Broken Light


I hope you will forgive me for reposting this image, which I first blogged last year.  At that time, The Broken Light Collective asked me if I would allow them to use the image.  Shame on me I have only just this week got around to sending it!  The Collective is a group of photographers living with, or affected by, mental illness.  I am honoured that Into the Mist is currently their featured image and I cannot think of a better use for it than as inspiration for anyone who might be struggling with illness.

The ninth day of Christmas: resolving not to resolve

How did medieval people manage to celebrate Christmas for twelve whole days? I am beginning to regret launching myself into this series; once New Year festivities are over, I feel it’s time to move on.

Mind you, medieval folk probably didn’t start thinking about Christmas in September. I am quite sure they didn’t have to put up with cheesy perfume adverts in November, tinsel after Halloween and charity Christmas catalogues popping through their doors in July!

Anyway, today I have been thinking about New Years resolutions, or rather, I have been thinking about not making any. I am learning to live in the moment, not to project into the future but instead to notice the little things that are happening now. Cognitive Behavioural Therapists call it mindfulness.

The best thing I know to promote mindfulness is photography. I don’t need to resolve to take photographs since I can hardly help myself.

Anyway, here’s to living in the moment and, as an antidote to all that Christmas bling, some soothing black and whites.



The infinite sphere

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) wrote: “Nature is an infinite sphere of which the centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere”. We encounter nature daily; we can hardly avoid it, even if it is only in the form of a humble fly who crawls through our open window or the scent of distant park flowers on the breeze.

flying bee
Taking time to notice nature enriches my day beyond measure. The more I look, the more I see. Have you ever taken the time to watch a honey bee? I mean for several minutes or more. Watch how the light glistens in its wings as it hovers before its chosen blossom, forelegs outstretched for a gentle landing.

bee flying towards fennel flowers

Notice how the evening light catches the soft hairs on its back, and its eager tongue, already prepared as if it cannot wait to savour the sweet nectar.

bumble bee approaching dahlia flower

Or how about the bustling bumble bee? It announces its approach with an bombastic buzz before blundering onto its pollen-heavy landing pad.

bumble bee and dahlia

A smaller bumble comes careening in; too busy to linger, it is gone almost before the shutter can click, a momentary sway of the flowerhead the only sign of its passing.

bumble bee and dahlia

It has become a cliche to speak of mindfulness, or living in the moment. I don’t know if our lives are busier now than they were a generation ago, or a century ago but, for me, a full life must still contain moments when all its demands are put to one side. Photography has opened my eyes to daily treasures. And the digital age has added the joy of sharing them.

Sometimes, however, it is also good to put the camera down and simply look, listen, smell, taste, touch. That’s all; I am going outside now.

“If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.” Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849)