided to spend the day together celebrating Mother’s Day and her Graduation all at once. We planned to go to the Schlitz Audubon Center and play on the beach, but it was rainy and cold. Change of plans…
Escape can be running away; it can be freedom from entrapment; or it can be an egress or way of going forth, like helium from a balloon. A linguistics student might tell you the etymology of the word and how it relates to “escapade” and “vomitorium” (think “fire escape”)….which is why I recommend taking a linguist with you when you go for your weekly challenge photo shoot! Think of the interpretations that might open up for you! For example: in botany, a plant that becomes established in the wild outside of the area of cultivation is called an escape. (I have lots of botanical examples!) And all of us with computers know the little key in the upper left marked “Esc”. And birthing my daughter might be another example of escape as well…but maybe that’s a bit too graphic! (it was 28 years ago; no digital photos of that, lucky for you!) Here, then, are some of my shots of that marvelous day spent with my brilliant companion, Susan:
This week’s photo challenge theme is Pattern. Visually, this is a very strong subject in photography and has been illustrated in countless dramatic and stunning ways by much more talented artists than I. But what an interesting philosophical theme as well! Are patterns created by humans, or are they natural? Humans have a special knack for identifying and arranging patterns as well as re-creating, extending, and imposing them on all kinds of things. Is that a function of our orderly brains, our consciousness? Of course, there are also examples of patterns in nature….but, again, the concept of ‘pattern’ is something we invented. It wasn’t as if a DNA string said to itself, “I think I’ll create a pattern.” It was a human who saw what was in front of him/her and said, “Eureka! A pattern!” So, pattern…is it a real phenomenon or a construct of our consciousness? Discuss. (or just look at the pictures!)
The mouth-watering prompt of this week’s photo challenge depicts a plate of cheeses from Italy with a pool of honey in the center. “Why aren’t we living in Italy?” Steve asked me just a few weeks ago. Good question. No good answer. But this post is not about cheese, or Italy, or even honey, but about angle and perspective. “Share a photo of a subject which you shot from directly above.” I have a new batch of shots from our hike along the Ice Age trail, so I looked through to find one which would be up to this challenge. Aha! Here it is:
I remember how any bridge on a trail hike would be an opportunity to play “Pooh sticks” when I was a kid. Just like Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, my sisters and I would choose a likely twig to toss into the water on the upstream side of the bridge. Then we’d wheel around to see whose stick came out first on the downstream side. This log wasn’t about to budge from its place, but I thought of those childhood adventures with my sisters and my dad nevertheless — tromping the woods in the early spring, greeting the season of Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Mayapples and violets, and playing ‘bridge’ games. Here’s another one: you pretend you are the troll under the bridge and the passersby overhead are the Billy Goats Gruff. Believe it or not, I played that one on my first date with Steve. We were hiking…and there was a bridge…and I just couldn’t help myself. “Who’s that trip-tropping over my bridge!!!” I bellowed. Yeah. I guess he found it endearing in some way, because we’re still together 4 and a half years later. Good thing.
Sunshine comes From Above, and for that I am always grateful. Stay playful, stay young at heart, and enjoy Spring!
This week’s prompt for the photo challenge is “Culture”: a broad topic, an umbrella under which humanity sits. I tend to spend more time with the artifacts of a culture than with big groups of people. Steve & I sell used books and estate sales items and see a lot of different artifacts of this last century. We work at a living history museum and handle artifacts from the 19th century. And we find artifacts from this century around the neighborhood. So, I thought I’d share a mosaic of shots I’ve taken showing some American artifacts of different centuries. I hope you have fun trying to identify them!
The excitement is growing. I cannot be silent! My oldest daughter is getting married in July and just sent me a link to the blog post of her engagement photo session. I invite you to enjoy this whimsical, artistic and thoroughly lovely tribute HERE. Check out that Lord of the Rings paper flower! A thousand words to make a picture…
Susan is currently finishing up her Masters in Linguistics. She and Andy met as Spelling Bee rivals when Susan was 11 years old and Andy was 12. He won. She hated that…but was drawn to him anyway (rather obsessively). Finally, when he graduated from Middle School and could no longer compete, she won. Then they were on the Scholastic Bowl team in High School together. Can I really post about these word nerds without using words?! So, pardon my departure from your expectations.
I have rather a meager collection of photos of them together, but I’m sure that will change dramatically over the years! I am busily working 4 part time jobs and not taking many new photographs or spending much time on this blog, but I did want to share this highlight of my week…just because it is a source of joy for me. Finding a kindred spirit, a best friend, a fellow nerd, in this socially-driven but often shallow century may not be a miracle, but it is something to celebrate. I salute Susan & Andy for figuring out who they are, what they value, how to live from that and how to live in partnership with each other as those things evolve. Not easy, but definitely worth the energy. And look what fun they have doing it!! My deepest respect (and a bit of pride!) goes out to them.
What’s “Up”? This week’s photo challenge theme…a movie I never saw…my youngest child’s very first word (although she said it ‘uppy’ meaning, “Please pick me up, Mommy!”). What’s up with me? I’ve been working at Discovery World Museum and keeping our home business, Scholar & Poet Books, running, so I haven’t been online for two days. But I am up for this! (and down with it as well) The sky’s the limit! Things are definitely looking UP!
Pema Chodron writes in a book called “Comfortable With Uncertainty”:
According to the Buddha, the lives of all beings are marked by three characteristics: impermanence, egolessness, and suffering or dissatisfaction. Recognizing these qualities to be real and true in our own experience helps us to relax with things as they are. The first mark is impermanence. That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and changing, is the first mark of existence. We don’t have to be mystics or physicists to know this. Yet at the level of personal experience, we resist this basic fact. It means that life isn’t always going to go our way. It mean’s there’s loss as well as gain. And we don’t like that. …We experience impermanence at the every day level as frustration. We use our daily activity as a shield against the fundamental ambiguity of our situation, expending tremendous energy trying to ward off impermanence and death. …The Buddhist teachings aspire to set us free from this limited way of relating to impermanence. They encourage us to relax gradually and wholeheartedly into the ordinary and obvious truth of change.”