Work samples

  • Much Is Left Unsaid

    When So Much Is Left Unsaid

    What do I see, 
    when i think of me
    what do i really know 
    of myself? 
    I suppose if i died tomorrow, friends and family would gather and make polite speeches about how i affected their lives. and they would likely leave out all of the shit that's just too real.

    I wonder sometimes if that's how well i know myself.
    just the polite version.

    Recently, a family member, 
    sent out an email 
    and then another
    sent out Facebook post.
    i guess to all the family members and close friends. 
    it was about the grief 
    they were experiencing, 
    tears even, 
    on the anniversary 
    of my dad's death. 
    they miss him terribly 
    now gone a decade.

    I have plenty of memories 
    of my dad that i might have shared at that moment
    but the tone would 
    have been very different
    and not particularly flattering

    Available for Purchase
  • Angle of Repose

    The only people I would care to be with now are artists and people who have suffered: those who know what beauty is, and those who know what sorrow is: nobody else interests me. Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.
    Oscar Wilde
    De Profundis

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  • Valley of Shadows

    I remember clearly the deaths of three men. One was the richest man of the century, who, having clawed his way to wealth through the souls and bodies of men, spent many years trying to buy back the love he had forfeited and by that process performed great service to the world and, perhaps, had much more than balanced the evils of his rise. I was on a ship when he died. The news was posted on the bulletin board, and nearly everyone recieved the news with pleasure. Several said, "Thank God that son of a bitch is dead."

    Available for Purchase
  • Dead Reckoning

    Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.

About joseph

Baltimore City
Joseph graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1983, and has since been based in Baltimore, 3 miles from his birthplace. Joseph has shown his work in many local venues, as well as at Denise Bibro Gallery, the Woodward Gallery, and the Edward Carter Gallery in NYC.

Joseph was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards in 2007, 2009, and 2012, and is a 2007 Black Spider Award Nominee and his photographs are found in the following collections:
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Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  

 

  • Mother & Child Reunion

    In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky — her grand old woods — her fertile fields — her beautiful rivers — her mighty lakes, and star-crowned mountains. But my rapture is soon checked, my joy is soon turned to mourning. When I remember that all is cursed with the infernal actions of slaveholding, robbery and wrong, — when I remember that with the waters of her noblest rivers, the tears of my brethren are borne to the ocean, disregarded and forgotten, and that her most fertile fields drink daily of the warm blood of my outraged sisters, I am filled with unutterable loathing.
    Frederick Douglass
    Letter to William Lloyd Garrison January 1, 1846

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  • Rialto Beach

    However little we may be attached to the world, we never can wholly forget it, or bear to be wholly forgotten by it. Disgusted at the guilt or absurdity of mankind, the misanthrope flies from it, resolves to become a hermit, and buries himself in the cavern of some gloomy rock. While hate inflames his bosom, possibly he may feel contented with his situation: But when his passions begin to cool; when time has mellowed his sorrows, and healed those wounds which he bore with him to his solitude, think you that content becomes his companion? Ah! no, Rosario. No longer sustained by the violence of his passions, he feels all the monotony of his way of living, and his heart becomes the prey of ennui and weariness. He looks round, and finds himself alone in the universe: The love of society revives in his bosom, and he pants to return to that world which he has abandoned.

    Available for Purchase
  • Bare Branch

    I thought scientists were going to find out exactly how everything worked, and then make it work better. I fully expected that by the time I was twenty-one, some scientist, maybe my brother, would have taken a colour photograph of God Almighty — and sold it to Popular Mechanics magazine. Scientific truth was going to make us so happy and comfortable.

    What actually happened when I was twenty-one was that we dropped scientific truth on Hiroshima. 
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Bennington College Address (1970)

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  • GraveYardCross.jpg

    Religion is a totalitarian belief. It is the wish to be a slave. It is the desire that there be an unalterable, unchallengeable, tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep, who can subject you to total surveillance around the clock every waking and sleeping minute of your life, before you’re born and, even worse and where the real fun begins, after you’re dead. A celestial North Korea. Who wants this to be true? Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate? I’ve been to North Korea. It has a dead man as its president, Kim Jong-Il is only head of the party and head of the army. He’s not head of the state. That office belongs to his deceased father, Kim Il-Sung. It’s a necrocracy, a thanatocracy. It’s one short of a trinity I might add. The son is the reincarnation of the father. It is the most revolting and utter and absolute and heartless tyranny the human species has ever evolved. But at least you can fucking die and leave North Korea!

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  • Fall Change

    I might think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief, it seems they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep. It might be wise to imitate the trees. Lose in order to recover, remember that nothing remains for long, not physical pain, not psychic pain. I might try to sit it out. Let it pass.”

