Saturday, July 30, 2011

I Am

"I am the dust of the sunlight, I am the ball of the sun.
I am the mist of morning, the breath of evening.
I am the spark in the stone, the gleam of gold in the metal.
The rose and the nightingale drunk with its fragrance.
I am the chain of being, the circle of the spheres,
The scale of creation, the rise and the fall.
I am what is and what is not . . . .
I am the soul in all.
Jalil al-Din Rumi (1207-1273), Persia

Sunday, July 24, 2011


"Whatever you do, you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon,
there is always someone to tell you
that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising
that tempt you to believe that your
critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow
it to the end requires some of the same
courage that a soldier needs.
Peace has its victories, but it takes brave
men and women to win them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), USA

Saturday, July 23, 2011


"An ancient master said.
The mountains, the rivers, the whole earth,
the entire array of phenomena are all oneself.
If you can absorb the essence of this message,
there are no activities outside of meditation:
you dress in meditation & eat in meditation;
you walk, stand, sit and lie down in meditation;
you preserve and think in meditation;
you experience joy, anger, sadness,
and happiness in meditation."
Muso (1275-1351, (Japen)

This goes way beyond what I think of as meditation but, perhaps, if we're in-tune with ourselves, we are always meditating to some extent.  I don't know.  What do you think?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good vs Evil

A Native American was talking to his grandson about how he felt.

He said:
"I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one.
The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one."

The grandson asked him,
"Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"

The grandfather answered,
"The one I feed."

Native American parable

We all have internal struggles.  Whether the good or the bad wins out, depends on which one we focus on and which one we "feed".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Soothes Your Soul?

"It is the mind which creates the world around us,
and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow,
my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours,
my heart will never stir to the emotions with which yours is touched."
George Gissing

I firmly believe this is true, because we all see things, hear things, understand things based on our own filters.  The experiences we have in life have a profound impact on how we react to what happens in life, be it observing a beautiful scene or trying to recover from a disastrous event.  No two of us are exactly alike.  I'm not even sure about identical twins, because they must have some unique experiences that make them see things just a little bit differently.  Since I'm not a scientist, I don't know that for sure, but it makes sense to me.

What unique experiences have you had that make you appreciate certain types of art, literature or music?   If you had been raised in a different place, or had different parents, would you see things differently?   Which one of these pictures "soothes your soul"?  Or, maybe none of them do and that's ok too.  Art is very subjective and we don't have to like the same things or react to thing in the same manner. 

Feel free to leave your thought here for others to read.  Plus, that way I'll know that someone is still reading my blog.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Emotions Out of Control

"Emotion turning back on itself,
and not leading on to thought or action,
is the element of madness." John Sterling (1806-1844), Scotland/England

Do these clouds remind you of a world gone mad?  Is this how you feel when you don't deal with your emotions?  Do you feel totally out of control & subject to whatever the world wants to dump on you?   When you have negative feelings, or positive ones for that matter, deal with them.  Don't hide them away or at some point, when you least expect it, they'll re-surface and bite you in the behind.  It's better to deal with emotions when we initially experience them and may be better prepared to deal with them.  Emotions seem to build if they're repressed, so deal with those feeling when they arise.  It may be difficult, but you'll be better off for it in the long run. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Reflections can make very interesting subjects for pictures, but you have to make sure that the subject itself is interesting.  Sometimes something as simple as these rocks will work to bring the viewer into the picture.  There was too much distracting information in the background here, so I eliminated it to focus on the rocks and a few of the weeds.  I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Power of Music

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." Victor Hugo (1802-1855), France

Sometimes music can express what words can't.  If you don't believe this, look at the number of opera goers who are wiping their eyes during the entire opera even though they can't understand one single word of the song.  The tone, the expression of the singer, the beauty of the voice can often say volumes.  Although you might not be able to tell exactly what problems the actor/actress is having, you can feel the deepness of their pain through the music.  One of my cousins told me recently about listening to a song while on vacation.  She couldn't understand one single word of what the singer was saying, but the music was so powerful that it moved her to tears.   They say that music can soothe the soul.  I don't know about you, but I think it's true. 

