Tag Archives: wood

What do you long for?

Last week or so ago, the poem used here today was shared by a friend on Facebook. I said I going to borrow this for my blog for I felt it resonated with my journey at the moment, and some of my photographs would complement in a visual way the journey outward to go inward. 

As I prepared the blog something spoke to me about finding out who Melissa La Flamme is. I am glad I did. Her website intrigued me, the little that I read, so I reached to her via email, and then a bit later via facebook. Where we at once connected via messaging. Making sure all was clear to publish the poem here, that she was a Jungian Psychotherapist who incorporates Shamanism into her practice, was a flash of my not so distant past a vision to create just this type of therapy combination. 

What did I long for, so unaware of a dream set aside. Called out through this poem and Melissa’s own practice. We discussed a possible guest blog or interview later in season, which now I can hardly wait for ! 

I will let the vision unfold: 


I AM CALLING YOU: by Melissa La Flamme


What do you long for?
How do you call its name?
Listen to the ways it calls to you?DSC_6550

Take your longing to the earth.
To the woods. The trail. The park. Your well-tended lawn.
And if you can get there, to the desert.
And with devotion, give your self to these questions.
Like you would a lover. A baby. A tender green shoot.
Like this, tend your own fragile heart.
Your longing will ravish you.


You must ravish back.

When you do, your soul will walk you
to the soft, thirsty ground
of your being.

Sink in,
all the way in.
You will lose your mind.
You will sing to rocks, seduce pine trees, make love
to red earth.


Songs like this will carry you till
your own song sings you.
You must let them.

©2014 Melissa La Flamme


This is a work in progress…

This is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always. We are just uncovering them. We are rediscovering them. We’re not inventing them or importing them from somewhere else. They’re here. That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part. Out of nowhere we cheer up or relax or experience the vastness of our minds. No one else gives this to you. People will support you and help you with teachings and practices, as they have supported and helped me, but you yourself experience your unlimited potential.

From Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears, page 51.

Pema Chodron

Low visual
Low visual

Groggy from allergy medication and then headache experience beginning New Years Eve afternoon, continuing into New Years day after which forced me back to bed. Early morning wake ups because Riley seems to dislike being alone at anytime of the day, continues to cry throughout the night. A dying pet and a Mother with Alzheimer’s is a fact of daily living… it seems I have reduce mom to tears several times in the last few days as well. She going off to her room as early as 6 pm. It is mostly due to trying to understand what she is either doing or wanting to say, listening, explaining, listening, and explaining. For she cannot follow through with task she either wants to do or ask to do, and she is always asking if she can help. Which to me is easier to do myself. The thing is we have both been very independent people, we are much a like, and it begins to rub the wrong way. My task this year is to get her into day care, and/or companion care. I can no longer continue to do this on a regular basis. I had 24 hours free yet being so exhausted and stress filled that sinus and headache were my companions. Plus fear the few hours that I could spend elsewhere would be only a moment of sunlight, appreciated, too soon gone.

A different perspective
A different perspective

I have been consciously aware that I don’t take the camera with me as often as I use too. Part of the fact it has been too darn cold to be out longer than our walks. And the fact that the community recently had fence’s placed around the field we walk through and around, closing in or off part of the wood that we would walk. It is still accessible from a different direction yet so-called civilization has encroached as well as affected the line of sight. I am very “sensitive” to nature being altered by humankind. Some of that alteration is for progress, some just what seems to be forced enclosures!  So yesterday knowing that I was not going to get to Philly to photograph the Mummer’s Parade. I made a point of documenting the first day of the year, in black and white, nature and to make use of the fence as an object of art, which in some ways represents my situation in life at the moment. I had recently thought of doing my black and white photography for a number of reasons. One it is a different challenge, to see in another way, the shadow and light play, winter causes much of nature to be dull and seemingly lifeless. So if I am “forced” to photograph the same thing everyday find a new way to approach it is creative venture. I recall a photographer who lived in the burbs of NYC, who photographed out his window every day for years, the street below him, the light, the season. So why not make what I am doing a more conscious act. Season to season, year by year, different times of the day, weather etc.

repeating patterns
repeating patterns

A lot of this work is already done. For I have photographed the same area for the past several years, some of that you can see by viewing the photography here on the blog, redbubble, and Facebook pages. Even though I consciously did not submit the same views at different seasons they do naturally show up.

