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Playing with Light (again)

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These are photos I took a couple nights ago, just a block from my house on Buffalo‘s lower west side. I took them with an inexpensive little point-and-shoot camera; proof that you don’t need an expensive camera to take interesting photos (though I wouldn’t mind if I had one…but their price is prohibitive at present). Sunset and sunrise are some of the most magical parts of the day I think…and the light that it brings–from an extreme angle–makes it even more so. As beautiful as these photos are, though, the thing that freaks me out is the lack of snow for this time of year…this is the land of lake effect snow after all; it’s rare that it is this warm and snow-less this time of year (makes me wonder if we are going to get pummeled in January). Anyhow, as I was taking the photos of the sun setting over Lake Erie, the title of one of my favorite books came to mind…The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway. The title of the book, of course, was a play on the first paragraph in Ecclesiastes:  

The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:5

This may be the case, but the real question to me is when will the snow come. Nonetheless, I’m enjoying the mild weather (it’s great from bike riding). Enjoy the photos; click either for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Five Quotes from Jesus of Nazareth

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This is another in the Five Quotes series on this blog, but I first have two preface the quotes with a couple comments. Firstly, I just wanted to say that I found the above photo at St. Francis Place. I chose the photo because I do believe that Jesus meditated (there are plenty of resources for this but the post at St. Francis Place is a  good one). I also believe that Jesus studied in India with the spiritual masters of his time; many refer to this as the Lost Years, or more specifically, the years which the Bible is silent on the life of Jesus. It is also likely that December 25 is not the actual birth date of Jesus, but as Christians this is the day we celebrate it. At any rate, whether you are a Christian or not, you have to admit that if more of us (myself included) followed the teachings of Jesus–lived them–the world would likely be a better place. Anyhow, these–in no particular order–are just a few of His words that inspire me.

Merry Christmas!

Love your neighbor as yourself.
Mark 12:31 

 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 
Matthew 6:25

The Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, but men do not see it.
The Gospel of Thomas 113

 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
 Mathew 5:9

To read more in the Five Quotes series, click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Life in Motion

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How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
~Dr. Seuss

Sometimes I forget about it…or at least refuse to be aware. It has been such a busy year–the past month especially–and now Christmas and the year’s end is just around the corner. But then when I slow down I remember. Sometimes I just need to stop and take a breath. And this is what I was thinking as I pushed the Mundo up the Plank of Gratefulness today, and as I stopped to look at the withered weeds and plants pictured above. It’s an image of where–just a brief time ago–I grew vegetables. It seems like just a few days ago that I was relishing in the fact that it was the longest day of the year and now–in two days–it will be the shortest (and darkest). Oddly, as I looked at the shriveled plants they looked beautiful to me. So after pushing the Mundo into the living-room (yes I keep my bikes in my living-room) I grabbed my camera and snapped a few photos. And as I was taking the photos–zooming in on them–it occurred to me that nothing is permanent on this physical plane in which we currently reside; everything is in transition…it always has and always will be. Life moves on and we must move with it. And with the sake of sounding hokey (as if I haven’t already) I also think that each of us has a purpose in this current incarnation which we find ourselves….whether we ever realize it or not. I’ll get off my little soapbox-pulpit now. Carpe Diem. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

Urban Simplicity.

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