No, I am not referring to Bruce Springsteen, the legendary rock band leader. Nor, am I referring to a criminal mastermind or a particular public figure (many of these like this term as it applies to them). I have been called Boss when on construction sites, but I think this was more due to a worker’s name preference or lack of personal knowledge rather than my actions.

Bosses can be found in all sorts of arenas: the work place, at home, among friends, in most any kind of group, in sports, and the list goes on. Bosses can be inspiring or exasperating, kind or cruel. Some are brilliant and others just plain dumb. However, the Boss I am thinking about was neither dumb nor cruel…he was just furry.

cell pics 4-22-14 261 (2)

Here is Carson at the office. He is exhorting his team members to go out and get the job done right, on time and within budget. When Carson barked, people listened!

cell pics 4-22-14 262 (3).jpg

Here he is making a point by standing on his desk. He makes eye contact with each person to make sure he is understood, and to offer that little bit of encouragement we all need from time to time. I miss my old Boss, but won’t forget the lessons he taught me. More than that, I remember how his positive actions spoke louder than words. Did he always get things right? No, but in the words of Steve Miller, “He was righter, righter than wrong”.

Arches & Spires, Amber & Indigo

Canada 036

I must confess when I first entered this cathedral in Quebec City, I was a bit overwhelmed by what I saw (what you are now viewing). I encourage you to enlarge the photograph and study it for it is remarkable in many aspects. Please note that this image has not been enhanced so if you visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, this is exactly what you would observe. Religion aside, let’s tour this grand stage.

The magnificence of the alter area is almost indescribable. The architecture alone is unusually brilliant in its symmetry and detail. Ornate is not too strong a word. The arches and spires draw your eyes ever upward, yet prompting you to look into the center where the hero awaits…the Savior. Surrounding his image are a multitude of figures in various costumes and poses. Gilded gold is found everywhere, and carved wood adorns the entire fascia. The platform area can seat a vast number of clergy.

I cannot begin to explain all of the symbolism represented here, but it is astonishing to view. There appear to be various biblical scenes being represented amongst the framed shrine openings. Experts must be consulted to learn the finer points of the symbolism represented here, as I can only conjecture. This basilica celebrated its 350th year anniversary in 2014, although what now stands has been rebuilt several times due to fires which occurred at different times over the centuries. Originally built in the Rococo style of the mid-seventeenth century, the interior and much of the exterior were rebuilt in the same architectural style in 1922.

The lighting is what captured me the most, in addition to the images being illuminated. To be sure, these were no amateurs who engineered this lighting extravaganza. Every spot light, every angle, every color and each shadow were carefully thought-out before the final design became reality. What I question in my mind is what the architect’s and engineer’s had in mind as they created this experience…for that is what this is. It is not simply a shrine to look at. No, it was created for a purpose-to worship and to partake of the sacraments. I wonder, though, are we to be inspired, to be in awe, to be brought to a point of reverence? Perhaps, all of the above?

Some may find this sanctuary gaudy and others may find it inspiring. Some see waste while others see beauty. Many will understand the deeper meaning of each statue and ornament and many will not. Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who founded Quebec City and also discovered Mount Desert Island (refer to one of my last posts about Acadia National Park) is said to be buried in the tombs of this building, along with nobles and bishops. Regardless of one’s feelings about this church, you will never forget it. In fact, the original fortified Quebec City is quite unforgettable. Going there is like visiting France without leaving the North American continent !

New Year Ramblings & Images

Greetings and Happy New Year….only ten days late! I have been reading numerous short articles from a variety of sources concerning new beginnings, transitions, reflecting, pressing forward, etc. Most have been interesting and thought-provoking. Some are inspirational and some are dull and predictable. Often, they come with wonderful photographs and other forms of art. There are so many creative folk whom have so much they want to say and share. After assimilating what I’ve read and viewed, I am compelled to ask a serious question. Does it really matter? I mean, if I were to write a pithy piece of prose that resonates with countless people, would that translate into something significant? Should it? What if I were to post an awesome, awe-inspiring photograph that took your breath away? Would that be of real benefit to you? My questioning is like the song from the band, Chicago, wherein the lyrics ask, Does anyone really know what time it is…does anyone really care? Rather helter-skelter.

Sometimes all our sharing seems pointless, like we are just screaming out in our own way to be heard; to be noticed. I guess the real question is this: Do we really matter? To quote from the popular song writer/singer, Bob Dylan, when he stated in one of his iconic songs, The answer my friend is blowin in the wind, the answer is blowin in the wind. That may sound rather ambiguous, but so is life sometimes. My conclusion is this: Yes, each of us matters. We matter to the One who created us; we matter to those whom we call family and friends; we matter to our global community; and we matter to our planet (includes our pets) and we should matter to ourselves if all is right with us. And, what we contribute matters, as well. Your life is not a mistake, and your existence is not happenstance. Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers because we are all on a journey of discovery; as much about ourselves as anything else. To keep in-sync with my out-of-sync musing, I give you several questions to ponder…Why me? Why now? Why not? What next?

So, as I have thought about what to share with you who follow me or come across my posts for the first time (as if I were some sage and important individual) I give you the following. I am significant, but not because of what I do and how I do it. My significance is a direct result of who made me (speaking beyond my mom and dad). What I do with what I have is up to me and may or may not be of benefit to anyone. The truth is I desire to be a blessing to others. I stumble most of the time, but on occasion I accomplish my goal. I believe most of us want to bless others, and do which makes me smile. So, without further ramblings, I present a short series of photographs which don’t have anything to do with one another, other than I found them interesting and wanted to share them. I sincerely hope you like them. Perhaps one of them may make you smile or think or simply enjoy. Any thoughts on the above rambling are appreciated, as well. Samsung 1-1-14 391This photo was recently taken with my cell phone at a boutique gift shop in an urban part of town. I simply couldn’t resist the unique shape and arrangement of plants!Samsung 1-1-14 361Also taken with my cell phone. I couldn’t resist this painting before Christmas. So cool!Samsung 1-1-14 396 - Copy (2)Santa Carson waiting for his cookies and milk! Kinda short, isn’t he?SOHO Condo Bldg. 11-18-12Historic building in downtown Kansas City which formerly housed an Italian restaurant, and was turned into a loft condo building.494A local small lake with snow-covered ice…very serene at the time of this photo which was taken with my Canon DSLR.11-16-13 037I simply couldn’t pass up sharing this image; not so much because of its quality, but because of what it signifies…life giving food. I took this shot in mid-November near our home. We live on the edge of suburbia, but are still surrounded by rural areas. Shot with my Canon DSLR in low light conditions.11-18-13 022 Thanks for joining me. Wishing you the best in 2014. May this year be the best ever for all who view this post. As Tiny Tim said in Scrooge, God bless us, every one.