Flowering Sleep

.

Neither of us has been able to do any gardening this year

which has been beneficial for the garden

there are so many flowers blooming

it is dizzying to behold

the scents are amazing

and the sound of thousands of insects enjoying the bounty is deafening at times

one of the more prolific flowers in the garden this year is the opium poppy…

they are tall

with pale leaves spiraling like a staircase for tiny beings

and the flowers are beautiful

I have no idea how they got here… what a wonderful surprise!

.

“Here was the secret of happiness, about which philosophers had disputed for so many ages, at once discovered; happiness might now be bought for a penny, and carried in the waistcoat-pocket; portable ecstasies might be had corked up in a pint-bottle; and peace of mind could be sent down by the mail.”
― Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater

.

The Bearded Lady

.

The creative process involves

a certain amount of tension, stress, and danger…

which is more palpable when observed in nature

the image above is a close up of the grand opening of a bearded iris

but before the grand opening…

a seed had to be planted and succeed in its planting

then the conditions had to be just right for the seedling to grow

even if all of its terms and conditions for growth were met

any number of challenges would need to be faced for it to achieve its full potential

and climax in flowering

an insect might attack it

the weather might suddenly change

a human could happen

luckily for the plant featured in this post

the human was injured in a manner which made them unable to mess with the garden

so all they could do was observe

(and then, like a paparazzo, stick a camera in the star’s face).

.

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.”
― Jean-Luc Godard

.

 

Still or Sparkling Cheers to You

.

I would like to raise a glass,

of still or sparkling,

to The Daily Post,

to Automatic,

to the Happiness Engineers,

to WordPress,

to Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little,

and dedicate a toast to them

for everything they have done,

they have created something to be celebrated.

All things which are created go through changes

Here’s to you,

to everything you have done,

are doing,

and have yet to do,

thank you,

live long and prosper!

.

.

“Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.”

– John Burroughs, Waiting

.

Something Blue

.

The image above is of one of several fragments of pottery, all with blue chinoiserie design, which I have dug up while gardening. Each time I find one, I feel as though I have discovered a long forgotten buried treasure.

While the pieces are damaged beyond repair to their former form, there is a great poetic beauty to them, within each crack there is a whisper of a story of the hands which it has touched, of sips, tastes, glances,  and perhaps a drama or two, one of which ended up with it getting broken and then tossed away.

.

“True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present.

True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

.

The Dewet

.

There are times when

two separate entities

blend and flow together…

this image and this aria

do that for me…

not sure why

but there are times when

there is no need for a why…

.

“Son nata a lagrimar / Son nato a sospirar,

e il dolce mio conforto,

ah, sempre piangerò.”

– from Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto

(loose translation – I was born to cry / I was born to sigh, and my sweet comfort, ah, always I will cry)

.

.

The Drop

.

What is it?

For a moment in time and space

this drop

was my whole world

everything else vanished

and yet it didn’t

for within this drop

is a reflection of everything

outside of it

or is it the other way around

.

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
― René Magritte

.

 

Off White

.

That moment when a bare branch

is no longer a bare branch

when what appeared dried up and dead

explodes into life

a natural firework

flowers

leaves

the new

shoots

out

can easily be missed

almost as though nature waits for us to look away

to lose patience

to let go

of a cherished experience

and then it gives us what we were waiting for

but we’re not there to receive it

not in that moment

but maybe in the next

with surprise

with delight

with awe

and around we go again

.

“It was a something found that had long been sought for by a thousand restless yearnings and vague desires, less of the heart than mind; not as when youth discovers the one to be beloved, but rather as when the student, long wandering after the clew to some truth in science, sees it glimmer dimly before him, to beckon, to recede, to allure, and to wane again.”
― Edward Bulwer-Lytton

.

From Ashes

.

Like an arrow shot

from within the earth

the tip breaking through the crust

where once there was a fire

from ashes

from decay

from darkness

grows

a morel

it is not alone

.

