hope quote

Thomas Merton has a hope quote that I love.  I could remember part of it, but not the whole quote. It was driving me crazy.  I knew it was in No Man Is an Island, but I could not remember where.

I searched the Hope chapter again and again, without any luck.  I gave up and knew it would find me when I needed it.  Then, this morning on my walk, while listening to the chapter on Mercy, I heard the quote.  I giggled.  Mercy is such a gift of hope, isn’t it?

Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Mercy 1

We learn to know Him, now, not in the “presence” that is found in abstract consideration-a presence in which we dress Him in our own finery-but in the emptiness of a hope that may come close to despair.  For perfect hope is achieved on the brink of despair when, instead of falling over the edge,  we find ourselves walking on the air.  Hope is always just about to turn into despair, but never does so, for at the moment of supreme crisis God’s power is suddenly made perfect in our infirmity. So we learn to expect His mercy most calmy when all is most dangerous, to seek Him quietly in the face of peril, certain that He cannot fail us though we may be upbraided by the just and reject by thoughts to claim to hold the evidence of His love.

I keep reading this sentence again and again-

For perfect hope is achieved on the brink of despair when, instead of falling over the edge,  we find ourselves walking on the air.

So, to all of us that find ourselves on the brink of despair, may we keep moving forward on our path, knowing we will find ourselves walking on air.

 

 

 

simple prayers

At the beginning and end of my personal prayer time, my time with directees, and when I am facilitating group spiritual direction, I pray the same two prayers.  I am sure I have posted them on my blog before, but they seem to be just the prayers my heart is needing these days.  They are simple, but hold so much truth and hope for me.

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

In this moment, O God
We turn to you.
May the ebb and flow
of our thinking
settle into stillness.
May each burden we carry
be released into your love.
May the cycles of our breathing
restore a spaciousness within.
May we listen gently enough
to touch the hem of your presence.
Amen

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

As my soul grows quiet
I return to that astounding truth
that at the heart of my being
I am eternally loved…

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

May we all have moments today that we settle into a stillness, release our burdens, and be reminded that we are all eternally loved.  And, maybe more importantly, may we create peace for those around us, hold each other’s burdens, and treat each other as if each of us is eternally loved.

 

 

pink spring blooms

I love Fuji Reala.  The film captures reds and purples with perfect vibrancy.  I was so sad when I heard it was being discontinued.  I quickly bought more rolls, but I am coming to the end of my stock pile.

I took several pictures of this lovely tree in bloom for my 10am post over at The Hours.   Here are all of them in one place.  They are all taken with Lucy, my Mamiya 645, loaded with Fuji Reala.

 

stacikennelly_losangeles_april_10

 

fingers

 

more

 

tree

 

last1

 

 

new

My word for 2014 is BECOME.  When making a list of what I want to become in 2014, closer to my Creator and grounded in truth topped my list.  I started pondering how I could make that happen. 
Then I remembered how I became a better photographer.  I surrounded myself with photographers that were better than me.  I watched how they shot, what equipment they used, and how they saw light.  I decided I would surround myself with women with strong spiritual lives that I respected. I would watch how they live, see what they surround themselves with, and learn to see how they see.  For 2014, I will be doing a blog roll project with these four amazing women.  We will pick a theme to write about and post to our blogs once a month.    
For January we chose the words new or beginning.   I really love new things…. new journals, new shoes, new crayons, new days,  and new lenses.   I don’t, however, always love new ways of being or thinking.  If I am out of shape, I don’t want to do something new by working out and eating right.   If I am finding myself surrounded by junk and piles of unorganized papers, I don’t start finding a proper place for things. If every person that crosses my path pisses me off, I don’t want to find a new way of thinking.   If I am dry spiritually, I don’t want to do something new by slowing and quieting my mind and heart. Habits are hard to break, even if they are bad habits. When I do start making new habits, things slowly begin to change.  I find my body moves better and feels stronger.  I no longer stress about where I have put this or that.  I find patience and grace for others, and ultimately myself.  I hear the Comforter tell me I am His beloved and I am surrounded and filled with His love. 
If these new habits bring good things, why don’t I always see new with excitement?  I think I expect perfect change and quick results. I need to remember that I don’t need to change all my bad habits quickly.  I liken it to waking up in the morning and not wanting to turn on the light because it will hurt my eyes.  New doesn’t need to be like that.  New doesn’t need to turn on like a switch.  It can be a slow, steady thing… like the dawn of a new day. 
I had the pleasure of shooting a roll of film during the dawn.  As each minute passed, I clicked one more photo.  I was reminded of the gentleness of dawn.  I was reminded of the hope a new day brings. I was reminded how she slowly surrounds you.   
As you travel through this dawn, I would encourage you to be just as gentle with yourself this year as the dawn is with the day.  We don’t need to lose all the extra pounds by February. We don’t need have our house Pinterest organized by the end of the week.  We don’t need to love each person perfectly by summer. We don’t need to feel like Thomas Merton by Friday.  We can move slowly into the new.  

I am doing this project with some amazing women.  Please visit my friend Cheryl’s blog then roll on through to the others.   
Photos taken with my Mamiya m645 1000s, 80mm extension tube 1, Kodak Portra 400. 

goodbye, 2013.

thirteen of my favorite shots from 2013……

Mamiya 645
Canon 5D

Yashica LM

Yashica LM

Canon 5D

Yashica LM

Canon 5D

Mamiya 645

Mamiya 645

Canon 5D

Canon 5D

Yashica LM

Polaroid Land Camera 420

5 on 5 december

I was able to shoot a good amount of film in December.
Canon 1N | Kodak Portra
Yashica LM | Kodak Portra
We also did a youth retreat up in the mountains. I was able to shoot in the snow.  Living in Southern California, this is something that never really happens.  While it was quite a work out to carry Lucy, my Mamiya 645, in the snow, it was worth it when I got the film back.  Here are three of my favorite snow photos, one digital, one from my Mamiya and one from my Canon 1N.
Canon 5D
Mamiya 645 | Fuji Reala
Canon 1N | Portra 400


There are some amazing photographers I get to do this project with.  Start with Second Spring and then roll through the rest of the circle.