Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful...a quiet weekend spent with family. We laughed, we ate, we walked, we ate, we watched movies, we ate...you know how that goes. It's back to reality this week, along with realizing that Christmas is only 22 days away! Eek, I must finish my Christmas shopping.
I'm linking up with Texture Tuesday today and thought I'd share a few photos from our visit to Old Town Alexandria a few weeks ago...I didn't realize I hadn't shared any images from there yet. We discovered a tiny park in the middle of the town and it was so picturesque...in fact, while we were there, two professional photographers were also there taking family portraits. A perfect spot!
For the last image above, I used Kim's "Sybil" texture at Multiply/50%.
All the trees are officially bare here...it's time to seek out alternative photo opportunities for the next several months. I think it's time to start practicing my indoor photography until spring! Thanks for stopping by.
Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. ~Dorothea Lange
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Soulful word threads,
pale as silk,
waiting to be pulled
through the eye of
my heart. That's what I
offer on any given day:
joy-white or rubble-gray,
darning the holes
in this clumsy body
that wishes it were
measured by its soul.
The November moon
and sharp, cratered
with flaws. I write
about it softly, and my
talents seem small. I see
the moon's breath, its
joy, its flushed tears
and tortures. I witness
its sacred confessions
to an audience
of keen stars.
Soon, December's soft
cloth will rub all the
colors away. I will notice
the bare branches
reaching and knotting,
just like my earthly hands.
And that sharp moon?
It has since collapsed
to a crescent, its
light folded inside,
hidden and protected
like my own.
©Sherri Brannon 2013
Writing poetry fulfills me deeply - it gives me value and purpose. I'm at my best when I can sit quietly, writing and creating. It's an internal, soulful calling that brings me comfort in this external, ego-driven world. Poetry shows how soft we are, in a world that's so hard...it's my search for inner peace. I wish more people were drawn to this beautiful form of expression.
The photo was taken in my back yard - I used RadLab to enhance the purple tones and make the image more dramatic. I'm linking up with Poetry Pantry today - thank you for stopping by!
Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.
Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place. ~Marianne Williamson
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I wish I had a bird's eye view of the
cold, brown rivers braided together
against the base of a mountain. And
there, can you see? As I fly, I spy
hollow ravines and harvest-gutted
fields, painted with the fragile
shading of November.
I'm very uncomfortable with writing poetry and then instantly sharing it. I've learned over the years that my first-draft poem "charms" me into thinking it's perfect, and then when I read it the next day (after having posted it), I'm horrified at how unfinished and awkward it reads! This has happened time and time again, to the point where I always let my poems ripen for at least two or three weeks. They tend to slowly transform themselves with each re-read...I know a poem is done when I can leave it, revisit it days later, and feel as if nothing has to be changed. Until then, I don't post it!
But today, for some reason, I saw the Verse First prompt on Poets United and felt an urge to give it a try. Verse First is a weekly prompt that challenges you to write a poem spontaneously based on their prompt. This week's prompt is "the work is not about place", and asks that we go to a place we don't usually write and write a 7-line poem. I always type my poems at the computer - I never do them by longhand. So today I grabbed a 4X6 index card and went to our den along with my poetry journal and a pen.
I came up with the poem above...and although it feels stressful to post it, I will do it in the spirit of joining in! I think this is good for me - as I struggle with feeling vulnerable when sharing my poems, this exercise really puts me out there because I'm sharing stuff that is fresh out of my brain...I haven't had a chance to clean it up or arrange it in a more perfect way. And that's OK.
I feel there's no wrong or right way to write poetry...it just has to be from the heart, and authentically you. Here's my authentic poem...that probably isn't finished. I may make it longer - it has potential. Thank you for stopping by! The image is one I took near Sperryville, VA on a back country road.
So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days you can hear their chorus rushing past… ~Nicole Krauss
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. ~Henri Cartier-Bresson
I thought I'd post some more of my images taken at the abandoned prison grounds in Lorton, VA...the photo opportunities at this location were simply amazing.
