06 February 2017
Click image to enlarge. Let me know what you think about my photograph. Prints are available upon request.
As I write this meditation, the air is calm, clouds are lingering, and the temps are frigid. It is an apt analogy for the season and climate in America. And I’ve been hoping to fully distract myself from the anxiety and tension that continues to build daily in my country.
A few weeks ago I became privy to a book of essays by the poet, Mary Oliver. While I have read Oliver’s nature poems, she comes only occasionally into my reading life. When Upstream arrived, it lassoed my heart: lassoed it with her profound insights, melodic observations, and meteoric rhetoric. This small tome has become the calm in the midst of chaotic social and political history making.
Upstream nests on my kitchen table. As I pass it, I am compelled to grab my glasses and savor another essay. It is impossible to sit and read it cover to cover, because every essay is made of words that rattle my thoughts. Her descriptions are vibrant in their silence, radiant in their energy, intrusive in her examination, compelling in devotion. Oliver is a gift to those of us who revere nature and those that can be eased into Mother Nature’s charming ways. Her words can be read repeatedly, and that brings me rays of calm.
In perusing her (often) stream of consciousness that weaves in and out on a continuum, the notion suddenly arose: I feel lost, not lost in place and time, but in the throes of a dismantling of American democracy. While I am reeling from the direction that my country is taking under new leadership, it is the consequences for the greater good of humanity and the planet that has become embedded in my thoughts day and night.
What a phenomenon to be enthralled by a writer’s work and wanting on some level to gift it to treasured friends, and on another plane covet the work for myself, to pledge its quiet brilliance and become immersed in its cadence. To keep her where inspiration hovers and lands. To keep her as meditation in the midst of upheaval.
Mary Oliver is my heroine who created a teeny tiny opus (Upstream) of deeply poignant personal philosophy. In the first few pages Oliver describes her own pilgrimage as a youth to define herself through discovery of nature. Those descriptions can be felt as universal words for digestion and rumination.
In the Lens section is another photomontage that reflects my current mood and lifelong dedication to Mother Nature. I feel as though nature wants to hide and be seen at the same time. We, humans, have given her much to consider: our selfishness, our interference, our destruction, our egocentrism, our holier-than-thou approach. For her devotees it is heartbreaking.
But resistance is waving their informed hands, and this rising political and social movement may just make the difference. Yes, my spirit is emboldened that hope is steadily growing across the American landscape and globally.
*Photographic Visual Puzzle © Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved
Tip of the Week:
In this time of great change I am supporting more and more organizations whose work have shored the heart and soul of Mother Nature and the Earth. Here are my top choices for those that are mobilizing greater forces to combat the new administration’s stance on climate change, drilling for oil, and other policies that will add to the ills of our planet. Each organization makes suggestions about how we can do our part locally as well as nationally. Of course, donations help them fight the fight. You can select from many, but these are my favorites: Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund, National Parks Conservation Association, National Geographic Society, and National Defense Resource Council. I have been their supporters for many, many moons. My membership in the World Wildlife Fund, for example, goes back numerous decades. I hope that you will support one or more. It has never been more important than now to do so.
View other entries for this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.
****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.
If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.