Solitude I Can Justify

Not to be idle, and also to say farewell to 2017 and to welcome 2018, I am doing the free WordPress course, ten days long, called Developing Your Eye, to help me get a little better as a photographer. Honestly, I am a week late, but there has been holiday fun, the intense winter weather, and other reasons to procrastinate.

To complete the exercise for Day Six of the course, I took to the idea of solitude. How I thought to illustrate solitude is to show the vantage point of a walking trail up the street from where I live, between an elementary school where some of my education took place when I was little, and a gospel chapel on the other side of the trail.

A gospel chapel the last day of the year

While I don’t attend the chapel, this point of origin symbolizes for me the distance between my home now, to the road to where my parents live, and where I spent my teenage years and most of my twenties. Down the street I live alone. The solitude is having left where I resided in my younger years.

On the path beside the gospel chapel

In 1978 DC Comics gave us the big screen adaptation of the Superman comic starring the late Christopher Reeves–I realize the film belongs to a generation older than mine. Superman, reflecting on his power, travels north to his Fortress of Solitude to find answers about his fate and his obligation as a hero.

The silver screen images of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude became so iconic that even in the present Henry Cavill version of the Superman saga the recreated Fortress of Solitude in his films strongly resembles the design of the 1978 film with Christopher Reeve. The nineteen seventies Fortress of Solitude has been translated to the current Superman films with a similar design that remembers Superman on film in the seventies and eighties.

Why does the caped superhero require solitude? Solitude can permit a person to approach life with his own direction, unimpeded by the feedback of others.

The town here is small but it is a city–it is never that lonesome. There is contact with people each and every day.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t cultivate an attitude of preserving solitude, and I imagine it shows in the style of the blog I write and in the appearance of the photos I take. I imagine many humans likewise treasure their solitude, particularly in that as adults there are so many demands and requirements for living in a Western culture that we have little choice but to conform.

When there is an opportunity for solitude, in contrast to what we are tasked with doing in the course of day-to-day work, solitude becomes extremely valuable, at least in small measures. In other words, silence is golden.

I realize it is ironic I am writing that when blogging can be seen as a search for a community (and WordPress is an inclusive community). Blogging is a given in this day and age–if you have even a basic amount of computer literacy, it is not surprising if you are blogging.

If you are doing business, and you personally have some computer literacy or otherwise a member of your team is computer-literate, you should have a blog. Even as I assert my blog is not making me money, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to pursue it. I suppose I am trying to have my cake and eat it, too, but I have the solitude that I think makes me truer and I am likewise active at participating in the Internet, which is millions and millions of others.

I don’t think foregoing solitude is the answer, but I respect those people for whom blogging is not just satisfying as an opportunity to make discoveries, but who profit financially by being business-savvy with the blogging that they do.

You can find my church at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited


The Silver Screen in the Storm

I am extremely late working on this free course from WordPress to help me get better as a photographer.  With the extreme winter, the busy holidays, and the relative difficulty of thinking how to proceed, at last, I am ready to make a post with the next exercise in photography at the ready and on the Internet.  Day Four of the beginner-level WordPress course “Developing Your Eye” asks participants to reflect with a photo about bliss–this is what I have for you.


Landmark Cinemas at the Pen

One of the cool things I got to experience when I was a boy was watching a film, and for a long time, we didn’t have cable television in our house (I suppose it’s lucky we had electricity–joking, of course, we certainly did)… but I did get to visit the movie house and it opened what I expect will be a lifelong cycle of happiness creating memories that contain a component of elusive bliss.


I can remember without being aware of much else famous movie titles that I got to see, and I suppose the end result of a childhood like that is an adulthood rich with “geekdom”–that movies continue to light a casual passion in my life and I remember to enjoy them.  They light a bit of freedom that should be cherished amid the changing times that sweep by all.  The movies remain an institution of great cultural impact and richness.


My photo today is of the exterior of the commercial cinema in the mall in the other end of town, and, as previously mentioned, the winter weather so far this year is fierce–you can see the swirling snow.  I nearly came home with less clothing than I’d worn.


Blogging with WordPress is an amazing hobby–I am consistently impressed by the visitors who leave “likes” on the posts which are of a passing grade.  I hope that by the end of this course in photography I have improved as a photographer and I hope blogging takes me into 2018 with aplomb and continues to serve as a communication tool by which excellent connections are forged.  Thank you!

