(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “relationships

Beautiful interaction

lombok pottery ben

My son had the chance to help this potter make a clay turtle.  He has been taking Bahasa Indonesia lessons at school, but still can’t speak the language very well.  The potter spoke no English, or at least did not let on that she knew.

The language that they spoke to one another was one of gestures, smiles, and touching.  She showed Ben how to mold the clay, how to turn the wheel, and she would take his hand and move it where it needed to be.  She would smile and let him try.  He would smile back and try.

The most poignant lesson I have learned while living internationally has been that communication does not have to be spoken.  Some of the best relationships I have here in Indonesia are the ones where we both struggle to speak, and have to depend on the kindness of the other person to get us through the situation.

I pray that I do not forget this lesson.


Love on the beach

beach love

I saw these two on the beach and they were so cute together.  He would clumsily go out into the water with his surf board and do amazingly awkward things, and she would stand on the beach taking pictures.

Later, when I was eating lunch, they were sitting and chatting, so I snapped this photo.  I wish them a great future together.

Commute (last one)

Alright.  After today’s post, I’ve got to start shooting, and posting, some new stuff.  Here’s the end of my walk to school:


The floors above the Hypermart sign are my school.  Yes, it feels a little weird to be teaching in a high-rise building.

One quick note here.  I love these guys.  Our school has a security guard on practically every floor, and they greet me as I enter the building.  I’ve struck up a bit of a rapport with a few of them, Pak Setyo especially.  He and I have agreed to trade language lessons.  He learns English from me, I learn Bahasa from him.  It’s a nice trade-off, but I like the relationship more than the lessons.  The security guards are one of the many joys of working at SPH International.

10 days to go…

It won’t be long, now, until I leave Canada for two years.  Ten days until the airplane takes off from the tarmac and my family and I go.  We’re at that stage where every day has more “good-byes” and “farewells” and “until we see you agains”.  It’s weird, and emotionally raw.

I think that the farewells would be easier if I didn’t care, but that’s the point – meaning comes from caring.  What I need to remember right now is to have perspective.  We’re saying farewell here, but we’ll be meeting and getting to know a whole lot of new people.

For every sunset, there is a sunrise.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Together

What keeps us apart from each other?  Some people think it’s 21st century technology, pushing us to distance ourselves from each other, relegated to text and Facebook and tweet our way through relationships.

Me?  I think it’s doors.  Just walk through.  Then we can be together.

A loving reminder

This is a little reminder from me to…me.  It’s been a while since I senselessly bought flowers.  By senselessly, I mean the part of my brain that is not part of the brain – the irrational part of the brain, is what I’m trying to say.

Yes, there are reasons why I love my wife.  Yes, there are occasions to buy flowers.  Yes, there are aesthetic reasons to purchase these aromatic and visually stimulating florae.  But it’s time to do it for no reason whatever.

Because isn’t that what love is?  A momentary stupidity in the face of all things logical that creates a blankness in the brain and a smile on the face?  Well, it’s time to get stupid for love again.

Of course, me, the person for whom I might be gettin’ all stupid might read this, so maybe not tomorrow, or the next day, but soon.  Soon.


Water is really nice.

I watered the flowers and hydrangeas and katsura tree a couple of nights ago and then my wife said, “Are you going to take a picture of my day lilies for me?”

I said, “Uh…I could if you like.”

“Well, you don’t have to, but they’re so pretty.”

So here’s a photo of the leaves from the day lilies with pretty water droplets from the soaker hose.  Oh, and if you’re interested, the day lilies are in yesterday’s post.  They’re pretty as well.



“The only bad thing about burning your bridges behind you…

…is that the world is round”

I know.  This bridge is metal and concrete and brick, so it would be hard to burn, but the principle stands.  I’ve burned a few bridges in my life, and blown a few up as well, but is usually comes back around.  I have, however, built a few bridges as well.  I especially like building bridges with people who I’m warned against.  I’m a high school teacher, so I’ve run into my share of problematic students and I’m happy to say that usually the students who question and aggravate their teachers are the ones with whom I get along just fine.  In fact, I find those who go along with everything they’re told and accept everything are the ones with whom I have the least in common.

Hmm…what does that say about me?




Um…no thank you.

Sally didn’t care how many times Dave told her that they were practically wearing the same thing and that, “Great minds think alike.”  If he took one step closer, she was going to set up a special meeting between Dave and her briefcase.

Plus, he was wearing a windsurfing shirt and she could barely bring herself to remember that fateful day at Harrison Lake…

Um…I don’t know where that’s going, so I’m going to leave it alone.  G’night.


Contemplative? Pensive? Thoughtful? Exasperated?

I really don’t know what she’s thinking.

We, my daughter and I, went for a walk tonight.  While walking, we heard bagpipes so we followed the sound.  The further we walked, the louder the pipes got.  We found the pipers were practicing on Canadian military grounds and we’re not allowed to trespass on their land, so we had to walk considerably farther to get near them.  Part of the old Army base (the base has been greatly reduced in the last ten years) has been turned into a presentation center for a local housing development, so my daughter and I sat and listened as the bagpipes (complete with kilts) played near us.  I managed to capture a few shots of her, but I liked this one best.

I really don’t know what she’s thinking; maybe this is a “choose your own emotion” photo.

“A characteristic of the normal child…

…is he doesn’t act that way very often.” (Anon.)

I don’t know what got into my daughter in this photo, but she actually gave me a nice smile.  Usually I get crossed eyes and her tongue hanging out.

Ben seems, however, to be planning the imminent pranking of someone by some thing, but only he knows who and what.

I think I would worry if things were “normal”.  It seems to me that there are too many people in my life who desire for things to be normal.  I think they mean sedate.  I think they mean calm.  Peaceful.  Conflict-free.  Quiet.  I think that sounds like a coma.  Frankly, I’ll take the energy and conflict and noise of “normal” kids.

Fishing makes me want to fish…

When I see someone fishing, fly-fishing, trolling, whatever, it makes me want to fish.  When I was a kid I used to fish from a boat.  My Grandfather’s boat.  He would wake up early and check the weather and then wake me up to get me on the boat.  At ten years old I had so little consciousness at 6:00 a.m. that I’m surprised I didn’t fall into the lake and drown, but had so much respect for, and fear of, my grandfather that I got up and went out with him.

We’d sit on the water in the boat and say nothing for an hour.  The sun would come up and the lake would light up beautifully and the fish would ignore us, or not, and we’d fish.  The only breaks in silence would be a loon on the lake and the water lapping against the boat.  Grandpa would start the engine and tell me to hold on to the rods and we’d troll and hope to get some fish.  If we didn’t, we’d be back on the lake later in the day.  Truthfully, we’d be on the boat later anyway, whether we’d caught fish or not.

When I see someone fishing now it makes me long for the fishing trips of my youth and their silence and peace and unspoken understandings.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f 7.1; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.