Friday, September 19, 2014


   I feel so grateful to be able to hold babies. I adore gathering them into my arms and giving them refuge and nurturing. I often mourn a bit that I cannot hold my own babies. They are all grown and have children and partners of their own. Luckily they have decided to let me be a grandmother.

There is nothing like making eye contact with a beautiful child and seeing recognition and delight in their eyes. We are wired for love and connection. I believe that with all my heart. In the sacred place of our soul we want to be loved and valued. I am honored to be able to give openly to these children, some whose DNA I share and some who were given to me by parents who came into our family. I worry sometimes that I will lose these delicate ties. I have only one recourse and that is to be grateful for every moment and circumstance that brings them into my presence.

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully makes sense.

Friday, September 12, 2014


     I know that getting ready is really important but what I forget from day to day is the mental imagery that getting ready provides. When I take my husband to work I pass by the gym at 6:00am. If my bag is on the table I give myself the mental message that I am ready to stop at the gym.

   When I emptied an extra bedroom and created a creative space for myself I sent the mental message that I am ready to create whenever I have some time.

  Even as I begin to play the piano if I hover just ever so slightly over the keys and get ready mentally to  play my physical gestures are more precise and articulated.

     Get ready and you will want to go!

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully makes sense.


Friday, September 5, 2014


  We have foggy days here on my Island. Days when the wet blanket in the sky muffles the noises of cars, voices, even the fog horn itself is a different pitch. I like the stillness. It reminds me to listen more to the whispers. Have you noticed that when a conversation starts in a whisper it takes a while to get used to breath coming through the throat. It feels so awkward but in a short while the whispering starts to feel elegant. For me that awkwardness of the whisper is a sign of too much, too fast, too thoughtless  My daughter went on a ten day silence retreat. Ten days of meditation. She told me when they break silence on the tenth day everything starts in a whisper

   Shh……time is up.

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully makes sense.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Musician Is a Witness

    I have been playing the organ and piano at special events for forty-five years. I'm not complaining, just making observations. I started very young, with limited skills, and there were times when I barely had it together. At first I wasn't asked because I was capable but because I was available. Weddings, birthday parties, baptisms, there was need for music and I was there. Funerals have always been especially interesting. As a young mother in Provo, Utah, I made it on a list of available organists at a local funeral home. I would get a call a day before and many times I did not know the individual who passed away. There are funeral songs like there are funeral potatoes. A ready repertoire was essential because, well you just can't plan ahead.

    A musician at these special events is a witness. We are often up front, close to the main participants. Sometimes it feels like we are part of the family. We see the joy and the heart breaking sorrow come across the faces of those who's lives are changing forever. I've witnessed a lot of sorrow in forty-five years. I participate but I do not speak. In fact I pray that I am not noticed. My voice is the instrument in front of me. I hope that it is soothing yet a foundation of strength. I hope the music is familiar yet calls to a place no one there has yet visited. I leave unable to socialize. I feel mute. I have extended all I have and all I am into the music.
   Is being a witness a good thing? I think it is. It has helped me during my own special events. I recall the musicians who played at my family's special events. Wait, I think I was singing or playing there as well. The music at my mother's funeral was blurry and I remember relying on muscle memory. Music is a safe place. It can transport  and soften the starkest journey. I am grateful to serve. Even more, I need to serve, with this gift given me and sustained by my parents.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Last I-Phone Photography Tips

       The last lessons in my Big Pictures Classes I-Phone Photography class were my favorite.

Photographing objects can tell a compelling story. On a day at the beach I gathered these objects together inside a hole in the driftwood. It was like a shadow box of the best stuff from the beach that day.

    The art supplies on the artists windowsill tell the story of creativity and beauty. The scene through the window is almost the painting on the easel.

     Gathering my icons of The Six Habits of Happiness was so fun for me. Against the white background and shooting from above this display pops out. Beware of the shadows cast by objects.

Finding a great background can make the composition come alive. I loved taking a picture of our feet when we found a patch of multicolored leaves.

And here, the single leaf stands out from the beach rocks to hint at the season change ahead.

Look for light and concentrate on the eyes in your subject. Tap on the screen to be sure to focus the lens on the eyes. 

      It is better to crop than zoom. Zooming in can degrade your photo. A neutral background is best for the portrait. 

Because shadows are not fixed in shape like silhouettes they can give a picture a surreal quality. The morning light in this bedroom casts the most interesting shadows.

             I used the shadow of my brother to allude to his deep emotional connection to his dog.

      I think my pictures are much more interesting and creative thanks to this class. Having my I-Phone along provides an easy and quick tool to capture the beauty of my world. Beauty around me is often the way I pick myself up from the pressures of life.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


    I desire my reach to extend far, deep, and wide in my family. But in that desire I am lacking humility. There is one who's reach began in a life before this, who holds me fast here and now, and who points the way to a life with Him, in Him and for Him. 

     If I truly want my reach to go long I will point my family to Him. I can try to do that by the way I love. 

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully makes sense.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Lessons In I-Phone Photography

     I thought I left my I-Phone at the gym this morning. I contemplated buying a new one if it was stolen. Never once did it cross my mind that I could just live without it. It is my camera, my phonebook, my calendar, my shopping list, my connection to my children, in short, I use it all the time. Well, it was not lost, just wrapped up in my jacket with plums the club owner picked to share at the gym.

      The Rule of Thirds
Keep things out of dead center but balanced. The grid lines setting on the phone helps place your subject in a grid other than the middle.

      Negative space draws the eyes to your subject. Below I used the vantage point of the floor, left a lot of light to bring focus to the top where my grandchildren are engrossed in their own stuff.

  Placing my granddaughter on the left side brings the perspective of what a  huge job she undertakes to trim back the blackberries.

      In A Row
Ordinary objects in a row create a story that captivates. I like to keep my eye out for the beautiful, but also the unremarkable lined up.

     Combining light reflecting and objects side by side caught my fancy. Suddenly, what I see every day becomes a piece of art.

     Lining up the grandchildren against the green wall was a stroke of luck. I especially like the dog bowl in the foreground. Snack anyone?

Fill The Frame
The I-Phone can handle about four inches in front of a subject without losing focus. Getting up close to fill the frame creates great texture and detail.

     Fill the object of your picture in most of the frame but leave a little of the surrounding to give context.

      I had to get on Hannah's eye level to catch her soulful need to hide. I left some surrounding area to see where I found her.

There will be four more photography ideas and then I will have documented what I learned from my class.