copyright Robyn Graham
Tattered and Worn
copyright Robyn Graham
The poem above was inspired by a recent trip to Eastern State Penitentiary in which I did the audio tour and heard testimonies from former prisoners as well as former guards. If my memory serves me correctly, the first prisoner to experience solitary confinement was a man who stole a horse. His head was covered so that he could not define his where-a-bouts and so that no one could identify him. The images accompanying the poem are a few that I felt coordinated well with the story told through the poem. The quote below by Charles Dickens really summarizes what life in solitary confinement was like. The quote, too, fell in line with the words of my poem.
– Horatio Spafford
I have to wonder if the prisoner(s) who sat in this cell laid his head upon this pillow and thought to himself the very lines of this quote. Perhaps if he believed in forgiveness he did.
copyright Robyn Graham
Upon a Stool
“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17-18
This morning the boys in our family (bed-heads and all) decided we should go out for breakfast to a little breakfast club we belong to. Fred’s is an establishment of it’s own kind. We love it and enjoy every breakfast we eat there. The environment is the best by some distance as there truly is no stranger. Today as we waited for stools along the counter and sipped our coffee I caught an older couple watching my children from their stools. The gentleman smiled a rather large smile at me and tapped his chest. I wasn’t sure what he meant exactly, but simply smiled back in return. He seemed like a very nice person with a lovely, gentle smile and joyful eyes. As our name was called and we went to take the 5 stools next to their two he said to me “I thought they (meaning my boys) looked like angels but now I know why.” And he pointed to his chest again as to say the logo on their shirts gave it away. He then said, “we belong to that parish too”. Once we established that we belonged to the same church the conversation didn’t end until it was time for them to give up their stools to the next couple waiting to be served. It was truly one of those mornings where we were in the right place at the right time.
As the gentleman introduced himself as Gonzolo Ponce-De-Leon my 11 year old asked, “like the explorer?” Mr. Ponce-De-Leon proceeded to tell us how he is of the same lineage, in fact is the 13th generation, of the family of Juan Ponce-De-Leon. Talk about perfect timing. My son is studying the expedition of Juan Ponce-De-Leon to find the fountain of youth, which led to the discovery of Florida, in social studies class. Once this fact was established, Mr. Ponce-De-Leon gave my son a quick history lesson on a napkin. He told my son that he should now be guaranteed an A+ on his project. As always, I had my camera with me and asked Mr. Ponce-De-Leon if he would mind if I took a picture of him with my son to show his teacher and classmates. Mr. Ponce-De-Leon very graciously obliged my request, thus the photos you see below.
We always meet fabulous and interesting people when we visit Fred’s for breakfast, but today was the best yet! And we look forward to seeing Mr. and Mrs. Ponce-De-Leon at church now that we know them and will recognize them.
To learn more about the life of Juan Ponce-De-Leon you can visit the link below:
The sight of an old barn moves me. Why? I am not completely sure, but it must have something to do with the Sunday afternoons I spent on my great grandfather’s farm as a child. The sight, the smell, the size, the history, all move me. I want to take in every inch of the structure. Today’s post includes two images of the same side of an old Buck’s County barn. The sun was setting and gave such warmth to the barn. It reflects the heritage of the barn, the families who worked in it, the animals who lived in, the labor of love that went into maintaining it.
The Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio in the heart of Doylestown recently hosted an art show and award ceremony to commemorate the bi-centennial of Doylestown being the county seat. I photographed the event for The Buck’s County Herald and felt so blessed to get to meet so many wonderful, and very talented people. The owners of the Gallery are kind, knowledgeable and a pleasure to get to know. For information about the Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio visit: http://www.gratzgallery.com/. To view additional images from the special event, or to learn more about the sponsors of the event, the winners and see their work, visit http://www.buckscountyherald.com/. This link will take you to the Buck’s County Herald, a weekly newspaper reporting on the happenings in and around Buck’s County.
All my life I have loved the Dogwood Tree. As a child growing up in Southern Illinois, we would see them amongst the Redbud, Oak, Maple, and other trees along Interstate 64 and marvel at their beauty. My parents told my sisters and I the legend of the tree when we were young. Since that time, the trees have had even more meaning to me. My husband and I have had them at both of our homes and enjoy the blooms every spring. Below is the legend as well as some links that you can visit to learn more details about it. Over the next few days, I’ll post images of the Dogwood tree in our front yard. You’ll understand why it gives us such pleasure when you see the pretty flowers it bares each spring.
The Beautiful Legend of the Dogwood Tree
Legend has it that at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the wood for the cross. To be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed and saddened the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Christ, in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all, said to the tree – “Because of your sorrow and pity for My suffering, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a gibbet. Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross — two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember.”
Thank you to all of the men and women who have served this country and fought for our freedom. The freedom so often taken for granted.
John, the kids and I attended the Memorial Day parade this morning. It is such a fabulous event every year and the sense of community is almost overwhelming. We were moved by the number of veterans who participated in the parade, and the response from the crowd. The applause, the smiles, and the looks between veterans marching and those in the crowd were so moving. Below is one of my favorite shots of the day. I love the lighting on the flag in the background. The truck in the foreground, was one of several vehicles transporting veterans in the parade.