Real Beauty

Real Beauty

When I wake in the foothills at the late hour sunrise, and the sun dances off the mountaintops out the window at the foot of the bed I get my camera on the tripod and shoot.

But the delay of that simple preparation allows the light to shift and the mountain is by comparison less than dancing alive.

Looking around there are other light plays to focus on.

But the best of the light is past.

So I decide to make a study of this, having encountered a photo of a young photographer, untrained but able to naturally see and capture and process photos to make them amazing for many around.

I often use hdr software, though I miss the really good hdr software I have on my desktop, to bring out the light in bracketed exposures. And then these images also play better than any of the single exposures as I pull the various light level out to play anew.

 

 

The fun and somewhat surrealistic use of the software is available.

 

The surrealistic leaves one craving a return to planet earth.

I rarely enjoy nature turned into a nightmare, rather a somewhat alternative view of what never was is good enough playing with reality for me. Creation has it’s own beauty that the right light brings to life.

That’s the reward of good photography, and the fun of playing around getting there.

Sun Appears to Set

Sun Appears to Set

After a sunny morning that turned overcast, rainy and full of thunder through the afternoon, it was a pleasant, not forecasted, delight that the sun appeared as an orange smudge, then fireball, and reflected a trace across the lake, just in time to set, leaving a quiet hush after a windy day.

Free Air, Free Sun, Free Tornado Warnings

Free Air, Free Sun, Free Tornado Warnings

5 am

After the winds blew tremendous and the lights were mostly off but then suddenly, momentarily full back on as if daylight again …

The froth kicked up by the wind borders the beaches

 

The fishing boat is still secure

The moon still wanes

And the birds are still soaring about.

Mostly life goes on, though a few trees met their end and some hopes were dashed,

But life mostly goes on

Limited as it is by families split, and wars started, villages burned out and camping spots still riddled with bullets and glass.

Who heard of leaving or putting a 22. Bullet in a campfire ring!

And the young women is on her way to the hospital.

The Dance of Grace

The Dance of Grace

My Beloved,

Dance in the morning as you come to wake and see light again, bright or fuzzy, broken or brilliant, light is not light, but the music that you have in you by Grace provides the rhythm to see far into the present.

Dance in the morning as you begin your day, for the tasks can be overwhelming, the burdens impossible to lift even on ones shoulders, and the debt owed so many can with just one straw of fiction removed come crashing down all around, but the music of Grace plays within you even so and even if so faintly, but it guides your heart at every beat, to remember the steps from birth through to today and beyond as the shadows and darkness of sin (your own and others’) were want to prevail and still your heart beat and beats now still by Grace alone, and the music sustained and sustains you, and the rhythm continually invited and invites you still to dance.

Dance in the mid-day as the bright light burns hot or the skies pound the ground with vicious water or the fog drips from up high, always burning or drowning out the expectation of what might be somehow finally this day … but now simply cannot be, and as hope fades into Jerusalem’s lament, listen to the soft persistent music of Grace which is the element that holds all elements together, the particle that holds all particles together at the fundamental basis of realities’ waves constructed into this universe, listen and if in the din of the day you cannot hear, then simply remember, remember the gentle music of the bearers from generations upon generations of Grace, hear or remember, and hum softly along and silently almost imperceptivity move your feet and fingers, your chin and your knees, your belly button and your hips into the dance, the dance of Grace. For here is life, here alone is life, here alone is all manner of life.

Dance in the evening as the energy of the day gives up and the work is left to another day to be engaged, and the darkness begins to slowly invade the skies pushing the light to the far north’s horizon distant and beckoning, and as you lay yourself down to know none of this at all any more, as the darkness invades your mind and the horrors of past, present and future play free upon unprotected anxieties; Dream, dream and dream all that darkness freely for the beat of the music continues on even then, and dream also the victory of Grace against all that unbridled darkness and evil begat of sin, and dance … dance away … dance with your toes and your synapses freed, for here in this play of the universe of your mind, there also the music continues, continues on, continues on and away, the music of Grace, which frees one from the pervasive power of evil and horrors, and there in that freedom of Grace all powerful even over Evil so freely played, dance … dance on … dance away, a way to embody Grace.

For the sun will rise again, fresh and unsoiled, fully embodied in you … by Grace so that you may dance.

Know by your dance of Grace that you are loved, by God perfectly and so imperfectly by me.

New Kinosoo Beach

New Kinosoo Beach

Wonders come in good surprises.

Like the improvements to parks and recreational areas.