    May Sarton
    Journal of a Solitude

    Available for Purchase
  • Psycho Maple

    Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong. Part of what psychedelics do is they decondition you from cultural values. This is what makes it such a political hot potato. Since all culture is a kind of con game, the most dangerous candy you can hand out is one which causes people to start questioning the rules of the game.
    Terence McKenna

    Available for Purchase
  • Face Tree

    A few weeks into our stay, I made a friend who wanted to improve his English as much as I wanted to improve my French. We met one day out in the crowd in front of Notre Dame. We walked to the Latin Quarter. We walked to a wine shop. Outside the wine shop there was seating. We sat and drank a bottle of red. We were served heaping piles of meats, bread, and cheese. Was this dinner? Did people do this? I had not even known how to imagine it. And more, was this all some elaborate ritual to get an angle on me? My friend paid. I thanked him. But when we left I made sure

    Available for Purchase
  • No one can know in advance how and where the night will come

    We don't need to retire to a cloister or the desert for years on end to experience a true dark night; we don't even have to be pursuing any particular "spiritual" path. Raising a challenging child, or caring for a failing parent for years on end, is at least as purgative as donning robes and shaving one's head; to endure a mediocre work situation for the sake of the paycheck demands at least as much in the way of daily surrender as do years of pristine silence in a monastery. No one can know in advance how and where the night will come, and what form God's darkness will take. Tim Farrington A Hell of Mercy

  • they taught was that no one was ridiculous or bad or disgusting
    I think about my education sometimes. I went to the University of Chicago for awhile after the Second World War. I was a student in the Department of Anthropology. At that time they were teaching that there was absolutely no difference between anybody. They may be teaching that still. Another thing they taught was that no one was ridiculous or bad or disgusting. Shortly before my father died, he said to me, ‘You know – you never wrote a story with a villain in it.’ I told him that was one of the things I learned in college after the war. Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five
  • only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it
    We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world - to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity - our own capacity for life - that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled. We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits.

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  

 

  • When it can be said by any country in the world

    When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good.

    Thomas Paine
    Rights of Man

    Available for Purchase
  • No society wants you to become wise

    No society wants you to become wise: it is against the investment of all societies. If people are wise they cannot be exploited. If they are intelligent they cannot be subjugated, they cannot be forced in a mechanical life, to live like robots. They will assert their individuality. They will have the fragrance of rebellion around them. They will choose to live in freedom. Freedom comes with wisdom, intrinsically. They are inseparable, and no society wants people to be free. The communist society, the fascist society, the capitalist society, the Hindu, the Mohammedan, the Christian — no society — would like people to use their own intelligence because the moment they start using their intelligence they become dangerous — dangerous to the establishment, dangerous to the people who are in power, dangerous to the ‘haves’; dangerous to all kinds of oppression, exploitation, suppression; dangerous to the churches, dangerous to the states, dangerous to the nations.

    Available for Purchase
  • The Parent of Three

    I understand now that no one else in the world knows what I should do. The experts don't know, the ministers, the therapists, the magazines, the authors, my parents, my friends, they don't know. Not even the folks who love me the most. Because no one has ever lived or will live this life I am attempting to live. Every life is an unprecendented experiment. This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they've never been. There is no map. We are all pioneers.

    Glennon Doyle

    Get Untamed: The Journal

    Available for Purchase
  • Entanglement

    In the eighteenth and nineteenth century debates concerning abolition, passages in the Bible were used by both pro-slavery advocates and abolitionists to support their respective views.

    Avery Robert Dulles said that "Jesus, though he repeatedly denounced sin as a kind of moral slavery, said not a word against slavery as a social institution", and believes that the writers of the New Testament did not oppose slavery either. In a paper published in Evangelical Quarterly, Kevin Giles notes that, while he often encountered the claim, "not one word of criticism did the Lord utter against slavery"; moreover a number of his stories are set in a slave/master situation, and involve slaves as key characters. Giles notes that these circumstances were used by pro-slavery apologists in the 19th century to suggest that Jesus approved of slavery.

    Available for Purchase
  • The Cross

    It has often been said that the most common idols in the West are Power, Sex, and Money; with this I am not in any profound disagreement. However, inasmuch as these idols are connected to a larger vision of life, such as the American dream, or the inalienable rights of free people, they become part of a nation’s civil religion. I would contend, in fact, that the most alluring and dangerous deity in the United States is the omnipresent, syncretistic god of nationalism mixed with Christianity lite: religious beliefs, language, and practices that are superficially Christian but infused with national myths and habits.

    Michael J. Gorman

    Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness: Following the Lamb into the New Creation

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  • The End Is Near

    Hard to describe what those next years felt like to live through. Except as a hollowing out, a loss beyond repair...even as it kept begging to be repaired. While the promise of what had been so very close haunted me. In so many ways. 

