Merry Christmas

The Reds and Greens of Christmas

Red of Christmas

Reds of Christmas

Greens of ChristmasGreens of Christmas

Reds and Greens of ChristmasReds and Greens of Christmas

Greens and Reds of ChristmasReds of Christmas

Reds with Greens of ChristmasReds with Greens of Christmas

Greens of ChristmasGreens of Christmas

Why red and green at Christmas?  The Catholic faith uses red as the color to represent Jesus because of his death on the cross and his blood that was shed for the sins of humanity.  Green is the color of nature, representing life, and therefore the hope of eternal life.

Lines

Lines

Life is composed of lines.

The lines are often distinct,

Distinct lines are definitive

Definitive lines are easy to follow.

Following definitive lines leads to a direct path

A direct path means clear thoughts, no interference.

Distinct Lines of LifeDistinct Lines of Life

But life is never consistently direct.

If life were consistently direct there would be no times of turmoil,

No times of doubt,

No times of indecision.

Blurred Lines of IndecisionBlurred Lines of Indecision

Blurred lines come into play.

Blurred lines distract along the way.

It’s the approach to blurred lines that determines

Whether we coil,

Or stand strong and press on.

When the soul stays strong,

And faith is relied upon,

The lines merge,

And become one,

An eternity

Of love.

Indistinct Lines MergingIndistinct Lines Merging

Generations of lines;

Lines of

love,

trust,

forgiveness,

And embraces,

That pass strength from one to the next

And grow the bonds

That come back,

Back to the eternity of love.

Generations of Lines Becoming OneGenerations of Lines Becoming One

The eternity of love

Which is Christmas.

copyright Robyn Graham

Life as a WholeLife as a Whole

Exhilarated Beauty

“When I work, and in my art, I hold hands with God” – Robert Mapplethorpe

Exhilarated BeautyExhilarated Beauty

“Exhilarated beauty” is the image I chose today because I have just come off of an exhilarating experience with my first solo exhibit.  There is actually one day left, the gallery is open from 10 to 6 tomorrow, but the artist reception was Friday and I volunteered at the gallery several hours over the weekend.  I am excited to be able to report that I have sold several pieces and have met some incredible people, talented artists, and received wonderful compliments and words of encouragement.  It has been a great pleasure to share my gift with others!  I chose the quote in continuance of the calla lily/Robert Mapplethorpe series and because I truly believe my photography is a gift from God…his miraculous works are all around us and he is using my camera, lenses, and me to capture them and share them with the world in a unique way.

I must add that this series, as with almost all of my floral images, has been done using only natural light and my camera settings, with the only edits being black and white conversion.

A Reading of Old

“Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”  Psalm 85:10

Hebrew ScrollHebrew Scroll

The image of the scroll was taken during a recent shoot for a Bat Mitzvah.  I paired a verse that I love from the Old Testament book of Psalms with the image of the scroll.  As the words photographed are in Hebrew I have no idea what they actually say, but felt an Old Testament verse would be appropriate to accompany the image.  I love the verse because it is beautiful and contains four words critical to overall happiness; words that I truly wish the world could live by.

Golden Peace

A wave of grace

Washes over the soul

As the golden glow

Of the sun recedes

Beyond the horizon.

A wave of golden warmth

Moves the heart

And stirs the emotions

Of then and now,

Of loves lost and gained,

For people who’ve come and gone

With the ebb and flow

Of the waves of life

Flowing near and far

Tempting the soul to grasp

The glory of the golden peace

That often lies beyond our reach.

Until, at last,

We concede to accept

The love and peace

Offered by –

The divine.

copyright Robyn Graham

Golden Peace

Golden Peace

A Day in Solitary Confinement

From cell block nine

I am released,

For a narrow window of time.

Cell Block NineCell Block Nine

Narrow Window of TimeNarrow Window of Time

With burlap covering my eyes

And my hands cuffed behind my back,

The guard knows I

Cannot attack.

With confidence he leads the way.

Not a word do I dare say.

My senses tell me I’m in a long corridor

But we have not yet passed through a door.

Long CorridorA Long Corridor

Door to Corridor

Door

When suddenly the guard’s grasp

Upon my arm adjusts

And I hear the rusty sound of metal.

I recognize the sound,

My memory serves me well

Inside this prison’s hell.

Prison's Hell

Prison’s Hell

I feel a hand now press my head,

This is my cue to bend.

I’m told to take another step

And with that step

I fear the place I may be near.

But finally the guard decides

For just a minute he’s on my side.

He tells me where I am

And where I shall reside.

Solitary Exercise Yard

Solitary Exercise Yard

My thirty minutes don’t last long

In the concrete yard

With little reward

But the sun’s deep warmth.

The sun, it makes me grin

And my mind wonders

Back to the days before

I stole the horse named Gin.

Four stone walls

And a concrete floor

Are the solitary exercise yard.

No hoop or ball

Just me and four concrete walls.

I pace

And make my heart race

While the sun beats down upon my face.

I smile all the while

Until at last

My name is called,

Metal scrapes,

And once again

To the darkness I dread

I am lead.

With each blind step I climb

My mind begins to numb.

Blind StepsBlind Steps

The solitary life that I now live,

Is one I must forgive.

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.

“Looking down these dreary passages, the dull repose and quiet that prevails, is awful. Occasionally, there is a drowsy sound from some lone weaver’s shuttle, or shoemaker’s last, but it is stifled by the thick walls and heavy dungeon-door, and only serves to make the general stillness more profound. Over the head and face of every prisoner who comes into this melancholy house, a black hood is drawn; and in this dark shroud, an emblem of the curtain dropped between him and the living world, he is led to the cell from which he never again comes forth, until his whole term of imprisonment has expired….He is a man buried alive; to be dug out in the slow round of years….

And though he lives to be in the same cell ten weary years, he has no means of knowing, down to the very last hour, in what part of the building it is situated; what kind of men there are about him; whether in the long winter night there are living people near, or he is in some lonely corner of the great jail, with walls, and passages, and iron doors between him and the nearest sharer in its solitary horrors.” – Charles Dickens in 1842 after he visited the Eastern State Penitentiary

 

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.  Whoever loves his brother lives in the light and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.”  1 John 2:9-10

Solitary Confinement

Solitary Confinement

Punishment

For

Crimes Committed

Time

For

Consideration

Moments

Of

Reflection

Dreams

Of

A Different Path Chosen

Remorse

For

 Wrongs Committed

Regret

Anger

Humility

Hope

Repentance

For

Pain Engendered

Faith

That

Grace Will Be Given

copyright Robyn Graham

Solitary Confinement

Solitary Confinement

“…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:5-7