Sunday, February 22, 2009

Surprise on the Centennial

Have you ever wanted to photograh something, but never been at the right place or the right time to do it? I have always been intrigued with Canadian geese - the way they fly in formation, The "honking" sound as they fly above, their wings so beautiful. I have always wanted to photograph them, and my results of earlier attempts were pitiful. Yesterday I was at the right time at the right place. I decided to get some exercise and sun (after about 6 weeks of fog) by taking a walk on the Centennial Trail, which parallels the Spokane River. I walked about a half hour from the trailhead, and then heard that familiar honking sound, very loud. I left the trail and walked down to the river in the direction of the noise, and found many geese, probably hundreds. I watched them for a little while and was intrigued. They were in groups and each would loudly announce their departure by honking, and then took off in flight. After all this time, finally, to witness this was very special and I got a few good images. And all I wanted on this walk, was just a little something to brighten my day. My prayer was heard, and I got a whole lot more.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Screaming Fans at the Fox

Screaming fans? Yes, last night at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox: We presented David Byrne and his "Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno". This near sell-out performance was a fun, high energy show that brought a new audience into the theater, and shows that even in times of economic stress, people will part with their hard-earned dollars to enjoy the music they love. We experienced success on many levels last night, and I am proud to be part of that process.

Thursday, February 19, 2009



Monday night I left Camera Club feeling disappointed - ok, pretty upset, that my images submitted for Print Judging did not receive any merit. I took two images I really love and hoped that the judge would love them like I do, and would say wonderful things. Ha! Not so. This judge, looking at "Solitude," said, "I don't know what you want me to look at in this picture. It looks like a picture that simply documents that you were there." What? He can't see the bench that bids you to imagine yourself sitting there, in solitude, perhaps contemplating whatever is on your mind or feeling the peace that comes from a quiet place with a gentle wind, the only sound an occasional songbird? Ok...This is what I see and imagine...The words to Janice Kapp Perry's "Strength Sufficient for the Day:"

"Evening shadows softly fall, Peace and Calm lie over all.
Nature's beauty seems to say Heaven is not far away.
God has sent once more today Strength sufficient for the day."

So when I look at this image, this is what I think of. And the moral of the story is, so to speak, be careful who you put your trust in. The judge clearly did not have the same perspective that I have and so he cannot see that which I can.

"And also trust no one to be your teacher..., except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments."
"Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God."
Mosiah 23:14, and 7:19

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Last night I was very happy to have my image receive an "Honorable Mention" at Spokane Valley Camera Club's digital judging. I took this picture on our first visit to Rialto Beach in the Olympic National Park, on August 28th, 2009. I was amazed how misty is was; it wasn't raining, it was, mist! No wonder the forest is so lush and green, and plants grow to amazing proportion! It may be winter cold outside, but in my mind I can feel the mist as we walk along the beach and I long to go camping...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Comforting Words on Death

Yesterday was the funeral of my cousin, Jeanne Jackson. She passed away unexpectedly in her sleep a few days previous, on Thursday, January 29, 2009. Jeanne was the only child in her family, she never married, and consequently her family line will have no perpetuity. I wish that I could have gone to the funeral to show respect and honor her and to see extended family members I have not seen for many years. Our family provided some flowers for her funeral and I understand that my sister Kay gave a talk. My sister Mary and my parents were there also, so our family was well represented. I shall look forward to seeing Kay's pictures.

Having some experience with death when our son Matthew passed on in June 2006, I just wanted to share my favorite quotes on death. These quotes were of great comfort to me then, and continue to be today.

Ezra Taft Benson, “Life Is Eternal,” Ensign, Aug 1991, 2

"Life is eternal. We are eternal beings. We lived as intelligent spirits before this mortal life. We are now living part of eternity. Our mortal birth was not the beginning. Death, which faces all of us, is not the end.

As we travel through this topsy-turvy, sinful world filled with temptations and problems, we are humbled by the expectancy of death, the uncertainty of life, and the power and love of God. Sadness comes to all of us in the loss of loved ones. But there is gratitude also—gratitude for the assurance we have that life is eternal; gratitude for the great gospel plan given freely to all of us; gratitude for the life, teachings, and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank God for the life and ministry of the Master, Jesus the Christ, who broke the bonds of death, who is the light and life of the world, who set the pattern, who established the guidelines for all of us, and who proclaimed: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25–26.)
There is the ever-present expectancy of death, but in reality there is no death—no permanent parting. The resurrection is a reality. The scriptures are replete with evidence. Almost immediately after the glorious resurrection of the Lord, Matthew records: “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matt. 27:52–53.)
The spirit world is not far away. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us.
The prophet Brigham Young asked, “Where is the spirit world?” and then answered his own question:

“It is right here. … Do [spirits] go beyond the boundaries of this organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity.” (Journal of Discourses, 3:369.)

“When the spirits leave their bodies they are in the presence of our Father and God, they are prepared then to see, hear and understand spiritual things . … If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes.” (Journal of Discourses, 3:368.)

“Chapter 37: Understanding Death and Resurrection,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 273
"At the funeral services of Elder Thomas Williams on 13 July 1874, President Brigham Young spoke on the subject of death: “What a dark valley and a shadow it is that we call death! To pass from this state of existence as far as the mortal body is concerned, into a state of inanition [emptiness], how strange it is! How dark this valley is! How mysterious is this road, and we have got to travel it alone. I would like to say to you, my friends and brethren, if we could see things as they are, and as we shall see and understand them, this dark shadow and valley is so trifling that we shall turn round and look about upon it and think, when we have crossed it, why this is the greatest advantage of my whole existence, for I have passed from a state of sorrow, grief, mourning, woe, misery, pain, anguish and disappointment into a state of existence, where I can enjoy life to the fullest extent as far as that can be done without a body. My spirit is set free, I thirst no more, I want to sleep no more, I hunger no more, I tire no more, I run, I walk, I labor, I go, I come, I do this, I do that, whatever is required of me, nothing like pain or weariness, I am full of life, full of vigor, and I enjoy the presence of my heavenly Father, by the power of his Spirit. I want to say to my friends, if you will live your religion, live so as to be full of the faith of God, that the light of eternity will shine upon you, you can see and understand these things for yourselves” (DNSW, 28 July 1874, 1).

I am filled with gratitude to know that our Heavenly Father loves us SO much, that he has placed prophets here on earth to give us knowledge and guidance. He also blesses us with the Holy Ghost which can teach us things of the spirit. "REJOICE!" That is what the spirit has taught me. We should not fear death, but look forward to it with gladness.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mozart's The Magic Flute

Spokane Opera presented Mozart's Opera on Thursday through Saturday this week in the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. I invited my sister Sherie to attend with me on opening night. I was told that the opera would be approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Guess what! It was 3.25 hours long! Mozart composes great music! Wonderful arias are in this opera. It is obvious he had a good sense of humor. The set was great, the lighting fabulous, But it was SOOO long I kept dozing off. On Saturday, they presented the "Family Version" which had children pricing and was condensed to 1 1/2 hours. They added narration to fill in the storyline in between acting/singing. It was well attended. My recommendation? If you ever go to an opera and have a choice? Be sure to choose the "Family Version!" On Friday I ran into the Queen of the Night as she was having the finishing touches of her make-up applied. I complimented her on her performance and asked her if she'd mind if I took her picture and she graciously agreed.
My assistant, Marissa, brought her 4 year old on Saturday, and she actually sat through the entire 1 1/2 hour opera. With characters like the Queen of the Night, and a Magic Flute, a Prince, and Princess, even a 4 year old could enjoy.

Rejoice! - A New Day