    So much in motion, such energy, it disguised the decay of things, the incremental rot. How much was hollowed out.

    Impossible to tell how fast society was collapsing because history had been riddled through with disinformation, and reality was composed of half-fictions and full-on paranoid conspiracy theories. You couldn't figure out if collapse was a cliff or a gentle slope because all the mental constructs obscured it. Multinationals kept their monopolies, shed jobs or even their identities, but most did not go under. Governments became more autocratic, on average. 

    Available for Purchase
  • Towson Garage Tree

    Towson Garage Tree

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  • I'm feeling so yellow

    I'm feeling so yellow. Because I didn't get to choose my parents, and at some point I realized that just maybe my parents aren't able to parent perfectly, but we exist, and the only choice I've got in the whole situation is whether I'm gonna love them anyway. It's as simple and messy and complicated as that. Megan Jacobson Yellow

  • Ghosts of old things creep into his consciousness

    There is a time in the life of every boy when he for the first time takes the backward view of life. Perhaps that is the moment when he crosses the line into manhood. The boy is walking through the street of his town. He is thinking of the future and of the figure he will cut in the world. Ambitions and regrets awake within him. Suddenly something happens; he stops under a tree and waits as for a voice calling his name. Ghosts of old things creep into his consciousness; the voices outside of himself whisper a message concerning the limitations of life. From being quite sure of himself and his future he becomes not at all sure. If he be an imaginative boy a window is thrown open and for the first time he looks out upon the world, seeing, as though they marched in procession before him, the countless figures of men who before his time have come out of nothingness into the world, lived their lives and again disappeared into nothingness.

  • places were much more reliable than human beings

    I told the students that they were at an age when they might begin to choose the places that would sustain them the rest of their lives, that places were much more reliable than human beings, and often much longer-lasting, and I asked each of them where they felt at home. They answered, each of them, down the rows, for an hour, the immigrants who had never stayed anywhere long or left a familiar world behind, the teenagers who'd left the home they'd spent their whole lives in for the first time, the ones who loved or missed familiar landscapes and the ones who had not yet noticed them. I found books and places before I found friends and mentors, and they gave me a lot, if not quite what a human being would. As a child, I spun outward in trouble, for in that inside-out world [of my family], everywhere but home was safe.

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  

 

  • memories are bullets
    Memories are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open and leave you in pieces. Richard Kadrey Kill the Dead
  • Dissimulation
    Dissimulation, secretiveness, appear a necessity to the melancholic. He has complex, often veiled relations with others. These feelings of superiority, of inadequacy, of baffled feeling, of not being able to get what one wants, or even name it properly (or consistently) to oneself — these can be, it is felt they ought to be, masked by friendliness, or the most scrupulous manipulation. Susan Sontag Under the Sign of Saturn
  • Even the clouds get in on the the quirky
    I do love Northern California. You can order your omelet with avacado and tofu, and they won’t call the police. Even the clouds get in on the the quirky
  • casualties of the primitive rules of competition
    There are people who make a complete and utter mockery of 'democracy' and 'equality' - they're the casualties of the primitive rules of competition which run our society, and the welfare state keeps them just barely alive. And that’s all. Michael Palin Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years
  • the shelter of this standing stone
    Traveling west from Petaluma to Point Reyes, I came across this lone oak tree that had probably sprouted from the shelter of this standing stone. I could well imagine this fellow enjoying significant protection from the powerful westerly winds coming off of the Pacific, at least until it reached some level of maturity. Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody experienced this kind of security during their most vulnerable years.
  • the deep interconnectedness I longed for
    My glorification of independence and individualism made me and easy target for the myth of meritocracy, and overshadowed what in my heart I knew to be true: the deep interconnectedness I longed for with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers is core to human survival. Interdependence is our true lifeblood. Debby Irving, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race
  • The darkest secret of this country

    The darkest secret of this country, I am afraid, is that too many of its citizens imagine that they belong to a much higher civilization somewhere else. That higher civilization doesn’t have to be another country. It can be the past instead—the United States as it was before it was spoiled by immigrants and the enfranchisement of the blacks. This state of mind allows too many of us to lie and cheat and steal from the rest of us, to sell us junk and addictive poisons and corrupting entertainments. What are the rest of us, after all, but sub-human aborigines? Kurt Vonnegut Bluebeard