“There comes a time in each life like a point of fulcrum. At that time you must accept yourself. It is not any more what you will become. It is what you are and always will be. You are too young to know this. You are still becoming. Not being.”
― John Fowles, The Magus

.

Yellow Rising

.

Spring for me

comes with a burst of yellow flowers

once the yellow flowers are out in force

then I can trust that Spring has truly sprung

from the deep slumber of Winter

and yellow is a colour I associate with the mind

not sure why

something I read somewhere sometime ago

an idea which struck a chord and moved me along veins of learning

whether what I’ve learned is true or not is less interesting than

where you end up when you follow the flow of a spark awakened within

to know more of a something you read somewhere sometime ago

.

“There is in each person, in every animal, bird and plant a star which mirrors, matches or is in some sense the same as a star in the heavens.”
― Paracelsus

.

Fool for a Day

.

Don’t forget it’s the first of April

thus April Fool’s Day

I reminded myself as I perused the news

trust nothing you read

trust nought you hear

trust no one

as everyone is out to fool you and make a fool out of you

yet…

if I were to allow myself to be made into a fool

what joy it would bring to those out to fool me

and would it be such a bad thing in which to indulge

always safe in the knowledge that

no one is as good at making a fool out of me as I am

and I do it so regularly that

is there ever a day when I am not being a fool who is foolishly fooled?

.

“One seldom was able to do her a good turn without some thoughts of strangulation.”
― Alan Bennett, The Lady in the Van

.

 

A Period Drama in Four Pictures

.

Nothing is ever as perfect as we would like for it to be

the ideal versus the real

is a never-ending saga

an epic drama in endless human acts

but the imperfections add a certain charm

a loose thread may seem to be an aberration

which if pulled could tidy things up

but it could also unravel the whole tapestry

and we may lose more than we imagined we would gain…

and then we may wish to undo the undoing…

sometimes loose threads are best left loose…

and sometimes we must pull them…

when to pull and when to not do so is a mystery…

.

“Pictures are like doors which open into unexpected chambers.”
― Arthur Edward Waite

.

From A Distance

.

From a safe distance

what we see

may not be what is there

or what is there

appears

different

from

what it is

At first the shadow looming in outer limits of the periphery of my vision

through the steadily falling snow

was the beast from the east personified

I didn’t know what it was

I wasn’t sure if it was really there

but it was huge

moving

at its own pace

and I was in awe of it

my mind raced to make sense of it

but my creative heart wanted it to remain a mystery

.

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”
― Herman Melville

.

Pencil Me In

.

Please do not ask to borrow my pencil

as this will only lead to a fight

a joust

between your will to have it

and my will to not let you have it

and I will win because I have the pencil

and it is a mighty pointy stick

I will gladly give you my pen

and strip naked to lend you all of my clothes

but my pencil is mine

I have chewed upon it

while thinking

swallowed its coloured splinters

absorbed it into myself

worn it down

worn it in my hair

and sharpened it again and again

and listened to it scream as I did so

it is a trusted friend

and I will stab you with it before I let you have it

which I do not want to do

.

“One has no right to love or hate anything if one has not acquired a thorough knowledge of its nature. Great love springs from great knowledge of the beloved object, and if you know it but little you will be able to love it only a little or not at all.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

.

 

Painted Faces

.

Three ladies in miniature

sitting together

in a glass cabinet

filled with treasures

sparkling under the electric light

waiting now…

as they most likely waited then

while an artist created the selfie of their time

I wonder what they were thinking then

and what they would think now

if they could see through their painted eyes

the world as it is

would they share their thoughts or hold them close

hidden within

as their expressions remain poised to be painted?

.

“Where shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?

When the hurlyburly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won.”

― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

.

The Soft Roar of Waves

.

When is a beach scene not a beach scene?