By Jen H.

How it is the Passerbys Glow

Each week WordPress provides a photo challenge, that you can participate in even if you only have a cell phone with a camera (it’s clear a camera is good, too).  Looking for the challenge this week, it turned out WordPress provided the challenge to show “glow.”

By Jen H.

The idea is to play with the idea of glow, such as taking a picture just after sunrise, or before sunset, the latter being what I did.


I took a photo of a plaza just as the sky was glowing red and the clouds were disappearing into the night.  The stoplight in the street was red, meaning the cars headed that direction were stopped and waiting for the light to change.  One single vehicle had made the light and can be seen proceeding in the direction from which I’d walked.


Some of the details in the photo I took are lost to the disappearing light, which adds mystery, I think, to the picture, and makes it a little more interesting.  The “glow” challenge gave me the idea for the first time to try capturing with the camera a location that was glowing from sunset.


I hope you like it.  If you take part in the weekly photo challenges (each Wednesday), maybe I’ll see what you shot.  That would be nice.


What’s more, the WordPress Daily Prompt today is the word “release.”  It is too complicated an idea to explore, but I think again how it is to be expressive, particularly on WordPress, where an inclusive atmosphere is intended, is quite a positive release, I’d argue, to let emotions that are within come to the surface.  Human beings are creatures of expression.


Thanks for reading, and good luck with your blogging!

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
Thank you for visiting my blog. All the best.

Shield Your Eyes and Dissolve the Most Troubling Condition that Plagues You

I was very humbled last night by a comment on the post I wrote and published yesterday, found at pity-for-loss-and-unfulfilled-expectations/

You see, I was speculating that were I to choose a favorite poet of the past, I would choose Percy Bysshe Shelley for his brilliant repute. It was kindly explained to me many things about the death of the renowned poet with which I was barely acquainted. It is possible I should be apologetic for saying so much about the lettered man of two hundred years ago. You can find a recent post by William Pierce who provided assistance to me at https://walkwithgod.blog/2017/07/23/pray-to-be-one/ William blogs regularly, publishing passages of text from The Bible along with his devotional poems and with prayer. I am grateful for this emotional support of my efforts and am considering repenting more often such that the work I do is not in vain.
Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word Trance. As you must know, the Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, which is I understand is visible across North America, must be treated as the dangerous phenomenon it is but also recognized as an important occasion that will mark the days for a long time to come. I think of trance as something in Black Magic that brings the dead back from the grave or as a hypnotic state induced in order to remember the distant past or to cope with a problem that troubles one’s self-conscious. For the most part, though, the thing that occurs to me the most is the underground trance music of clubbers that I think was characteristic of dance music in the 1990s. I don’t mean the radio-friendly pop music, I mean the beats and the electronica, like Orb or other people doing music like that. I probably know as much about it as I do about Shelley, but those ideas are what the word suggests to me. Naturally enough, I am sure there will be many entering a trance state at some point today and tomorrow, as the solar eclipse is widely held to be an important twenty-first-century event. However the state of mind that is trance is accessed, if you see this it may be of benefit to you to reflect on events which happened on and about the time of the 2017 Solar Eclipse.  Planets Mercury Mars Venus and Earth blank

It is a difficult decision whether to blog, but I am in favor of it as I feel it is a regular part life and has been years now, and I am going with this blog post, as it doesn’t have a very large readership and it is unlikely to be scrutinized too closely. I do recognize, especially with the help of William Pierce, who has been gracious enough to respond to several of my blog posts in the past, and who seems positively in favor of gentle guidance onto the path of The Lord. It may ultimately be the path I tread, as I feel there is much comfort to be had in the arms of Jesus Christ, and with all of the rewards that accompany a life in Christ.files

If you are okay with this post, click like, follow, and/or subscribe. I’ll see you soon. Good luck to you, and don’t forget too soon what has come August 21, 2017. It’s the Dark Side of the Moon. I believe you are owed the freedom that accompanies the decision to recognize 2017’s Solar Eclipse. Change can happen and is real.

