Here's the picture that got the honor. The two trees in question are scheduled to be cut down tomorrow. I'm heading over today with my Nikon to get a few last shots.
Georgia O'Keefe once wrote:
"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.”
I can identify with that. It never ceases to amaze me that, if my understanding of the art and science of blog "hit counting" is correct, I have between 35 and 50 people (speaking generally) who read this blog every day.
On the other hand, between 150 and 400 folks check out my photoblog each day. One picture, well done, can surely be worth many words.
Ms. O'Keefe put her finger on something, I think. I spent my entire professional life working with, playing with, words - written and spoken. Lately, almost two years now, I have written one or two blogs a day. I love words, well used.
But, taken with proper respect, they aren't easy to come by. Used with carelessness they are easy to bore.
One blogger friend, Fiona Robyn, has a little daily blog that usually consists of one sentence that obviously comes from her heart. To me, this is a fine way of using words. It is brief, imaginative and to the point. Further, it comes from Fiona - it is not derivative.
This is one kind of blog. I like it. Her little seeds of thoughtfulness stretch me and stick with me for a while, like a nice taste of good garlic or coconut.
As to colors and visual art - well, that takes even more thought and discipline. It also sinks a bit deeper into the sensitive mind.
Makes you think and wonder what life is all about.
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"There's Always Something..." has recently been running 5 days a week (with weekends off). When heavy stuff comes up, an issue might be skipped - which lends an air of mystery to the whole thing. (Wonder whats wrong???)
Anyway, I came up with a new idea that will start this Saturday. We will have a "Blog of the Week" issue that will share with you the (credited) weblog or photoblog that, in my opinion, was the most interesting, inspiring, funny, provocative - whatever - that I came across during the week.
So, we will now have a 6-times-a-week weblog and hopefully you will discover some amazing stuff and some of my blogging buddies will have some new readers.
What do you think of that?
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After an extensive search and considerable experimenting, I have come up with what seems to fit well in providing formats for weblogs that give good channels for writing and photography. There are three addresses:
1. This one.
2. East of Eden
I hope you will like them well enough to put them on your regular blog and photoblog reading schedule. Your ideas, criticisms and suggestions will be much appreciated.
"That wall in Korea that Phaedrus saw was an act of technology. It was beautiful, but not because of masterful intellectual planning or any scientific supervision of the job or any added expenditures to 'stylize' it. It was beautiful because the people who worked on it had a way of looking at things that made them do it right unselfconsciously. They didn't separate themselves from the work in such a way as to do it wrong. There is the center of the whole solution." (Robert Persig in (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
Wrestling with technology can be a deeply human endeavor when done in the right spirit. Thus, this whole adventure of learning and a practicing the art and science of weblogging has been a difficult, fascinating and stretching experience in retirement. Satisfying too.
Learning the intricacies when one is a right-brained guy.
Thinking up the ideas.
Putting them into words, pictures and movies.
Then letting them go out there into the world - vulnerable but still with some swagger - unselfconscious, with the mark of the soul upon them.
This takes some good hard work and patience; to say nothing of creativity. But, in my opinion, it is all well worth it. "It is always on my mind", to paraphrase Willie Nelson.
What will happen next?
I have been wrestling with finding a not too complex way to set up and use an occasional videoblog to communicate with you on this webpage. Being a theologian and not a techno-geek is something of a disadvantage when it comes to mastering new techniques of doing stuff on the internet.
Being a MacIntosh guy, on the other hand, makes it all worthwhile when you come up with new ways of doing things. It is relatively straight forward and elegant once the heavy stuff is figured out.
When these things get into the realm of the possible for me, you will get an occasional blog right here that will include a movie of yours truly pontificating about something that has been on my mind.
That might not sound too interesting to you people, but keep in mind that new things are lots of fun and they tend to keep old minds on the growing edge, which beats senility by a long shot.
I just love growing, keeping on some reasonable edge, being a humble rock star in my own mind.
So, stay tuned while I wrestle with new dragons.
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I wanted to start your day with a happy little dude. Chippie. Who can resist a chipmunk eating a peanut?
The reason I send him to you is that the picture is representative of dozens of wonderful weblog sites available to anyone who likes to see some of the excellent photography being done today. This one is http://blog.paulsveda.com/index.rdf.
Each morning I check out the latest work of several photographers and/or collectors who share their photos in photo blogs. Seldom do I not find one that adds a new dimension to my day. I love good pictures.
There are nature photographers, industrial, fashion, nude, antique, mood, grotesque, personality, nighttime, black and white, color. Everything. All as close as your computer.
The camera is a wonderful instrument. It can capture and express almost as much life as words or music, I expect. We're fortunate to have artists who dedicate themselves to mastering and sharing its possibilities.
If any readers know of a photoblog to recommend for readers of this page, please add it's link in the comments section below.
To get you started, here are a few:
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Bloggers. 12 million of us, according to recent studies. I've only been doing it about 3 months but have found it to be a delightful outlet for creativity. The reason for my blogging seems to be (you can never be sure) sharing the things that are on my mind with people interested enough to read - many of whom turn out to be kindred spirits.
It started for me last Christmas when I had a most stimulating period with tons of things I wanted to share. I have a "family" email list that I use to share important stuff and, putting two and two together, decided to send some thoughts and insights to "the gang." It was fun doing, but landed with a thundering thud - at least from my point of view. There are about fifteen on my family list and maybe six journals went out. You guessed it. Very little response. Almost none.
I don't usually get paranoid about stuff like that, but did with a vengeance on this one. When you share things that are important to you and special folks don't respond... well, you know. It bothered me. I certainly didn't relish the role of being labeled a talkative old coot. At the same time, when you have something important to say, there needs to be opportunity for expression and response. If not family, then who?
Two of my sons have blogs. This intrigued me and I thought about it. Then I entered into a time of study and research. There were many technical things to master. It was an awkward period. I read some books, got some advice from the sons and experimented with different programs. This was fun. It was also hard work. Very hard work. But incredibly stimulating.
I launched this blog in which I ramble on about things that are on my mind, things that I need and want to share. Much of it is original. But when I find something in my reading that I think is really good, I quote it. Looking back, the variety of subject matter and attitude are remarkable.
Something was missing though and I decided to start a second blog, quite different from this one. This one was more consistent with my aesthetic values of minimalism, simplicity and paradox. (Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese wording.) Oddly, it quickly passed this blog in readership. I'm not sure why.
My counting program tells me that about 60 readers open my pages every day, which isn't a lot in blogging terms but it seems to grow each week.
It is foolish to expect to receive comments on your blogs. They don't often come and if you depend on them for support, you are doomed to disillusionment. Still, I have had a satisfying response from people who live all over the world. They have been supportive, stimulating, fun and warm enough to create friendships with people I do not know. Best of all, all five of my grown children read the things every day. About a month ago the phone rang and it was my Omaha son who was wondering why this blog wasn't up yet! I smiled.
So, in a sense, I've succeeded in expanding my family, opened up a healthy source of sharing and discovered a rigid, yet happy, new discipline. All of which I need.
I will be sharing some more things about blogging in coming days.