I took this photo of a mullein back in early November. I was trying to catch the way the light shone through some of the leaves and sparkled off the down on other leaves. Spurts of wind kept tossing the larger leaves up and in the way, blurring the picture.
Finally, on the third attempt, I got this picture. It wasn't until later, as I was looking over the day's images, that I noticed the spider. He crept into a quieter refuge, or I shifted my angle, sometime between the first and second photo, and by this third photo, he was lit by sunshine.
There are multiple levels of discovery with this practice of contemplative photography -- what I notice as I wander with my camera, what I find as I look over the photos on the larger computer screen, what becomes visible as I crop photos, or as I look over photos at a later date.
There is seeing and noticing, and then there's what we notice with a second look, or as we ponder an image that speaks to us in some way.
I'm pondering this trio.
I took this photo of St Ignatius as The Pilgrim at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Wernersville, PA, with the early morning sun on his back. Later when the shadows had shifted, I took this second photo, where it is easier to see that he carries a book and a staff.
And then just as we were leaving, I saw the same statue from another angle, and took the following photo. It was only after I was home and going through the images from the week,looking at this one in the larger Picasa format, that I noticed the staff propped invitingly in the corner. I'm not Catholic or Jesuit, so I'm not picking up his staff in that sense, but I hear the verse of a familiar song:
We are pilgrims on a journey,
we are travelers on the road.
We are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.
May we also be taking up our walking staffs, moving out in pilgrimage, following Christ, in our own time and place.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.