Like wonderful sunsets at the Marina

The line of sunset visitors is slim, but always comfortable in their own skin.

Riding back the greatest colour took even me back a bit.

I almost passed them up, not to disturb their fun, but with the light so marvelous, and they having so much fun as a group of teens at the beach, I made the request and demonstrated what could be done with the sunrise and even just a cell phone camera.

Teaching photography I repeated often what I heard from a host of other photography instructors: always have a camera on you, and always see the photos that are possible even if you do not stop.

This paid off, and this group of young adults was 1) obviously having a simply good time at the beach, and 2) they were clear enough with themselves to know if they were willing to pose as the silhouettes against the sunset.

The guys were ready and willing, and one of the girls stepped in to make a good demonstration:

 

When they saw how fabulouse the photo could be, and heard that I was asking them to do something to show how much fun they were having at the new beach.

There were a few that we shot, but they made something like this and I kept shooting as fast as the little cell could, and it evolved into this.

All agreed this is the best of the lot.

I didn’t recognize any of the young adults, so I could not give you names or give them anything but anonymous credit.

But anonymous credit is greatly due: look at what this groups of young people thought of with little to no notice!

This is the past, the present, the improvements, the joy of life, and these young people are the future of Canada. We should do all right, in their creative hands, finding solutions and possibilities in the complicated world.

Rehabilitating Hilda Lake Random Camping Area

Rehabilitating Hilda Lake Random Camping Area

This is the ‘bush party place’ left with broken glass, burned out campers and all sorts of results of obviously irresponsible behaviours and disrespect for the land. There just is no excuse for this.

A huge clean up and accounting project was undertaken, and it is a pleasant place now, still needing lots of ‘small piece’ cleanup.

This was someone’s idea of a good use of the resources here: hack at at live tall mature pine tree and leave it to suffer.

Our fire area had a second fire spot, no rock rim or metal container, right on top of live roots, or maybe formally live roots.

We started to pick up pieces to finish burning them in the proper fire ring and noticed lots and lots of nails.

So out came a garbage bag and the shovel.

Then, with all the nails we could find and the junk they were attached to in the bag, we brought over some sand from the roadway, and then spread some forest floor decaying matter on the spot.

And then we turned to clean up and remake the rock rimed fire ring. And there were more nails and broken rocks … and a second heavier garbage bag filled with the mess.

Done we had two heavy garbage bags of mess, and a lot neater fire ring.

The brown bag was the start and finish effort. We’ve kept picking up broken glass shards and debris and detritus from around this and the other campsites. Into the brown paper bag. And it along with the fire pit mess of nails, metal, glass and pieces of half burned wood goes out with us into an appropriate garbage receptacle.

It can be clean if everyone who enjoys a few days here does the same, cleaning up, collecting garbage and hauling out more garbage than they themselves make.

My challenge is that each of you, who can use Canadian Parks this year, document your stories with photos or video of you clean up contributions.

Tell the story, be the story, make us all proud.

A quiet summer night’s light

A quiet summer night’s light

The moon is back, hidden beyond the clouds for a few nights, slivered by an eclipse partial here.

While the moon only reflects the bright light of the sun, our efforts are to create new light from an old source, transferred into energy to be transported by wires wherever we want it’s power.

Seen in perspective our lights seem just as large, but let nothing fool you so far, ours are tinsy tiny specks of fossil fuel with a little nuclear thrown in to make us all glow.

The greatest vision takes the expanse of the sky and places it just so that we like how we see it all.

The moon is back, the summer sky at 2245 still light, the land still visible, and wind calm … even the mosquitoes are subdued.

What’s that mean?

What does that mean for us?

As we approach 150 years since confederation, with years and years before, the wilderness celebrated, are the biters holding back for a feast anticipating the crowds? Or have they gone away like the moon, to return great enough, lest we forget.

How will you see the light?

The Human Project: Knowing Oneself

While the darkness imposes itself on us at such quantities and qualities that cannot ever be denied, at times overwhelming us, and all of us, humans that we are, eventually even unto our own deaths … yet there is always light.

Light exposes the truths that are hidden, hidden by darkness and by blindness chosen so as not to have to face reality.

While the NW sky even at 23:45 is mostly pressed into darkness, we fight back as always with light, small light, wasted light, light that is to provide for safety, a safety of ourselves from ourselves, the most dangerous wild animals on earth. Our light is incomparable to the light of the world.