The image above is my take on a familiar view from my childhood

not because we lived by the sea

as we lived in the hills

too far from the sea to see it

even though from the hills we could see far off into the horizon

it’s a scene from those windows on the walls known as paintings

which hung on every wall of our house

all painted by my father

my bedroom had a collection of his early work

painted long before I was born

I used to stare at them as I lay in bed

they told me bedtime stories

and there was one in particular which I knew was of a beach

but due to my father’s abstract impressionism

I could never figure out what was on the beach

and something large was on it

I could have asked him what it was

but

I wanted to figure it out for myself

because

the real beauty of art is in the journey we take in when we enter into the image

merging ourselves with the scene

.

.

“It was as if when I looked into his eyes I was standing alone on the edge of the world…on a windswept ocean beach. There was nothing but the soft roar of the waves.”
― Anne Rice

Threading the Needle

.

What’s that saying about a something passing through the eye of a needle

I can’t quite recall it

although it is on the tip of my tongue

which has just wet the thread

that I want to pass through the eye of a needle

to do some sewing

some mending

does that actually help

or

is it an illusory notion that a wet thread

will be easier to pass through

the eye of a needle

than a dry one

I know nothing anymore

I say that now knowing that I have never known anything

and most likely never will

but I keep hoping that

this thread will pass through the eye of this needle

and some sewing, some mending, will get done

but my eyes aren’t as agile as I used to think they were

if I can manage this delicate operation

then the silence of satisfaction will envelop me

and I may do nothing after that

.

“The process of elimination, combined with a modicum of common sense, will always assist us to arrive at the correct conclusion with the maximum of possible accuracy and the minimum of hard labor. Which being translated means: I guessed it.”
― Margery Allingham

.

 

The Small-Scale Ridiculousness

.

Ambling along a local nature trail

we came upon a wooden gate

leading to a small farm

the gate had a strut attached to a giant tree

and upon it were placed two tiny elephants

these weren’t the only man-made inhabitants of this location

there were stone foxes, ceramic ferrets, metal birds and butterflies, and a vibrant orange rat

but they’re the ones which stood out for me

because it seems that I have a thing for tiny elephants

I’d never noticed that about myself before

.

“What stops me from taking myself seriously, even though I am essentially a serious person, is that I find myself extremely ridiculous, not in the sense of the small-scale ridiculousness of slap-stick comedy, but rather in the sense of ridiculousness that seems intrinsic to human life and that manifests itself in the simplest actions and the most extraordinary gestures. ”
― Gustave Flaubert

.

The Shadow of Small Things

.

I have been told that I am in possession of the memory of an elephant

(perhaps it’s the memory of the tiny wooden elephant in the photo above.

I wonder if that elephant is in possession of my memory?

Did we swap?)

usually when I recall in detail an event which others have forgotten

but am I truly remembering it

are the details correct

or do I just have a vivid imagination

if no one else can recall the event

how do they know that my version of it is real?

.

“Memory was that woman on the train. Insane in the way she sifted through dark things in a closet and emerged with the most unlikely ones – a fleeting look, a feeling. The smell of smoke. A windscreen wiper. A mother’s marble eyes. Quite sane in the way she left huge tracts of darkness veiled. Unremembered.”
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

.

I did have the dubious pleasure of riding an elephant once

as a child

its skin was painfully prickly

and I immediately regretted allowing myself to be cajoled by zealous adults

while wearing a skirt

into doing something I had been reticent to do

as I wasn’t certain that the elephant wanted a child placed on its bare back

it was during that time when my father took me

to every circus he could find

as he was preparing to do a series of paintings of the subject

.

.

Inside The Tube

.

What we perceive

is coloured by our experience

by what’s in our personal tube of paint

Last night I saw an episode of

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey took Jerry Seinfeld to his art studio

and amongst the things therein was a giant pile of paint tubes

if my father had seen that pile of paint tubes he’d have had something to say about it

My father was an artist by vocation and trade

and paint was one of his treasured possessions

I recall him explaining to me the value of paint

by sharing his history with paint

from his poor starving artist debut

where he couldn’t afford paint

had to make his own and make do with what he could get

to his successful artist later years where he could afford the luxury of any paint he wanted

but he was still careful about what he bought

how much he bought

how much he used

and how he used it

.

