52 Photos: Red

This week’s prompt was RED!

I do love the color and I had such a hard time choosing. Here are a few:

Egret in the reflection of the torii gate at Miyajima:

egret in red reflection

Condemned! Red wetsuit:

condemned

Red Gold and White Platform Shoes:

red gold white pumps collection

Red parasol:

red parasol

Amanita mushroom:

red shroom

Red lantern blooms:

red lantern blossoms

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52 Photos: Look Down

This week’s prompt was Look down! I don’t often take up the challenge of the prompt, but I did this week. I have to admit, I’m always happy when I do, too!

Sunday was a cold, brisk day. We took a walk down to the Pike Place Market and then back up the Hill. I looked down, hunting for treasures to photograph. Here’s what I brought home:

A maple leaf stain

maple leaf

Arbutus art

Arbutus on the ground

Ice lace draped over grass

snow and ice

Fire and ice

fire and ice

I also love this step from the sidewalk art on Broadway, The Obeebo, that I took last summer.

step one

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Slow Bloom at the Liberated Life Marketplace!

llpMarketplaceSquare-1

2014 has been a year of transformation for me. In the spirit of trying new things and seeing what sticks to the wall, I’m offering my note cards for sale! I love to create, using a mix of things. I love sharing how I see the world. Creating note cards is one such avenue of expression.

I was invited to participate in The Liberated Life Project Marketplace this year, which is how this offering comes to you!

Even though the prevailing wisdom says, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” there are things the pictures themselves can’t tell you. So I will. I started making cards for my mom several years ago. A few years later, I posted a few of my dahlia pictures on FB and I had another friend say, “If you ever make your pictures into cards, I would totally buy some from you.” A seed was planted.

I’m offering two different sets of note cards. There are 5 cards in each set, each with a different image. The cards are 5″x7″ and blank on the inside.

The first set contain details of architectural elements from Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.
rail detail

I was there in October with my mom, partner, and niece, and in my slow bloom fashion, lagging behind them. As I approached the staircase that leads down to the fountain, a man walked up the stairs. He wore a khaki vest and an air of authority. He asked if I knew anything about the Terrace.

I said, “No, I don’t. But I don’t have time. I have to catch up with my family.”

He said, “Well, did you know that all the details are different? Every design element that on first glance looks like it should be the same is actually different.”

I peered closer and was delighted by this new information. I thanked the volunteer and ran off to tell my family. We then spent the next thirty minutes exploring the variation and variety that we would have otherwise missed! I was delighted that my speed meant I learned something special about the place, as well as opening my eyes to the details I would have otherwise glossed over. Sometimes it really pays to go slow(er).

**

The second set are made from dahlia pictures. I’ve been taking pictures of the dahlias in a garden in Volunteer Park, down the street from where I live.

peach dawn

Regulars will know that I have a particular fondness for dahlias. I love their bright, bold, throw-caution-to-the-wind blooms. I love their variety. They remind me that I have my own speed of blooming. I’ve posted this quote from May Sarton before, but I’m going to repeat it here, because this is the heart of this blog and also the inspiration for the dahlia cards:

“It does not astonish or make us angry that it takes a whole year to bring into the house three great white peonies and two pale blue iris. It seems altogether right and appropriate that these glories are earned with long patience and faith … and also that it is altogether right and appropriate that they cannot last. Yet, in our human relations we are outraged when the supreme moments, the moments of flowering, must be waited for … and then cannot last. We reach a summit, and then have to go down again.
Maybe patience is the last thing we learn.”
~May Sarton; Journal of a Solitude

In addition to my note cards, there are many other wonderful offerings, from books about transformation to coaching and mindfulness/livelihood support, to prayer flags and other beautiful artwork. Even if my offering doesn’t appeal, I encourage you to go check out what other people have to offer. Perhaps you will know someone that will connect with a piece in just the right way.

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Vintage Architecture

I’m taking the prompt very loosely this week. I’m not totally sure what makes architecture vintage, other than it being old!

Here’s Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, in Kyoto:

Kinkakuji

NOT trompe l’oeil building in Lisbon:

building

Wat Arun in Bankgok, Thailand:

Sunset at Wat Arun

And finally, some neoclassical architecture in the heart of NYC, just west of Penn Station – the US Post Office:

Neither snow nor rain

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52 Photos: Point the Camera Up

I can’t believe I haven’t posted any pictures from Okunoin, the most enchanting cemetery in Koya-San, Japan. For Point the Camera UP, I give you this view:

tree guardians

Some hoodoos from below at Bryce Canyon:

hoodoos and sky

Joshua Tree:

joshua tree and sky

And blooms, because this blog is all about blooming!

blooms in the sky

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52 Photos: Orange

This week’s prompt is orange. I was in NYC last week and saw these skulls in the window of a shop. I loved them, as well as the calaveras.

dia de los muertos skulls

calavaras

calaveras

A few more orange images from the archives.