The poetry of Fog

The fog is an illusion—
A master of disguise,
Which hides the tangible
Before our very eyes.

But when the fog has lifted
Everything’s still there,
And the tangible
Only seemed to’ve disappeared.

In the early morning
Or late at night,
The fog descends
Upon various sites.

It gives an air of mystery
That has long prevailed.
Dangerously intriguing
Is the fog’s foggy veil.

© W.S.2009

Walterrean Salley

The Dense Fog

I see not what others see
The fog is used to blind me
That fog of routine that is of life
Unable to see what is near
It is near impossible to hear
Only the little light makes it through
That light is what I see
The possibility of unhindered vision
But that is only for a moment
For tomorrow the fog will roll back
And that is how all life is
For my generation and yours
This fog is here to stay

Stephen Mueller


the act of creation is.


Why was I wakened at 5 am,  On Saturday? So I could read, make fresh coffee, take a brisk walk in the frosty chill of the 32 degree morning, while the Cardinal’s sung back and forth to each other, to the accompaniment of my seemingly out loud prayers that I usually pray while on the first walk of the day, yet those prayers are only in mind, sometimes mindful, sometimes said by thoughtless practice… the silence of morning, blasted away by a fire siren, the steady whoosh of highway traffic, that of my own or the cars the speed by on the turnpike. The wooded area surrounds and fills me with wonder, no camera this morning for I did not think of it and the light was just beginning to enlighten the day. Yet I see the fallen tree branches, the brown, rust colored leaves that give sense to the its presence. Sometime  I think the chaos of brush, branches, tangled among themselves, across paths need to be straightened up, for the woods in winter looks disheveled and unorganized but who am I to redecorate natures beauty. For it is in that entanglement, in the chaos that the patterns, and design are created to offer the visual, to make homes for the small animals and unseen creatures of the forest. (and my camera) 

I had read this passage last evening before falling asleep, it resonated and works here now. The passage is from Invisible Acts of Power by Caroline Myss she states, “Every single person is born with something to create – that creation might be a child or a business or a garden or a circle of friends or a peace accord. Whatever it is will be personally beneficial for others. Blocked creative expression is as detrimental to your well-being as a drug addiction. A raging internal conflict between acting on creative impulses or settling for the status quo can eventually promote physical illness. This internal strife locks into the second chakra first and foremost because this is the vortex where you act on your convictions. You need to manifest  your ideas and to make a difference in  your world, whether your influence is enormous or small. The size of your action or gift is not the issue; the act of creation is.” 

I have been given many gifts, and each morning the gift of a new day to breathe, to create, to act. Yet I often ask myself “where is the action, I know the words, and I can talk the talk but how do I walk the talk?”  Is what I am doing enough, sometimes yes and sometimes no, and sometimes we are not even aware to the little acts of giving that we share. Be grateful, Be mindful, and allow spirit to guide for each moment is an opportunity for wonder, for change, for the miracle to happen.


Set small and gentle goals and meet them. Rules of the Road: The Artist’s Way


I have found myself searching for something, yet the search is unsatisfying within itself. For I am unaware of what I am looking for. Looking for a deeper connection with myself, my Higher Power? Trying to fill it with endless doing and instead of being present for what is right in front of me.

At the moment sitting in the yard, the morning is cool, 65-70 degrees, there is gentle breeze shimmering the emerald-green trees, there is a mocking-bird making riotous sounds, the dogs lazily laying at my feet, attentive but dozing, ready to move at the slightest stirring of chipmunk or squirrel or unrecognized sound. There is the fragrance of honeysuckle reaching my senses from across the yard and the earthy tang of try grass. The pages of my books flutter in the breeze as if silent guest where reading them, imparting the words on the wind. So what more could a person desire at this moment? Of course nothing.


I just looked over and the inside page of a book all blank except for the words in center on the top 3/4 of the page, The Artist’s Way. Nothing else, offering a symbol of an empty page, each day is an empty page, reading to be written, ready to be primed and painted, prepared to be photographed in is awesome glorious unfoldment. Each day we have those opportunity to create a new paradise, a new work of art, our lives. Yes of course, we can add to or take away from that which came before, yet beginning fresh is always the opportunity to be diverse, to try a new experience, to meet a new challenge, to discover new jewels to spark light all over your surroundings.

