Busy Stillness: Layered by the Seasons and Solemnly

Often a photo is “layered” with clever perspectives and subjects, and open to interpretation.  Most weeks of the year WordPress offers a weekly photo challenge, which is to help bloggers on the platform to find inspiration in a picture.  The challenges are published Wednesdays, and you can read this week’s photo essay about layered photos https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/layered/

St. Catharines
Amid Maple Lawn Cemetery

Over the last few years, most of my photos have been taken in the setting of Maple Lawn Cemetery, where I co-direct operations, acting as a junior assistant to my father.  I take photos out of a love for the creative, and I thought back a little as to how best an assessment of “layered” might apply to my pictures.  Being a nature setting, there is quite a bit to photograph there that could be described as layered because it is an accessible setting to photograph.

 

A photo I took of my dad taking a mental measurement of the cemetery is layered in that you can see how movement “through” the cemetery field might be explored, how it is that the subject, my father, is of interest despite being solitary amid cemetery headstones, and how it shows texture since fall leaves are scattered in a way that delineates the foreground.  It illustrates layered as a photo that tells a bit of a story about what is happening, and if unknown to the viewer might require imagination as to what is going on in the photo.

 

If you are also blogging your photos for the sake of the WordPress photo challenges, or otherwise enjoy the picture here, you are welcome to like, comment, and/or follow.

  

Good luck with your own photography, and happy autumn to you.

 

Advertisements

Waiting, The Milestone that Identifies Another Piece of the Puzzle

And why not return to blogging, I say? The weekend finds me reading Wednesday’s WordPress photo challenge, an essay on waiting. Also, the daily prompt is the word Overcome.

The photo challenge and the daily prompt have me going back a little in time to see what I have done with my camera that might prove workable, for the purposes of the WordPress Prompts & Challenges. I think of nature, typically.

August 23, 2017
Sky over Maple Lawn Cemetery in St. Catharines

I am starting with a cloudy churning sky, shot the twenty-third of August when the heavens above seemed to speak dismay as I helped take care of my duties at the cemetery where I work. You can see the trees on the crest of the hillside standing with authority, and stones beneath, marking the plots where the dead rest and where the living mark time.

It was near the end of summer, and I tend to think I am nearer that more than anything, as the days go. It’s not depressing, but always a reminder to keep active, to keep living.

It would be mad not to act because the consolation as it happens is what freedome we have, to do a little, a little more, and then some. The stake put up in a blog is for me the rather sociable activity of reflecting on the challenges and prompts, such that I’m thinking along the same lines as what other WordPress bloggers think about the same ideas. A few people relate, although maybe not all that many.

Waiting isn’t easy and the moments of waiting, when the time slips away a little more, are never to be recaptured. It is a madcap time in these days of remaining connected far and away, but it is also when I want to stop, for, I take it, all have the same experience, that we are merely waiting.

The inertia of waiting passes and we gravitate back to what is fulfilling. In the meanwhile, all I might do is take a photo of what feels elusive. Sometimes not even that, I guess.

February 22, 2017
Louth United Church 1429 Third Ave, St Catharines

My second photo is another in the spirit of the photo challenge, which is looking at how it is I get away from the church that oversees the cemetery there, the physical route. The photo hints at motion. This picture is from the twenty-second of February, two thousand and seventeen, and I wanted to get away from the cold that had everything in its grip and would not give.

I like the photo despite its flaws, for the long tree shadow that guards the exit from the church and cemetery. Winter holds the moment together and few brave the elements. I am there, however, in that place of calm and possibly eternity–only time will tell.

The photo challenge asks us how we can show how it is to wait and how we choose to deal with it. I like to think up an interaction between the weekly photo challenges and the daily prompts, such that the two overlap. It is hunting two birds with one stone.

There is a week’s relief from the photo challenges ahead–the Waiting essay is the last one for two weeks. It is a respite, I suppose.

.If you are interested in any of this, you can like, follow, and/or comment as it suits you. You can also investigate our cemetery further on Facebook, at
www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
.
Thank you for visiting my blog. All the best.