.

To own as many paint tubes as Jim Carrey had in his art studio

more than many paint shops may have in stock

might have seemed excessive to my father

Does a painter really need that much paint to paint?

Does anyone need more than themselves to express themselves?

But he would have known that

we are all different tubes of paint

even if we call ourselves by the same name as other tubes of paint

.

“I remain restless and dissatisfied; what I knot with my right hand, I undo with my left, what my left hand creates, my right fist shatters”
― Günter Grass, The Tin Drum

(a quote from my father’s favourite book)

.

The undiscovered ends

.

We are celebrating a wedding anniversary today

(I think it’s our 21st)

and I thought I’d share some of our fizz with you

it’s of a little something

Steve drew on the blackboard we have in the kitchen

(of our very first home owned by us)

the blackboard was supposed to be for messages

but instead it’s become an artwork of Steve’s chalk doodles

which is cheerfully perfect

as

a relationship is

all about going with the flow

and enjoying the bubbling gold within those we love

.

“From quiet homes and first beginning,
Out to the undiscovered ends,
There’s nothing worth the wear of winning,
But laughter and the love of friends.”
― Hilaire Belloc

.

Wishbone

.

Christmas is almost over

but the memories we make during this time

tend to haunt us or harbour us as we harbour them

my mother used to make roast chicken for Christmas lunch

she was an excellent chef

and everything she made tasted delicious

but the most delightful part of her roast was the wishbone

because if you won the tug of war on the tiny bone

you could make a wish

I don’t recall if I ever won or what the wishes were

but the idea of making a wish is a compelling one

.

“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

.

When Things Happen

.

The other evening we had a power cut

this happens intermittently

regularly enough for us to have a system in place

to deal with it without too much fuss

Everything goes deeply quiet

in the house

in the surrounding countryside

and in those moments you realise how noisy power is

how much it hums

even when you think it is silent

While in the darkness and cold of Winter

it can be worrying to be without power

there is also something soothing about it

as it forces you to get in touch with

the primal nature within

.

“Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least when you let them, when you work with circumstances instead of saying, ‘This isn’t supposed to be happening this way,’ and trying harder to make it happen some other way.”
― Benjamin Hoff

.

Seasons Greetings from The Iconophile!

.

Best Wishes

from both of us

to all of you

.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens

.

A Specific Combination

Everything we do is influenced by thoughts and emotions, and the choices we make about those thoughts and emotions.

Those choices, thoughts and emotions, are influenced by those who are meaningful to us.

My most meaningful photograph from 2017 is this one:

.

.

It appeared in The Iconophile post – With a Pinch of Salt – on January 27th, 2017, with a quote from one of my favourite fairy tales – Salt Over Gold.

The image is of my lips with salt applied to lipstick.

I love salt. The taste and the feel of it.

I also love lips.

I have a particular passion for close-ups of lips.

Vibrantly coloured lips.

.

.

The above image is a stylised and zoomed out version of the same photograph I used for the With a Pinch of Salt post.

This particular passion for close-ups of lips began when I was about 7 years old.

Don’t worry, the reason for it isn’t sinister.

It’s not superficial either, as it goes deep into my origins as the child of an artist.

In 1975/6 my father, an artist, collaborated with Alain Bernardin and the Girls of The Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris (France) on a creative project to capture burlesque cabaret on canvas.

One of the performers at The Crazy Horse Saloon was Lova Moor, famous in particular for her magnificent lips, which my father painted several times:

.

La Bouche by Nicola Simbari

.

While I was not, as a child, allowed to go to The Crazy Horse Saloon (although Alain Bernardin did offer to let me watch the show from a special viewing area behind the scenes – my parents, who were rather prudish for bohemians, politely declined, much to my annoyance), I did get to see the paintings, both once they were done and as they took shape in my father’s studio.

