Once upon a time, on a sun-kissed island in the Middle Sea the people worshipped different gods. In spite of their differences they lived and worked together, married and brought up families in an atmosphere of peace of goodwill.
One day, in one of the more remote villages, a group of people decided that their god, a newer one than the old god worshipped by most of the older people in particular, should be the one and only god and that everyone should henceforth worship that one.
They decided to build themselves a new place of worship. In the meantime, because they didn’t think the original place of worship was right any more, they decided to change and adapt it to their new way of thinking.
They also had radically differing views on suitable decoration. It was time to get rid of the angels, birds and animals that originally adorned the place. In future only geometric designs would be permitted. They tore the carved peacocks and angels off the wooden screen and disposed of the pulpit, removed the altar and seats and laid bare the floor. They dragged a set of steps into the gap in the screen. The (probably) beautiful windows were smashed. Little remained of its former glory. In the grounds they erected a small building to serve as a wash-room.
Work on the new building continued apace while they used the adapted building until the new one was completed. Then they abandoned it.
Today the walls and window embrasures are still there and it is home to the swallows, sparrows and pigeons.
The youngsters of the village have found a new use for it …..
Perhaps their games will re-unite them once more.
some of my paper-themed photos
a carrier bag made of recycled magazine pages in Thailand
paper parasols on sale at the Sule paya in Yangon, Myanmar
paper boats in a shop window in Zieriksee, Holland
paper heart decorations in a shop window in the UK
see more paper via Ailsa’s blog
In case you hadn’t guessed, my challenger’s choice is “architecture”. The following 3 photos were taken with the iphone 6+ in camera app and were edited using various settings in the Enlight app. This app produces some great abstract effects.
Bellapais abbey, Northern Cyprus
Bath abbey, UK
a chapel in Clifton, Bristol, UK
take a peek at other challenger’s choices
photo composition by me
I have walked in sacred places
Seen colours never seen
Awake have dreamed of mysteries
Of things that ne’r have been
In trees heard music never writ
Of chords that are unknown
In those hidden sacred spaces
Where I journey all alone
Last night my life was woven
Within that sacred knot
Of ages past, forgotten mists
Of nature’s sacred lot
As the mysteries of life unfold
A tie that has no end
Enlightened by that mystic light
Of mysteries veil to rend
On darkest moor, high stones stand
My spirit is set free
As they speak to me of ages past
Touchstones of eternity
They rise upon those mystic lands
If only we might see
That in each secret stone is hid
A gift of nature’s memory.
To stand in dreams on hill top high
To soar above on eagle’s wings
Where visions are no longer hid
And spirits soar as nature sings
Above those lesser things of life
Above its woes and care
As dreams and visions are fulfilled
As we at one with nature share.
As lightning rends the sky at night
And thunder roars in angry swell
As nature groans in agony
Its song of loss – a tale to tell
Within such wondrous beauty there
Where stars are hidden from our sight
The seeds of dawn are gently sown
To bring new beauty with dawn’s light.
To gaze into life’s deep, dark wells
As though into the deepest grave
Of shadows cold – life’s blackest seam
Where hope seems lost – no hope to save
But from within those darkest deeps
New life springs forth in sweetest span
And flows to quench the longing thirst
That dwells within the soul of man.
Or stand beside a river clear
And gaze in wonder as it flows
A myriad of crystal lights
As to its journey’s end it goes
To hear in nature’s gentle breeze
As willows sing in harmony
As nature’s healing gently flows
If only we would hear and see.
Words by © Les Cruttenden, from Insights into Meditation
I was particularly interested to read Sally’s latest post about preferring to use her iphone as opposed to her trusty old Nikon. I, too, have made the transition from my Canon Eos 450 (with which I was never entirely happy) to my iphone 6+ which I’ve had for just over a year now. I am rarely without it and only use the bulky Canon when we’re on an important trip, when I like to have the security of a second camera just in case ….
I use the Lenka app for my black and white photography. The advantage of this little app is that it takes both a black and white photo and a colour one so that if you’re not happy with the results of the black and white one you can always run the colour one through another app to achieve a black and white image. These are all SOOC (straight out of the camera).
For Lens and Pens
Today is Armistice Day, a day whose memory is celebrated in the UK and Commonwealth countries. Poppies have become a widely recognised symbol for those who lost their lives. The world as we know it now bears no resemblance to the world when they were fighting and events are now shaping ours in ways that were unthinkable until recently. We should give thanks that we have enjoyed peace for so long here in Europe and pray that it will continue.
The published version of the poem reads:
In Flanders fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
By John McCrae
“The reproduction of the autograph poem is from a copy belonging to Carleton Noyes, Esq., of Cambridge, Mass., who kindly permitted its use.”
I couldn’t decide whether I preferred the version with the black or white writing so I have included them both.
Does this count as a hill or a mountain? Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
tea plantations in the hill country around Kandy, Sri Lanka
Sagaing hill, near Mandalay, Myanmar. The entire hillside is covered with Buddhist temples and gilded stupas
early morning in Provence
shafts of sunlight pouring down the hills in Northern Cyprus
view from St Hilarion castle, Northern Cyprus
view of Kyrenia/Girne harbour with hills behind, Northern Cyprus
Ailsa’s inspirational “hill”s are here, along with links to many others.