Saturday is for Sharing – Jessica Goody

Welcome

Saturday is for Sharing

  Jessica Goody, Author

 July 21, 2018

SCAN is hosted by

Miss Opal & Lynda McKinney Lambert.

If you are NEW to SCAN, we recommend: Just SCAN it!

Guest Author

18_Scan_Saturday_3_Goody_Author Portrait (002)

Jessica Goody

Poet

Contact Jessica at PinnipedPerson@aol.com

Jessica’s first collection of  poetry is

Defense Mechanisms 

a full-length, 115-page  volume

75 poems divided into a 3 sections:

Part 1 – “Being Handicapped”

Part 2 – “Green Sentinels”

Part 3 – “Other Voices”

 

PinnipedPerson@aol.com

Q: Jessica, tell us about how you began to write your first  book.  Please elect one page you have written that sums it all up for our readers. Tell us about that page you selected. 

A: Storytelling influences every aspect of my life. I’m not sure why I gravitated to poetry instead of another type of literature, but I have always loved language and playing with words. When I was eight years old, I told my grandfather that I would dedicate my first book to him–and I kept my promise.

The poems in Defense Mechanisms were written over a nine month period; it took another four years of effort before the book was finally accepted by a publisher in 2016. My second poetry collection, Phoenix, will be released by ‘WordTech Publications’ CW Books in March 2019.

 

 

The opening poem of Defense Mechanisms, “The Mermaid,” is by far the most personal; I call it an allegorical autobiography.

 

The Mermaid

 

The mermaid wears a mask. Tubes drift from

her nostrils, linking her to an oxygen machine.

She relies asthmatically on artificial air, fluid

 

dripping wetly into her nasal passages. The air

she breathes is blue and cool; she cannot adjust

to the smog ashore. They have performed every

 

test, gluing wires to her chest, her tail, her skull.

They have EKG’d her cold-blooded heartbeat, MRI’d

and scanned, her silhouette glowing with radiation.

 

Surgeons in white deftly wield gleaming scalpels.

They have stitched her gills shut, and scraped the

barnacles from her shoulder blades. Round, puckered

 

scars remain, in the spot where earlier that morning,

an angel had her wings removed. You have to stare

to see the scars hidden beneath her Technicolor hair,

 

the ones from when they drained her brain, swollen

with seawater. They will fade eventually, to the color

of a crab carapace, abandoned and bleached by the sun.

 

The orthopedist traces her bone scan with his finger

as he talks: her knees are twisted, kissing instead

of facing forward. Her joints push and tug toward

 

one another in a scissors gait. Removed from the

succoring ocean, her skin is dull and roughened,

her sloughing scales losing their gleam. They plan

 

to surgically remove her tail and outfit her with

prosthetic legs, carving away her aqueous identity.

Out of water, she cannot walk, cannot stand.

 

Dragging along the dun-colored corridor, she

is floppy, uncoordinated, her tail hanging limply

from the wheelchair seat. Draped in the shapeless

 

hospital gown, her previously tangled hair now

shorn, she cannot make them understand that

her body was not made for life on land. They fill

 

her with electricity, with distilled stars. The names

of the pills are elaborate, like the Latin names of

seashells: Thorazine, Lithium, Stelazine, Sertraline.

 

She feels heavy, leaden, like she is floating. It

is not a kind sensation. She is unwilling to be

swept out to their psychopharmalogical sea.

 

She wants to go home. “You do not come from

the sea,” the psychiatrists say. They attempt

to hypnotize the truth out of her, to smear it

 

from her mind, the way the sea smooths away

words scratched into damp sand. “Delusional,”

they say. “Psychotic features represented by

 

hallucinations. She believes she is a mermaid,

a mythological creature.” According to their

files, the manila folders of endless prescriptions

 

and transcripts of talk-therapy sessions, she

does not exist. According to them, she is an

impossibility, a figment. But she must be real,

 

they have seen her, touched her. How long

will they keep her here? She is drifting like

the seasons. Away from the sea, she cannot

 

hear its call, only gaze at the topaz eye of the

changeling moon from her glassless window,

straining towards the ebb and flow of the tide.

 

_____________________

Q: What discourages you most in your writing endeavors? What do you find inspiring about your writing?

 

A: I think the hardest part is getting people interested in what you have to say. Success is about perseverance; stubborn bulldog persistence despite thousands of let-downs, rejections, and wounds to your pride. If you are truly meant to be a writer, or any kind of artist, that is the first thing you must learn. There are plenty of clever, talented people out there who don’t have what it takes, not because their work isn’t good enough, or because they don’t work at it, but because they can’t take the rejection, so they give up. It is never easy, but it is worth it.

