Tag Archives: photography

Summer Days

Carol A. Hand

Simple summer days
spent clearing clutter
a family trip to the city dump
in a rented uhaul truck

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Crossing the High Bridge from Duluth, MN to Superior, WI on a foggy day – July 3, 2018

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then riding the bus to town

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Duluth, MN – July 5, 2018

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realizing that Reiki energy
draws lonely people

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Bus Stop – July 5, 2018

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looking for someone to listen

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Duluth, MN – July 5, 2018

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something I can do gratefully
wishing I could do more
but accepting the fact
that all they’ve asked of me
is to be present in the moment

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Morning Reflections – June 28, 2018

Carol A. Hand

Morning gardens dappled with sunlight and shadow

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June 28, 2018

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a few bumble bees and butterflies feasting on flowers
as another dry June day begins – this one already hot

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One of the few butterflies this season

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Last evening’s promise of rain unfulfilled
despite the dramatic sunset sky
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Sunset (1) – June 27, 2018
Sunset (2) – June 27, 2018
Sunset (3) – June 27, 2018
Sunset (4) – June 27, 2018

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Dark clouds quickly effacing the rising full moon
on their way east to deliver rain elsewhere

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Full Moon Rising – June 27, 2018

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giving me an opportunity to do the best I can
to gratefully sustain life in times of adversity

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Look Higher

Carol A. Hand

Little Ovenbird
resting on a wire
raising his head in song
urging me to look up – higher

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Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) – Butterfly World, Florida, by Dick Daniels, 4 February, 2011, Wikipedia

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Teacher-teacher-teacher
see the pale waning westward moon
barely visible in a hazy sky this noon
circling earth slowly in early June?”

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morning moon – June 2018

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“Please remember to give thanks for nature’s wondrous beauty”

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What Would You Choose?

Carol A. Hand

We teach the next generations
through our lived example
how to care for the earth
and all our relations
We’re ever creating the world
our children and grandchildren will inherit
across all of earth’s imaginary boundaries
and within diverse fictive nations

The question to consider
is what we want that world to be

Do we teach children to care,
cooperate, and conserve?
Or do we teach them to compete,
conquer, and consume?

The answers matter profoundly
but we need to remember
awareness can’t be imposed
through legislation
It can only be encouraged
through living examples
that offer another kind of education
opening up new possibilities
that demonstrate the value
of compassionate contemplation

A lesson from an “Inchworm”

Note

Sometimes it feels futile and foolish to work on creating healthy gardens on a city lot that has long been neglected. Factories just to the east churn out foul-smelling toxic fumes. My neighbor on one side has spent more than a decade burying garbage along the fence-line. Lately, the garbage has merely been left exposed, joined by plastic toys his children abandon when their interest wanes.

I have tried to engage in reasoned conversations and offered to help create a healthy landscaped transition. My words have fallen on deaf ears. Perhaps suggestions from an Ojibwe grandmother (you know, a triple whammy – age, gender, and ancestry) even exacerbated his unwillingness to consider alternatives. The experience has taught me how profoundly cultures and life experiences affect our ability to discern how our everyday choices affect what our children learn and the health of the environments they will inherit.

I’ve been told it’s a matter of perspective. Some prefer landfills that will someday look like manicured lawns despite the toxic or dangerous things that are hidden from sight, while others prefer healthy gardens.

May 31, 2014

May 23, 2018

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I still wonder, though, how someone who claims to love children doesn’t seem to realize his actions are destroying a child’s garden.

July 3, 2015 – My granddaughter standing next to the garden she helped create.

May 23, 2018 – Damage control in process as the wooden divide grows ever higher to protect my granddaughter’s garden from the growing pile of refuse (including piles of dog feces).

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Simple Moments

Carol A. Hand

 

Sometimes, I can’t resist photographing the night sky.

