Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Narrow

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14

The road that leads to destruction is paved with excess, with greed and growth. Its breadth permits the accumulation of possessions. The narrow road admits only the unburdened. 

Travelling the narrow road with steadfast feet and open eyes, you open yourself to the natural world around you, imposing few of your own devices on it. To learn from the path, from the trees, from the sky, is the beginning of wisdom. 

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence. – Henry David Thoreau

Life is a narrow path. At last, only you can get through it. – Poolu

Thank you, Amy, for this week’s challenge. 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Future

Ann-Christine challenges us this week with a beautiful collection of double-exposure photos and quotes about the Future.

What a peculiar responsibility we have, as presumably the only species on Earth with the capacity to think about the Future. And as the dominant species, our actions create an impact that will be felt for a long, long time.

Knowing this, how do we choose to live? How do we spend our time? What do we use, and what do we throw away? What do we create? And how will we, individually, impact the Future?

Looking in my photo archives, I can easily see a few things I’ve done that will influence some part of the Future.

I have planted trees, both on the suburban property I used to own and on public properties as a member of a larger community. 

I’ve worked for the past 5 years for a conservation organization, a land trust that buys land to save it from development and plants trees and prairies for wildlife habitat.

But probably the biggest impact I will have on the Future is through my four children, who are now adults. Their choices are no doubt influenced in part by the values we talked about as they matured. Most likely, they will use, create, vote, dispose, and act long after I have ceased to do any of those things. The legacy I will have through them is not mine to predict but theirs to fashion.

I am very proud of them, and feel confident that their choices will be intended for good and not for harm.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Capital

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.

–Thomas Jefferson

Viveka of My Guilty Pleasures is acting as this week’s challenge host. She is an avid traveler, and has posted some lovely and varied shots of world capitals she has visited. She invites us to interpret this challenge however we choose, though, and since I haven’t got any digital photos of the world capitals I have visited (Washington, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Mexico City, Nassau, Budapest, Vienna), I am going in a totally different direction, following Mr. Thomas Jefferson’s lead in the quote above.

Nine years ago, I moved into a bookstore. I have been sharing a roof with Scholar & Poet books ever since.

In economics, capital consists of assets that can enhance one’s power to perform economically useful work. For example, in a fundamental sense a stone or an arrow is capital for a hunter-gatherer who can use it as a hunting instrument, while roads are capital for inhabitants of a city. — Wikipedia

Books are assets that have enhanced my entire life. They have definitely enhanced my power to perform economically useful work, like cooking. How many cookbooks do you have? When did you first make a meal using a recipe in a book? Did you learn anything about parenting from a book? Or about the skills that you are paid to perform?

I sometimes wonder whether books will become obsolete as technology advances. Perhaps in my country, that is a possibility. But globally, I think books will endure as long as human civilization does. 

I look forward to the day that I can read a book to my grandchild and pass on the pleasure, the investment, and the treasure of reading a book.

Yes, indeed. That would be capital! 😉