Lens-Artists Challenge #141: GEOMETRY

Thank you, P. A. Moed, for this very interesting challenge, and for the great quote from Johannes Kepler:

  • Geometry is the archetype of the beauty of the world.

P. A. Moed:

The world is full of shapes. Circles, squares, ovals, triangles, and even some of your favorites from geometry class like parallelograms. For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, we are focusing on geometry—shapes that are visually interesting and form a pattern or rhythm.

Hanging on the back wall in the first picture is a print by Eizo Sakata, a gift. Self met him at the Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojåcar, Spain, over 20 years ago!

The figs are from self’s backyard. She took the picture last year (Right now, the fig trees are just beginning to leaf.) Self can hardly wait until she can start picking the ripe figs!

The last image are three prints, part of a series called Variations on a Field, by Irish artist Pam de Brie. When self purchased them, years ago, she had nowhere to hang them. So she asked Pam to hang on to them; when she was ready, she would let her know. That time came three years ago. Four prints arrived by US mail! The last print, self will put in its own frame. It’s the brightest of the four prints.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

ELEMENTAL: Challenge Your Camera # 12

The host for this challenge is Buddha Walks Into a Wine Bar:

Today, another guest theme from Marie at Hops Skips and Jumps, a challenge with some choices. Marie’s theme Elemental is based on the 4 classical elements from Ancient Greece in which it was believed that the universe was made up of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

So, make your choice, choose one element and post any number of photos, or decide on all elements and post one photo of each. Try to be creative with your camera, close up or distant, creative with the image the element alone or combined with other elements.

Self’s gallery is made up of pictures taken in: her backyard; one in Filoli Garden in Woodside; one in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland; and one in New Mexico. They contain all the four elements, even fire. The picture of a murky sun was taken on the day the San Mateo Complex Fires came close, close enough for smoky ash to fill the air, and for self to smell burning. The firefighters saved us, again, as they do every year.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Black & White Challenge (CBWC): Triangles, Diamonds, or Squares

Thanks again to Cee Neuner for the always-interesting photo challenges.

  • Be creative if you feel like it, and fun with this challenge this week. Remember your photos needs to be black and white, desaturated, sepia (brown tones) or selective color.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.

Self went through her archives. These are pictures that weren’t intentionally black and white, they just became that way because of the conditions of the light. They all date from 2019, the last year that self was traveling.

Top:

Cork, Ireland: hallway to apartment above Café Paradiso

Bottom Row, L to R:

Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, California; driving from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, New Mexico, three days after Christmas 2019, with son and his in-laws

The squares in the New Mexico pictures are at the very bottom: the road signs. Or the highway leading to a vanishing point: a triangle?

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Poetry Saturday: John O’ Donohue

Fluent

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

— from Conamara Blues, which Dear Departed Father Richard Haslam gave to me on my first visit to Ireland, 2014

Poetry Wednesday: Csilla Toldy

Because it is Saint Patrick’s Day, the poet is from NI: Csilla Toldy came over from Hungary, when there was still a Wall. We met in 2014, at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. The picture is of the lake.

Csilla was kind enough to allow me to post the whole poem. It’s from her collection Red Roots – Orange Sky (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2013)

Love in Paris

Arriving late at the wrong address
a stranger in the street,
Ali, offered her a bed. He lovingly
treated her wounded knee —
that she had fallen on
when searching the sky for the guiding star
at the green borders to Italy.

Her nerves frazzled
by the long march through the Alps
on pills of caffeine and amphetamine,
taken by the echoes of her throbbing heart
when face-searched
and feeling so lucky for not looking like any
one of the Red Brigade.

So grateful for a clean sheet
after a week in ditches with crows and crickets,
yet fearing horror dreams of her misconceptions
she fell into a black hole
to be woken up by sunlight
glinting on a tray of golden croissants
brought up by Ali.

Recently, Csilla has been focusing on films.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sunday Stills Photography Challenge: Your Best Black and White

Love discovering new photo challenges.

This one was particularly intriguing: the Sunday Stills Photography Challenge. Your Best Black-and-White Photos.

Self went searching through her archives and found a few that were not intentionally “black-and-white” but became so because of the shooting conditions — in most cases, gloomy weather.

Two of the pictures were taken on Caltrain headed north to San Francisco, one was taken on the train from London to Manchester, and the last picture was taken inside her cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

“Spores” Again

In P-1, the teachers tell, Heaven is up a winding stair. Hell is like falling off the Whitecliffs — down and down and down and down. Limbo is — somewhere between. Those lessons always give me the frights.

Self’s first Tyrone Guthrie Centre story. Written 2014, Annaghmakerrig and Dublin.

“Spores” (decomP magazinE)

Thank you, decomP! Self’s first Tyrone Guthrie story. All voice.

  • Humans are a small and fragile species. But we have the distinction of breeding almost as quickly as microbes. Sex is soporific and palliative. No one would attach a pejorative such as “meaningless” to any form of sexual activity. We’re all encouraged to do it as much as possible, as late as possible. Grandmothers in their sixties do it, as well as children as young as eleven or twelve. It’s considered a patriotic activity.

Where Self Dreams

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week: WINDOWS AND DOORS

Self-explanatory.

  • The house in California. Oh, her garden is wild.
  • Skylight, Oxford, UK: She wakes beneath this every morning that she is in Oxford. In November, the skies were astonishingly clear.
  • Cottage # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland: She does all her writing at this table.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

SPORES

This story was published by decomP Magazine. Self began writing it during a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Weeks later, she found the ending in Dublin.

The boss was born Earthstar. He’d never look her way. His spores were meant to go else: to a Silverleaf. Or a Shag. Not K that smelled like wet rot. All scaly cap and throat gills. She belonged with other Common.

In this story of the future, there are Earthstars. Earthstars are permitted to mate with either Silverleafs or Shags. Any other pairing is out of the question.

K is a Common.

The inspiration for this story was a book about mushrooms. Morgan Cooke, who she met at TGC, made an audio recording. Must say, self got a big kick out of hearing her story read with an Irish accent. Many, many, many thanks to Morgan.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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