  • When we don’t use our talents to cultivate meaningful work, we struggle
    As it turns out, it’s not merely benign or “too bad” if we don’t use the gifts that we’ve been given; we pay for it with our emotional and physical well-being. When we don’t use our talents to cultivate meaningful work, we struggle. We feel disconnected and weighed down by feelings of emptiness, frustration, resentment, shame, disappointment, fear, and even grief.” Brené Brown The Gifts of Imperfection
  • a country where everyone lives in fear
    Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950 Harry S. Truman
  • just believing that I belong where I am and deserve to take up space
    It’s a struggle for me to remain open, and not shut down because I’m feeling defensive or scared or maybe my ego is getting in the way. And the other side of that is just believing that I belong where I am and deserve to take up space. I fight constantly between those two things, between not apologizing for what I want and staying vulnerable and creatively supple and not thinking I know better than everyone else. Amy Poehler

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  

 

  • I must keep in good health and not die
    “There is no sight so sad as that of a naughty child," he began, "especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?" "They go to hell," was my ready and orthodox answer. "And what is hell? Can you tell me that?" "A pit full of fire." "And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?" "No, sir." "What must you do to avoid it?" I deliberated a moment.... “I must keep in good health and not die.” Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre
  • commonwealth
    A proper community is in practice a commonwealth: a place, a resource, an economy. It answers the needs, practical as well as social and spiritual, of ALL of its members - among them the allowance to need one another. The answer to the present alignment of political power with wealth is the restoration of the identity of community and economy. Wendell Berry Racism and the Economy The Agrarian Essays
  • Night, beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive.
    Night, beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • memento mori
    “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s or thing’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” Susan Sontag So true. When I came back the next morning this behemoth driftwood was nowhere in sight.
  • indoctrination
    Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we have manifested thus far. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. Even a cursory glance at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements.
  • May you recognize
    May you recognize in your life, the presence, power and light of your soul. May you realize that you are never alone, That your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe. May you have respect for your own individuality and difference. May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, That behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening. May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment. John O’Donohue Anam Cara
  • Where are the cartographers of human purpose?
    But where are the alternatives? Where are the dreams that motivate and inspire? We long for realistic maps of a world we can be proud to give to our children. Where are the cartographers of human purpose? Where are the visions of hopeful futures of technology as a tool for human betterment and not a gun on hair trigger pointed at our heads? Carl Sagan Pale Blue Dot
  • wrong for us in just the right way
    We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if we’ve been through enough relationships, we begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because we ourselves are wrong in some way, and we seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into our own wrongness. And it isn’t until we finally run up against our deepest demons, our unsolvable problems—the ones that make us truly who we are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do we finally know what we’re looking for. We’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: it's got to be the right wrong person—someone we lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.” Eventually we find that special person who is wrong for us in just the right way. Andrew Boyd The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe
  • We are those scars that we hide
    We are the stories and incidents that we never tell anyone. We are the thoughts that we have standing under the shower. We are those memories that won't let us sleep at night peacefully. We are those words that we will never say to another soul. We are those scars that we hide, from everyone. We are those little secrets. We are everything that we hide. Akshay Vasu
  • when no destination comes to mind
    to be a cloud assuming any shape and in turn, every form for now, this one and now that one but not for long now another and still another endlessly shifting edgeless and drifting aimlessly shamelessly when no destination comes to mind

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  


  • Engraven Tree
    I found this nature-made pictograph embellished from a tiny crack on an old gravestone. I’m guessing a tree lover was laid to rest here a very long time ago.
  • God didn’t create fences
    God didn’t create fences for us or boundaries to contain our nationalities. Man did. God didn’t draw up religious barriers to separate us from each other. Man did. And on top of that, no father would like to see his children fighting or killing each other. The Creator favors the man who spreads love over the man who spreads hate. A religious title does not make anyone more superior over another. If a kind man stands by his conscience and exhibits truth in his words and actions, he will stand by God regardless of his faith. If mankind wants to evolve, we must learn from our past mistakes. If not, our technology will evolve without us. Suzy Kassem Rise Up and Salute the Sun
  • yearning for and resisting joy
    I had watched the sun blaze and in the blink of an eye slip away; the happiness I felt in that moment was a heartbeat from tipping to sadness at the knowledge that I couldn't hold it forever. My old familiar push-pull, my trademark yearning for and resisting joy. Sarah Combs Breakfast Served Anytime
  • this body was not mine
    The day my mother died I wrote in my journal, "A serious misfortune of my life has arrived." I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died. When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me. I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants, and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up.
  • because no one owns anyone
    No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it. Paulo Coelho Eleven Minutes
  • caught in an inescapable network of mutuality
    All this is simply to say that all life is interrelated. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality; tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. As long as there is poverty in this world, no man can be totally rich even if he has a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people cannot expect to live more than twenty or thirty years, no man can be totally healthy, even if he just got a clean bill of health from the finest clinic in America. Strangely enough, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • freedom involves attention
    The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. David Foster Wallace This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life
  • intermixing
    Through love, tribes have been intermixing colors to reveal a new rainbow world. And as more time passes, this racial and cultural blending will make it harder for humans to side with one race, nation or religion over another. Suzy Kassem Rise Up and Salute the Sun
  • Spring would soon come again
    Meanwhile, Spring would soon come again, and with it the outpourings of Nature. The hills will once again splash with wild flowers; the grass and trees will become an altogether new and richer shade of green; and the air will once again become scented with fresh and surprising smells -- of jasmine, honeysuckle, and lavender. Dalai Lama XIV, Freedom in Exile: Autobiography of the Dalai Lama
  • I want to be and not be ashamed of simply being
    I want to see the world without explaining away its mystery by calling things wicked, righteous, sinful, and good. I want to erase in myself the easy explanations, the always mendacious explanations about why things happen the way they do, and in this way, come to know the mystery of being–-not by any approximation in thought, but by actually being. I want to be and not be ashamed of simply being. Therese Doucet A Lost Argument

