the longer i look at this tree, thin and bare from winter, crusted in a layer of snow and ice, yet elegant against the stark, white background, the more i contemplate why i am drawn to it. it is one of those images that you tag from the beginning, but then you doubt it, question it’s beauty and power - its usefulness. but each time i looked at it, and began to make it my own, it grew in stature. it kept quietly beckoning me to look again.  where is it’s value, what could it become? why is it different from others?

and this morning, over coffee, looking out the window at the monochromatic winter landscape, contemplating the turn of another calendar year, i realized.  that blank white background feels like the coming year. full of possibilities, uncertainties, fear and wonder. a blank palette that i cannot see into, yet it will reveal itself in time.

and the tree, rests quietly, taking what the season gives it, gathering it’s energy for the time to grow and become strong..again.  it is a familiar cycle, and it evolves each time.  it gains years and strength, but also marks and bruises from time passed. those events leave lasting marks and also determine the direction and condition of new growth. it is strong under the weight, balancing what mother nature hands it, delicately, beautifully, gracefully. yet sometimes it breaks, and repairs itself, and continues. and from this outside view i am unable to see what happenings lurk within its hard exterior, planning, evolving, growing, changing, understanding.  

i forget what you look like when you are flourishing. i forget what fruit you bear and it’s sweet or bitter taste. i forget the shade you offer and the blanket of petals in the soft grass, as your delicate leaves and blossoms move in the gentle breeze. but i sense your strength and power and importance, and i am transfixed somehow by the changes you endure, and your growth and beauty with each of these changes. and if i tire of you, or neglect you, i always come back to honoring you.  you remain rooted and still reach your branches to the sky.

and i knew, little tree, you fascinate me because you and i are the same.


  1. Unknowingly, you have said exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you. Happy New Year.

  2. glad to hear that, hailey. happy new year to you...with all it's ups & downs!

  3. Outstanding explanation of why you made an image of what you see. Were those emotions present when you made the image?

  4. great words Eileen...love the "but also marks and bruises from time passed"

  5. hi mel. not forward in my mind, but for sure in my subconscious. have been contemplating life alot lately so i'm sure it was under the surface as i shot that day. i think that's why it's so important to shoot even if you think you're just popping off shots with no major agenda. what's going on in your world will always show through. and hopefully reveal itself to you later through the work.

  6. Beautiful image but an even more beautiful stream of consciousness! Thanks for sharing.


talking with you.
about the state of the world.
and where we fit in.
crunching leaves...

moving through. simply.

airplane graveyard.
you stand among the ruins.
delicate and hopeful and young. busted up fuselage. your dress so fitted and pressed.
motionless. burned out wings.
not knowing if the remains are yours.
injured girl.
rusting yellow metal in heaps. lush green grass grows around you. as the bright country sun lights up your hair.
sun flare obscures your face and shoulder.
but you remain.
a giant among the battered pieces.
of this airplane graveyard.
and your world.

once we were best friends. without even knowing.
it's your turn to turn off the light.

once we were alike. without even knowing.
watching thunderstorms on the patio.

once we were confidantes. without even knowing.
we didn’t know what secrets were.

once we were happy. without even knowing.
that goodness meant we were together.

. you whispered. i heard it. i am sure.

grow. i whispered back. on the breeze that blew between us.

grow. i feel it. but i sit here in defiance.

grow. you know it. and you thrust out your shoots, without intention.

grow. i want it. but i am swimming in the thickest sea.

grow. you must. so you reach through the power lines for your sky.

grow. i can. but these tendrils hold me to this merciless earth.

grow. you will. and i’ll look for shelter below you.

grow. i will. but first let me rest my body against you.

grow. you have. and i cannot imagine this world without you.

grow. i am trying. but i cannot keep up with you.

grow. you show me. let me learn from your strength.

grow. i whispered. did i hear it? i am sure.