I have to laugh at myself as I go through my photos - I have a definite viewpoint that shows up constantly in my photography. I seem to always gravitate, unconsciously, to flowers and/or weeds, and I get in really close so that the flower is in sharp focus while the background becomes blurred. This seems to be my method of operation! What can I say? I just love the effect and can't seem to get enough of it!
I guess it's somewhat symbolic of my innate tendency in life to always want to remove the background noise...to look closely and see the heart of things. I'm always more interested in what's beneath the surface...hmmm, food for thought as I analyze my own photographic tendencies.
I'm linking up today with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday...please click on the button to go see more wonderful photos! I used Kim's "touch of 2" texture at Soft Light/20% on the final photo above.
What is your photography style? Do you notice a pattern in your photos and the way you go about noticing things?
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Why is it so many of us persist in thinking Autumn is a sad season? Nature has merely fallen asleep, and her dreams must be beautiful if we are to judge by her countenance. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Fall is just about gone in Virginia...the leaves are turning to rust. But I have a few photos to share from a week or so ago when they were at their peak. I feel lucky to live so close to a lake in our community - I can walk there in 15 minutes. I wish I were lucky enough to own one of the lakefront homes! I'm linking up today with Kathy's Song-ography prompt over at You'll Shoot Your Eye Out. The theme song this week is "What a Wonderful World". Fall is a wonderful time to be in this world...there's no doubt about it! The glorious colors take my breath away every single year.
Thanks for stopping by - click HERE to visit Kathy's blog and see more photos (or participate!).
Friday, November 15, 2013
Leaves take all kinds of strange shapes, as if to invite us to examine them. Star-shaped, heart-shaped, spear-shaped, arrow-shaped, fretted, fringed, cleft, furrowed, serrated, sinuated; in whorls, in tufts, in spires, in wreaths endlessly expressive, deceptive, fantastic, never the same from footstalk to blossom; they seem perpetually to tempt our watchfulness, and take delight in outstripping our wonder. ~ John Ruskin
I can never resist getting "up close and personal" with nature...I always find myself zooming in with my eyes to notice the striking details. Here are some gorgeous fall leaves I discovered. Leaves are so beautiful, even with their flaws, and no two are exactly alike. Kind of like people.
I'm linking up today with Kim Klassen's Friday Finds - click on the button below to visit and participate!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
There lies an ocean inside my chest
A cosmic rolling of the tides
Each swell of breath a rhythmic crest
And in this place a mermaid presides
She skims atop my wrecks and treasures
Where gold coins wink and beckon
And grains of wisdom nestle
In oystered pearls that glisten
Where heartaches fuse to coral
Stinging plankton with their grief
While wild waves curl with churning thoughts
Then lap on shimmering sands to sleep
The stars beam down at the commotion,
And seagulls hover with salt-kissed wings
Swooping with a listening ear
To hear her raw notes as she sings
She’s tossed, and rocked, and cradled,
And tumbled endlessly
My precarious, sensitive mermaid
In the depths of my vast blue sea.
© Sherri Brannon
There are all kinds of people in this world...and, actually, each of us has "all kinds of kinds" inside of us, wouldn't you say? I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, an introvert, a poet, a jokester, an artist-in-the making, a mermaid...yep, you read that right. Well, according to this poem I wrote, it sure seems I am! I like that poetry takes me to places I would never be in real life. :)
I want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post about personal limits...I was so touched by your kind comments, advice, and words of support. You boosted my spirits tremendously and I'm so grateful for that. This blogging community is such a lovely place to be!
I hope you don't mind that this image I'm sharing is one from back in July when we went to Hilton Head - an ocean photo seemed fitting for my mermaid theme today. I have so many photos from that vacation that I've still not edited. Too many photos, not enough time! Thanks so much for stopping by - I'm linking up to both Kathy's Song-ography and the Poetry Pantry today.
…to slip beneath the surface and soar along the silent bottom of the sea agile and shining in water honeycombed with light. ~Ellen Meloy