Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some Light And A Harp

He’s made a harp of her breast-bane,
Whose sound wad melt a heart of stane.
He’s ta’en three locks o’ her yellow hair,
And wi’ them strung his harp sae rare.
Unknown, Binnorie, or The Two Sisters

It's been a busy couple of weeks. We've had a good deal of rain where I live so between my work schedule and commitments it's been hard to get out with my camera. In the midst of all of this my floor harp arrived from Triplett Harps. Nicer people you have never met. My teacher is right. It is so much easier to learn on a floor harp. My lap harp is now at my office. I've been using it to take a quick few moments of practice when I have time and it's a great stress reliever.

Late in the day over the last two days we've gotten some sun breaking through towards sunset. Last night we had this rich buttery light and it happened just as I pulled in from work. I came out of the parking area, grabbed my camera and caught some of the light, just incredible. It's the kind of light you want to bath your subjects in it's so warming. Tonight the light wasn't quite as rich, but it allowed me a moment to take a shot of my harp since some people in my life have asked about it. The harp is a rich maple and walnut combination. The sound is bright and warm. The resonance is incredible. I love the simplicity and elegance of the design. For this first harp, I didn't want any embellishment. Since I'm serious about it, I've been practicing every night for about a hour and it's not a burden, it's a joy. Turns out it soothes my hyperactive English Springer. She curls up near the harp and goes to sleep. A funny note is that one night I took it into another room to practice shutting the door. She came to the door and howled (and I've never heard her howl) until I let in her, then true to her routine, she curled up and napped.

All I can say is how rich my life is, photography, music, friends...now if I can just figure out the rest....

Loreena McKennitt, "The Bonny Swans":

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The world has changed,
I feel it in the water
I feel it in the earth
I smell it in the air.

Have you ever had that indefinable sense that change is coming? Not just the little details of your life, but the major stuff? It is the feeling that it will involve persons, places or things or maybe all of these....No? Well I've had this sense once or twice in my life (and change did come in a way I didn't expect). And the lesson is go with what is happening because it's leading you to what is supposed to be. I've tried to impose the reality I want in recent months and I'm realizing it's not coming to what I thought it should be. I'm going to have to ride the wave of what life will bring me and go with it, because intuitively I think it's going to be huge. I think there will be a lot of good-byes to the familiar and openings for the new.

So we'll see, but since it's not going away, I thought acknowledging that things aren't exactly lining up as I had planned might help with the beginning of walking this path.

David Bowie, "Live By Request-Changes":

Monday, February 9, 2009


I've often wondered why. I think part of it is there's never been any closure on it.
Darrel Rolfe

Two things happened yesterday to bring about the theme that's been on my mind today. First I went and saw "The Reader". I enjoyed it and found the acting enthralling. But I found that the theme running through various aspects of the movie was closure. Legal closure, emotional closure, spiritual closure....Then later when I arrived home I had a phone conversation about one of my sister's who is involved in a divorce and looking for some closure about what is occurring there.

As I drove to work this morning, I couldn't help but think of how much the need for closure affects us and drives us as human beings. When things happen we scream to the heavens "why???" and then seek some meaning or answer to bring about closure. Being a counselor I've come to think that this in the underlying reason for seeking help....It's often the primal scream in trying to make sense of it all.

I think the hardest thing for us to accept as humans beings is that closure is not always possible when we seek it from an outside source. Sometimes if we're lucky societal structure provides legal and moral closure to issues. However if we look for emotional closure from another being, then I think we have to realize, it's a gift that sometimes we're given. That is we cannot force emotional truth or reason from someone else. Only in some instances and in my experience these are rare are we given that satisfaction. I think when it comes to emotional closure the task more often lies what is within us, i.e. that we have to come to it through our own emotional and if you believe in such, our spiritual resources. Without going into too much detail, I have had some events in my life that left me shaking my fists at the universe and screaming the aforementioned "Why???" Some very wise teachers helped me learn the lesson of seeking closure from within. It might not have been the original scenario I had written, but ultimately the closure I reached was more mature and enriching because it was the gift I gave myself. And it is the gift that has lasted to this day. The hard thing is how to share the gift of this knowledge with others. Once in awhile I can teach the path of the means to find it within, but for many, they have to forge their own. But that's why novels/movies like "The Reader" are so important. They help us to look at these issues and maybe, just maybe begin to help us to understand and learn.

Chevelle, "Closure":

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Just Want To....

Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun.
Colleen C. Barrett

Okay. I know I mentioned more calla lily studies, but a certain long face met me at the door tonight. And it was the end of the work week for me, and I know how much she loves to chase balls, and I know that I'd rather take pictures rather then work lately, so guess what we did instead?

Todd Rundgren, "Bang On The Drum":

Monday, February 2, 2009

And More Studies

The Calla lilies are in bloom again.
Katherine Hepburn

I caught the Calla lilies in a different light, twilight to be exact. Since they're presenting me with a unique opportunity, I'm going to share a series of studies throughout the week (I hope). There's a metaphor for what's going on with the lilies to match my life, but I won't be the queen of the obvious tonight.

What can I say the Calla lily rocks me right.

Susan Tedeschi, "Rock Me Right":

Sunday, February 1, 2009

And I Go Across the Universe.....

Images of broken light which
dance before me like a million eyes
That call me on and on across the universe
George Harrison

Calla lilie's fascinate me. Their shape, their inherent sensuality, their ability to capture the light and transform into so many subtle colors...Even though this is the sixth winter I've been in California, it still amazing to me to see them growing and beginning to bloom at the beginning in February. It's that awe that compels me to try and capture their changing nature every mid-winter here. Maybe it's a reminder of our human nature....

Speaking of human nature. While I was soaking in the warm sun this morning and drinking my tea, I finally had a chance to read the text of President Obama's inaugural speech. I didn't get to see the whole thing, so it was thrilling to read it, but one piece especially stuck with me:

"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk takers, the doers, the makers of things-some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor-who have carried us the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom."

This was the message I grew up with from my parents. Their belief in John F. Kennedy's reminder to "ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. " President Obama is following in this tradition and it's a message we all need to hear in these times.

So it goes and so I continue on my journey across the universe.

Jim Sturgess, "Across the Universe":

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