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  


  • The American Dream betrayed even those who achieved it
    The American Dream betrayed even those who achieved it, lonely in their overtime careers and their McMansions, narcotized to the ongoing ruination of nature and culture but aching because of it, endlessly consuming and accumulating to quell the insistent voice: “I wasn’t put here on Earth to sell a product.” “I wasn’t put here on Earth to increase market share.” “I wasn’t put here on Earth to make numbers grow.” We protest not only at our exclusion from the American Dream; we protest at its bleakness. If it cannot include everyone on Earth, every ecosystem and bioregion, every people and culture in its richness; if the wealth of one must be the debt of another; if it entails sweatshops and underclasses and fracking and all the rest of the ugliness our system has created, then we want none of it. No one deserves to live in a world built upon the degradation of human beings, forests, waters, and the rest of our living planet.
  • It’s you I like
    There’s a neighborhood song that is meant for the child in each of us, and I’d like to give you the words of that song right now. “It’s you I like, it’s not the things you wear. It’s not the way you do your hair, but it’s you I like. The way you are right now, the way down deep inside you. Not the things that hide you. Not your caps and gowns, they’re just beside you. But it’s you I like. Every part of you. Your skin, your eyes, your feelings. Whether old or new, I hope that you remember, even when you're feeling blue, that it’s you I like. It’s you, yourself, it’s you. It’s you I like. Fred Rogers 2002 Commencement Speech Dartmouth College
  • The American Dream betrayed even those who achieved it
    The American Dream betrayed even those who achieved it, lonely in their overtime careers and their McMansions, narcotized to the ongoing ruination of nature and culture but aching because of it, endlessly consuming and accumulating to quell the insistent voice: “I wasn’t put here on Earth to sell a product.” “I wasn’t put here on Earth to increase market share.” “I wasn’t put here on Earth to make numbers grow.” We protest not only at our exclusion from the American Dream; we protest at its bleakness. If it cannot include everyone on Earth, every ecosystem and bioregion, every people and culture in its richness; if the wealth of one must be the debt of another; if it entails sweatshops and underclasses and fracking and all the rest of the ugliness our system has created, then we want none of it. No one deserves to live in a world built upon the degradation of human beings, forests, waters, and the rest of our living planet.
  • The state of interbeing
    The state of interbeing is a vulnerable state. It is the vulnerability of the naive altruist, of the trusting lover, of the unguarded sharer. To enter it, one must leave behind the seeming shelter of a control-based life, protected by walls of cynicism, judgment, and blame. Charles Eisenstein The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
  • we are not so different from each other
    If we wish to know about a man, we ask 'what is his story--his real, inmost story?'--for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us--through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives--we are each of us unique. Oliver Sacks The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales
  • a beautiful world waits for us patiently
    In our future, a beautiful world waits for us patiently. In it, a person in the throes of emotional chaos is met with unconditional support, listened to with patient ears, seen as the sole expert of her own life. She is given sanctuary, and open arms, but only if she wants them. Laura Delano March 31, 2014
  • Oh, no, no, you've got that all wrong. You're not required to respect elders.
    Oh, no, no, you've got that all wrong. You're not required to respect elders. After all, most people are idiots, regardless of age. In tribal cultures, we just make sure that elders remain an active part of the culture, even if they're idiots. Especially if they're idiots. You can't just abandon your old people, even if they have nothing intelligent to say. Even if they're crazy. Sherman Alexie The Toughest Indian in the World
  • the way to be happy is to help others to be so
    Reason, Observation and Experience — the Holy Trinity of Science — have taught us that happiness is the only good; that the time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to help others to be so. This is enough for us. In this belief we are content to live and die. If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, Nature shall be demonstrated, we shall trust there will be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect in this faith. Robert G. Ingersoll On the Gods and Other Essays
  • It is quite normal to fear what one most desires
    It is quite normal to fear what one most desires. We desire to transcend the Story of the World that has come to enslave us, that indeed is killing the planet. We fear what the end of that story will bring: the demise of much that is familiar. Fear it or not, it is happening already. Charles Eisenstein The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
  • Mindfulness
    There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be. Just being in the moment in this place is the deepest practice of meditation. Most people cannot believe that just walking as though you have nowhere to go is enough. They think that striving and competing are normal and necessary. Try practicing aimlessness for just five minutes, and you will see how happy you are during those five minutes. Thich Nhat Hanh The Miracle of Mindfulness

