Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: One Image, One Story

“For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” – a six-word story attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

Actually, the shoes in the photo above were worn, by my son. Then for years and years they hung from the rear-view mirror of my late husband’s car, until they became quite faded and dry. Now they reside in the Welsh dresser left to me by my grandmother.

“Josh lassos the sun for Daena.” – ala Jimmy Stewart in Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life.

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” – Hans Christian Andersen

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” – Native American Proverb

How marvelous to embrace the photographer’s role as storyteller with this week’s Lens-Artists challenge! I’m grateful to Ann-Christine for suggesting it and posting marvelous examples on her site. Click HERE to visit and learn how to participate.

“Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell. Children will listen…” – Stephen Sondheim (died November 26, 2021, aged 91)

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Follow Your Bliss

“The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy — not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call ‘following your bliss’.” ― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

On Thursday, I headed out with my camera and a friend and spent four hours walking a forest trail through the William Finley Wildlife Refuge. I was surprised that so much time passed! I was also surprised that the rain never got heavy enough to make me think of heading back to the car. In the temporal rain forest of Oregon, there is so much to see, such tiny worlds of biodiversity everywhere that I find contentment in just keeping my eyes open and letting beauty wash in!

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
― Confucious

“We have to look deeply at things in order to see. When a swimmer enjoys the clear water of the river, he or she should also be able to be the river.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”― Albert Einstein

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive…”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

My new Oregon home is the perfect place to immerse myself in the beauty of being alive; of seeing Life all around me; of connecting my body, mind, and soul to the ongoing experience of living – from spore to plant to decomposing matter and back to spore. In the face of global instability on every level from climate change to species extinction to social structures, it is bliss and contentment to turn away from fear and toward Nature, and to feel again the circle of Love that is Life.

Many thanks to our guest host for this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge, Lindy Low LeCoq. I am so glad she got her inspiration from one of my favorite authors and thinkers and invited us into bliss! If you would like to participate, click on her name above and follow her lead.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Shapes and Designs

“Nature’s constantly screaming with all its shapes and scents: love each other! Love each other! Do as the flowers. There’s only love.” –  Octave Mirbeau

“The whole of nature is an endless demonstration of shape and form. It always surprises me when artists try to escape from this.” –  Henry Moore

“Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes.” –  Kahlil Gibran

There is no way to encompass or exhaust the variety of shapes and designs in Nature in one blog post! (And why would anyone want to try?) I offer just a small sampling from my photo files and encourage you to look with new eyes all around you and capture a few of your own favorites. If you’d like to join in the challenge and share your finds, visit our host’s blog HERE for how to do that. You’ll see on Patti’s site some wonderful examples of design in natural and man-made art.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Interesting Architecture

“A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect
can only advise his clients to plant vines.”

-Frank Lloyd Wright

Gordon House, Silverton, Oregon

“Early in my career…I had to choose between an honest arrogance
and a hypercritical humility…
I deliberately choose an honest arrogance,
and I’ve never been sorry.”

–  Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Gordon House in 1957; it was completed four years after his death in 1963. It was originally situated with the Willamette River to the west and Mount Hood to the east.  
“It is one of the last of the Usonian series that Wright designed as affordable housing for American working class consumers, which—in 1939—were considered to have an annual income of $5,000–6,000 ($95,000 to $113,000 in 2021 dollars). The house is based on a design for a modern home commissioned by Life magazine in 1938…After Evelyn Gordon’s death in 1997, the house was sold to new owners David and Carey Smith, who wanted to tear it down to make room for a larger, more contemporary structure.” – Wikipedia. Eventually, the house was preserved and moved, bit by bit, 21 miles southeast to the Oregon Garden. It opened as a museum in 2004.

Just a few miles away from the Gordon House stands the Gallon House Bridge.

This bridge spans the Abiqua Creek and derives its name from Prohibition era bootleggers and moonshiners who would meet there to transfer their wares.

This next example of Oregon architecture is pretty new. It’s the house where I live, in the studio apartment above the garage.

As I type this, my landlord and his daughter (one of my housemates) are outside building a wood shed. They are sitting about 10 feet off the ground, nailing the roofing panels onto the ceiling joists. It’s been raining lightly, off and on, all day. The sun peeks out periodically. They built a little wood fire next to the building site to keep the group warm. Their 11-year old son and his friend are warming their hands at the fire and occasionally helping hold a board or pass a tool.
I am not much of a world traveler, and I don’t know much about architecture. I have seen unusual and elegant buildings here and there, but I rarely seek them out with camera in hand. What I appreciate most about architecture, I guess, is that it can be very useful for keeping us sheltered, warm and dry. Even if what goes on under the roof is illegal. (imagining bootleggers in Oregon especially need a covered bridge)

Thanks to Tina for hosting today’s Challenge and for showcasing some truly sophisticated and awe-inspiring architecture in HER POST. My humble examples are possibly only interesting to me, but thank you for visiting nevertheless. Stay warm and dry, folks!