Posted on

Black and White

Have you ever looked at a picture in color and then looked at it in black and white? It’s startling. It’s almost as if you’re looking at a different place and time. There are contrasts in the black and white that I miss while looking at the beautiful color.

And so it is with me in my “black and white” days. These days are punctuated with great truths; exaggerated even. But they hold such a weight. Deep down, if I’m prodded and poked, I must admit, I find great value here. It’s like the “aha” moment my soul longs for, but can’t quite grasp in color.

If I’m commentating on these days, I might use words like “blah” and “bland”, “raw” and “colorless”, “overcast” and “bleak” . But then I take a look at the photo. My breath catches at the clarity that the harshness highlights. Even the grayness soothes like a cool drink to a parched soul. Comfort and proaction is here in the bright and dark.

Social injustices become startlingly clear in black and white. Someone (in full color) asks me, “What do you think about refugees?” Hmmm, so many colors and opinions  are zigzagging in and out of so many worlds and then wrapped in this colorful question.

What do I think? What do I think? I take a minute to shift from color and examine the black and white photo…and I know.

The person in front of me is the one that matters. Refugee or not, I know exactly what to do; how to love; when to take action. There are NO polarizing mantras that will sway my focus from that face; those eyes; this heart. This is what the sad gray can do.

To be honest, I wish I didn’t need it now and again to remind me of something I knew but have forgotten. But…

It reminds me that light is strong and steady.  It has power. I have power. WE have power.  Our light (and love) pierces and highlights and has a place in this world. It can be trusted. It silhouettes and focuses like none other.

It reminds me that my mundane feelings of gray (inadequate as they feel) are the backdrop to most of my life. It’s as if the sooner I appreciate gray, the more it freely gives to me. I suddenly see the grandeur in the slightest of these “shades”.

Yes, pain is evident here in the black and white, but so is the honest and brutal truth. What a gift.







Posted on

I must be the “Rock Lady”



I’ve placed the rocks out on the make-shift table outside of the RV. I’m the “picker-upper” on the hikes we take. You’ve heard of cat ladies? I think I must be “the rock lady”. My backpack becomes heavier and heavier as we go along. I see the light and color and uniqueness of a rock and it seems to call out “pick me, pick me”. And I do. And then I scramble to catch up to my husband who knows by now a rock must’ve caught my eye. 😉 I pick it up and hold it for a while as I walk. There seems to be an energy exchange. I think of the rock’s journey and imagine it’s tumble-down to where I found it. Sometimes I found it enjoying the coolness of the river or basking in the shadow of an aspen. It causes me to ponder life in it’s simplicity and complexity, both uniquely present in this imagery.

I notice in the contrast to other rocks, the smoothness or jaggedness is pronounced. Color is vibrant and more noticeable. They each seem to compliment perfectly because of their differences, not in spite of them. Most relationships mirror this truth, don’t you think?

It’s part of the reason we are drawn.

We need the perspective of dark to notice light.

We need the gentle curves of mercy to appreciate the power and piercing of jagged truth. What a beautiful world when both are present and appreciated.



Posted on

A moment, dark and rich



A moment dark and rich
like a beautiful piece of mahogany drenched by sunshine
danced across my mind
how can it be so deep and yet so bright?
but everything was deeper and brighter when I yielded my senses to it
These moments that surprise
so simple yet complex-willing me to engage
they are upon me before I can blink-
the scent from the cedar chest where the past collides with the present–my grandmother’s quilts embracing the scribbles from my children, merging into something nostalgic and magical
the faint twinkle in the eye of a friend that sparks a smile, a reassurance passed without words
the unexpected fluttering of the curtains in evening reminding me to let myself feel and be moved 
the thought that I may be stronger than I feel 
so much hope entangled with a twinge of sadness because nothing stays the same
the poignant sound in a memory
the hand of love faintly touching
not to soothe
or to take, but just to be
steady, unassuming, comfortable
the shooting star that prompts the wish
the winding road to the unfamiliar
the skies changing above me in tandem with my thoughts
the laugh ringing out from the other room
yes, these snippets of life quiet me
into a stillness of wonder
they are the sand that remains after the sifting of the day
the precious
needed to survive