Sunday Stills – Christmas Song Lyric Challenge


I just have to share our kiwi version of the “12 days of Christmas” although I did struggle to find photos except for the pukeko and the ponga tree! I did have some kumara in the pantry but I cooked them for dinner before I remembered to take the photo.


A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree  (Written by Kingi Ihaka in 1981)

(The 12 Days of Christmas)

On the first day of Christmas 
My true love gave to me 
A pukeko in a ponga tree 

On the second day of Christmas 
My true love gave to me 
Two kumera 
And a pukeko in a ponga tree 
On the third day of Christmas...

and so on, until... 

On the twelfth day of Christmas 
My true love gave to me 
Twelve piupius swinging 
Eleven haka lessons 
Ten juicy fish heads 
Nine sacks of pipis 
Eight plants of puha 
Seven eels a swimming 
Six pois a twirling 
Five - big - fat - pigs ! 
Four huhu grubs 
Three flax kits 
Two kumera 
And a pukeko in a ponga tree!

WQWWC #51: WHAT’S IN MY TOYBOX?

“It is a happy talent to know how to play”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a lot of toys surrounding me, and whilst I would like to be able to say I use them every day that that would be a NO. 


Unless of course I count my photography toys/props. These include LEGO, toy soldiers, miniature people, zombie dolls and  baby dolls, and even my little drinking buddies get up to some tricks. 


Here are some of the ways I find to play with my toys.

Play is our brain’s favourite way of learning

– Diane Ackerman

And what do I learn?  Which is the best lighting to use, which lens to attach, how to pose the players, (thank goodness for posable toys) or  how to use stop motion to tell that story. 

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing” 

George Bernard Shaw

We are never too old to play. Get out those toys and play free.

“When you’re free, you can play and when you’re playing, you become free.”

Heidi Kaduson

So what is in your toy box?

WQWWC #50 An almost Forgotten post

I love light, I love to write and I love life – I create my words and images to capture the light in my life.
Capturing the light leads me on many different journeys – wandering with my camera is one of my favourite things to do. 

“If I didn’t have my camera to remind me constantly, I am here to do this, I would eventually have slipped away, I think. I would have forgotten my reason to exist.”

Annie Leibovitz

Once upon a time, my habit was that I always took my camera everywhere I went. Over this winter, I had forgotten that habit.  Part of the problem was that due to being locked in with road closures and locked down through Covid, I wasn’t actually going anywhere. Yes, I could still walk on the beach unless it was raining and blowing a gale – which it did regularly throughout the winter months.


Thankfully, as the weather is warming up- and (even though the roads are only slowly being fixed), I am getting out a bit more – and I am becoming reacquainted with my camera after misplacing my ‘phojo’ for a couple of months. I had forgotten the joy I feel when wandering with my camera.

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Aaron Siskind

I write to capture my thoughts…

“People have forgotten how to tell a story.”

Steven Spielberg

I thought I had forgotten so much of my childhood but then I started to write my story, and those memories came flooding  back. They were much closer to the surface than I had thought. I had not forgotten my life experiences and yet I struggled to write them as interesting stories. So I researched how to write memoir. I used some writing prompts. I revisited Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (adapted for Covid heroic journeys), and also found an updated version or two of the Heroine’s journey.  My memoir writing journey has just  begun. I hope to record those memories I thought I had forgotten. Watch this space.

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

Rudyard Kipling

A little story about coffee. Alarmingly, we run out of coffee so had to do the 120 kilometre round trip to town on a Monday – not our usual habit. Finally, we arrived home after a fraught day of road blocks, delays and overheating in our masks. I unpacked the groceries (yes, we bought so much more than we had planned) and noticed… HE had bought beans not espresso grind! That HERO had to return the very next day as HE was not popular – he will not forget again!

Life is about creating memories – and art!

“So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.”

Gaston Bachelard

I’m playing with art again. Practicing my creativity through daily pencil sketches and creating art journals.  I put on some music, and immerse myself in paints, pastels and crayons.  Out comes the water paint, the felt tips and the stencils. I have rediscovered the pure joy of messy fingers, and scribbling with charcoals and ink. I’m having fun!  I have not forgotten how to do that.