 

When someone appreciates my work because they relate to it, having shared the same experiences, it creates a kinship between reader and writer. I believe that well-chosen words are the greatest agents of change; they provide hope to the suffering and clarity to the misguided. Defense Mechanisms provides both, offering its readers glimpses of meaningful lives and exploring what it means to be fully human.

_____________________

Q: Do you have a handicap of some sort? How does that handicap affect your life and what you do? How can you overcome that handicap? What do you want another person to know about this handicap and about you as a writer?

 

A: I have cerebral palsy, and the public perception of disability and the many aspects of living with a handicap are topics I frequently explore in my work. Anyone who struggles with mental health issues or physical challenges will be able to relate to my experiences, because the theme of Defense Mechanisms is Hope–the triumph over pain and trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.

 

I am very used to talking about my issues, and therefore very open about them in my writing. What some people consider depressing, I consider honest, and these topics should not be avoided because of their intensity. My goal is to provide a thought-provoking and inspirational experience for every interested reader, and to help them better understand what it’s like to live with disabilities.

_____________________

Q: Do you have a favorite art museum or gallery that you enjoy visiting? Or, any special exhibition you have attended that was remarkable? What art movement throughout history do you like the best and why?

 

A: I am endlessly fascinated by art, history, and the natural world, and all three deeply influence my writing. I am always inspired by the lives and exploits of artists, like the Beats, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Bloomsbury Group. I love museums, but I don’t have a particular favorite. Since I tend to think in images, a lot of my poetry is inspired by artwork.

 

In Defense Mechanisms, “Stockings” was inspired by the photographer Dorothea Lange’s 1934 portrait “Mended Stockings”. Another ekphrastic poem, “Transcendence”, was inspired by Walker Evans’ WPA photography. My forthcoming collection Phoenix features numerous odes to artists of every stripe–writers, actors, painters and musicians.

_____________________

Q: Do you have a favorite animal? What do you like about it? How is it a totem to you? When did you become aware of that special creature in your life?

A: When I was little and learning to crawl, my grandmother remarked that my movements resembled a baby seal. It’s a story–and a symbol–that has followed me all my life. My favorite stuffed animal was a seal named Seabert, who became my best friend and good-luck charm in a childhood spent among doctors, hospitals, and therapists.

I have always been drawn to the ocean. For most of my life I intended to become a marine biologist, and although my physical limitations prevented me from realizing that dream, I am an environmentalist, and much of my poetry is inspired by nature–especially the sea.

Jessica’s Final Comment

Terrific questions! Very thought-provoking.

 

Jessica, I want to share another powerful poem from your book.

This is one of my personal  favorites in the collection.  I can only say to our readers,

“PLEASE BUY JESSICA’S BOOK.” I promise, you will love it!

 ____________________

December Rain

 

Through the rain-streaked windows

the Christmas lights are a gleaming

blur. The colors stretch and streak,

lighting the sodden trees with their

 

festive glow. They resemble flashing

tropical fish swimming in the blind

eye of the windowpane. The water-

darkened trees resemble me, tilted,

 

twisted, bent, their fallen leaves

stretching like frightened animals.

A row of lightning scars the sky,

flashing like neon and fading in an

 

instant, a metallic crow’s caw in the

blackness of the storm-darkened sky.

____________________

Jessica Goody’s Contacts on Social Media

E-mail: PinnipedPerson@aol.com

Book Title: Defense Mechanisms: Poems on Life, Loss, and Love

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessica.goody.58

Award-winning author of Defense Mechanisms

Available now on Amazon:  www.JessicaGoody.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Seabert1521

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jessicagoody58/

mazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Defense-Mechanisms-Jessica-Goody/dp/0985147776/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1481762643&sr=8-5&keywords=jessica+goody

Phosphene Publishing: http://www.phosphenepublishing.com/goody-jessica

____________________

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright July 21, 2018. All rights reserved.

Saturday is for Sharing, a series of Guest Authors & Artists

Presented by Lynda and Miss Opal, her feline writing partner.  Lynda and Miss Opal live in rural western Pennsylvania in The Village of Wurtemburg. Miss Opal has a sister-cat named Miss Bessie. The two were rescued from Southern Ohio along with their mother, Miss Effie Pearl, and their 2 brothers, Diamond and Peachy Keen.

