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The Notes He Wrote

I often create my posts by rummaging through my many photographs until I find one that I really am moved by, and then I let the creative side of my brain consider what verbal companion (usually a poem or reflection, sometimes both) would create a nice synthesis. In this case, I was delighted to see this long-ago photo and wanted to combine it with this long-ago poem (and a title and song from a long-ago rock group...).

The Notes He Wrote

He wrote bits of poetry or

essays or grocery lists or ideas

for his first book or thoughts

about the decline of

democracy or reminders of

movies he definitely would watch

someday. The good ideas mixing with

tomorrow’s errands, his dental

appointment swimming through

two weeks of grocery lists, a decent

poem hibernating beneath

last year’s receipts – all making

their way upstream to the

center of his desk again to

breed new lists and then

die in the shallows.

As I reflected on this poem, I realize that it embodies my sometimes wry, sometimes playful way with words. It also seems to be an example of how most of us live - all kinds of daily activities mixed with deeper aspects of our inner life.

What moved me about this photograph is the beautiful and mysterious light coming through the stained glass window. It creates a sense of wonder and mystery for me, as if we're in a heavenly realm. Where is it taking us to? What light is awakened in us when we encounter light and color like this? The blend of light, color, and shadow gives me the sense of entering a place of light and exaltation, a kind of worldly heaven.

I imagine that many of you carry iPhones or other similar phones and they often have quite good cameras as well. This allows you to not only capture moments and scenes in your life, but to become more aware of the light, shadows, and colors of your daily life as well. I invite you to think of yourself a photographer in the sense of learning to see and share the scenes, events, light, shapes, etc. as well as documenting important places and moments in your life. You might look through some of the other posts on my website to get ideas about how to do this.


Interestingly, as I wrote this poem and contemplated the photograph, the Led Zeppelin song "Stairway to Heaven" came to mind - mostly because of its title. Now that I've reminded myself of it, this song has been playing through my mind off and on, even though I was only 14 when the song began playing on the radio. Now that I've read and thought about the lyrics, I especially liked the lines,

"Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run

There's still time to change the road you're on

And it makes me wonder."

Here's the link for the song if you're interested if you're interested in listening to it:

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now

It's just a spring clean for the May queen

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run

There's still time to change the road you're on

And it makes me wonder

Ohh, whoa

Your head is humming, and it won't go, in case you don't know

The piper's calling you to join him

Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow? And did you know

Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

And as we wind on down the road

Our shadows taller than our soul

There walks a lady we all know

Who shines white light and wants to show

How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard

The tune will come to you at last

When all are one, and one is all

To be a rock and not to roll

And she's buying a stairway to Heaven

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