And just like that, all my hobbies are back on my playlist – and are remembered.

Sunday Stills: Cheers for Ruby Wine and a Blood Moon

There is nothing quite as warming as a glass (or two) of a burgundy wine – especially if it is swirled and sipped in front of a blazing fire pit. 

Alternatively, finding a burgundy bar stool on which to perch whilst partaking of a burgundy beverage, is also quite palatable.

Now in case I am giving the impression that I have focussed only on ruby rich red wine, I do occasionally capture burgundy-brown buildings.

And I have even been known to forsake my evening tipple, so  I can drive out to capture the blood red lunar eclipse. Pleasingly, I had more success this month with the partial lunar eclipse that my first attempt in May which was rather too foggy and frosty. Mind you, attempting to composite a time-lapse of the lunar eclipse had me reaching for a red wine to calm my frustrations.

“I’m like old wine. They don’t bring me out very often, but I’m well preserved.” — Rose Kennedy

Cheers,

WQWWC #48 – Foggy finds

Don’t be afraid to go into the fog. Be excited because you don’t know where you will end up. Sophie Madden

As the moon sets, and the fog lifts, where will the day take us? Take that road trip and go wherever the road leads.  The day’s adventures are about to begin…

And out of the fog, appears a merino in the mist.

Or a hoar frost with magical icicles sparkling in the trees…

“And when the fog’s over and the stars and the moon come out at night it’ll be a beautiful sight”

– Jack Kerouac

“There it is, fog, atmospheric moisture still uncertain in destination, not quite weather and not altogether mood, yet partaking of both.”

~ Hal Borland

WQWWC #45 Fortitude/Resilience

“Life is a journey that takes us on many paths – and tests us and shapes us in ways that allow us to aspire to even more challenging directions”

This was the message on a farewell card when I was leaving a much loved job to further my career.  The card was decorated with forget-me-nots – I never have forgotten the fortitude I needed to take that leap and change direction. I left the well trod path and ventured onto the rocky track.

I wrote these poems in the aftermath of painful family feuds.

In every given moment we have two options, to step forward into growth, or to step back into safety – Abraham Maslow

Often hidden amidst words of anger or hate
Underlying fear creates a sense of panic. 
Flight not fight becomes the norm. 
Habits thus formed are hard to break 

Stop for a moment and think
How does your anger help you?
Do you just live to hate
Or do you hate to live?

What if you choose to love 
Would that calm your fear?
Replace those feeling of anger
With actions of hope?

You may be surprised at how good you feel 
when the fear recedes. 
And the peace returns. 

My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself an accomplishment.  Steve Goodi

One day I was counting up the surgical scars I had  due to caesarian section, melanoma, knee replacement and rotator cuff repair when I realised just how resilient I had become through these experiences. I wrote these words. 

Some of us carry our scars externally.
These are a physical sign of our survival.

Scars are often hidden within us,
Internal injuries sustained through harmful words.

Scars are gathered over the passage of our lives,
They are both the symbol of - and the price for -  this life.

AND……


When I peeled back the layers, I found a beautiful resilience inside – this is how I know I’ll always thrive – Lori Schaefer

WQWWC #43 – Imaginary imagery

“What we imagine in our minds becomes our world…”  Masaru Emoto

Masaru Emoto and his water crystals:

“Water consciousness first gained international attention with the unconventional but groundbreaking experiments of Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto. While you may not recognise his name, chances are that you have seen or heard of his work – namely, the theory that water can understand and retain the energy of human intention.


“In the 1990s, Emoto performed a series of experiments in which water was kept in a variety of bottles, each carrying a label with a different message. The messages ranged from positive and caring (thank you, love) to negative (I hate you, I want to kill you), and then drops of water from these bottles were placed on slides and deep-frozen to form snowflake-like crystals. 


