Everyday Wonder

The Star … & the Stardust on the Sidewalk

This is how it happens:  we drive up Mill Mountain, the Xterra snaking a black ribbon of road through the green.  

At top, there’s the Star.

We have two special friends from DC with us, visiting for the weekend, and we know that no trip to our little city is complete without at least ten minutes on the Star Overlook, leaning on the rails, taking in the view and snapping photographs. 

So that’s what we do.

We stand there gaping at the view:  range after range of blue hills disappearing into the distance, smudged and softened into cloud.

We gape at the Roanoke Star, too:  that big neon contraption that glows white in the night, seen for miles and miles.

After we’re done happily gaping, I take all the usual photos that one takes at the Star.  Like this:  


And this:  


And then we head back down the trail to where our cars our parked.

But just before we get there, I stop right in the middle of the sidewalk.  My eye is caught by a single clean circle grooved in the pavement — inexplicably round as a dinner plate, perfect and precise.  The light catches in the grass nearby, and I think:  this.

My husband makes a joke about the way I’m dawdling behind, taking photos of leaves on the sidewalk.  And I’m okay with that — being the girl who lags behind, finding beauty in damp asphalt, dry leaves and bits of green.

Because as much as I love my little city and its great-big beautiful star (and I do) … I love this shot the most:        


Happy seeing, friends.  Hope your eyes are open to all sorts of ordinary wonder today. ❤

Everyday Wonder

A gift to the current Me, from the girl I was last Fall …

Every once in awhile, this magical thing happens to me.

I’ll be plowing through my day, hurried and tense, when suddenly I’ll stumble over a little loveliness, left behind by my past self.

It’s like a gift, really:  the rose petal pressed between two pages.  The poem scribbled on a cocktail napkin, tucked in my coat pocket.

Today though, I found a gift on the memory card of my beat-up old Canon Rebel:


I don’t know how it happened, but I must have forgotten to load a set of photos from last Fall, because when I plugged in my camera cable and flicked my Rebel on to download new material, a sudden wash of yellow blazed across the screen — the unmistakable colors of Autumn.

I was a little sad back then:  my heart still raw over a dear friend who’d hurt me.  But an aching heart is good for art — every artist knows that — because it’s hungry for the Light.  


(And when it comes to the Light, hungry is a good thing to be.)


I still remember taking these shots:  in a sudden fit of frustration, I’d pulled the lens off my camera and simply held it in place, letting the light leak through.

The result is a series of unedited shots that look like watery Impressionist brushstrokes, washed with sun, messy and soft:





And I needed messy and soft today…  

Maybe you do, too. ❤


Everyday Magic

magic on the sidewalk …

This weekend, I dare you to believe something radical:

Every day, the world tosses magic at your feet.

And I could try to write a long treatise to convince you that’s true… Or I could just show you this series of photos, which are literally just shots of chipped concrete and a few stray weeds at the sidewalk’s edge…

Proof that the magic is wherever you choose to see it, if you look with loving eyes:






Hope you go out and find a little ordinary magic of your own today…  It’s a pretty special world we’re living in. ❤ 


Everyday Wonder

the unflinching honesty of fresh snow…

I go out walking in the white — shocked, as always, at how it erases what came Before…  


And how it reveals whatever came After.

On its clean slate, I can see clearly the crease made by the wing of a low-flying bird.  The tracks of even the most soft-footed fox.  The bullethole of each raindrop, rendered in crisp black-and white:


One day, perhaps I’ll be brave enough
to tell this kind of Truth. ❤



Small Adventures

Savannah, Georgia: Abstractions

I spent last weekend happily shambling around the green-shadowed streets of one of my favorite cities:  Savannah, Georgia.

I ate a shameful amount of seafood.

I slept in a ridiculously fluffy four-poster bed.

And I took photos.  A lot of photos.


Today, I finally got a chance to go through some of those photos.  And in looking back on them, I’m realizing a few things:

1)  No amount of IS is capable of making up for my incredibly shaky hands, especially in the day’s best twilight light:


  See?  It’s time to quit overindulging in coffee, and stat.

2)  My photos aren’t very good when I shoot in color, but shooting in color — at least on occasion — is good for me:


 I think it’s important to deliberately work against your own aesthetic now and then, to stay limber and open and to enjoy the pleasure of a return to your own way of seeing the world…  I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, so I look forward to a special homecoming soon.

3)  Lately I feel drawn, over and over again, to images cropped so close or focused so strangely that they stray toward abstraction:  


I tilt my camera at odd angles.

I use my zoom lens to sidle up so close to the subject that all context is removed.

I don’t know why I’m doing this — maybe I’m just restless, hungry to see the world in a different way.

Whatever it is, I know this:  for now, for my soul, it’s good. ❤