Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

StoryThe photo challenge for this week invites us to share a photo that captures an entire story in a single frame.  Here is my interpretation. 

And what is the story?  Is it merely a story of kids going to the zoo?  Does the story that you see here have something to say about animals, including the human animal?  Something about conservation?  Something about family entertainment?  Something about cages and behavior?  Something about connecting to other life forms?  Something about curiosity?  Whose curiosity — the child’s or the lion’s?

I always have mixed feelings, some very strong, that arise when I visit a zoo.  Sadness.  Respect.  Appreciation.  Embarrassment.  Regret.  Awe.  The story is pretty complex, and there are many characters.  When we get caught up in our own narrative and forget that there is more than one, we limit our compassion, our awareness. 

It’s interesting to overhear what mothers and teachers tell their children about the animals behind the glass.  “Oh, look.  There’s the Daddy lion and the Mommy lion and they’re doing _______!”   Are you sure that’s what they are and what they’re doing?  Have you projected your own story onto them?  Do you often do that and teach your children to do that?  What might you learn if you tried to look at their behavior through unbiased eyes? 

You see, this story gets pretty complicated.  It’s worth looking into.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

“Twist” is filthy with meaning: it’s the unexpected, it’s surprise, it’s even an amazing ice cream choice. What does “twist” mean to you?

Being a bibliophile, I immediately think of a plot twist, the kind that makes you tingle with pleasure in the last chapters of the mystery novel you’re reading.  “Wow!  I never saw THAT coming!”  Such delight.  I did find an appropriately twisty photo that I snapped while hiking around Lapham Peak State Park in early spring.  We were looking for lichen, on a whim, and found ourselves outside the warming house near the skating pond.  I suppose they use that building for winter events, family-oriented programs that might include a craft project or something, because I happened upon this item posing as a lingering patch of snow in the leaf litter….

twist 2

A plastic snowflake.  Natural….but not.  It made me laugh.


© 2014, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved

Weekly Photo Challenge: Art

“Art is the proper task of life.” — Neitzsche.

What is Art?  Who gets to define it?  Who gets to make it?  Do we delegate this activity to those trained and proven in convention or do we allow that any human has the privilege to create, to explore, to juxtapose materials and images and sounds and actions and ‘stuff’ of any description into something unique?  And do we recognize that the miraculous gift of this activity is not merely the product to be admired, but the process that transforms?  Have you been changed by Art, as a creator and as a consumer?  Do you disqualify yourself from the role of artist?  Is it fear that keeps you from it?

I admire people who engage in “the proper task of life”.


Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move

“On the move” in an accelerating society with handy pocket-sized digital cameras may manifest in a blur of city lights and speeding vehicles.  That’s not my style.  I don’t have a smart phone, and my favorite mode of transport is my own two feet.  Slowing to a stop on a trail to snap a photograph of my companions and surroundings is my way of depicting my life, my movement.  “I am the joy in change and movement” is Steve’s self-expression of identity.  I delight in putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward at a pace that allows awareness, self-control and grace.  “Walk with me” is an invitation to a deeper experience of moving with life, apace with the planet.  For a truly masterful illustration of this theme, visit Steve McCurry’s blog titled “One Step at a Time” here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring!

I brought my camera out today on a trip to Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge, but I didn’t take a single picture.  Spring here in Wisconsin meant barely 50 degrees, windy and overcast.  Although the sight and sounds of sandhill cranes and Canada geese and red-winged blackbirds were quite satisfying, I missed the sun and wildflowers that I’ve seen by this time in previous years.  *sigh*  I remembered that 5 years ago on this date, Steve & I were taking a wildflower class through the McHenry County Conservation District.  We learned to identify all kinds of woodland spring flowers like anemones and violets and jack-in-the-pulpit and May apples.  Haven’t seen but one little anemone this year.  Here she is:first wildflower

Brave little Buttercup!  Do tell your friends that it’s almost safe to come out.  I will wait for them.  🙂