Manna Meditations

when there’s abstract art in the forest…

Manna Meditations, Day 8

Let us not think for a moment that we humans are the first artists, the only creators …

There is Beauty everywhere.  ❤

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. ❤



Insomnia: a storm & a silver lining…


It’s true, what I’ve been telling you here over the past two days:  Insomnia is hard.  And it’s dark.

But also, it’s beautiful… and to stay silent about that would be the worst kind of ingratitude.

I know…  I know.  It sounds crazy to say that there could be something magical about night terrors and hypnopompic hallucinations.  Long lonely hours awake in the dark.  But the truth is, some of my most interesting creative ideas surfaced out of the watery margin between the conscious and the subconscious, when I was lying suspended in insomnia’s strange ether of almost-sleep.

I love how surrealist photographer Jenna Martin describes to the way insomnia blurs the line between sleeping and waking, and the way it informs her work:

“I’m a complete insomniac; it’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life.  I go days at a time without sleeping … And when that happens, reality becomes a bit warped.  You know you’re there but you aren’t really present… When it gets really bad, the line begins to blur and I have a hard time figuring out whether I’m sleeping or awake … or if I’m dreaming while I’m awake.  It’s very hard to explain … These aren’t pictures of my dreams when I’m sleeping, but instead pictures of how I view reality when everything starts blending together.”

(Sidenote:  if you’re interested in Jenna’s insomnia-inspired photography, you can check out her blog here.)

It was during a particularly terrible bout with sleeplessness that I began experimenting with camera movement to capture that blurred sense of reality Jenna describes.  

I discovered the trick almost by accident — during a photo walk, my hands shook so badly that the images dragged, no matter how I tried to hold the camera steady.  I decided to intentionally embrace the camera movement, since it seemed like an honest expression of how I felt at the time, and some of my favorite photographs were the result:



I’m not sure what to make of all this, except to say that sometimes, our dark fearful places are really just invitations into creativity and innovation.

And whether you’re sleepless or dreaming peacefully tonight, I hope you’ll imagine your way into a little creative magic of your own. ❤


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. ❤ 


Thoughts in Progress

other tongues …



I have spent my life in the company of those who like to talk about words. Their power (so they say) mightier than the sword.

But words are just one language, and — hear me — there are others.  

Ones I am just now beginning to learn…




In the last light, I go walking down the road to the woods.  

I shake the sun from my shoulders — watch it fall like glass prisms, shattering on the pavement.  

(The light is only multiplied in the breaking.)

So I stand there in the circle of winking shards … and look up.

Open my arms.

Turn slow.

This — trust me — is language.



Then, too, there is the language of flowers.




There is the language of the shutter, opening to sun.  The language of paint sliding slow against canvas.  The dancer’s body, turning in a slow circle.

The language of skin.




Feel my hands now, pulling you against me.

Feel my head tucked under your chin, my breath against your neck, my fingertips at your lips in the gesture of hush

as we stand still — so still —

and the light rains down around us —






breaking …





Oh, Love.  Put away your sword.  And just stand here with me, silent:


… speaking. ❤


Ask me anything …


Can I tell you a secret?  It’s weird, keeping a blog.  I post photographs and snippets of poetry — sometimes shamelessly personal prose.  I dream in blazing black-and-white, and then I come here and splash those dreams on the screen.  Still, though …  There’s so very little you know about me.  

And you know what else?  There’s probably even less I know about you.

So today I thought we’d try to change that.


My proposal is this: ask me anything.  Pose whatever question you’d like in the comment section — whether it’s serious or silly, profound or profoundly mundane — and I’ll try to answer it, either there or in a separate post.  In exchange, all I ask is that you reveal something interesting about you. 

(Think of it as a meeting of new friends around a big, round table.  Imagine there’s coffee.  Or a bottle of your favorite wine.)

As always, I reserve the right to delete any comment that makes me uncomfortable.  That said, I’ll sincerely try to meet whatever genuine and thoughtful question you throw at me… whether I get two questions, or twenty.


Cheers, friends… Here’s to many sweet conversations to come. ❤