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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What Does The Word Mean - Part IV

I'm still working through David Wythe's book, Consolations, with a group of photographers. The challenge is to photograph "the solace, nourishment and underlying meaning of everyday words."  I'm a little behind in posting my photos and thoughts. December was quiet busy, but hopefully I'll catch up in the next couple of weeks. You can read this post for a little more information on the challenge.

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GENIUS


Genius: the quality of a given place; air, land, water,
trees, and smells combined with it's history

Civil War Site: Bayou Meto, Arkansas
At this location Confederate forces stopped the Federal Calvary from crossing the Bayou Meto in route to capture the capital of Arkansas. As I stood on the banks of the bayou I closed my eyes, felt the slight breeze, heard the rippling water, and smelled the woodsy odor of the rich black soil and the cypress trees. I felt this place. A deep sadness filled me for those who were lost and wounded in this battle.


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GIVING



The giving of gifts has always been hard for me. I never seem to find just the perfect gift for someone. Maybe it's because I have never spent "a long time sitting in [my] armchair in silent contemplation of those [I] want to gift looking for the imaginative doorway that says I know you and see you and this is how I give thanks for you . . ."  ~David Whyte


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GRATEFUL


I am grateful for the delightful surprises that await when I open my eyes and really see.

"It is not joy that makes us grateful,
it's gratitude that makes us joyful.
~ Brother Davied Steindl-Rast


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GROUNDED



It's the simple things in life that bring me pleasure and keep me focused. It's the ground I walk on, the plants, the creatures, and the clouds. These calming gifts of nature help keep me from being overwhelmed as life brings many changes.


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HAUNTED


Often we are so disturbed and obsessed by on emotion, a memory, or even an idea that we feel haunted by it. Being haunted doesn't always have to be dark and dreary. Sometimes what is haunting us can give us courage to take the next step in our lives.

"When we make a friend of what we previously could not face, what once haunted us now becomes an invisible, parallel ally, a beckoning hand to our future."
~ David Whyte


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HEARTBREAK


"But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way."
~ David Whyte


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I think why I've enjoyed this challenge so much is that it makes me think of the lesser used meaning of some words like genius and haunted. Whyte has such a unique way of interpreting words that sometimes I find if very hard to even understand his definitions. I have to read the chapter several times to absorb what he's saying. This project has been challenging for me, but definitely good. 

"I like good strong words that mean something . . ."
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women



12 comments:

  1. Every picture was moving. What a find with the feather in the green plants and I especially like the rain. That is exactly how I feel when my heart is broken. I was very moved by the pictures and his prompts. Can't wait to see your next post.

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  2. Wonderful images to express the words your are studying in the book by David Whyte. I agree that his personal interpretations rarely coincide with my own, but they are certainly food for thought. My favourite image is that wonderful feather nestled in greenery.

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  3. I love your 'word' essays! But it is this quote that stands out to me today:
    "It is not joy that makes us grateful,
    it's gratitude that makes us joyful.
    ~ Brother Davied Steindl-Rast

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  4. What a great exercise in seeing/feeling/being present. I love the glass doorknob!

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  5. These are all awesome Cathy, love that first shot so much with the water and the doorknob. You are really good with these prompts.

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  6. Challenging projects always stretch us. I love that glass door knob.

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  7. these words are challenging, you did an great job!! heartbreak is so interesting!!! grounded too...but really they are all awesome!!!

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  8. I can't tell you how much I enjoy these posts, Cathy! Your photos really make the words come alive!

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  9. I love these posts so much. Your pairings of words and images make me think about the words in ways I haven't before. Not to mention that your photos are beautiful in their own right, but pairing them with the words gives so much more depth to both. They are like a window into your heart.

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  10. I love that last quote by Alcott! Your images so beautifully illustrate the words and your interpretation of each one. The feather against the leaves is very special. I hope to rejoin the group, as I find some of the words challenging and daunting. You inspire me.

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  11. I love that book but I just haven't had the time to do the challenges. You have done a marvelous job describing the words with your photographs. I think you have a natural talent for this type of work....

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  12. the haunted part touched me tonight thank you.
    loved seeing your images too.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!