Thinking I Have Been Misguided

Late in June this year, I had the good fortune to read an interesting 2007 Live from the NYPL interview with filmmaker Werner Herzog

https://brickmag.com/was-the-twentieth-century-a-mistake/

The films the chronographer points to include Nosferatu the Vampyre, Aguirre the Wrath of God, and Fitzcarraldo, three films which I viewed quietly when I was in college when such things were far less frequently available.  One of my college essays included observations about Herzog, and, perplexingly enough, my teacher mentioned to me the last we spoke that the young gentleman was planning to write a book about Herzog, to establish himself as a writer (and as a “serious” academic).  The interview in the literary journal here recounts Herzog’s observation on adventure:  “I cannot stand the term adventure nowadays–I lower my head and charge–it has degenerated into such an obscenity that you can go to the travel agency and book an adventure trip to New Guinea, to the headhunters, to the cannibals.”

I was reminded of my June 24 post- https://findingenvirons1.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/what-might-have-been-adventure-can-show-the-rust/ which was titled with the unfortunate word Adventure.  I have thought how I can correct the mistaken impression, but to the post’s credit, it did receive the favor of a blogger with a much larger profile than I have got myself.  beautybeyondbones you should read, and you can find what she was characteristically saying on her own blog this summer (it is hard hitting):  

https://beautybeyondbones.com/2017/06/22/the-exploitation-by-to-the-bone/

Compared to me, she’s very good.

Yesterday my nephew to move to his new college town, and while we’re not close I am interested to see how he will do (he anticipates he will become a teacher).  He has his own dorm room now and his studies will shortly begin, once he has acclimatized to being in his new life situation.

Bryce House
Jean-Royce Hall

I think how hard it is to be by and large confined to the area which is local.  Personally, I am not easily discouraged, but I think compared to beautybeyondbones, who has gone through tremendous suffering and come back strong, it is a daunting outcome to contemplate being powerful enough to effect insight.  I sometimes tweet links to articles that argue for the relative merits of blogging, and I feel the odd person who could click through what trending posts I share on Twitter may occasionally see something that works for him (or her).  

You can find me on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

There is a plenitude of blogging advice available on the Internet, but the best advice I know of is this tidbit.  You should not tell people what to post.

Any passion, any ingredient for inventiveness or what is usually referred to as authenticity, should not be filtered out of an individual’s content for the sake of conveying expertise.  It is not a good idea.

I shall include another photo, which I think implies transience, simply which inspired the blog post which beautybeyondbones saw, impressing me greatly.  If you are of a mind that this is favorable to you, feel free to “like,” “comment,” and/or “follow.”  I seldom know what this will turn up, but I was moved by the Werner Herzog interview.

Uploaded 5 October 2015
Freeway exit

On the corner in the place I inhabit

When you’re growing up in a small town
You say no one famous ever came from here
small town, Songs for Drella, Lou Reed & John Cale

Today’s WordPress daily prompt is the word inhabit and this week’s photo challenge is an essay on the corner. I wanted to say something on my blog before too much time had passed so I looked to see what the daily prompt was saying today and I went out and took a couple of photos to participate in the weekly photography challenge again. I am beginning to understand that for my blog to have the faintest chance of being readable I have to dispense with the grade school rules of writing and begin to think more about how a blogger need think and how a blogger need write, and I’ve been on WordPress five years now and I know it doesn’t really amount to much.

Corner theme
Friday, August 25

It doesn’t mean I’m frustrated or full of self-doubt or anything like that. I’ve become convinced that there are new rules for writing on the Internet, and what need be done in the fashion of blogging, you can see plain as day from the words in front of you how a style of blogging best resemble. Similar to how it is now.

angles and intersections
Friday, August 25

What should be said? Perhaps as little as possible. Perhaps a little more, though, because why shouldn’t your life include a blog?

It’s near-essential. I don’t like much about the place I inhabit, I admit, but I grew up in this and I remain, despite the diminishing odds for success and the relative poverty and narrowness of opportunity I shoulder. I have family here and other supports and resources and it is a comfortable life, just not a daring one (you can find the website for our family-operated not-for-profit here).