The emptiness of the search when there is no goal or object/subject to behold, to unwrap, to explore is an empty page, a blank canvas, an unfocused shot awaiting our attention, our patients, our language in whatever form that expresses itself would be futile if consciousness was not brought forth.

The consciousness said take your second walk of the morning in the form of Muffin, getting up, bringing her self over to me saying come on time to walk, nudging my hand off the computer. Camera in had, companion animals leading and following along the path we journeyed into the wood, cool dark yet illuminated by light glimmering through the breaks in the leaves of the trees creating pools of light along the paths like stained glass windows of a cathedral lighting the isles along the pews…

In those moments I began to feel fulfilled and moved once again, nature was calling, the muse was singing, and I had been to busy searching to truly hear her call, finally the song was to strong, the desire urging forth to be embraced and consummated.


Growth Question: What small and gentle goals do your set for yourself each day?

Expect abundance!

Expect your every need to be met, expect the answers to every problem, expect abundance on every level, expect to grow spiritually. Eileen Caddy

Over exposed

I am not sure this is the quote that I wanted but it is the one that showed up. It got words on the page, and the flow to begin to move out. Spirit has been nudging me to write for days, write what is the question. 1. A review of the month. 2. The sense of loneliness that has kept in since last Sunday. 3. The up coming First Friday Solo Show. I am sure there are more themes yet those three could fill many pages.

a winters morning

Stuck already: No not stuck just not sure how to begin… is that not the same thing? Not if I say it is not. The month began with seeking to “listen to the voices of the Ancient Ones as they rise on the warm winds of summer and shimmer on the lighted grasses that wave gently in the summer sun: June is the month of Sunlight, a month when abundance from the seeds we have planted in early spring begin to produce their bounty.

A winter's afternoon

Those lead to the Juried art show exhibit, the Salem County Art League’s shared artist exhibit last weekend, which runs until September,  and now to my First Philadelphia First Friday Solo show, at Balance Gallery tomorrow for the month of July! The creative abundance is presenting itself in glorious ways. I am extremely grateful, that I listened to the sounds, followed the paths, was given the courage to show up, to present work that is joyfully accepted and viewed.

Golden fall

Last evening I emailed the person in charge of the creative works at the William Way center where the Juried art exhibit now hangs, and ask her if she was willing to mention the the group that meets for First Friday events about my Solo show, her response was: “Congratulations on the solo exhibition, it is much deserved.  I would be happy to announce to the guys about your show and strongly encourage them to wander over there!”  Sometimes I am surprised by peoples response, and awed by them as well. I also received this message from a artist friend on facebook after I invited her to the Opening reception, I know she could not attend but I like to send invites it informs people what is going and I believe share the abundance. Her response, “I look forward to reading an after exhibit blog and art lovers comments. The one common denominator of your work is that when viewing each piece on the web, they are not just photographs but a beautiful essence shows thru the screen.”

Summer in the wood

There are more such quotes for the photography that I present to the world, and I am grateful the praise, it is what keeps me coming back, not in an ego way, of course ego is joyously taking all of this in, but in a artistic way to light the path along my creative journey. That the work/art that I do has a value and purpose to people! Most grateful !

Land and sky

For as I go into this Solo Show Nature and Sky there is a sense of fear the is underlying this whole event. Plus the censor is trying to sabotage the joy of this event. Here are the voices, “this is a small venue, it is small exhibit 6-7 pieces, who is going to see it in Balance Gallery Studio other then the clients who attend appointments” Also I have not hung 8 x 10’s in a while which the majority of the show is, they are all new works expect one, and no one has seen the older piece, yet I have doubts about this collection. Is bigger really better? Do this photographs represent Nature and Sky ? Oy ! Plus the other voice keeps saying, “who is going to show up, this venue is so out of the way of true First Friday events and it is only an hour long reception!”

Yes the photographs represent Nature and Sky this is what you do! This is what you were called to do, to share nature with the world. The gallery has its own clients and most likely a system to announce these events. You have invited a number of people, so let go and let God. “Expect your every need to be met…”

Clouds on the ground !