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  


  • The life of Man is a long march through the night
    The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish form our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instill faith in times of despair. Bertrand Russell
  • It feels like the county fair has inhabited my mind
    But my brain winds and wends. Back and forth. Up and down. It feels like the county fair has inhabited my mind-- complete with sketchy rides, carnies, and sugar-amped kids crying over lost balloons. So loud and disorienting. I want it to pack up and move on to the next town. I want my mind to be an open grassy field again with crickets and dandelions. Laura Munson This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness
  • gaze into the internal mirror
    From time to time, we all must go into a landscape—be it inner or outer landscape—where there are no hiding places. Allowing the stark awe and silence to aid us in both communing and confronting the depth of ourselves. We fear emptiness because we know that within those places of nothingness we will come face-to-face with who we are and gaze into the internal mirror. But what is the alternative? Shall we go our entire life without hearing our own voice . . . without ever having met who we really are when isolated from all else? L.M. Browning, Seasons of Contemplation: A Book of Midnight Meditations
  • I would not have any one adopt my mode of living
    I would not have any one adopt my mode of living on any account; for, beside that before he has fairly learned it I may have found out another for myself, I desire that there may be as many different persons in the world as possible; but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father's or his mother's or his neighbor's instead. Henry David Thoreau Walden
  • Honesty is not the revealing
    Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of grief that is conferred upon even the most average life. David Whyte Honesty
  • that completes itself simply by being itself....
    The rich flow of creativity, innovation, and almost musical complexity we are looking for in a fulfilled work life cannot be reached through trying or working harder. The medium for the soul, it seems, must be the message. The river down which we raft is made up of the same substance as the great sea of our destination. It is an ever-moving, firsthand creative engagement with life and with others that completes itself simply by being itself...... David Whyte The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul
  • keep my glass clean
    There might be no unrequited love, because every relationship is a room full of mirrors. What I find and love in others is perhaps merely the reflection of my very best intentions, and what I loathe is the embarrassing illumination of my worst traits and fears. From those who attend almost entirely to their surfaces, I find comfort and familiarity when I too, feel the need to self-obscure. But the people with the clearest and most transparent glass, are always the ones who evoke the most powerful and fascinating emotions in me. So my take-away-today is to keep my glass clean, because that’s the person that wants to be seen.
  • You are all just like that
    What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all. Alan W. Watts
  • They are wiser than we are
    Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness. Hermann Hesse Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte
  • We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about God
    In a short time a group of commissioners arrived to begin organization of a new Indian agency in the valley. One of them mentioned the advantages of schools for Chief Joseph’s people. Joseph replied that the Nez Percés did not want the white man’s schools. “Why do you not want schools?” the commissioner asked. “They will teach us to have churches,” Joseph answered. “Do you not want churches?” “No, we do not want churches.” “Why do you not want churches?” “They will teach us to quarrel about God,” Joseph said. “We do not want to learn that. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn that. Dee Brown Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  