Yet we waste even our minuscule light allowing much to interfere with the true light and the true beauty of the darkness. Our light pollution is maddening, for there are lights that do not toss light upwards and outwards, but limit their disruption of the nature of night to a downward funnel, so that from the fourth floor, and even not far from the multiple cones of light illuminating the threat of darkness, one can see the wonders of the sky, the stars, the moon, and even the profound deep darkness that night is; and wonder at how marvellous it is all.

To know oneself is to know the darkness and to know the light reflected into oneself, and made visible in many and various ways.

It is to comprehend oneself in relation to all of the universe. Of course that is impossible, we are finite, but it is to understand and be ever curious about how the world is, and how it is that people do what they do to live in the world. And how one fits and does not fit into these various efforts to survive what otherwise would surely kill us all: the lack of air, water, food, clothing, shelter, meaningful labour and unconditional love received and in response also given.

It is on the one hand to strive, as if building a tower of Babel, to gather others together in community to strive, not to be gods or to displace God in the heavens with our efforts (the Babel error), but to make life whole for all, to strive to reach towards the heavens and to do the work of God, the work of Grace; which efforts cannot succeed, but are worth everything in the striving to do, for God completes for us great grace.

It is on the other hand to recognize humbly that not only will one strive to build the tower, as if to displace God and to falsely claim to be gods, but one will always fail at that effort, and fail miserably to one’s own disgrace and to great cost of those around one. Yet God will take of our efforts even to displace God with ourselves as gods, and God will redeem these efforts and out of them created miracles, the miracles of Grace, of Blessedness, of love and hope.

The question is only will one see oneself building the Babel, and it’s lie; and at the same time see God’s gracious hand (not reaching out to take us into the heavens) but coming down to us at our own level(s) to be with us, redeem our foolishness, to forgive us, and to give us the fullness of life; and that repeatedly each moment of our lives, but only by Grace, as undeserved gift to each and all of us?

We live then not striving to please God (an effort that continually not only fails but kills others and even ourselves in the process), but knowing that God has made us pleasing to God, we are free to do and be whatever … not so that we are free to behave so that God has more to forgive; but instead to be in this universe in such ways as to bring life, the same gracious life God repeatedly gives to us, to bring the fullness of life to others.

We can choose to behave toward the stranger to bring our behaviour to them so as to expect and in fact pull out of them the best in them, to assume that is who they are, and to interact with them trusting that they also wish to be their best also with us.

We can choose to behave toward our friends, the closer the more honestly and completely, to reflect back to the both the dark, destructive choices they are, AND the blessed goodness that God places in them in each moment.

And we can choose to behave toward our spouse: to be the most honest reflection of them back to themselves; not leaving out the evil that is the beloved, nor any of the blessedness that is the beloved, to give them the greatest success in knowing themselves most fully, for them to know the universe and their place in it, and for them to know God and God’s relationship to them which frees one to live full of grace, love, and hope.

And to hope that from strangers, our friends and one’s spouse, one will receive this ongoing loving revelation of who one is in this universe.

This is not easy, simple, or common, giving this gift of insight grace to others. It is easy to make the attempt half heartedly or even not at all, and to fail in either of two directions: either in giving only darkness or in giving only a rose coloured glass version of reality.

In either case the same darkness that destroys life

by giving the spouse or other only the reflection of all that is wrong with them,

or by giving the spouse or the other the reflection of them that leaves out all that is wrong with them.

The most devastating destruction comes though when one’s spouse not only critiques one constantly, but does so falsely. Either she does this because she knows only darkness and cannot see the light; or she sees the darkness that is herself, cannot face it, so instead projects it on to the spouse.

In this ‘dorian grey’ like struggle to survive without blemish, the spouse literally sucks the life right out of you until there is only death. Even if one still walks on top the grass and the dandelions are down one is left a shell of what once was a live human.

To know oneself wholly is impossible, but to strive to know oneself fully, both darkness and light, is to strive to bring life and grace to others.

To know oneself is to be humble, curious, and gracious, enough so that one can gently laugh at the limits that one is in the world; and to gently speak the truth to others, of their limits and gifts.

Reality is wonderfully composed, and never does it yield to darkness nor to pure light; for either is only knowable in this universe in conjunction with the other.

The darkness of the summer night and our human efforts to over come darkness with our own lights.

“A smile is the beginning of peace.” St. Theresa

So let us begin …

by gently, lovingly, smiling and even laughing at ourselves,

at the darkness that otherwise is so destructive,

and the light that is such a miraculous gift.

And in the morning the light and fog compete as the early summer light invades the sleeping hours of most.