Young monks on the Chao Praya in Bankgok, Thailand:

monks

Orange fungi from the Olympic Peninsula:

orange fungi

Blue and Orange tiles in Lisbon, Portugal:

blue and orange

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Fall in Love With Your Work

I am using this space to promote my friend Maia, because I believe in the generosity economy described by Kelley Eskridge.

wall starfish

I met Maia in the winter of 2011, when I was traveling around SE Asia. We met in the charming town (if you could even call it that!) of Chiang Dao. She boldly inserted herself into a conversation I was having with another woman I’d met that evening, and we became fast friends. In fact, in the three years since we met, I’m surprised to realize that that evening was the only time we have ever been face-to-face.

In the fall of 2012, I was spinning my wheels and lacked direction. I knew I wanted to move in a different direction than the one I’d been going in, but I couldn’t seem to figure it out on my own. Maia invited met to participate in her online class, Fall In Love With Your Work. This definitely appealed to me. I have always struggled to love what I’ve been paid to do.

In slowbloom fashion, another layer of myself and my history were revealed through this process. I began to clarify what I valued (hello (hu)manifesto!). I came to understand some of what I considered my failures in previous employment situations. And I took the first steps in opening back up, after having shut down. As a matter of fact, this entire blog exists because of her encouragement!

I’m saying all of this because Maia is offering her course again. She is a gentle and compassionate teacher, and if you are looking for more clarity in your own life, or have questions about what your right livelihood might be, this course is for you.

So stretch yourself! Go sign up. Registration closes on September 29th. Please contact me for a discount code if you’re interested!

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52 Photos: End of the Season

This week’s prompt was related to summer coming to an end, something I’m loathe to face, even though the evenings are coming more quickly. So I dug into the archive and came up with the bright, vivid colors that mark fall and give me light and warmth to hold on to as it gets darker and colder.

North Cascades slope:

fall colors

Frilly Japanese maple leaves:

fall frilly maple leaves

This was taken just over a year ago in Koya-san, Japan:

fall harbinger

Leaf skeletons in Kanazawa, Japan:

fall leaf skeletons

Autumn leaves, swirly fence:

autumn leaves swirly fence

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52 Photos: The Sign Says

Even though this week’s prompt wasn’t literal, I’m going with a sign.

sign for Angel's Landing

The sign says:

ANGEL’S LANDING

Strenuous climb
Narrow route with cliff exposures
Hazardous during thunderstorms, darkness, and ice/snow conditions

I’d heard stories from friends and family members about this hike before I did it last week. I knew it wasn’t for the faint of heart or anyone with fear of heights. I was pretty certain I would do okay, but I still had some niggling doubts. I’m not known for dazzling anyone with feats of physical strength, but I managed to surpass my girlfriend’s expectations. I just walked right up the rock like it was nothing. And as I expected, the openness didn’t bother me at all.

My girlfriend asked what had happened to me. She thought I’d be whining and clinging to the rock with fear. Truth is, I probably would have a couple of years ago. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and made it to the top. I told her, “I’ve finally found my voice and my feet!”

First portion with chains:

climbing Angel's Landing

Can you see the chain to the right side of the image?
Angel's Landing formation

Ridge to final approach and summit (See the people in the lower part of the picture?):

ridge to Angel's Landing

I told a friend the other day I felt like I was climbing in an ant farm. You tell me if you think I’m exaggerating! Here’s the horde we found at the top (and where my healthy fear of heights kicked in – no way was I going to go gallivanting through them)!

hordes of hikers

I’ll give you a few more signs, since I only put one up there:

feral cats or chickens

warning sign

And finally, the fallout shelter sign on my apartment building (and no, there isn’t actually one):

fallout shelter

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52 Photos: Luang Prabang

The prompt this week was somewhere you visited. As many of you know, I’ve been a lot of places. Picking one was hard.

I decided to go with Luang Prabang in Laos, because I’ve talked about visiting Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, but not Laos, which was the fourth country in my tour of SE Asia.

I visited temples:

Wat Xieng Thong

that had disco elephants as decoration …

mosaic elephant

I drank bale fruit tea:

bale fruit tea

and BeerLao, the champagne of beers (or so I was told).

Beerlao

I watched monks collect merit contributions:

monks collecting merit contributions

and the sun set behind the Mekong river.

sunset behind the mekong

If you ever have a chance to visit Luang Prabang, I highly recommend it. It’s a special place.

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