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May 2, 2018

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The moon highlighting the church steeple

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May 2, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perhaps I post too many photos of

the moon and everyday landscapes

exposing the limits of my old hand-held cameras

 

Still, I prefer to believe that

capturing the beauty of a simple life

is an act of gratitude –

and a special kind of art

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May 3, 2018

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Like the view from across the street

of the long-lived willow tree

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May 3, 2018

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a solitary sentinel gracing an urban neighborhood

greeting her final spring

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May 3, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The winds and weight of her branches

finally proved more than she could bear

Photos will help me preserve poignant memories

of her beauty and my enduring gratitude

for her comforting presence in my life

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Eagerly Awaiting Spring

Carol A. Hand

 

March 30, 2018

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The old nokomis eagerly anticipates spring
after another long bitterly cold winter
She plans to plant gardens again
even though harvesting is always uncertain

She will prepare the soil
and carefully plant each seed
despite hands, once supple,
now gnarled with age
rough and clumsy from so many years
of hard work, washing, and winter weather

She will wait for the new life
that springs from the soil miraculously
when she isn’t looking
and she will nurture the seedlings
through drought and deluge
until they mature and bear their fruit

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March 30, 2018

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As she reflects about gardens past,
she remembers the anxiety she always feels
from the plant beings at harvest
it’s as if she hears their cries in her heart
when she kneels on the earth before them
Please be gentle with us, nokomis

She will remember this year
when she touches their delicate leaves
as lovingly as clumsy hands will allow
giving thanks to them for their beauty
deeply aware that her survival
comes at the cost of other living beings

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Weathered hands at rest – March 29, 2018

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She knows someday she too
will once again be part of the earth
that feeds future generations
in this inextricably interconnected
ongoing cycle of universal life

Of course she knows
this may just be fanciful thinking
She doesn’t know where she was,
or even if she was,
before she arrived on earth
in a much smaller younger physical body
She doesn’t know where her spirit will go
when she is finally released
from a stiffening, sometimes painful
aging frame
but still, it’s comforting to believe
something of her will remain
nourishing new life
and maybe even traveling
to distant constellations
carrying the essence of the plant relations
that fed her while she was here

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A Snowy Morning

Carol A. Hand

“Rat-a-tat—Rat-a-tat”
rings through the air
from the pileated woodpecker
perched atop the power pole
hammering
A shrill cry follows
“kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk”
“Caw-Caw-Caw” echoes in reply
from a neighboring tree
as a lone crow
adds greetings
on this snowy morning

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Snowy Morning View – February 18, 2018

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Photo by Felicia Johnson (Wikipedia)

The photo I wish I could have taken, but alas, I didn’t have my camera until after the moment passed…

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Fourth Year Anniversary Reflections

Carol A. Hand

Yesterday, my blog turned four years old. I still wonder what led me to blogging. Initially I thought it was the stockpile of unpublished reflections and stories I wanted to share. They were stories based on a particular perspective as an outsider who wasn’t content with merely pointing out injustice and oppression. My work has always involved trying to solve puzzles and experiment with possible constructive solutions from a critical view. It seemed fitting to name my blog Voices from the Margins.

After a couple years, though, I ran out of those old reflections. So I began to experiment with different topics and ways to write. I also learned a little bit about photography using my old digital cameras. I kept blogging because of the dear friends I met here in the blogosphere. Although few of my original friends still blog, new friends have filled the void.

I have no illusions that my photos or blog posts are great works of art. But I do have fun creating them and sharing them with others.

On this anniversary, I wondered what comes next. I find myself re-engaging with the world a little more and taking on long-ignored home repair projects. The title of the blog still holds true, but perhaps the blurb about my blog needs a bit of updating. There are all kinds of issues I could write about from a critical frame, but so many others do that far better. What is less common are those who look both critically and gratefully at what is and ask how this informs practical everyday choices.

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January 30, 2018

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Increasingly, my posts are deliberately a little like the bright moon on a dark night peeking through tree branches. Reflected light that flows through me, meant to provide solace and encourage creative, peaceful, constructive, thoughts and actions in a time of darkness.

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Januray 30, 2018

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These days, though, like the moon, my presence is not always visible. I am woefully behind replying to comments and reciprocating visits to other’s blogs. I apologize. I will try to do a better job because your friendship and what you share matters. I am always touched by the work you do.

But I do become micro-focused, like yesterday, when I had intended to share this post and visit blogs. I became so intent on finishing my newest project, sanding an old window frame, that I failed to stop and see the beauty of the day. I only saw the birch tree lit by the sun in a clear blue sky after I took a photo to record my progress.

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Window Frame Repair in Progress

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Today, I will take time to thank you all for being an important presence in my life.