You've probably seen this picture before, but I wanted to use it again with this quote.  The guitar was my moms.  She played it for me when I was a kid, played it for my grandsons & I've played it a little bit as well, although I'm not very good.  The sax is a Melody C, which my grandpa played in the Union Pacific Band years ago and my mom played later in high school.  She stopped playing it because they stopped producing music for it.  I don't know anything about saxophones, but my son said it's totally different than the one he played.  The violin is the one I played for about four years in junior high school.  I haven't touched it since and, unfortunately, the bridge is broken and the horsehair has come out of the bow.  Perhaps I'll get it fixed some day, but would have no idea how to play it now.

I hope you've enjoyed this rather long-winded blog and will visit again.  Have a wonderful week-end!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Mind & The Sky

"The mind should be a vastness like the sky.  Mental events should be allowed to disperse like clouds."  Longchenpa  (1308-1363), Tibet

This seems like pretty good advice to me, because if we dwell on worthless or negative thoughts it impacts our entire state of being.  So, next time your thoughts get you down, just remember this quote & look up at the vastness of the sky & try to focus on something positive.  Most negative thoughts seem to get worse if you dwell on them, so try to rekax & put your thought in perspective.  Have a great day!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

To Dare or Not To Dare

"The dare is to lose one's footing momentarily.  To not dare, is to lose oneself." Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Denmark

I'm not saying that it's necessary that you climb the Grand Teton.  What I am saying, however, is that sometimes you have to move out of your comfort zone and take a risk.  That risk may be a new job, the purchase of a new home or investment or, perhaps, just to stand up in front of people and give a speech.  Change & taking risks can be scary, but just like in this picture of The Grand,  reaching out and taking risks, can bring new light and unexpected pleasures.  I think we constantly have to analyze what we're doing to determine if we're growing, and expanding our horizons, or just staying where we're comfortable.  Comfort's great, but learning and doing new things can add new joy to our lives.  So, take a look at your life and see if you're happy with where you are.  If you're not you, and only you, have the opportunity to change it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Superior or Inferior?

"The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot." Mark Twain (1835-1910), USA

Is man superior to other animals?  Does the fact that he can make decisions and then still do wrong make him inferior?   Mark Twain was always good about giving us things to think about.  What's your opinion?

Monday, July 4, 2011


"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange

I think this quote is so true.  Once you become a photographer it seems that your eyes see more and appreciate the world around you just a little bit more.  Looking through the viewfinder of a camera opens your eyes to beauty that you might not have noticed before, a spider web or maybe a drop of dew on a blade of grass.  You just seem to notice these things more than before you picked up a camera for the first time.  It is strange, though, because as photographers, we often travel to distant locations to get pictures of wonderful landscapes, architectural marvels, etc. when there are beautiful and interesting subjects in our own towns.  This is a picture of  an old, historic courthouse.  I've lived in this area for many years, but had not taken a picture of the courthouse until I was doing an assignment for a client last year.  Sometimes the things that are closest to us are the last things we think to photograph.  So, take advantage of this 4th of July week-end, grab your camera and photograph some wonderful things in your own town.   Then post them on Facebook, so we can all enjoy them.

Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July with your friends and family.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


"Always remember that every obstacle is a test and an opportunity." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Where would we be today if our forefathers had looked at the mountains as they were heading West, and decided that they were too tall, that there was absolutely no way around them, and just given up?  Or, what if Columbus had decided that the seas to the New World were too rough and just given up?  Sometimes things in life just aren't that easy.  That doesn't mean, however, that they're not worth working for or worth fighting for, and that we should just crawl back into our little shells and give up.  If you really want something badly enough, or think something is important enough, just do whatever it takes to get it done.  That's how changes are made, countries discovered and new things invented. It just takes perseverance, time and courage.  So, next time you encounter an obstacle that you think you can't overcome, figure out what you need to do to accomplish your goal and just do it.