Category: Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through (and some Mary Oliver)

I miss writing.  So I promise to do it soon.  And more frequently.  Photography, it seems, has seized all of my attention the past few months and I can’t seem to unlock my gaze at the world; this life I constantly crave to document one snap at a time because it’s the fastest way to express my love and gratitude.  Love for a life peppered with extraordinary moments. Gratitude for each and every breath and step I take.   I am extremely blessed and photography has allowed me to say thank you often and quickly.

But I know I can do both. Write and shoot and continue to tell my truth bit by bit.   So, that’s the plan.  🙂

In the meantime, here are some recent snaps of my looking/passing/peering/gazing through something.  Tell me what you see…thanks for passing by.

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Bone

by Mary Oliver

1.

Understand, I am always trying to figure out 
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape –

and so, last week,
when I found on the beach 
the ear bone
 of a pilot whale that may have died

hundreds of years ago, I thought 
maybe I was close 
to discovering something –
for the ear bone

2.

is the portion that lasts longest 
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
 like a squat spoon
 with a pink scoop where

once, in the lively swimmer’s head,
it joined its two sisters 
in the house of hearing,
it was only

two inches long –
and thought: the soul
 might be like this –
so hard, so necessary

3.

yet almost nothing.
 Beside me
 the gray sea
 was opening and shutting its wave-doors,

unfolding over and over 
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn’t see anything 
through its dark-knit glare;

yet don’t we all know, the golden sand 
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it

4.

lest we would sift it down 
into fractions, and facts –
certainties –
and what the soul is, also

I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know 
our part is not knowing,

but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
softly,
through the pale-pink morning light.

(from Why I Wake Early, 2004)

 Photos taken by my Nikon D90 or my iPhone4.  Snaps taken in Tagaytay and Batangas.

grateful slice:  appreciating the obvious and seeing what’s  beyond

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual (catch up)

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

– Ray Bradbury

Most memorable moments are unusual.  Here are some recent snaps of moments truly unforgettable.  I haven’t written in a while but that doesn’t mean nothing much has been happening.  On the contrary …

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Time is flying at light speed and sometimes, I feel like I can’ t keep up.

So, thanks G, for the gadgets that allow us to document, remember, share and tell our stories.

grateful slice: being back on the grid and nature’s gold

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

It’s hard to think about the concept of going down without  juxtaposing it with the  idea of going up.   I don’t think it’s possible.   Looking at someone going down a flight of stairs, means the seer is on his or her way up.  Climbing a million and one steps to get to a specific place, makes me think about the million and one steps I would need to walk down again to get back to where I started.  Then there’s the idea of being in the mountains for a week.  When I think of the mountains, (and I do love the mountains), I also can’t help but think of the sea.  And how I need to be near it very soon.

I know. A little weird, right?  It must be the exhaustion.

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Sea Fever by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

All photos were taken in Sagada with my iPhone4.  Filters used from Instagram.

grateful slice:  the Mountain Province, the ocean and Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch

Here’s to launching 2012 with a bang.   Some NYE fireworks snaps (Not our own. Hahaha. We just squatted in the village park).  Thanks for the tips, bro.

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Shots taken with a Nikon D90.

grateful slice:  starting the year with a whole lot of  love and hope

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self-portrait (catch up)

It’s been crazy the past few months and there are many things that can explain my silence. I will, in the next few days, attempt to tell the many stories I’ve been harboring and gaining distance from to be able to tell them well, but right now I am basking  in my own silent space.  Just enjoying the utter quiet before the Eve and the solitude before the mayhem.  I am grateful for days like these.  It’s really what makes rest possible and recovery authentic. Thanks, G.

Anyway, here’s a self portrait slideshow sandwich between two great poems.   Have a Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂

S e l f – p o r t r a i t

by Edward Hirsch

I lived between my heart and my head,
like a married couple who can’t get along.

I lived between my left arm, which is swift
and sinister, and my right, which is righteous.

I lived between a laugh and a scowl,
and voted against myself, a two-party system.

My left leg dawdled or danced along,
my right cleaved to the straight and narrow.

My left shoulder was like a stripper on vacation,
my right stood upright as a Roman soldier.

Let’s just say that my left side was the organ
donor and leave my private parts alone,

but as for my eyes, which are two shades
of brown, well, Dionysus, meet Apollo.

Look at Eve raising her left eyebrow
while Adam puts his right foot down.

No one expected it to survive,
but divorce seemed out of the question.

I suppose my left hand and my right hand
will be clasped over my chest in the coffin

and I’ll be reconciled at last,
I’ll be whole again.


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Self-Portrait
by Adam Zagajewskitranslated by Clare Cavanagh
Between the computer, a pencil, and a typewriter
half my day passes. One day it will be half a century.
I live in strange cities and sometimes talk
with strangers about matters strange to me.
I listen to music a lot: Bach, Mahler, Chopin, Shostakovich.
I see three elements in music: weakness, power, and pain.
The fourth has no name.
I read poets, living and dead, who teach me
tenacity, faith, and pride. I try to understand
the great philosophers--but usually catch just
scraps of their precious thoughts.
I like to take long walks on Paris streets
and watch my fellow creatures, quickened by envy,
anger, desire; to trace a silver coin
passing from hand to hand as it slowly
loses its round shape (the emperor's profile is erased).
Beside me trees expressing nothing
but a green, indifferent perfection.
Black birds pace the fields,
waiting patiently like Spanish widows.
I'm no longer young, but someone else is always older.
I like deep sleep, when I cease to exist,
and fast bike rides on country roads when poplars and houses
dissolve like cumuli on sunny days.
Sometimes in museums the paintings speak to me
and irony suddenly vanishes.
I love gazing at my wife's face.
Every Sunday I call my father.
Every other week I meet with friends,
thus proving my fidelity.
My country freed itself from one evil. I wish
another liberation would follow.
Could I help in this? I don't know.
I'm truly not a child of the ocean,
as Antonio Machado wrote about himself,
but a child of air, mint and cello
and not all the ways of the high world
cross paths with the life that--so far--
belongs to me.

grateful slice: poetry and the quiet before Christmas eve

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

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“so I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.”
― Pablo Neruda100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor

I’ve been silent for a reason; a good one, I promise.  Soon will come soon enough.  You just need to be patient.

grateful slice: poetry and photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family (catch up)


A family that draws together .... (Design your own Russian Dolls by MUJI)

Color me happy family (Christmas play 2011)

The Family by Mary Oliver
The dark things of the wood
Are coming from their caves,
Flexing muscle.

They browse the orchard,
Nibble the sea of grasses
Around our yellow rooms, 

Scarcely looking in
To see what we are doing
And if they still know us.

We hear them, or think we do:
The muzzle lapping moonlight,
The tooth in the apple.

Put another log on the fire;
Mozart, again, on the turntable,
Still there is a sorrow

With us in the room.
We remember the cave.
In our dreams we go back

Or they come to visit.
They also like music.
We eat leaves together.

They are our brothers.
They are the family
We have run away from.

grateful slice: family