  • mature in one realm, childish in another
    We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. Anaïs Nin
  • The death of a dream
    The death of a dream can in fact serve as the vehicle that endows it with new form, with reinvigorated substance, a fresh flow of ideas, and splendidly revitalized color. In short, the power of a certain kind of dream is such that death need not indicate finality at all but rather signify a metaphysical and metaphorical leap forward. Aberjhani The River of Winged Dreams
  • The soul doesn't know a thing about deadlines
    Sometimes the people with the greatest potential often take the longest to find their path because their sensitivity is a double edged sword- it lives at the heart of their brilliance, but it also makes them more susceptible to life's pains. Good thing we aren't being penalized for handing in our purpose late. The soul doesn't know a thing about deadlines. Jeff Brown Love It Forward
  • the assurance that dawn comes after night
    Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. Rachel Carson Silent Spring
  • born with a piece of night inside
    You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that hollow place can never be filled - not with all the good food or sunshine in the world. That emptiness cannot be banished, and so some days we wake with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it... Leigh Bardugo The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
  • Only the servile are punctual
    The superior thing, in this as in other departments of life, was to be late. Lateness showed that serene contempt for the illusion we call time which is so necessary to ensure the respect of others and oneself. Only the servile are punctual. Rose Macaulay Mystery at Geneva
  • Sometimes our hearts scream yes while our heads say run; and only one can be obeyed
    We deny more than we confess. We hide more than we reveal. We assume because it makes us feel exposed if we have to ask. It's easier to say "I feel nothing" than to admit "I feel something." It takes no courage to say, "I hate you" but it takes a great deal more than moxie to declare its opposite. Masks are elaborate and everyone has a few. It takes a while to get to know people. This doesn't make them special, it makes them like everyone else. Sometimes our hearts scream yes while our heads say run; and only one can be obeyed. Donna Lynn Hope
  • Rum Tum Tugger
    The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat If you offer him pheasant he would rather have grouse. If you put him in a house he would much prefer a flat, If you put him in a flat then he'd rather have a house. If you set him on a mouse then he only wants a rat, If you set him on a rat then he'd rather chase a mouse. Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat - And there isn't any call for me to shout it: For he will do As he do do And there's no doing anything about it! T.S. Eliot Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
  • There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow
    There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow. And no fear either. Because each one exists to make the others more beautiful. Aberjhani Journey through the Power of the Rainbow
  • So let the darkness shape you
    So let the darkness shape you, let it reform you, let it cradle you and birth you into a new life; a new way of being. Let the spark flame again, in the darkness is where you will find it. L.J. Vanier Ether: Into the Nemesis

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  

 

  • Winter of Discontent
    Because money is convertible into all other things, it infects them with the same feature, turning them into commodities—objects that, as long as they meet certain criteria, are seen as identical. All that matters is how many or how much. Money, says Seaford, 'promotes a sense of homogeneity among things in general.' All things are equal, because they can be sold for money, which can in turn be used to buy any other thing. In the commodity world, things are equal to the money that can replace them. Their primary attribute is their 'value'—an abstraction. I feel a distancing, a letdown, in the phrase, 'You can always buy another one.' Can you see how this promotes an antimaterialism, a detachment from the physical world in which each person, place, and thing is special, unique?
  • wrapped in a cloud of inevitability
    The most dangerous ideas are not those that challenge the status quo. The most dangerous ideas are the ones so embedded in the status quo, so wrapped in a cloud of inevitability, that we forget they are ideas at all. Jacob M. Appel Phoning Home
  • All the places I've been
    All the places I've been make it hard to begin to enjoy life again on the inside, but I mean to. Take a walk ‘round the block and be glad that I've got me some time to be in from the outside, and inside with you. I'm sitting on the corner feeling glad. Got no money coming in but I can't be sad. That was the best cup of coffee I ever had. And I won't worry about a thing because we've got it made, here on the inside, outside so far away. And we'll laugh and we'll sing get someone to bring, our friends here for tea in the evening -- And Jeffrey makes three. Take a walk in the park, does the wind in the dark sound like music to you? Well I'm thinking it does to me. Can you cook, can you sew -- well, I don't want to know. That is not what you need on the inside, to make the time go. Counting lambs, counting sheep we will fall into sleep and we awake to a new day of living and loving you so. Inside Ian Anderson
  • Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude
    Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust....
  • Oh I know today is Windsday
    Oh the wind is lashing lustily And the trees are thrashing thrustily And the leaves are rustling gustily So it's rather safe to say That it seems that it may turn out to be It feels that it will undoubtedly It looks like a rather blustery day, today It sounds that it may turn out to be Feels that it will undoubtedly Looks like a rather blustery day Oh I know today is Windsday And this is how I know It is always on a Windsday That the winds begin to blow Alan Alexander Milne
  • The ways by which you may get money
    The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than the wages which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself. If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man..... Henry David Thoreau Life Without Principle
  • The trees are bare, but they are already living and breathing
    The snow has not yet left the earth, but spring is already asking to enter your heart. If you have ever recovered from a serious illness, you will be familiar with the blessed state when you are in a delicious state of anticipation, and are liable to smile without any obvious reason. Isn’t that what nature is experiencing just now? The ground is cold, mud and snow squelches under foot, but how cheerful, gentle and inviting everything is! The air is so clear and transparent that if you were to climb to the top of the pigeon loft or the bell tower, you feel you might actually see the whole universe from end to end. The sun is shining brightly, and its playful, beaming rays are bathing in the puddles along with the sparrows. The river is swelling and darkening; it has already woken up and very soon will begin to roar. The trees are bare, but they are already living and breathing. Anton Chekhov The Exclamation Mark
  • I’m not great at making plans
    I’m not great at making plans into photographic realities. Something always seems to alter the course. Sometimes even the trail itself becomes faint, or comes to an abrupt end, stranding me in NowWhatville. Many have been the times I’ve journeyed long distances to places that seemed promising on paper, only to discover that my timing was off, or the weather got weird, or some small but crucial detail was overlooked, and I’m found face to face with yet another failure. The clearer my intentions were, the bigger the letdown befell. Then somewhere in my thirties, I adopted a new attitude. I stopped constructing careful strategies and anticipating specifics returns. I loosened my grip on control, and I began instead to drift in the whimsey of my intuitions, literally wandering aimlessly, and waiting for something to happen.
  • ....but most of all he liked to listen to stories of real life
    ....but most of all he liked to listen to stories of real life. He smiled gleefully as he listened to such stories, putting in words and asking questions, all aiming at bringing out clearly the moral beauty of the action of which he was told. Attachments, friendships, love, as Pierre understood them, Karataev had none, but he loved and lived on affectionate terms with every creature with whom he was thrown in life, and especially so with mankind- not with anyone in particular, but with whoever that he happened to come across. His life, as he looked at it, had no meaning as a separate entity. It only had meaning as part of a whole, of which he was at all times conscious. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace
  • Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me
    Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole. Oscar Wilde De Profundis

