Thursday, December 28, 2017

Judge Not...

What does it mean to be non-judgemental?
The brain, left to its own devices, is judgemental. 
We judge good/bad, right/wrong, fair/unfair.  
We have biases and often act on them immediately.

Larimer Square, Denver - Christmas Eve.

For many years, I've practiced delaying opinion.
Careful listening and observation are positive practices.
In the moment, I try to see nuance.
I attempt to get a clear picture of reality with an awareness that lacks bias.
I try to understand others' ideas and behaviors rather than leap to preset judgements.
However, I often fail and fall back on my old ways of thinking/behaving.
It's definitely difficult to suspend judgement.

Bob outside Union Station, Denver

So, as I say goodbye to 2017, I'm determined to renew my efforts.
I'm not perfect, and I hope others won't judge me too harshly.
Likewise, I hope to moderate my rush to judgement.

I'd like my opinions to be formed with a contemplative mind.
In today's ever-changing world, I owe myself the ability to adapt.
Leaping to judgement stymies adaptation.
I don't want to remain mired in old thought processes and behaviors.

Antique sled on our front porch in Breckenridge - old even when I used it as a girl.

In 2018, I hope to 
pause more,
listen carefully,
see clearly,
slow my judgmental mind.

I hope for mindfulness and peace that calm the spirit.
I wish the same for you.

My first day of skiing in December 2017 - Peak 9, Breckenridge Ski Area

Happy New Year from Barb!

A fresh start is my One Good Thing today.

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Saturday, December 16, 2017


After working in her gardens all day, my mother would relax in her sunroom with a “Frisky.”
She combined Fresca (a grapefruit soda) with whiskey poured over ice.
When the children and I visited in the late afternoon,
she made them Friskies, too.
Theirs were just soda and ice.

Lately, I’ve been drinking Friskies in the silvery light of early morning.
I pour mineral water in a glass.
I add a splash of grapefruit juice.
I sit in my big chair by the window and sip.
I smile as I remember my mother.

All these years later, the taste of the Frisky evokes the heat of summer days, the sweet smell of roses, buzzing of bees, bare feet, the innocence of children, and the gift of unhurried conversation.
There is a feeling of contentment.
(We thought we had all the time in the world.)

The children have grown and have children of their own.
My mother died long ago on one of those languid summer days.
I’m older now than she was when she died.
Still, the happiness we all felt in the company of each other remains.

I sit in my chair in a part of the country far away from my mother’s sunroom.
It’s winter. The fireplace flickers and warms the room.
I sip my Frisky and smile.
I give thanks for memories - they are my good things today.

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The photos were taken near my home in Breckenridge and at Dillon Lake.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Waiting for Snow

We're very dry in Summit County, CO.
Ski areas are open with limited terrain.
I haven't skied yet this season.

Temperatures have been warmer than normal.
Lately, stormy skies portend wind, not snow.
This week's forecast is finally calling for colder weather.
Our extended mildness has been nice, but we wait for white!

Until we get snow, I hike and walk.
My daily goal is between 5-8 miles.
Sometimes, I feel good and go longer.
I think at my age (73), it's important to keep moving.
So far, my hips and knees cooperate.

Often, I carry the Olympus with the 17mm pancake.
Both the camera and lens are light and versatile.
The weight doesn't bother my shoulders and neck.

Last evening was the Race of the Santas and the Lighting of Breckenridge.
800 Santas in all sizes, shapes, and colors ran down Main Street.
Our town Santa arrived in a vintage Corvette.
His reindeer and sleigh need to wait for snow.

Lights glowed off the skin of ice on Maggie Pond.

We watched the sun set behind the buildings on Main Street.
We did a little snow dance as we headed home.

I hope you find beauty wherever you are.
The beauty that surrounds me is my one good thing today.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Life through Photos

Today, I walked trails on the east of town with a friend.
It was unseasonably warm.
Since melting snow freezes overnight,
we had to tread carefully over icy patches.

I used my Olympus with a 17mm pancake lens.
I love taking landscapes and portraits with that lens.
It’s very light and quick.

After finishing about 5 miles, I said goodbye to my friend.
I continued walking through town.
I practiced shooting street scenes.
I admire the street shots of other photographers.
 However, I’m reluctant to invade others’ privacy.

Some skilled street photographers manage to mask identity.
Their photos include people but the angle or processing preserves anonymity.
Those photos draw me into the scene and the story.

All our lives are story, of course.
The way others interpret the story may or may not be true.

Today, I’m telling you a story through photos.
It’s somewhat a story of my life.
I let it open to your interpretation.

My story in photos is my one good thing today.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Trying to Understand

I navigate familiar paths.
I share space with animals that make
forests, meadows, and mountains their home.

Nature exerts power and makes changes.
I'm small in vast wilderness.

I'm constantly reminded that I'm not in charge.
Weather and the cycles of seasons unfold.
There is nothing I control.

In my small world, I'm attentive.
In the randomness of life, I sometimes discern patterns.
Occasionally, I glimpse my part of the whole.

In those lucid moments, I know peace.

I continue to seek and find my one good thing.

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Thank you to all who have e-mailed me about my posts.
I write to find my way.
I smile to know someone else is walking with me.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Go with the Flow

I've always loved the ebb and flow of water

It acts as a mirror to our souls.

The sound and movement of rapids energize.

Eddies invite rest and contemplation.

Water takes the path of least resistance; it shows the way.

Water is one of the 4 elements: fire, water air, earth.
It is the element of emotion and the unconscious.

It soothes and frightens in equal measure.

Water is a vital nutrient.
The body depends on it for survival.
It is a life-force in Nature.

I like photographing water in its many guises.
Light and shadow play on its surface.
Underneath is an eternal and unknowable power.

Most of these photos were taken near my home in CO where I walk to find water.
The ocean photo was taken in Solano Beach, CA, 
where I spend part of the spring listening to and watching the surf.

The mystery and magic of water are my good things today.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wabi-Sabi Day

I find an old friend at the back of my closet.
The fabric is soft from many washings.
A little roomy but so forgiving.

The color is mottled like the twilight sky.

In the worn jeans, I walk beside the Blue River.
Colors are muted.
I'm quiet, too.

My thoughts reflect back to me.

The river dances and sings its song.

As in life, I cross bridges when I come to them.
I see both sides of the issue.

Changing constantly, yet steadfast.
The water sweeps by as I watch the flow.
I'm part of the ongoing stream.

The jeans, the river, and Barb, definitely wabi-sabi, though perhaps not quite in fashion.
We are old friends - one good thing.

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