Does it depress you thinking of something like what it is to be from somewhere that is mostly unknown? Don’t let it. For every withered self-help tome that exhorts the benefits of change and proffers a philosophy of optimism, don’t overlook the relative advantages of leading a comfortable life.

You should work hard and you should be kind, but never let the gloom in the streets extinguish the fire of passion you feel or clamp down on your enthusiasm or ruin your day in the least. Everything is as it should be, I whisper.

The times are exciting and even with only relatively scarce resources you can try this, and you can chase your dreams if they’re gathered in your arms or you can at least make out that you are having a good time. Living well is the best revenge, it’s said, and I would encourage you, if I really knew you, to put that into practice and to have a bit of fun what with everything you’re required to do and what you think you can do, to make your life better for yourself, and to experience a comparable level of satisfaction with your living in light of what you profoundly wish and desire.

That being said, I thank you, for reading this and for taking an interest of any kind in WordPress. If you relate to what I’ve said here, feel free to “like,” comment, and/or follow if it suits you. Good luck!

Jenna Marbles for President

Autumn Leaves, Favourite Memories, and Water Balloons

I have a nephew who this fall is beginning his university education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  I took classes at Queen’s University in 1996 and 1997.  We were reflecting this afternoon on Mack’s decision to move to Kingston for the university, me along with my parents, and with my brother’s wife, my nephew’s mother.

 

These days I have an occasional interest in photography and I take photos at the cemetery where I help tend the grounds.  You can find the website for our cemetery here.  It can be a quiet spectacle.  If I stand in the right spot, I can see the lay of the land, the stones jutting out of the ground beneath the colorful treetops.  When the Fall is here, though, we won’t have much time, because as the temperature drops we spend less and less time taking care of the outdoors, and we move inside the church on the property.

 

Louth United Church (disbanded 2006)
October 9, 2013

When I was a Queen’s University Freshman in the Fall of 1996, the students were told to represent their divisions, whether it was Arts & Science, where I was allotted, or Commerce, or Fine Arts, and so on.  One September day during Frosh Week the students were given balloons.  The balloons got to be filled with water, and soon we were in a game of water balloons, instructed to take on our rivals with a sneak attack, and threw water balloon after water balloon onto the other team.

 

While it wasn’t businesslike, it didn’t strike me as strange after the days of parading and getting to know the campus of the school.  What was a bit nonsensical, and I know I’m honestly a bit nonsensical myself, is that after the water balloon launch, my team were sat down in a lecture hall and admonished for doing such a lowly thing!  A girl, more experienced, took the podium and told us how far we’d sunk for interfering with the flow of the Frosh Week.  Novice though I was, I was astonished at the lesson we were being given.

 

My pride was injured.  I felt the sting of rebuke as I sat and heard the bad of what we had done.  As we took off after the lecture, most of us probably indifferent to the foolishness that had come down on us, I personally was a little more stiff with anger, and also on a path to greater rebelliousness.  It didn’t seem like irony to me that we had played this prank, and been caught.  It had been part of the fun, and it was wrongful.

 

I don’t reflect on this much, although I think now it was a lesson in doing the right thing and in showing respect.  Perhaps it wasn’t; I should have asked if the girl who handed down to us the words of shame was taking advantage of an opportunity, and what was behind her stern talk.  Nowadays, I snap photos and write and blog and participate in social media.  I’ve mostly forgotten about what happened with me and the other Arts & Science Frosh and the water balloons.

 

Maple Lawn Cemetery
October 9, 2013

The leaves at the cemetery change color, of course, and it is a passing joy to capture the image.  Even without a photographic record, it is a calming presence at the cemetery as the green disappears.  The days cool off slowly, and we take our time keeping the grounds in order.  Fall is a lovely season and a favorite time of year for me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Like Sunshine the Future is Welcome

WordPress provides a series of supportive prompts, including Daily Prompts which these days are typically one word, designed to get participating bloggers writing about similar themes at the same time (often unbeknownst to one another).  I check the Daily Prompt when I think of writing a blog post, and today’s prompt is the word, “glaring,” which interests me because I immediately think of what is glaring that is obvious.  I relate the word glaring to the phrase glaringly obvious.  The prompt is here:  glaring