They were magical and miraculous to me (luckily I was not hampered in my view by adult considerations). So much colour and life bursting out, loud and proud.

They made a significant impression upon me, as did all of my father’s work, and as did my father himself, both as an artist and as human being.

My father died in December of 2012.

I don’t own any of his work. I don’t need to, it’s all an intrinsic part of me, an influence. If I were to have one of his pieces, I would bypass all the paintings he created of me (for a child of an artist it is a regular feature of life to be a model and prop, so it’s not that big of a deal to be painted and you really don’t appreciate it at all), and choose the lips.

.

Nicola Simbari (edited photograph via Tutt’Art blog)

.

That’s a cravat my father is wearing in the photograph of him above (in case you were wondering). It was the 70’s and he was an artist. He’s all dressed up for an exhibition of his work at a gallery, which explains why he looks tired and tortured (and as though he’s about to pounce upon and eat the event photographer).

He did not like attending his one man shows.

He thought the shows should be about his work not about him.

He preferred to be at home, in his studio, wearing worn jeans and a denim shirt which were invariably covered in splotches of brightly coloured paint.

.

“Of course his dust would be absorbed in other living things and to that degree at least he would exist again, though it was plain enough that the specific combination which was he would never exist again.”
― Gore Vidal

.

 

 

A Sweet Little Nutcracker

.

If you crack my head open like a nut

and search inside

somewhere within all the gory goo

is a little oasis dedicated to ballet

if you listen carefully

you’ll hear the tinkling chimes of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies

if you look closer

you’ll see a small child dressed in a pink tutu

thumping around

doing pirouettes and pliés

imaging that she is a Fantasia elephant

.

“It may be, after all,” said the Student Anselmus to himself, “that the superfine stomachic liqueur, which I took somewhat freely in Monsieur Conradi’s, might really be the cause of all these shocking phantasms, which tortured me so at Archivarius Lindhorst’s door.”
― E.T.A. Hoffmann

Frozen in Time

.

This morning the world around me was frozen

everything was covered in tiny crystal shards

it was so beautiful

such exquisite bliss

to behold

that I… didn’t want to let it go.

.

“Sympathies that lie too deep for words, too deep almost for thoughts, are touched, at such times, by other charms than those which the senses feel and which the resources of expression can realise.”
― Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White

.

The Earth from Above

.

This photograph is of a miniature representation of our house

which has been our home for a couple of years

it fits us like a pair of worn jeans

just right

a little frayed and falling apart in places but made of solid stuff

every now and then we patch it up

nurture it as it nurtures us

this house has room to grow

(it has a room for Stephen to build a miniature of our house and the surrounding countryside neighbourhood)

to rise and spread beyond our previous forms

and occasionally get a quiet aerial view of ourselves, our lives, the earth from above

.

“I am much inclined to live from my rucksack, and let my trousers fray as they like.”
― Hermann Hesse

.

The Existence of Possibilities

.

While visiting a cemetery

I noticed a logo of a walking fish on a car parked outside

and snapped a quick shot of it

I wonder what Darwin would think and have to say about it?

.

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.”
― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

.

A Feeling As Deep As Love

.

When I was a child

I was indoctrinated into the religion of Art

the process involved looking at everything as though it was a painting

framed and hanging on a wall

a window into the poetic world of the soul

alive with not just the spirit of the subject

but also the passion of the viewer

the artist whose paint was blood coursing through veins

inspired by an ever beating heart

.

“We love the beautiful and serene, but we have a feeling as deep as love for the terrible and dark.”
― Edward Bulwer-Lytton

.

 

The Body Beautiful

.

I once wrote a fanciful little ditty

to be sung in speakeasy style

all about the debonair flair of the eclair

I am not a song writer

but I do love to eat those sweet tasty treats

and when I do I want to sing

about the joys of it

.

