Quiet Moments

_DSC0018-2The Lens-Artist Photo Challenge this week is to illustrate how we find a quiet moment as we are staying home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I had to give this some thought because with just two people in our home my days are very quiet. I don’t need quiet, as in the lack of noise; what I need is quiet in the sense of gentle colors and order. What makes for a quiet moment is a focus on where I am in the moment while blocking out all thoughts of chaos, death, sickness, meanness, killing, corruption, hate, and destruction.

_DSC0039I have been mostly staying home and not in the mood for photography. My friend, Julie, and I used to go on weekly photo shoots down dirt road within a 50 mile radius of where we live – until she moved 120 miles away. My heart aches from missing these hours of being quiet and apart, together with a good friend. I miss making time to see, really see what is before me and explore the simple, looking for how to capture its greatest beauty.

_DSC0029I have been going through old photography files, sometimes just to remember, sometimes to find pleasure in photos I love, and occasionally to find the perfect photo for a post. Sometimes I even clean out photos that I am confident I will never use and tag the keepers so I can find them again. This activity brings me pleasure when I need order within our social disorder.

_DSC0021These photos were taken at an Audubon Sanctuary on a foggy August morning in 2018. As I meandered my way through the file I knew these were the perfect photos to illustrate what I need in my quiet moments during these times of fear and rage.

_DSC0040I hope you will join me as I walk the wildflower-edged paths once again, looking for beauty during our quiet moments. I promise not to make any noise to distract you from whatever you are focused on. And I’ll save my words about change and social injustice for another post.

Please take good care of yourself and practice appropriate safety measure when you are in contact with others.

Lens-Artist Photo #101 – A Single Flower

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On my Tuesday morning visit to the Naples Botanical Garden in the middle of February I stuck to my routine of stopping at the cafe for a scone and ginger limeade. But how could I resist this small special desert of a lemon mousse with a raspberry sauce and a single flower on top. It sure looks like an orchid so maybe their orchid show was coming up.

Cee is hosting the weekly Lens-Artist Photo Challenge this week so check out other entries here.

Living in the Age of COVID- 19: Delicate Colors

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I haven’t left my home to photograph since I returned to Michigan from our winter home in Florida. Even in Florida the only outing with camera after the middle of March was into the western edge of the Everglades, to Everglade City and Chokoloskee . There is a disconnect in my psyche. I love taking photos during the northern spring, when nature is sprouting soft greens, the tulips and daffodils are blooming (deer ate my tulips again this year, but not until after they had bloomed for a day or two.) There are flowering fruit trees around the neighborhood so there is no reason for not taking the camera out. But I don’t.

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Instead I’m wandering through my photo files, looking for “delicate colors” for this week’s Lens-Artist challenge. What a perfect prompt because I need delicate as I watch news of the covid hot-spots across the country, see parts of the country open up and people flock to close places without masks, and ache with hurt and am enraged along with all the protesters over the latest deaths of Afro-Americans at the hands of police. What in the hell is going on when people don’t recognize that their racism is not okay? What in the hell is going on that people aren’t willing to sacrifice a drink in a bar for the well-being of others? What in the hell is going on when the president of the U.S. is too macho and too insensitive to wear a mask? What in the hell is going on when meat packing companies (and Amazon) put profits above human lives? What in the hell is going on when governments are hiding the number of nursing home and prison deaths instead of providing adequate help? What in the hell is going on when the president of the U.S. tweets damaging and inciting lies (with absolutely no factual basis) about a TV personality he is having an ongoing feud with and there are no consequences for him?

I should say “sorry” for my rant, but that felt so good – you can see why I need delicate colors in my life. Life is just f***ing crazy in 2020. Take another deep breath, Pat. And another.

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Jim and I are making our moments of joy even as I feel battered by the social chaos. Yesterday we picked up a take-out from one of our favorite place to eat, the Cascade Manor House. Normally they only host private dinner events and wonderful public buffets on special days but are now providing take-out dinners on Thursdays. Last night they served honey roasted ham, glazed carrots, and their special corn casserole. We parked in their upper lot, between the golf course and the skating pond in the Cascades park. No, we don’t eat out of styrofoam boxes with plastic forks. I take real plates and silverware. Next week they are serving up turkey and dressing. Maybe I’ll take a quilt and sit on the lawn for our picnic. Or take folding chairs and sit in the gazebo. Maybe I’ll even grab a couple of cloth napkins as I pack for our outing.

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Have you found ways to bring joy and gentle to your lives?