Friday, January 12, 2018

Week 2

This week's photo challenge was all about color composition, looking at the color wheel and playing with opposite or complementary colors in your photo. As you can see by what I chose to put in my photo what the other challenge was this week...the weather. Kind of hard to get out and look for suitable things to shoot in the rain! I ended up just sticking my umbrella on the stone wall. The warmth of the orange pops nicely against the cool color of the green.

Besides experimenting with color, I learned something else about my photography practice...I don't do planned shots or set-ups! I tend to look for spontaneous inspiration when I'm out and about. I think I'm really limiting myself by doing that. After all, no one is inspired or spontaneous all the time1

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Earth as Original Monastery

As you might remember, I'm a huge fan of Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery led by Christine Valters Painter. I've done two Ireland pilgrimages with the Abbey (Christine and her husband, John) as well as numerous online retreats and study courses. Every year the Abbey invites followers to submit their word for the year...the word that will inspire or guide them as the new year unfolds. On Epiphany names are drawn to win some lovely Abbey gifts. And this year, I won something!

My word for 2018 is CONNECTION which I see already at work in my life as it's connected me once again to the Abbey. As my gift, I chose an 8-week online self-study course called 'Earth as Original Monastery.' The video above combining Christine's photographs and Peter Mayer's lovely song illustrates the beauty this course offers as we explore 'retrieving our lost intimacy with Creation.' I'm very excited to work through Christine's rich offerings.

If you'd like to know more about the Abbey in general or this self-study course in particular, you can click of the links.....

Friday, January 5, 2018

52 Weeks

A friend posted a link on Facebook last month to the 52 Weeks photo challenge. Each week the photographer is challenged to create a photo in one of five categories: Vision, Composition, Technical, Creative or Wild Card. This week's theme is Vision, and the challenge is to look ahead to the new year, new beginnings, new you, etc. I've had most of the week to think about what I'd shoot as it's been too rainy to get outside. It wasn't until this morning, though, that I came up with the idea to use a ladder as a symbol for this new beginning.

Let me explain my reasoning: looking ahead to this new year, I've dreamed some dreams and come up with some challenges for myself to raise the bar in 2018. And just how do I do that? Not by sitting still and waiting for things to happen. I have to actively DO raise a ladder to climb from here to where my dreams might be. So putting one of these ladders in place is the start of a new beginning for me!

What was the photography lesson I learned this week? I had no idea where I might find a ladder. As Lucie and I made our regular morning walk today, I kept my eyes open and sure enough, I found several ladders along our route. Ladders that I'd never noticed before! Lesson learned: Keep your eyes open, You never know what you might see.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Into 2018

A friend remarked in a recent email that she hoped all was well with me as she hadn't seen any blog posts in awhile. Which made me realize just how much I've neglected my blog this year! I've written about some of the year's highlights...trips to Ireland and London...but not much else. Just kind of lost my enthusiasm, I guess.

The new year brings new beginnings and as Benedict of Nursia taught....'always we begin again.' So 2018 begins with the resolution to push through the gates and cross the threshold into new possibilities and new adventures this year, to step into the challenge and make 2018 great. To not wait for that to happen, but to actively engage to create goodness and joy and connection. Out with 2017 and its anger, despicable behaviors and divisiveness. In with 2018 and all that makes life, peace, open hearts and generous spirits.

That's my New Year resolution! What's yours??

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle
Elaine really wanted to visit Windsor Castle and I'm SO glad we did. A short, easy train ride from Paddington Station and we entered a royal world. The Castle ended up being one of my favorite parts of our trip! Entry included a security check much like that at airports. The very charming lady explained "we have a Queen to protect, you know!" I added "but you're much nicer than those TSA agents at the airport."

Round Tower protects the Middle Ward
We walked past the Round Tower and into the Middle Ward of the Castle which holds the Royal Apartments. The Middle Ward is where the Queen lives and entertains when she is in residence. it is also the part of the Castle that burned in the fire of 1992.
The North Terrace
 We approached the Royal Apartments via the North Terrace which offers lovely views of the valley that surrounds the Castle. No photos allowed inside unfortunately. It's absolutely stunning; you must visit to fully appreciate both the beauty and the history of this place. The Queen was in residence here the week of her 70th wedding anniversary hosting a gala event. Luckily we didn't visit that day as the Castle was closed.
St. George's Chapel
And here's yet another Royal connection. As announced last week, this is the place where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry next May. Again, no photos allowed inside, but it is stunning. As the Mother Church of the Order of the Garter, it is filled with heraldic symbols...banners, coats of arms, plaques, etc. It's been the place of many royal weddings, funerals and interments. A few of its most famous royal 'residents' include Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, Edward IV, and Henry VI.
Goodbye from Windsor Castle and a truly Royal day!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Royal Connections

Kensington Palace
It's hard to miss royal connections in London. Royal history is everywhere as is current royal presence. After a walk through Kensington Gardens, Elaine and I visited Kensington Palace, current home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. And as I found out during Monday's news announcement of Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle, the future home of this vibrant young royal couple. They will live in Nottingham Cottage located on the Palace grounds.
The Palace is lovely and has a nice display of vintage clothing...
I can't even imagine wearing this dress. No wonder ladies had to pass through doors sideways! And how did they ever sit down or worse yet...use the loo?

The exhibit of some of Princess Diana's clothes and sketches of her wardrobe pieces was both fascinating and poignant. She was a never-to-be-forgotten princess.

Stay tuned for another royal connection in my next blog post.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Remembering Inis Mor

Inis Mor through the sundial stone
Tempall Chiarain
Remembering Inis Mor today...the peace and solitude, my soul sisters, the ambiance of grace and hospitality, the glimpses beyond the Veil. All the while Deidre Ni Chinneide sings Celtic melodies that pierce my heart with beauty and mystery. I live changed by my experiences.