The crystals that formed on positive messages were found to be ore geometric and aesthetically pleasing, while the crystals fired  by water with negative messages were chaotic  and non-uniform in shape.“ He called his findings ‘hado’ – the life force energy-consciousness of varying frequencies infused in all matter.

The follow-up argument has been this: Given the high water composition of the human brain and body,  if water is in fact conscious and receptive to energy frequencies, how can these positive or negative messages affect our bodies on a molecular level?”

Was this a self-fulfilling prophecy – just imagine it and it becomes real?  Or is it an example of the creative force of the imagination?


What a rabbit hole I dived down into here –  it was almost a wishing well of watery wonderment. My imagination was definitely working overtime.


And it made me wonder….

Is it better to live in an imaginary world or in this harsh real world? I guess that depends on how happy and satisfying your own experience of the ‘real’ world is.  And even if your current reality is not yet the best, escaping into an imaginary world can be both restorative and healing. Or it can be if you just let yourself be free to imagine.


Throughout my life, retreating from time to time into the imaginary world of books has been a constant relief from the trials and tribulations of daily life. Immersing oneself into another world creates imaginary images within our minds, and sets the mind free to dream; and it encourages creative thinking.  

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus”  Mark Twain

As a photographer, I use my imagination to first visualise my story then try to recreate my vision into the image. Finding the best point of focus is part of the storytelling but sometimes  I purposefully throw the focus out to create my vision. And yes that might make it hard to focus my eyes but I can depend on my imagination instead. It is such a delight when I create an intriguing image using Intentional Camera Movement (ICM), or compositing several images to create a new story. 

So many things to ponder in my imagination and yet….   in the words of the imaginary Dr Who

I’ll just be a story in your head. But that’s alright. We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.” – Doctor Who

#SundayStills – Spring has sprung

Nothing says Spring to me as much as the daffodils and blossoms bursting forth and shining bright all around me.

Except maybe the territorial Tui who tumble and savour their way through the kowhai trees, sipping nectar from the yellow flowers.

Territorial Tui tumbling through the trees, 
One flies in and the other flees,
Sipping on the nectar,
Flying near and far.

It is such a delight 
To see them take flight
Soon they will build a nest 
To prove which bird is the best.


https://secondwindleisure.com/photography/sunday-stills-photo-challenge/

All that glitters is gold (to me)

Gold must be the flavour or favour of the month. The topic for both this week’s Sunday Stills and for Life in Colour –  September is gold. I thought I would combine the two to see where it goes. 

Gold in the sky, 
Gold in the sand, 
Gold in the architecture 
Gold in the sea!
All that glitters is gold to me!

Way back in the days when we could -and did – travel internationally, I visited historic buildings and saw golden statues glittering within the cloisters and altars  of churches, and the museums displaying the gilded treasures of history.


It starts with golden entrances, and continues through churches and museums that glitter with gold.  

Windows and water features reflecting the precious glitter of gold.

Whilst I enjoy the glittering history, my favourite golden hues are still found in nature.

Sunday Stills – Going Back in time

Going back in time, I found this intriguing photo  amongst my travel memories, It was an interesting way to tell the time, at least in the afternoon.

“In the centre of the Old Town Square in Prague, there is  a line on the cobblestones. At the start of the line, which is called Prague Meridian until 1918 stood a huge Marian Column. The shadow from the column fell on the meridian and locals could check the time. The Latin inscription on the Prague meridian says: «Meridianus quo olim tempus pragense dirigebatur», which means “In the afternoon you can see the exact time in Prague.”

Going back into family history brings memories alive again. Delving through the old photos and memorabilia of earlier times reminds us of how life must have been then back then.  Learning about our history also teaches us how to look forward. The baby in the middle photo is the great grandfather of my granddaughter is holding a photo of the grand uncle who is also pictured in the photo on the wall.

This week Aotearoa/New Zealand has been celebrating Te Wiki o Te Red Maori/Maori Language Week. I thought it timely to share this whakatauki/proverb which is also about going back so you can move forward in strength. 

Titiro whakamuri

Kokiri whakamua


Look back and reflect

so you can move forward