Surprise Reflections

Sometimes a reflection takes you by surprise, appearing in an unexpected place, showing an image back to you in a different perspective, making you stop and take notice.  For the last several days in Picture Inspiration we have been challenged to capture those images with our cameras, to look for such surprises, and then to photograph them in such a way that you don’t see the actual object being reflected.  This was no easy task, but fun nevertheless, and eye opening.  Here are the images that have caught my eye.

Flowers reflected in the side of our car,
looking much like an impressionist painting.
Dried plants in flowerpots, reflected in a dirty window.
Sky colors and a building reflected in the water fountain
at St. Rita’s Hospital.  I love the intense blue, and the light
in the water falling over the edge.
What is being reflected back to you on this spring day? Is it an image, or a thought, or an action? Do you like what you see? How does it move you?  
Wishing you grace and peace…..

All Stacked Up

This week I have been inspired by the women participating in Picture Inspiration as we have explored the idea of things that are stacked up.  We were encouraged to find images that fit that idea, or create a vignette on our own.  

This stack of old cookbooks is above my kitchen sink.  Vintage cookbooks fascinate me, the old recipes, the spatters of food or grease on the pages, the occasional handwritten note on a page,  even the way the books are written.  They speak to a different way of life, and time with fewer restaurants, no internet recipe sites, and totally different ideas on nutrition.  The book at the bottom of the stack was my grandmother’s, printed in 1941.

Stacks of dishes.
Stacks of pretty dishes, especially these, a gift from a dear friend. These have been used and show some wear around the edges, which makes them even more special to me.  I try to imagine what was served and what kind of conversation happened around those meals.

Do you ever stack things up somewhere, intending to do something with them some day?  (Please nod and say yes… you’ll make me feel so much better!) These music CD’s are going to be donated to the public library because we just don’t use them.  

The sun was shining through the window, reflecting in the plastic cases, which really caught my eye. Some post processing (using Picasa to saturate the colors) gave the image some extra color.  

This sculpture is in downtown Lima.  A closer look reveals that it is a stack of big pieces of concrete, carefully crafted and put together to commemorate Lima.  

Stacks can have a really good purpose then, besides just putting things aside.  The brick wall along the sidewalk downtown is more than just a border to protect a parking area, it is a work of art in itself. 

Log cabins are so fascinating. Once I started thinking about things being all stacked up I began to notice stacks everywhere.  Stacks of logs, cut by hand, carefully fitted together, creating a shelter, a home, or a barn. 

Think about stacks. Where do you see them in your life? Is it at work, in your home, or somewhere surprising? What does it say to you? Do you, like me, have stacks of things waiting for your attention? Proverbial stacks of tasks that you must complete, or literal stacks of Stuff that need to go to a new “home”?

One of the last images here is of a stack gone awry; bricks in a construction zone that were once all lined up but now some are leaning precariously and about to fall off. I found a message in that image.

Sometimes I attempt to neatly arrange life my way, as though I am really in charge. Then something will come along and knock it all down, or maybe just mess with a part of life, enough that I need to stop and pay attention. Seldom do the parts of my life go back the way they were. 

And that is a good thing.

Rhythms of Life

Saturday. Sleeping in. Being rather lazy. Intentionally lazy.

More rain today, but the snow is almost all melted away. Lots of standing water everywhere, and rivers are swollen beyond their banks. In our yard there are one inch tall sprouts of daffodils and tulips, little bits of green in an otherwise brown, gray, and very muddy little world.  

It’s so good to have a day of rest after working all week. Mark wanted to go to a bookstore in Fort Wayne this morning, so away we went. Turned on NPR to listen to Car Talk and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me as we made the drive on this blustery winter day.

This combination of getting in the car on a Saturday, driving somewhere, and listening to the radio…all this has become part of the rhythm of our life.  What sort of rhythms are present in yours? Do you have special rituals that you look forward to? Things you can do that balance out the busy parts of your life?

This week in Picture Inspiration I have been learning about rhythm in photography. The photo here of the wet road and telephone lines is one of my interpretations of the subject.  The even spacing of the poles, the draping of the wire, the reflection of the poles in the wet pavement, all present a kind of rhythm to me.  

The photo of the bridge taken last fall is, to me, another example of photographic rhythm in the contrast of lights and darks, contrasting colors, and the zig zag of the construction itself. Both images were taken with my ‘point and shoot’ Cannon PowerShot. 

Michael Freeman writes about this in his book “The Photographer’s Eye”. He states, “When there are several similar elements in a scene, their arrangement may, under special conditions, set up a rhythmic visual structure. Repetition is a necessary ingredient, but this alone does not guarantee a sense of rhythm.”  
(This book called out to me at the bookstore and had to come home with me.  Very well written, by the way.)

Drumbeat. Cadence. Cycles. Patterns. Seasons. Rain or no rain. Hot or cold. It all comes together to form the fabric of our lives.

On the way back to Lima, Mark and I discovered that we were both thinking the same thing; that we needed to make sure that one of our favorite places was actually open.  This would certainly prove that the winter season is ending and spring is coming soon, even if we see the flowers beginning to come up.  With the heater running and rain coming down, we sat in line at The Creamery in Delphos, Ohio, so that we could celebrate it’s opening with a treat of ice cream.

Just another way to notice the rhythms of life.