Water seems alive. It is what makes our planet able to support life. It can be comforting like a warm bath or the womb…Or it can be chilly and exhilarating.

Sometimes the wind is right and you can sail.

Man bundled up in Yellow with a bright orange life vest sailing a dinghy, duck is taking flight in front of the boat.
Sailing into a new year.

Other times you have to get out the oars and push yourself along.

Rowing the sailing dinghy.
Rowing the sailing dinghy.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Afloat.”

Under Obstruction

I walked to the store today, an exercise in frustration.

Ten years or so ago our area was designated an “Urban Village.” That means that they are building  like crazy, lots of new residential units that are not required to have parking…everyone is supposed to walk and use public transit.

They startedby reducing bus service. Now they are building on every corner.

Apparently we aren’t supposed to walk until they are done.

Rekindling the Fire

They lit the paschal fire tonight without me. This is the first time in many years that I have not watched the kindling of that fire and listened to the old stories, from creation to the empty tomb.

Sometimes I believe in God. Sometimes I don’t. But I have a strong belief in rekindling the fire.

We can relight the fire when it goes out. It isn’t a complete redo, the past with its scars is still there, but things can get better, we can improve we can do better into the future. We can light a new fire.

It is now Easter: around the world stories are being told and heard, starting with creation and ending with finding a tomb empty. To quote a wise man, Frederick Buechner if memory serves: “all tombs are empty”.

Tonight I will hit the remote and our gas fireplace insert will start up. It doesn’t have the primeval feel of the new light kindled each year at Easter Vigil, but the cat and I will revel in the warmth of the flames. In some tiny way we connect with the flame that represents life. Happy Easter to all and may the force of life that connects us all be with you. Amen.


This is one of the first pictures I took with my (at that time, 2012) new Nikon L120 camera. I dropped it as the shutter went off (fortunately) it was around my neck so it kind of rotated as it fell.

I was going to delete this picture when it occurred to me that it was a perfect representation of all the things swirling around in my head and into my suitcases as I packed for a quickly decided on trip to Kenya.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Blur.”

The Ephemeral, The Eternal & Trash

Texts, phone calls, video chats and, to a large extent email, are ephemeral. My sister was going through some papers recently and found the telegram my grandmother sent telling my grandfather that mom was born, he was in the service in the South Pacific at the time. Today that communication would have been an email, text, phone call or video chat…and we wouldn’t be coming across it 70 years later. We have both gained and lost something in those 70 years.

Telegrams were the original text messages and, since every word cost dearly, people cut to the chase. But they differed from texts in that they had a physical product that was something precious to save and cherish.

Then the telephone came along. That added two aspects to communications: It was still only words but, depending on the quality of the line, you could hear tone of voice, and you could respond immediately. The communication became the creation of two people interacting. A pas-de-deux, not a solo. And ephemeral, just the memories of the two in the conversation shifting and changing with time.

When I was growing up we were on a party line. There was an etiquette: we kids were always told to keep it to the minimum so we didn’t tie up the line, no chit chat. My regular Saturday morning phone call, at 10:01 because it wasn’t polite to call before that, was “can Kim come and play?” My husband asked me for Kim’s mother’s phone number a while ago and it rolled off my tongue like it was yesterday, actually it was a whole bunch of yesterdays.

We were also taught to not say anything much because a neighbor could pick up at any time and hear what you were saying. Calling Dad at work was long distance and only to be done in cases of emergency.

To this day I do not like to talk on the phone. I think some of it is due to my early training that phones are for emergencies and expensive to use, keep it short and don’t say much. But, lately, I have been pondering whether some of it is because when I talk on the phone the other person takes over the conversation and, between being quicker with words and biased in hearing morphs my message into something that isn’t what I want to say. 

I really like email: I can write a draft, hone the words, and add a strategic photo here and there. I can take my time and send the message whenever and it will not interrupt the receiver, who can read and respond in her/his own time. Like an old fashioned letter with a quicker delivery system.

But an interesting phenomena has happened: people no longer read. They scan. I noticed this a little over ten years ago when communicating with folks in my son’s Boy Scout Troop and at church, most people are functionally illiterate. They can read, but they do not. At least not the longish, and, I like to think, well-crafted compositions that I wrote.

I think this is because of busyness combined with information overload: there is so much information available to us that we have to screen for what is actually relevant to us in accomplishing the current task. We no longer have time to delight in clever ways of putting things or to savor beautiful wordings that come to life in our imaginations. I think this is why we have moved to the tweet and text message. People are possibly reading more now than ever, but in short bursts.

I do not have a smart phone. Texting is painful for me. Being near sighted, I either have to take my seeing glasses off, or find reading glasses, to read the little buggers. Then I painstakingly push the dinky little buttons to respond. Since I am unfamiliar with the jargon, I type full words and use proper punctuation.

Both of my sisters have smart phones and prefer texting over talking (this is really great most of the time). They often send two or three texts while I am still responding to the first one. Then my phone’s memory gets full and I can’t receive any more messages in the middle of a “conversation”, so I delete all of the texts since I do not have time to go through and figure out which are important.

So, with a few pushes of a tiny button, out go the treasures along with the trash.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World.”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ephemeral.”

Fool me once…Fool me twice.

I am not big on April Fools Day. I have been fooled too many times with the stakes much higher than a laugh, so I am a bit touchy about lies.
Fool me once = shame on you.
Fool me twice = shame on me…and yet why should I have to spend a bunch of time and energy figuring out what is going on if you are lying to me? I am not the one who is lying.
I wasn’t always so cynical so, in the spirit of fun:
The best April Fool’s joke I ever saw was this. My co-workers Don and Chris, created a fictitious woman named April Eintz who left messages throughout the day for a single guy in our group about wanting to meet him. (This was before email was ubiquitous, so these were hand written phone messages).
At the end of the day a woman came into our cubicle farm and asked Don and Chris where John was and said “tell him April Eintz stopped by.”
Wouldn’t it be fun if I was clever enough to figure out a response like that to real life situations?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fool Me Once.”

Desert in Bloom

Here are a series of pictures playing with desert wildflowers,  landscapes, scale and observation. The flowers are quite small, the dandelions were the largest, so it was difficult to get a viewpoint that has both the flower and the overall sense of the desert that I wanted, to show the flowers as a frail and fleeting bit of color in a harsh environment.

These two are both taken with the same stand of dandelions at approximately the lower right rule of thirds intersection point:

These flowers are shown first looking down from above, neither is particularly obvious in the shot of the desert floor. But they are pretty and colorful when I put the camera on the ground beside them.

This blue flower was more noticeable from a distance. I deliberately did not try to exclude the piece of debris as the desert is full of it after being used as an informal garbage dump for so long.

Exploring my world with pictures and words.


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