Creation #223. Wabi-sabi 11.


Today’s image was actually taken yesterday on my way out to the car to head off to work. It was in between down pours of rain. I passed this sycamore leaf soaking in the parking lot and had to take the shot.

The somber beauty that presents itself during a steady rain is very profound. Rain is a transitional period. Often it is the period of time after a harsh wind or electrical storm, the calm after the storm. It is also the nourishment to the earth prior to the sunny day that comes after. I can’t help but think of it metaphorically as a funeral. It may seem sad for us to have to attend but we must learn to recognize the beauty of the life that was before and the potential of the life that goes on after.

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Creation #222. Wabi-sabi 10.


Wabi-sabi is not all weathered wood and metal, or thick, twisted tree trunks. Here we enjoy a group of flowering water lilies on a hot summer day. The simple beauty found in nature especially flowers evokes a feeling of impermanence. We usually can behold it only for a short time. For this reason there is wisdom in pausing to recognize that beauty while it is in our midst.

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Creation #221. Wabi-sabi 09.


This image was taken on a weekend trip to Chincoteague, Virginia in October of 2006. We drove by this old rusted boat several times during our stay and one day while walking I had to get closer and take a few shots.

One of my favorite places for photography are coastal areas. As much as most of us love the beach, life near the ocean is a harsh life indeed if you are exposed to the elements day in and day out. This boat can attest to that. It actually (at the time) appears as though it is still functioning in some capacity. There is a piece of semi-modern looking equipment mounted on the roof. Otherwise it looks like it has been left to fend for itself.

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Creation #220. Wabi-sabi 08.


More from the Archives. Thought I would take a break from tree images and hit the beach. Colleen actually mentioned to me today that she feels the need to hit the beach for a few days. I wouldn’t mind that myself.

This image was captured in October of 2006 during a weekend at Chincoteague, Virginia. I love finding moments in time like this one. This scallop shell is being consumed by the sands of time. Or, are the sands of time releasing it to the light of day? I would have had to stand there much longer that the time it took for me to take the shot to find out. The truth is, everything is in flux. For this shell there is a time to be consumed and a time to be released. I’m sure it has gone through many of those cycles. And so it goes again and again until it too is reduced to grains of silica transported by wind and water.

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Creation #219. Wabi-sabi 07.


Sorry for continuing to pull from my archives rather than take daily shots. I have two problems. The first is that my town is actually pretty new in. There is much less aged beauty to photograph than I thought there would be. The second problem is actually a good one. As I have been reviewing my archives I am finding some cool images that I want to share. 🙂

This tree is another of my favorites in the world located along a country road near Davidsonville, Maryland. It is completely dead but the skeleton it has left behind is spectacular. It speaks of a life full of trials and tribulations. Unfortunately the trials got the best of this tree.

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Creation #218. Wabi-sabi 06.


Here is another one from my archives taken in July of 2005. This is one of my favourite trees, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia on the property of the historic Cavalier Hotel. The tree sits on top of a hill several hundred yards from the ocean where it has a wonderful view of everything. Like a king of its domain the tree surveys its myriad subjects below including the Atlantic Ocean. This regal life comes at a price. Each and every day and night sea breezes batter and wound this tree. When a particularly strong Atlantic storm arrives the tree is often seriously broken. The tree has learned to grow in the only direction it can, down wind. Always remember what does not kill you only makes you stronger… and more beautiful.

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Creation #217. Wabi-sabi 05.


Here is an image from my archives taken in July of 2005 during a visit to The Norfolk Botanical Gardens in Norfolk Virginia. The ramification of tree branches evokes a feeling of age. Standing beneath such ramification gazing toward the heavens instills in me a profound sense wonder. On one side is me, small and insignificant and on the other the vastness of all the the universe and its mysteries. The trees seem to be both my guardian, protecting me from the enormity of it all, as well as a bridge connecting me.

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Creation #216. Wabi-sabi 04.


I shot this image this afternoon while taking out the garbage. The concrete structure around the trash dumpster for my condo is pretty new. The complex was built in the mid 2000’s but even after less than a decade certain areas are beginning to show the early stages of natural deterioration.

Here an interesting scene is set as several years of freezing and thawing have widened crevasses and cracks in the pavement. Last fall a seed was swept into one of these openings. This spring it germinated and is now a struggling plant striving to survive alone during this season’s hot and mostly dry summer. Its siblings are probably doing much better in large quantities of earth elsewhere but this little guy fights on alone in less than ideal conditions.

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Creation #215. Wabi-sabi 03.


I shot this image this morning as I was getting out of my car to enter my workplace. I park in front of this tree nearly every day. However today was the first time I ever noticed that the first branch was dead. The tree is perfectly healthy otherwise which perhaps overshadows the imperfection of this lonely dead branch.

To me the beauty in this tree is the fact that it is perfectly fine other than this branch. The tree’s message to us is that sacrifice is a natural part of the big picture. Sacrifice is sometimes essential for balance. I imagine this tree having enough resources to live and grow but at some point needed to sacrifice this branch in order to achieve that balance.

Personally I am surprised that I never noticed the dead branch because I often notice trees. In fact I will likely be posting tree images often during this wabi-sabi series, just so you know.

creation 215 wabi-sabi 03

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Creation #214. Wabi-sabi 02.


I am sorry to say that I did not take a photo today, but I have a huge library of material from previous outings over the years. I promise to try to hold true to my goal of taking a photo each day for this series, but I might need to dip into the archives from time to time so don’t be too hard on me.

It was kind of fun going back in time through my photo library looking for wabi-sabi. This photo was taken in 2005 on a visit to the Arizona high desert. The image depicts the remains of a desert sage. Nothing lasts forever especially in this harsh arid environment. Although life is now gone the sun bleaches the woody skeleton of the shrub, preserving it for some time leaving this ghost of the desert as a reminder of the past.

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