Sunset Thoughts

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I glanced out our west kitchen window and caught a glimpse of the setting sun.

I hurriedly went for my camera and stepped outside for a few shots.

Don’t know why this was so important as I have a thousand photographs of sun rises and sun sets.

I snapped the sun from various angles and positions, but post only two images. It doesn’t really matter anyway. The sun shines and sets as directed by the Creator so where I stand to take a photograph really makes no difference. Nor does taking a photograph.

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However, a photographer, like a painter or writer, envisions that perfect image he or she has in the mind. It is an intuitive thing, I believe.

These photos are nothing extraordinary, but possesses a part of me. I was compelled to take it for no other reason than to bring myself a bit of satisfaction.

I share them to encourage you…to make an impulsive leap towards something which brings you joy and fulfillment…even for a moment or two.

I’ve been ‘down in the dumps’ lately and needed a bit of inspiration. Without a job and striving to start a new career as an independent business, I feel a sense of fear and self-doubt. Yet, deep down inside, I know I can make this adventure work to my (and other’s) benefit.

Every photograph, and every typed or written word helps.

I am blessed.

 

Shadows

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Shadows can be fun, mysterious, frightful, intentional, random, and even boring. Regardless of how they are viewed and make us feel, they can all be explained by a law of physics: light is interrupted by an opaque or semi-opaque object and darkness is created in the form of the object on the opposite side of the illuminated object.

The shape and degree of darkness are controlled by several factors: light intensity, angle of the light source illuminating the object, movement of the object or light source, opaqueness of the object being illuminated, location of the viewer with respect to the object, the terrain upon which the shadow falls, and the distance of the shadow.

In the case of this lengthy shadow, I was atop the lighthouse with a clear view of the shadow being cast. The sun was bright and at an angle as it was afternoon. The lighthouse was opaque, except for the glass windows which reveal the light fixture. Although the type of surface which accepted the shadow changes from land to water, both are relatively level and flat. Hence, the shadow is directly in-line with the lighthouse.

However, aside from a scientific explanation there is something else about shadows-perhaps something almost sinister. Our imaginations can run wild so-to-speak when we allow the shadow to come ‘alive’ in our minds. We ‘feel’ its presence which can send chills up our back and make us look over our shoulder repeatedly. Yet, logically, we know shadows are not alive, but they are attached to the object casting it via invisible cords. Those cords which lead us to the objects are what we really fear-the shadows only confirm their existence.

There are more to shadows than meets the eyes. It is what they reveal which makes them so special..so ethereal. Not only do they reveal a hint of the object casting the shadow, they often expose something deep inside of us which is only triggered by the faded image. When I gaze upon this scene I am reminded of warmth, relaxation and discovery-all very pleasant feelings. Fortunately, I viewed this shadow in bright circumstances and there was no negativity attached to it or the lighthouse. That is not always the case.

I recall a memory of shadows which affected me unexpectedly. Many years ago I hiked to the top of a 12,000 foot mountain in the Rockies of Colorado. The day was sunny and the weather pleasant. After a while I noticed dark, swiftly moving shadows rolling across the rocky terrain. Clouds, and then more clouds. Fast and then faster they came. With the sun blazing above them they cast menacing looking images onto the mountain top. I recall vividly how I suddenly felt so very small and insignificant in comparison to the grandeur of nature’s power. The majesty of the mountains coupled with a storm fast approaching made me very aware that had I stayed on top of that mountain when the full force of the storm passed over, I would not have returned from whence I started. I was amazed that all it took were shadows to evoke these thoughts and feelings.

With a slight chuckle I think of the movies with sinister plots and shadows which scare those acting as well as those viewing.  Feelings of fearfulness and harm cause the heart to race-all because of shadows. Or, is it the shadows? Perhaps deeper reasons exist.

Reflections in Blue

5-26-15 024 Have you ever noticed how vividly light reflects off of tinted glass, and even clear-coat painted metallic surfaces? Like watching a movie, I gazed at the clouds which strolled by the side windows of my Jeep. They skirted by without even a whisper…only a moving reminder that they existed…for only a short while before fading out of sight. In between the clouds the sun shone in all her brilliance. It was she who illuminated the clouds in the first place. And, it was she who made the reflection possible. No light, no radiance, no reflection.