“Mother, of course, takes a lot of exercise, walks and so on. And every morning she puts on a pair of black silk drawers and a sweater and makes indelicate gestures on the lawn. That’s called Building the Body Beautiful. She’s mad about it.”
― Nancy Mitford, Christmas Pudding

There comes in the end a sort of quietness

.

It’s snowing today where we live

it’s the kind of snow which doesn’t stick

it comes in a flurry then melts away in hurry

it reminded me of a time years ago when it did stick

and each flurry of frozen cloud tears added more soft blankets upon soft blankets

and at the end there came a sort of quietness

.

“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

No Turning Back

.

“Had he but turned back then, and looked out once more on to the rose-lit garden, she would have seen that which would have made her own sufferings seem but light and easy to bear–a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and despair. Pride had given way at last, obstinacy was gone: the will was powerless. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love and as soon as her light footstep had died away within the house, he knelt down upon the terrace steps, and in the very madness of his love he kissed one by one the places where her small foot had trodden, and the stone balustrade, where her tiny hand had rested last.”
― Emmuska Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel

A Private World

.

“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”
― Philip K. Dick

The Perfect Way to Stop a Woman

.

“I’ve seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write… and you know it’s a funny thing about housecleaning… it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman. A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectabilty) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she “should” be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

What’s Your Gravatar and Why?

I’m always intrigued by the images which people use to represent them on social media.

Which is why I titled this post with the question – What’s your Gravatar and Why?

I’m genuinely interested in your answers.

I once came across a wonderful post which discussed what each choice of avatar might mean, unfortunately due to my tendency to sporadically tidy up my bookmarks (which often ends up with my deleting almost all of them as I lack the patience to sift through them, revisit the sites), I’ve lost that link otherwise I would share it with you. If it still exists you and you would like to find it, I think I may have used a search term along the lines of – meaning of avatars. But I did make that search before the film of that name came out.

The images which people use to be their online face, can pass by us in the blink of an eye as we scroll through timelines, a bit like scanning faces in a crowd. Occasionally one face will grab our attention, arrest our roving eye. Why? What is it about that face which caught our eye?

What is it about that avatar, Gravatar, which made us stop and scroll back to have a better look?

What does it say to us? What does it reveal to us about ourselves?

What does it say about the person who used it?

Sometimes those who prefer not to use selfies of themselves, but instead opt for something a little more sideways from the straightforward, actually reveal more about themselves as a person than they would had they simply used a photograph of their face.

Faces reveal a lot, but they also can hide a lot too.

There are times when reading someone’s writing prompts me to want to see what they look like, I’m not entirely sure why this is important, but in the moment it feels necessary to satisfy what perhaps is only a temporary curiosity.

If you ever feel that about me, I use my own face as my WordPress Gravatar.

.

.

I had to screenshot my Gravatar because I have no idea what I called the picture when I uploaded it, and waiting for the Media Library to load is agony for someone as impatient as I am.

I did quite a  filter and photoshop number on the image, and I’m not sure if I would do that now. I’m not sure if I would choose this ‘selfie’ to represent me now either.

Although I am fond of this picture as it was one of the first I took of myself after a long time avoiding the eye of the camera lens. In fact it’s one of the first shots I took after a long absence from using a camera.

I went through a temporary phase of not liking the camera. It started when I realised I was missing out on life by wanting to capture it all on film as it happened.

I have a different approach to photography now, thanks to going through several phases.

I have a different approach to photographs of myself now, thanks to going through several phases.

I went through a must take selfie phase, which gave me an insight into those who take lots of selfies – it’s fun. It also gets a bit dull after a while. I still love taking self portraits, but not as frequently as I once did.

If you’re curious, below is the original photograph of the one I use for my Gravatar – sans the fards of filter and photoshop. I did crop it, because I’m a tad naked in the shot. I won’t explain why, I’ll leave it to your imagination.

.

.

