Dark Messengers

Dark Messengers

“Leave no black plume as a token of the lie thy soul hath spoken.” — The Raven, Edgar Alan Poe

One of the things that I love about being a writer and a photographer — artist — is that you hone your skill of seeing. Throughout my last trip, and even when I came home, ravens (crows here in Missouri) have been a constant presence for me. Or warning.

Every raven I see seems to whisper to me, softly inviting me into their obsidian world of truth and lies. It is a journey I am not sure I want to take. It is a journey I can not resist to take.

Lies masquerading as truth are a theme in my life. From childhood, though adulthood and very much so in the past few months. I have entertained them, courted them, denied them, begged for them, held them close and pushed them away.

It will be interesting to see where the journey takes me as I follow the ravens …  I promise, I will invite you along if you dare to follow.

Canyon Horses

Canyon Horses

One of the most sacred places on earth to me is Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. I have no reasoning for this — it’s not a genetic link, but a spiritual one.

Years ago, and without any understanding of where I was going, a friend introduced me to this place. It healed my soul then — and now. There is something truly amazing about just being in the presence of this place where nature, erosion, the ancient, the past and the present merge into something that feels like it makes time not matter.

IMG_1945Today, Nick and I took a jeep tour through Canyon del Muerto to my favorite area ruin, Mummy Cave. I could stare into the eyes of this ruin endlessly.

On this trip, horses and ravens have guided me. The horses are here in this post, the ravens will follow someday in a future post. The light and the dark — I feel their lesson will be guiding me for some time ahead.

Self Portrait for my Birthday

Self Portrait for my Birthday

Most days I feel like this image … it is my favorite self portrait for that very reason.

Am I waving to the person looking in on me? I don’t know.

Am I struggling to break out of my wooden surroundings? I don’t know.

Am I about to be transported into the center of the universe? I don’t know.

And that’s the truth of this image and life… I don’t know.

So much of life is lived under the illusion of control — under the mistaken impression of being able to be understood. But even in the moment, the moment is not always understandable.

As I face down 50 years of walking around on this planet … with three mostly finished college degrees, a genius level IQ and 20 years of entrepreneurship under my belt, you’d think I’d know something.

But here is what I have all that has taught me: I don’t know.

And so another chapter of my life begins. I wonder when I reach the end of my days, what will I know? Let the journey begin …

Black and White

Black and White

As a photographer and a lover of art, I have always loved looking at a good black and white image.

I like how, sometimes, when you remove the color, the true intent of the image just pops out at you with power.

There is something in the simplicity of a black and white image that makes it feel complex — makes it something you can stare at for hours to find all the details.

At the recent Equine Photographers photography retreat in Wyoming, I felt several of the images come through my lens in black and white — even though they were made in color. That doesn’t happen as much any more – I spend  more time in the colorful realm it seems.

Years ago, I used to buy black and white film to make a black and white image — I had to choose between black and white or color. With digital technology, you get to have both, so the image can tell you how it wants to be seen. Sometimes, I forget to listen. That’s what makes retreats like this one so powerful — you can take the time to really create, listen, feel the images.

Here are some more of the black and whites from this same photo shoot: