Man is … that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.
— Mary Baker Eddy

We were driving west on Route 66 last Sunday evening, on our way back from Litchfield, Ill., to Tulsa, when we noticed this huge, pink-tinged cloud looming behind us.

As we drove along, the cloud changed its hue, shifting from golden to coral to deep orange against the rapidly darkening sky. Watching this profusion of color, I commented to Ron that the cloud seemed to get more beautiful every time I looked at it.

As I turned my attention back to the road and squinted into the brightness of the setting sun, trying to read the street signs ahead of us, my perception shifted, and I realized the cloud behind us was really no different from any other cloud; it was just the degree to which it reflected that fiery sunset light that made it so stunning. As our position relative to the light shifted, we saw different reflections, each more beautiful than the last.

It occurred to me that there might be a good metaphysical analogy in that cloud.

Photography is, simply put, the act of recording reflected light. As a photographer, I strive to create striking images by looking for interesting light that’s reflected in an interesting way.

Similarly, in my day-to-day life, the people I find the most striking are those who most clearly reflect the light of divine Love. As my position relative to that light changes — that is, as I grow, and as my perception of man as the perfect child of God sharpens — I see more of that reflection in people, and they seem to become more beautiful.

In my images, I love to play with reflections. A well-placed reflection can draw attention to the beauty of the original and help the viewer to better appreciate its attractive qualities. Similarly, I think an individual whose life clearly reflects God’s goodness can draw attention to the beauty of divine Love.

May we all allow our lives to reflect such beauty.


(Photo captions, top to bottom: Sunset on Route 66 near Webb City, Mo.; Niehaus Cycle Sales, Litchfield, Ill.; a young roadie admires the Four Women on the Route sign during a presentation at the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield; Munger Moss Motel, Lebanon, Mo.)

Hurricane Scout

As if the rains and scorching heat weren’t enough … Hurricane Scout apparently hit my spaghetti squash vines this evening and harvested the biggest squash for herself:

I was laughing too hard to yell at her. Fortunately, she really didn’t get down to the meat of it, so I think it will still be salvageable if I cut off the parts she chewed and bake it in a hot oven.

This is fairly typical of Scout, really. When we lived in Belleville, the garden wasn’t fenced, and she spent the entire summer running around with green fur, because we had an understanding: Any split tomatoes within her reach were fair game. She would rummage around among the vines, searching for treats, every time we let her out. The first summer we were in Oklahoma, I planted some late tomatoes, but they got too much shade and too little water and produced only one tomato. It was about a day from being ripe enough to pick when Scout apparently got desperate and violated the terms of our agreement, swiping the perfectly healthy, perfectly intact fruit right off the vine and wolfing it down while I tried to yell at her between peals of uncontrollable laughter.

Ornery little cuss….





Catching my breath

I could have stayed at school all afternoon, but I’d caught up the stuff I wanted to get done today, so I decided to come home and catch my breath before I dive into the next big project.

I’m thinking of running over to Dwelling Spaces to buy myself a Diana camera if they’ve got one. I didn’t spend any money on souvenirs during our trip to Litchfield last weekend, so I have a few dollars to spare. It’s either a new camera or a trip to the nail salon. The idea of sitting still and doing something totally frivolous for a half-hour is appealing, but I haven’t had acrylic nails in ages, and I’m thinking they’re probably not a great idea at a moment when I have a lot of typing in my immediate future, as they’re likely to slow me down for a few days until I get used to them.

I worked really hard cleaning my office, transferring files to my new hard drive, and doing some housecleaning yesterday. Maybe when I finish the big project I’m hoping to do this weekend, I’ll reward myself with fancy new nails that go click-click-click over the computer keys. 🙂


UPDATE: I couldn’t find a Diana this afternoon when I went shopping, so I just came home and ordered one from Amazon instead. I’ve been dying to try one out for ages. It probably won’t be much different from the Holga, but for $50, I think it’s worth the gamble.