Thoughts on Gates and Fences

My childhood home was surrounded by fence, bordered by tall cedars – we had a secret to keep. I learned not to trust neighbours. I learned the price of shame.

At the back of the yard was a gate that opened onto a field and beyond that a wooded area. There I found serenity, connection, and a knowledge that what happened within my father’s fortress was not the totality of life.

I like gates.

I vowed not to need fences, that my life would be an open gate, but that was senseless. I was accessible to anyone who wanted to trample my garden.

Took a few dents and whole lot of pain for me to realize that gates and fences coexist for a reason. Boundaries are healthy, and at certain times, locks are mandatory.

(Photos for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: fences and gates. Thoughts part of my process. I’ve been obsessively photographing fences and gates recently. I’ve been sketching them too, trying to figure out the draw. Guess now I know why.)

Here’s one of my sketches:

What the Tree Told Me

Trees have stories to tell. I’m sure of it. I find my lens drawn to holes and broken places, wonder about the life that finds shelter there, wonder what the tree can teach me.

The art of creativity means setting aside the logical mind, listening to nuances, allowing the expression of the irrational. I let the ink translate the trunk’s image, resulting in the featured image.

Then I add colour.

(What the Tree Told Me is available on Society6.)

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #88: Domino Effect

Should we cancel our community dinner?

The text came in while we were watching the news. One after another, closures are happening in response to the coronavirus – schools, sporting events, legislature, etc.

So far there have been no cases in our area. Our first instinct is to say no.

My daughter’s company is preparing for the emergency. She is charged with envisioning a plan. Work from home is the reasonable alternative, except their network cannot support all employees doing so. She will have to determine who is essential – i.e. will remain onsite – and who will be permitted to work offsite.

I ask her advice.

“I tend to lean on the side of your neighbour,” she suggests. “Everyone in your community is in the high risk category.”

I don’t have to be reminded. Covid 19 can be fatal to those with pre-existing conditions. I would be threatened.

“Think of it Mom. Say there is a case at my work, and I inadvertently bring it to you. That could wipe out your whole neighbourhood. Better to start safe practices now.”

So we all stay home, we avoid contact with others, we stop shopping, eating out – it boggles my mind.

The dominos are falling. Where is this all leading? What happens when the dust settles?

Thoughts? Examples? Interpretations?

All are welcome. Create a post on your own site and link back here. Or drop a comment below.

Looking forward to your responses.

Morning’s Chaos

Morning comes and the calm of night is brushed off with a moment of chaos – the dogs wrestle and shake and sneeze, as if fighting off the effects of slumber.

I am not as excited to rise early, have no routine for resetting my status from comatose to awake and alert. I mumble on my way down the hall and across the living room to let them out for their morning constitutionals.

We all pause as the cold air hits us. The dogs raise their noses in unison, sniffing the unmistakeable scent of Spring in the air. Birdsong confirms their suspicion. My spirits perk up.

Chaos is descending upon the world, but for this moment, I am reminded that tomorrow always comes.

Thank you to all who participated in my challenge this week, topic morning. I am also connecting up with Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge: chaos.

There is something so undeniably sacred about mornings. Check out these great posts to see if you don’t agree:

Unburdened, Reena Saxena
Morning Song, Eugi’s Causerie
Thank Heavens for Indoor Plumbing, The Bag Lady
Mornings, Sgeoil
Looking Ahead, I Write Her
Morning Moments, one letter UP
Captive to a Dream, parallax
Healing Sea!, radhikasreflection
Radiance of Morning, Heaven’s Sunshine
Lush Leaves, thoughts and entanglements
Serene Moment, Stuff and what if…

Boom, Boom, Bye, Bye

I’m focusing my lens when we both hear it – duck and I – a boom, like from a cannon.

Rattled, Mallard prepares for take off, while I try to shake off the nerves and get the shot.

The boom comes again. A hunter in our midst.

This duck escapes unmarred, as I do I. Luckily.