Lately What Preys On My Mind

I photograph trees, obsessively. I have for decades. In some strange way, I need to. There’s a spiritual nourishment I get from wandering through wooded places, but its also an opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings. And that’s where the captions come from. Some of the words are mine, some are expressions of others more elegantly worded than my own, but capture my feelings precisely. 

I’m trying to find friends in the forest. Individuals I can relate and connect to in some way. They listen to me, patiently, and I love them for that. I wish I could do that for my real friends. Just be there and listen, and not add or interject anything. It’s such a lovely feeling to be really heard. 

In many ways these trees are my mentors. I admire them in so many ways. I love their organic forms and lines, so alluring, so very sexy. I love their gesture, posture, and body language. I love the variety, the individuality, not only of their appearance, but also of their experience. I love their commitment to place, their stoicism, and love of sunlight. I love their changes. I love their impartiality. I love their availability. I love their transparency, candor, and generosity. I love trees for these qualities, and I want to learn all these things from them, for myself.

I don’t wanna be a tree, I just wanna be like them.  

 

  • I am a dreamer
    I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can’t help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year. Fyodor Dostoyevsky White Nights
  • strangers in their birthplace
    I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid certain surroundings, but they have always a nostalgia for a home they know not. They are strangers in their birthplace, and the leafy lanes they have known from childhood or the populous streets in which they have played, remain but a place of passage. They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred and remain aloof among the only scenes they have ever known. Perhaps it is this sense of strangeness that sends men far and wide in the search for something permanent, to which they may attach themselves. Perhaps some deep-rooted atavism urges the wanderer back to lands which his ancestors left in the dim beginnings of history. W. Somerset Maugham The Moon and Sixpence
  • Maybe do it anyway
    It takes a bit of gumption to wake up every day to the fickle world and yet cleave to your morals and values And not flinch at the slightest inflection of disrespect or disdain from wild ones And not give in and mimic the mockery of blending in void of integrity Standing resplendent among the dull and dirty who are no longer enthralled with the pure light of day Who’ve renounced their identity for worldy pleasures It takes audacity to live individually, intellectually, and compassionately. Maybe do it anyway Emmanuella Raphaelle
  • Prisoner
    I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished. It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity. Howard Zinn You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Time
  • I was astonished, bewildered...
    I was astonished, bewildered. This was America, a country where, whatever its faults, people could speak, write, assemble, demonstrate without fear. It was in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. We were a democracy... But I knew it wasn't a dream; there was a painful lump on the side of my head... The state and its police were not neutral referees in a society of contending interests. They were on the side of the rich and powerful. Free speech? Try it and the police will be there with their horses, their clubs, their guns, to stop you. From that moment on, I was no longer a liberal, a believer in the self-correcting character of American democracy. I was a radical, believing that something fundamental was wrong in this country--not just the existence of poverty amidst great wealth, not just the horrible treatment of black people, but something rotten at the root.
  • Disintegration
    There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency, as there can be no leadership without it. Edward Snowden
  • We came to lose our leaves
    We did not come here to remain whole. We came to lose our leaves like the trees, Trees that start again, Drawing up from deeper roots. Robert Bly Eating the Honey of Words
  • pay back
    In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices. Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray, Love
  • There are different kinds of darkness...
    There are different kinds of darkness,” Rhys said. I kept my eyes shut. “There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful.” I pictured each. “There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good. Sarah J. Maas A Court of Mist and Fury
  • the trademark of the truly alive
    To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is perhaps not the empath who is broken, but our society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing our authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a 'hot mess' or having 'too many issues' are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. We need never be ashamed to let our tears shine a light in this world. Anthon St. Maarten