 

I think some about video, which is an extraordinary innovation in 2017, and which is provided for consumers at many levels, both amateur and professional (and in between).  The word video, as I understand it, typically refers to video content, which is videos that are assembled in relative entirety, or in sequential formats, possibly to inform, and often to entertain.  For example, the king of social media, Facebook, is debuting today original video inside the “Watch” tab on your Facebook account.  I presume this debut is coming across the U.S., but I think I have to wait to teach myself the “Watch” tab rather than seek out too much additional instruction (and thus feel the element of surprise), as I am at home in Canada.  You can learn a little more about the “Watch” tab on Facebook in the U.S. here:  https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/09/facebook-watch/

 

00001. While the news doesn’t make the same waves in Canada, it is just one more aspect of video in 2017 that indicates that if you are marketing content for business purposes, you need to be afield in video content.  Personally, I help operate a not-for-profit with a small following on Facebook, and while we’re short of the mark where the potential to show video content exists, at least we are somewhat informed as to what is happening with small business and the Internet and we are persisting with some hopes for video in the future.  Visit us here:  

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

A summer funeral
Peter checks that the cemetery plot is complete the day of the funeral.

You are welcome to network with us by clicking what WordPress, like Facebook, calls, “like,” if you have an interest in what I am posting.  You can also click, “follow,” on my blog, if you want more content along the lines what I am writing, and you can also leave a comment.

A Partnership in Operations, in the Real World and also on WordPress

My father Peter and I look after operations at Maple Lawn Cemetery, a little graveyard where families continue to lay their loved ones to rest.  I’m not entirely sure between the two of us who thought we should involve our efforts with social media, with https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited … but we do, and I know from the Internet that blogging is an important component of branding businesses of all sizes.  I had the idea to tailor a blog to activities both inside and outside of the cemetery, and I am only these days beginning to narrow its focus so that it is both a heart on the sleeve and also offering some acumen of what we get up to as a two-partner not-for-profit http://maplelawncemetery.org/

 DSCF7922

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word partner… https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/partner/ …and my dad and I have been restructuring the work we do lately in order to accommodate changing experiences we’re encountering as we continue to maintain the cemetery (we began in 2013).  Dad worked for the municipality for many years and much of that time was spent in the office of the municipal cemetery where he played the role of a boss.  Similarly, at Maple Lawn, Peter functions in the role of a boss as we both look after operations which from my point of view chiefly include summertime caretaking and some duties in the disbanded church, Louth United, which is on the street running in front of the cemetery we look after.  What we’re really doing at the present is weighing how effectively we are carrying out duties caretaking the cemetery, and we do that without the benefit of the guidance of a Board of Directors or anyone else evaluating what we’re about, but not without the input of my mother and Peter’s wife Linda, who listens a little to what we have to say about what we’re getting done at the graveyard.

 DSCF8386

For about the last three years, I’ve been blogging with relative frequency, and although the theme of the blog probably seems a little unclear, it is like that primarily because I don’t have much partnership to draw upon when I am thinking about what to say for the blog.  I found myself settling upon drawing on the WordPress Daily Prompts and Weekly Photo Challenges for ideas what to say because that other bloggers use the WordPress prompts will be similarly finding themselves challenged to write posts with the spark of inspiration engendered by those prompts.  Ultimately I have found myself beginning to face the need to rewrite earlier posts I have put together so that they remain relevant and with the most direct aspects of the prompts written out as the specific prompts in question have fallen by the wayside.  I think what I have is a blog that resembles an eBook written at random and gradually entering the phase of its life in a state of the “second draft,” which is what I am doing now.

 

If you can relate to what I have on the go here, feel free to “like,” “comment,” and/or “follow.”  I am open to the possibility of looking on at your own blog, and if you do respond I can look at an example of one of your blog posts so I can relate to you.  Above all else, my blogging efforts are fun and are really only useful from the point of view of experimenting with a blog while keeping it grounded in my real world activities of working and learning.  Thank you for reading, and all the best to you.