Remember the line in the fairy tale, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”. As I recall, the answer wasn’t too favorable for the wicked queen so she cast a spell on Snow White who was considered the fairest.

The queen had a problem which is common among many. She was so self-absorbed that she radiated her disdain for others (in this case Snow White). Her reflection revealed a narcissistic image and the mirror couldn’t lie. How often do we see this dynamic played out in our everyday world? People pretending to be one thing, but eventually they reveal through words and actions what’s really inside them. Rather than radiating light, darkness fills the void. In today’s world of ‘make believe’ where most anything printed or filmed can be (and usually is) manipulated to what the creator wants the subject to look like, we are presented a poor reflection of the truth. Sorry to be sardonic with my opinion, but this is what I often see. This is also a generalization of our culture and not a condemnation of any particular person, although I can think of a few who may fit this description.

This got me to thinking about radiance and reflections in general. More specifically, I looked in the mirror and asked myself what I radiate, if anything. Do I have a light within me which radiates outwardly or is there too much darkness that obscures the light? Can others see what I don’t? Or, is there anything to be seen? Is my self-image based on reality or wanna be? As with my vehicle’s color; since it is blue, it better reflect blue or something is wrong.

I realize I have flaws, more than I want others to know about. And, I can hide things as well as anyone, except from the One who knows me better than I know myself. With this admission I can also state that it is my supreme desire to radiate light and reflect that which I know to be true. As I stumble in my daily attempts to live out this goal, I need all of the grace I can acquire. So, before you throw a rock at me for this post, I adjure you to look in the mirror, too. If you don’t like what you see, you can throw the rock at the glass or put it down and be honest with yourself. Then, extend yourself some grace before asking for help to change. The clouds will eventually part and the light will shine once again. There are plenty of souls who have cracked mirrors, and continue to radiate beautiful light. I want to be one of them.

 

 

13 on 14

???????????????????????????????Before I knew you, I loved you. The image I had of you then is not much different than the image I now behold. The early love I had for you has blossomed into today’s love. Both are right. Both are dynamic. Both are real, as are you.

A great many days have transpired between that first glance and this morning’s kiss. Some days have been fun while some difficult. Many have been happy and a few tragic. Mostly, they have been satisfying. Today is such a day. And, I am the better for every one of them.

Thirteen is my favorite number simply because we chose to be wedded on that day…a Friday as I recall. No superstition and nothing mystical. Magical, perhaps. Since this is 2013 and we were married on the thirteenth, I have decided to honor you with thirteen reasons as to why I love you so much. Valentine’s Day should be on the thirteenth!

Before I begin my list, I am compelled to state the obvious. My feelings run deep and strong for you, like a powerful mountain river as it empties into the ocean. You captivate me. You always have. It’s hopeless, your influence over me. I am drawn to you as steel is to a magnet. I couldn’t resist even if I tried.

Sweetheart, here are thirteen reasons as to why I love you and what I see in you. They are by no means comprehensive.The words I write are inadequate, but I must try. Please forgive my omissions.

1. Inward beauty so rich that it would take a notebook full of words to describe.

2. Outward beauty so full that I still can’t take my eyes off of you.

3. A tender heart, full of compassion, which grows each year.

4. Creative abilities too numerous to mention, but obvious to all who know you.

5. Character that is undergirded by integrity, honesty and fairness.

6. Intelligence that logically reveals itself daily.

7. Insight that defies my understanding, but which I rely upon.

8. Sense of humor that continues to put a smile on my face each day.

9. Courage to stay the course, even when the road can’t be seen.

10. Wisdom that knows what and when to speak, and when to be silent.

11. Strength of will, especially when each day can be tougher than the day before.

12. Humility in everything you are and do.

13. Love that stretches to Heaven, and back again to those entrusted to your care.

Simply amazing is what you are. To be associated with you would be enough, but to have the privilege of being your husband is oh so wonderful. School girl to my girl…is like a dream come true for me. Thank you, Cheryl, for making my life so refulgent. With all my love, Michael.