Did I avoid the 2 theme long enough?  A sense of Loneliness ! Since Sunday after the exhibit/reception I have had this sense of doing all this alone, that I had expectation of family and friends to show up to encourage and support all my efforts. Yet they did not. I just blogged about in the pervious blog. Yet I had not mentioned the sense of loneliness that has dogged me ever since. Who are my friends, do I have friends, “skin” friends, meaning people other then the ones on facebook and blogger which I am very grateful for. Yet the “need” for companionship of like minded beings in my life seems to have cast a shadow, so to speak over things. Julia Cameron makes this statement in the Artist’s Way, “very often, when we cannot seem to find an adequate supply, it is because we are insisting on a particular human source of supply. We must learn to let flow manifest itself where it will – not where we will it.”  So once again getting out my own way, telling ego all is well, letting go, and allowing spirit to have its way with each and every situation opens the flow, keeps the river running and the ground fertile for abundant growth.

Growth Question: How was the month of June for you?

Photographs call be viewed and purchase at  here

This is the Nature and Sky Collection!

Love Me

One of the first real poets who spoke to my heart, because he was speaking language I understood. I had not heard about him for a long time yet for some reason his name kept coming to mind, so I share Walter Rinder with you!

walter rinder





Love Me

Love me   because I try to touch life

within the framework of


love me    in the shadows

in decisions as I strive to gain


love me    in the silence of my hurts

and the noise of my


love me    for the feeling of my heart

not the fears of my mind

emerge or submerged

love me    in my search for truth

though I may stumble upon


love me    as I pursue my dreams

sometimes retarded by illusions

love me    as I grow to know myself

even during the times of


love me    because I seek harmony

Brilliance abounds

not man’s discord

love me    for my body that I wish to

share with affection,

wrapping you in warmth

love me    because we are different

because we are the same

love me    that our time together will

be spent in growing, kindling

the world with understanding

love me    not with expectations

but with hope

I will love you the same.

Walter Rinder



Strength and Beauty !

You have seen your own strength,  you have seen your own beauty… why do you still worry? Rumi

carpet of leaves

During our first walk of the day about 7:30 am, the wood dark with moisture from a gentle rain sometime during the night. The steel grey sky, causing the leaves and trees to have different look to them, rich, deep color. Water droplets teetering on the edged of red-gold-green-brown leaves, naked branches, only  few birds sing now, the chick a dee have come to take the place of others, they flitter about in the bushes almost invisible, like little faeries. The cardinals make them selfs hurt and in this distance, the sound of geese chattering as they fly over head. The ground is carpeted with leaves now, in shades competing with a crayon box. Yellow brown, red/pink on yellow/green, making the walk silent almost except the dry moist movement underfoot.

a different path?

I glanced up once peeking into one the path, the thought came to me being in nature is like being in a marriage, something you always know is there, sometimes taken for granted, yet grateful when you notice how wondrously beautiful it is. Always offering you breath, a fresh breeze, a song, an amazing sight. It lingers there waiting for you to notice, silently grateful when you do, for in saying thank nature with offer you more as a relationship will.

captured drops

Seen from the gift of gratitude, allowing all the senses to be overwhelmed to the point of awesomeness even when you have awakened to the same person, walked in the same paths, gone to the same work, accomplishing the same everyday task, being thankful will bring a smile to your face, a tear to your eye, a warmth to your heart. With that warmth of heart you can shine on the world.

shine on your path

I was listening to the amazing CD as I started this Lovedrunk by Shahram Shiva, a CD of music to the poetry of Rumi!  It is a touching beautiful expression of someone who is passionate about what he has found in Rumi poetry.

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog, to view the photography, and for responding.

Growth Question: Have you captured the beauty of the ordinary today?

I am Love, Jeff


Poem and Photographs


Aunt Leaf, Mary Oliver

Needing one, I invented her –

the great-great-aunt dark as hickory

called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud

or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.


Dear aunt, I’d call into the leaves,

and she’d rise up, like an old log in a pool,

and whisper in a language only the two of us knew

the word that meant follow,

and we’d travel

cheerful as birds

out of the dusty town and into the trees

where she would change us both into something quicker –

two foxes with black feet,

two snakes green as ribbons,

two shimmering fish – and all day we’d travel.

At day’s end she’d leave me back at my own door

with the rest of my family,

who were kind, but solid as wood

and rarely wandered. While she,

old twist of feathers and birch bark,

would walk in circles wide as rain and then

float back

scattering the rags of twilight

on fluttering moth wings;


or she’d slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;


or she’d hang in the milky moonlight

burning like a medallion,


this bone dream, this friend I had to have,

this old woman made out of leaves.