 

Lynda is married to Bob Lambert and the couple have 5 grown children.  These days, Bob & Lynda share their home with 2 rescued dogs;  Miss Mitchell and Miss Dixie Tulip. In addition to the 2 cats, they also care for any number of feral cats who may drop by for food & shelter eacy day. Lynda is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities, and she is a fiber artist and author.  she holds 3 degrees:  BFA and MFA in painting;  MA in English. Lynda is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA. She writes and makes art in her River Road Studio. Lynda lost her sight in 2007 due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.

Lynda is the author of 2 published books:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

 

Lynda just completed her 3rd book

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems – 60 poems

AND her FIRST CHAPBOOK

first snow, 16 Poems with a Wintry Theme.

Both new books  are now available for publication. Editors, please contact Lynda for the manuscript.

 

~Thank you for visiting with us today~

Miss Opal and Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Contact:  Lynda & Miss Opal at: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

PLEASE SHARE by Re-Blogging this article on Social Media.

Thursday Travels

Post #80

May 16, 2018

Thursday Travels:  Venice, Italy

I sat on a bench and drew  in my sketchbook.

My annual weekends in Venice were nearly always in July.  I came to celebrate Redentore Festival.

Link to Redentore Festival, 2018 schedule

I was usually outside on the streets most of the day when I was in Venice. There is so much to see and enjoy. I didn’t want to miss a bit of it.

  I enjoyed watching the city come to life each day.

There is a feeling you have in Venice that is different than any place I’ve ever visited.  Elegance, history, and beauty surround you any time of day or night.

First, the street sweepers  arrived before dawn.

They begin cleaning the streets of  accumulations from the day and night before. Each morning  the streets are renewed by a team of street sweepers.  They work quickly and I love watching them. This morning ritual was like watching a lyrical dance on a stage.

Next, the people who live in  the buildings that surround the campos arrive.

Some scurry off to work; others are opening their shops; some to church services; others, to sit quietly and talk toge.  You have the feeling that this activity has not hcanged over the centuries – it is a ritual of awakening each day in such an historic place.

I always carried my sketchbook with me on my excursions. 

I sketched; wrote poems; snapped photos. 

This photo captures life in Venice, Italy. 

PHOTO:  The 2 Venetian women never saw me sitting nearby  for they were absorbed in conversation.

This is their  hood.

___________

Thank you for visiting my SCAN blog today!

How I appreciate all of you!

This essay and photograph is brought to you by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems being published.

Walking by Inner Vision.

Lynda’s Author ‘s Page

this blog post is the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright May 17, 2018. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Just SCAN it!

Just  SCAN It!

SCAN: A blog

written by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

A quiet Place of Inspiration – We Love Literature!

 

 In 2018, I AM ABIDING 

WHAT DOES it mean

~ to abide?

This is my ONE WORD for 2018.  I won’t be doing anything in a RUSH. I’m taking my TIME and WAITING to publish  special articles that will encourage you and lift your spirit.

I’ll SHARE  thoughtful articles and I’ll share the work of other notable writers, editors, authors, and artists on my pages.

Thank you for visiting with us today.

SCAN (the blog) ~ created

by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

 

Why call the blog, SCAN?

Let’s have a LOOK at the word SCAN.

 SCAN  is a verb and a noun

Definition of scan for English Language Learners

  • : to look at (something) carefully usually in order to find someone or something

  • : to look over or read (something) quickly

  • : to look at the inside of (something) by using a special machine

I am a visual artist and author who is visually impaired. Everything I do depends on the use  of equipment that is developed for BLIND and VISUALLY IMPAIRED users.

 

Scan

(quoted from dictionary dot com)

 

14 Definitions of the word, SCAN:

 

verb (used with object), scanned, scanning.

1.

to glance at or over or read hastily:

to scan a page. 

The purpose of this blog will be to TAKE A LONGER LOOK at LITERATURE, AUTHORS, BOOKS, ARTISTS, and ART. We love LITERATURE and ART here at SCAN. 

to examine the particulars or points of minutely; scrutinize.

3.

to peer out at or observe repeatedly or sweepingly, as a large expanse;survey.

4.

to analyze (verse) as to its prosodic or metrical structure; read or recite(verse) so as to indicate or test the metrical form.

5.

to read (data) for use by a computer or computerized device, especially usingan optical scanner.

6.

Television. to traverse (a surface) with a beam of light or electrons in order toreproduce or transmit a picture.

7.

Radar. to traverse (a region) with a beam from a radar transmitter.

verb (used without object), scanned, scanning.