What Might Have Been Adventure Can Show the Rust

The illusion of progress is revealed to be one-dimensional if the necessary steps to proceed are taken in an incorrect order.  Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word, “illusion,” and it’s a word that’s interesting because it reminds me of fantasy themes where magic illusions sometimes enter the conversation.  Unfortunately, a more telling example of illusion, in the real world, is when what’s holding together the bigger picture becomes illusory and therefore is fragile.  Like when your nine-to-five gig, whatever’s paying the bills, turns out to be a little more illusory than you would have liked and pretty soon you are out of work, owing to shortcomings which turned up at a time which proves inopportune (the illusion is no more).

If you have an applicable skill set, you probably wouldn’t find yourself holding the reins and coming untethered, but the odd time, I think it’s probably happened to most, you wind up out of luck and what was an illusion of success is revealed to be bogus, which is when you’re back on the streets.  This week’s WordPress photo challenge is an essay on transience, which, if adversity prevails and you can’t master holding down a job or otherwise making ends meet, is where you find yourself if ultimately you meet your doom.  I’ve toyed with transience in my lifetime and it can feel like a bleak spot to live in, but fortunately I’ve remained afield of the game by taking a role in operations at a not-for-profit which entails caretaking the grounds in good weather, and also maintaining on the internet a digital experience, chiefly with Facebook.  You can find Maple Lawn Cemetery, our not-for-profit, on Facebook here:  



Despite my position in the not-for-profit, at times I still feel the grip of transience, the hold it sometimes seems to want, and it is with some pleasure that I express the aptitude for transience I gleaned from this week’s photography essay.  The concept that an illusory sphere around me, which guides my hand in this lifetime, I am relating today because you can feel sometimes, I think, how the illusion could come apart and leave you in the lurch, with plans for the future cast into disarray and a scramble ensuing to pick up the pieces of a work culture about who you tiptoe.  I am certain that without initiative, in addition to persistence and ability, it wouldn’t take a lot to hit the skids and see chaos prevail.


Dedication to making any kind of living requires some hard work.  It’s a little not-for-profit, which refines some expertise and adds some structure to the big picture.  I’m not sure it would come apart if it wasn’t in place, but it provides some community building and in general, it’s a wholesome pastime, however tidy it comes together.  The feedback about the cemetery is upbeat.  I thought I would show a couple of photos today, as well as inviting you to, “like,” “comment,” and/or “subscribe” to this blog.  We proceed as a transparent not-for-profit, although we’re not held particularly accountable, as long as we heed some rules and regulations which are important to the operation of a cemetery.  There wouldn’t be much care given to such a spot if we weren’t handling it.  We’ve been doing it four years, and we don’t anticipate much change or much trouble as we keep on going down this road.  We’ll see how our future turns out, but in the meantime, it is not just an “illusion,” that we’re exploring, it’s a reality.

Evanescent As Time Unfolds But is Captured

I remembered my nine-year anniversary on Facebook this month and I was quite moved (and shocked) to find out it had been that long I had been with the service.  Thinking about time isn’t all that easy.  If you haven’t lived life to the fullest, you could well have regrets.  Every day that you don’t take at least one step toward a positive result in the future coming your way is a day that is, in all probability, wasted.  I am not one to tell you what to do but if you asked me and I was being honest, I would tell you that you need to weigh the benefits of today’s action come tomorrow.

 Maple Lawn Cemetery

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is entitled, “Evanescent.”  It’s about the idea that change is measurable.  In the challenge, photographers are invited to reflect on change as it is literally visible in a photograph.  The essay in the challenge this week is quite lovely.  In its concluding paragraph, Krista suggests as an example lighting a fire to mark the arrival of fall, for example.  It reminded me immediately of photos I’ve taken at Maple Lawn Cemetery where I help handle operations when Peter and I have collected fallen tree branches and piled them for burning.  Maple Lawn is a not-for-profit cemetery which is a labor of love for us.  You can find us on the internet in a couple of spots, one, at http://maplelawncemetery.org/ which is our website, and also at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited …which is where we are on Facebook.

I thought I would show you one of my photographs, from Wednesday, November 19, 2014, for the challenge, of my father Peter burning the branches which we remove in the interest of keeping the cemetery beautiful.  I hope you like it.  You’re free to visit us on the web, and if you are interested, you are also welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or “comment” on this post.  Thank you for visiting my blog, and have a lovely week.  If you are another Word Presser investigating the Evanescent challenge, I would be interested to see your thoughts on moments in time and how they are captured on camera.