While I was contemplating this particular temporary Daily Post Photo Challenge, I did consider taking a series of shots of my face and of the face of my blogging, business, and life partner in photographic crime, Steve, and I may still do that, to attempt to capture our micro-expressions – those fleeting facial tells which reveal what may be covert, hidden from others and from us too at times.

But then I had a temporary case of the lazies, and instead browsed my messy photographic archive, and came across an image, a blurry flash of movement in between poses, which appealed to me and my creative self said – share this.

So I’m sharing it.

I took this around Christmas time a couple of years ago, dressing up in a mask, a wig, a gown, and fairy lights. And wouldn’t you know it, just as I was in the middle of this photoshoot, the doorbell rang.

Life is funny, and so are we.

.

.

“I think it’s so foolish for people to want to be happy. Happy is so momentary–you’re happy for an instant and then you start thinking again. Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe

A Cheeky Peep Show

.

Take a peek

Can you see what it is?

At first it was a scrabbling sound which made me pause to listen

Then it was a question mark which scratched inside my head

Then it was a thought about mice in the attic

Then it was a sigh about having to deal with mice in the attic

Then it was another thought

a thought which was a hope that it wasn’t mice in the attic but a bird skittering across the slate roof

perhaps chasing the mice away

Then it was a but

But that sound isn’t skittering it’s more like scraping

Then it was an it can’t be a pigeon

the usual bird suspects who clomp around on the roof and scrape off the moss

Then it was a get off your lazy chair and go look

Then it was a peering through blinds unable to see

Then it was a slowly raising of the blinds

Then it was a flash of movement to the right

Then it was the sound of a cheeky peep

I know that sound

Then it was the a scrabbling sound again

Then it was a scraping sound

Then it was a what on earth is it doing

to that part of the eaves which used to hang loose which I fixed in late summer

Then it was a moment of horror

I made sure nothing was living there first

Then it was a subsiding of horror

that’s the tit which nested in a different section of the eaves

and I waited until long after breeding season after everyone had fledged before fixing that too

Then it was another what is it doing

I’ll look it up later online

Then it was a grabbing of the camera and taking a photo without opening the window which might disturb it

And now it’s an it’s okay it found another hole which it made in the eaves right above the window

which I won’t fix this year or next

it is going to be warm for the Winter

and its cheeky peep show as it goes to the feeder and back will warm my heart

.

“If I stand here, I can see the Little Red Haired girl when she comes out of her house… Of course, if she sees me peeking around this tree, she’ll think I’m the dumbest person in the world… But if I don’t peek around the tree, I’ll never see her… Which means I probably AM the dumbest person in the world… which explains why I’m standing in a batch of poison oak.”
― Charles M. Schulz

.

 

A Nice Cup of Tea

.

What time is it?

It’s time to wake up

but the sun isn’t up yet

It’s autumn

It’s wet

It’s windy

It’s time to rake the leaves

It’s getting darker earlier

It’s time to turn the clock back

It’s halloween

It’s dia de los muertos

It’s bonfire night

It’s cold

It’s winter

It’s the end of the year

and what a year it has been

It’s time to round off the day

with a nice cup of tea

hands cupping cup

warm

relaxing

It’s time to sleep

.

“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.
Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
Your entire family has been eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex that has travelled through a space/time portal? Nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. Possibly a savoury option would be welcome here too, for example a Scotch egg or a sausage roll.”
― David Walliams, Mr Stink

.

 

There are two kinds of light

.

The photograph above

has two kinds of glow

the natural radiance

of the sun glinting inside of droplets of water

caught in the feathery branches of fennel

after a rainstorm

in Summer

and

three layers of the same image

passed through the Photoshop filters

of Topaz Glow

one of those filters is named Brilliant Fibers

which I have nicknamed brilliant fib

as it can add sparkles of lightness

to where there seems to only be darkness and dullness

why would I use this filter

why tamper with nature

why enhance the truth with a bright white lie

because I’m trying to replicate

what I spy with my naked eye

when I look at the world around me

everything is slightly blurred

and luminous

.

“There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”
― James Thurber

.