Telling stories

beginning middle end (18 July 2013)

beginning middle and end (18 July 2013)

The first day of December, the first Sunday in Advent, the first day of our southern hemisphere summer. And the first day after the end of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

My participation in NaNoWriMo had me commit to writing – during the month of November – 50,000 words towards my new novel, the working title of which is “You Wouldn’t Dare!”

The truth is that I wrote about half of what I’d committed to. And about half of what I wrote might ultimately find itself inside the novel.

To me, the three big benefits of being involved were: 1/ the discipline of writing every day, 2/ training myself to write down anything and everything that came to mind, and 3/ I discovered things I wanted to write but didn’t dare write.

It was the middle of winter when the Sky Rialto poster (above) was pasted on the building next to where I live. I have now gained a new layer of understanding of those words. The sequence in which a story is told need not conform to any chronology. The sequence in which the story was written will certainly not do so.

By the ancient pond

by the ancient pond, a haiku by Buson, translation by Jan Walls

古池の 蛙生ひ行く 落葉かな

(furuike no kawazu oiyuku ochiba kana)

"The Ancient Pond" by Master Haiku Painter Bashō (1644 1694)

“The Ancient Pond” by Master Haiku Painter Bashō (1644 1694)

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by the ancient pond
a frog is growing older
among fallen leaves

(Buson – translation by Jan Walls)

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Dipping into Word Pond today, I’m looking for something to spark my imagination. Splashes echoing: Bashō’s frog.

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Acknowledgements: 1/ Donna Fleischer’s Word Pond; 2/ Happ·Stance Dep·Art

Gardening … there’s nothing like it

in John's garden (01 Feb 2012)

in John's garden (01 Feb 2012)

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There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. (Mirabel Osler)

John is a landscaper with a wildly creative imagination … or perhaps I ought to have said “a creatively wild imagination”. But I also enjoy those unobtrusive touches that subtly meld with their surroundings.

By the way … After a decade of living in a seventh-floor apartment, I’ll soon be moving across town to a ground-floor apartment with a little garden in front and a sunny pebbled courtyard in the back. I’m so looking forward to it.

Meandering through regenerating forest

stream (06 Feb 2012)

stream (06 Feb 2012)

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Managed by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, the Waikoropupu Springs Scenic Reserve is Golden Bay’s most visited attraction. “A walkway meanders through regenerating forest, and a platform on the edge of the springs allows visitors to look through a glass-bottomed viewer at the diverse plant and invertebrate life that thrives in the constant 11.7°C water.” (from The Golden Waikoropupu)

Light on the path

These things, these things were here and but the beholder / Wanting; (GM Hopkins, in Hurrahing in Harvest)

My camera and I love discovering, from day to day, how much there is around us to enjoy and appreciate.

Abel Smith Street, on my regular route into the central city, has some of my favourite spots for finding something refreshing and delightful.

light stream (08 Sep 2011)

light stream (08 Sep 2011)

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All this, which is strange
and new, is merely what was
here already — here,
always here, but ignored — as
if hiding, invisible.

Through the cracks in our brains

It is through the cracks in our brains that ecstasy creeps in. (Logan Pearsall Smith)

Good Friday: a day I always relish. 

Over the course of many years, Holy Week and the Pascal Triduum became increasingly important in my spiritual development.

In recent times, however, my journey has tended to become more solitary, and the expressions of my spiritual life simpler.

Today, after a morning largely devoted to meditation, I took my camera out into the city. As was the case a year ago, I captured what might be some of my best shots.

Looking forward to going home and taking a closer look.