Tweets by @morningblend56 According to Mary: November 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Long Sad Story with a Happy Ending (Illustrated and Annotated)

Fantastic Picture
I confess - I didn't appreciate my old expensive camera.

It was heavy, awkward, complicated... and took fantastic pictures. It had more attachments than my vacuum cleaner and when I took it on vacation with me, it needed its own suitcase.

I'll admit it. I resented that. (But that was not a motive for what happened.) After all, going to Italy with one personal suitcase and a backpack (thanks to Rick Steves) taught me that less is more, especially if you have to carry it.  But then I had Cal to carry the prized camera on his lap the whole way.  My own camera butler.

In Italy (taken by Bishop Gruss)

Lovely Picture

Fun Picture
When I met Cal in college, photography drew us together.  He was photographer for the year book and had his own expensive SLR camera. (We still have that one - in a glass case.)  I would go on photo shoots with him which was a cheap and uncomplicated date for a hippie (I think they call them "hipsters" now) from Kansas and a homesick-for-trees transfer student from Michigan.  After the shoot, we would develop the b/w film in the college darkroom.  (I can hear the jokes now.  That's not all that developed, tee-hee.)

I got interested in photography when SLR cameras became digital. The Canon Rebel was a present from Cal in 2004. I wasn't a great photographer, but with a little help from Photoshop, I spent many happy hours turning my mistakes into something not quite a mistake. And occasionally, something quite lovely.  Or fun.

This spring I flew to Savannah with my sister-in-law, Pam, (Phil's wife) for a week in the warmth and didn't take my camera butler along. As I am known for breaking things, (see post 9/27/14) I have often been warned and scolded by Cal to take better care of my camera. (literary foreshadowing)

Getting ready to fly back to Atlanta, with the the taxi honking outside to take us to the airport, I quickly wrapped the Canon in some of my clothes and thrust it into the suitcase. (Pam, don't change my story.)  In the rush I also lost my electric toothbrush but that loss paled in comparison with the state of my camera when I opened my suitcase the next day.

I'd seen the baggage guys handle luggage at the airport and I should have known better. So, once more with the coffee cup fresh in my mind, (see post 9/27/14) I had to face Cal AGAIN with something I had broken that was dear to his heart. Smashed. Shattered. Kaput.

I didn't think I would miss my good camera.  After all, doesn't everybody and everything take pictures these days?  Something smaller maybe?  Lighter? Easier?  Less demanding?  Something I could fit in my pocket? After all, it was just a hobby.  And I still had Photoshop...

I didn't realize that you have to start out in a good quality picture to make it better. You need all the pixels and depth and clarity of a good camera to really play with a picture. It would take a better person than I to be able to add pixels to a photo or smooth the graininess without losing sharpness.

 It is just plain difficult to take a really good, sharp, clear pictures without a good camera.

I missed my camera for the closeups of my TinyCastleBooks for my Etsy Shop.

I missed it at family gatherings.
I missed it for photographing my new grandson.
I missed playing god and improving on nature.

Finally, I just stopped taking pictures.

I would look at an object begging to have it's picture taken and just sigh and turn my head away. I lapsed into a kind of Photobiotic depression.

Creepy Photobiotic Depression

And now for the Happy Ending.

Cal came home with a new Rebel yesterday,  It is no smaller, but maybe a touch lighter and less cumbersome.  And it takes FANTASTIC pictures.

My Hero.

The End

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Early Christmas Thoughts

Early Christmas
There are years when Christmas seems to come to me in a rush.
And suddenly, I am shivering with Elizabeth or transfixed with Mary.
Carols start to play and wrapping paper litters the floor.
I didn't plan this, I say shamefaced.
And its cry is incessant until I wrap it in my arms and sing softly.
And some years, Christmas is left on my doorstep.
Neglected, cold, and silent,
a note pinned to it's blanket. I am here.  That's all.
No more than a stray and I let it in reluctanly, if at all.
Sometimes it grows on me like a crabby child
whose heart I suddenly understand.
The most beautiful of all because it is unexpected
And it is love.
It comes when it comes. Early, late, on time.
Welcome all the same.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Don't Waste The Miracle

Don’t waste the miracle.”

These are the words that decorated my favorite coffee cup for years.  I didn't really know what it meant - but I felt blessed by those words; they would help me see each day in a new way. (Since then, I have seen these words as the title of a rather typical Christmas poem, but for some reason I have been unwilling to give a concrete meaning to them and in doing so limit their possibilities.)   To be blessed  by something I don’t ascertain logically (although maybe I might understand it intuitively) demonstrates to me of the amazing power of words to bring experience to the surface. And be changed by it.

In college, I learned to look for layers of meaning, to analyze words, to recognize patterns, to catalog human experience, but the power of words really explodes in their transcendent meaning: the meaning that triggers a response that is beyond than the concrete and deeper than the conscious. It is this meaning that we recognize, we receive, and our eyes grow big.

 In an article entitled the other side of reason, Madelaine L’engle  talks about a child who read A Wrinkle in Time when she was eight or nine. The then now woman says about the book, “I didn’t understand it, but I knew what it was about”.  L'engle says as long as we know what it’s about, then we can have the courage to go wherever we are asked to go even if we fear that the road may take us through danger and pain."  That is transcendent power. 

The first chapter of John explodes with the potential of transcendent power. It gives us the experience of creation and incarnation without a single detail of the event, and yet we know that the Word has come to earth “full of grace and truth.”  We know that Love has come. We know what it’s about.  Transcendent meaning increases our ability to believe.

Transcendent meaning implies both a bigger meaning and a smaller meaning.  It is bigger in that it recognizes a universal truth might be experienced by all, and a smaller meaning in that it is a personal truth that is instrumental in personal formation and transformation. “Don’t waste the miracle.”  I know these simple four words can hold a universal truth, but also will speak this truth differently to each person that reads them.

It also reminds me not to underestimate the power of symbol, metaphor, and ritual, or ability of humankind (including children) to experience transcendent meaning, even if it isn't something they can put into words.

Hmmm. Words may trigger meaning that you may not have words for...Ironic, isn't it.