8.

to examine the meter of verse.

9.

(of verse) to conform to the rules of meter.

10.

Television. to scan a surface or the like.

SCAN as a noun

11..

an act or instance of scanning; close examination.

12..

a visual examination by means of a television camera, as for the purpose ofmaking visible or relaying pictures from a remote place:

a satellite scan of the dark side of the moon; video scans of property listingsavailable to customers.

13.

a particular image or frame in such video observation or a photograph made from it.

14.

a blog written by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 Meet Miss Opal. She is my writing companion and together WE SCAN the BEST BOOKS and INVITE the BEST AUTHORS to TELL THEIR STORIES on our blog, SCAN. 

IF YOU are an AUTHOR with a recently published book – in the past 2 years –

 

Miss Opal & Lynda

want you to tell your story

on SCAN.

Visit our INVITATION PAGE to learn more about how YOU can be our special guest on

“Saturday is for SHARING” feature.

Click Here to get your INVITATION NOW

Contact Lynda and Miss Opal at:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 

 

 

 

_____

Brought to you by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Visit me at Lynda Lambert’s Website

Find my latest book at 

My Authors Page.

 

Checking up on….. Me?

Have you CHECKED UP

on yourself recently?

While I was looking for information on an art exhibit, I decided to type in my name on the google search engine. Yes, indeed,  I found MYSELF!

 

It’s always a good idea to put your BEST work on your blogs and  pages. Now that I see what is there that I wrote, I am satisfied that the 17 pages are positive ones. It’s good to know how your postings come back to haunt you sometimes. Make sure you put your best thought out there for the world to view. You know what “they say” – you only have one chance to make a good impression.

My 17 best posts.

 

Photo above appeared in the Ellwood City Ledger web site, Saturday July 29, 2017.

 

Solitude

When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign is Solitude!  

—Hermit

 

I arrived at the Hambidge Center  in Rabun Gap, GA in the summer of 1988. It was late at night.  In the darkness, I drove into the driveway after my long journey from western Pennsylvania. I walked  to the main house where I met the manager  who would take me to where I would live  for the next month. I was going to be doing a Residency  and would be given a studio and place to live where I could do my art every day.  It was a great opportunity and a dream come true for me.

My guide  said, “I hope you like isolation.” My reply was, “Oh, yes! I love isolation.” The fact is, I did not have an inkling what isolation was but it sounded good to me.

Of course, I had no idea what isolation truly was for I had just arrived at this isolated art colony deep in the Georgia mountains. My normal life was back in Pennsylvania where I managed my busy home and family.  I cooked meals from scratch every day for my husband and 5 children. My homemade pies were famous among the ladies at my church.   The first thing I did each morning was 3 loads of Laundry.  In between the layers of  the business of taking care of husband, kids, dogs, cats, and anything else that came up, I was a non-traditional student pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.  Every spare moment I could find, I painted.  Painting was my obsession.

Driving up the steep mountain road, I followed his car.  Then we turned onto a pathway to the isolated little house where I would be living and working.  After the man left me there, alone, in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains – in utter darkness – I began to get an idea of what solitude would be like. While I was excited to be there, to have this opportunity, I was also stuck with the reality (and fear) of solitude.

My life was changing. I was diagnosed with breast cancer just 2 months before this trip.  And, my father died 2 weeks before the day I found myself alone at night in a strange place where I would live for the next month. My nerves were a frazzle.

 

But, the month I spent there, away from everyone and everything that was my normal life  was one of the most productive times in my creative life.  In this mountain solitude,  I was united with my “better self.”  Twenty-nine years later, I remain at peace  and solidly united with my “better self.”

Article and Photography by Lunda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright, May 16, 2017. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Lynda  McKinney Lambert

.Front Cover

Blogger:

Author:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage (Kota Press), 2002.

   

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017 

Lynda is a Peer Adviser  and writes articles on sight loss and blindness for  Vision Aware Blog

CONTACT ME: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 Author – Blogger – Visual Artist

Pennsylvania Spring

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Pennsylvania Spring The final week of May in Pennsylvania Photos from my early morning walk. Rhododendrum  is a STAR at this time of year. Look for it in shady places, forests and woodlands.             Delicate … Continue reading

The Cryptic Calling: an author’s journey Along an Unmarked Path

Meet  October’s Guest Blogger 

 Donna W. Hill

The Cryptic Calling: an author’s journey

Along an Unmarked Path

 

Blog15_DHill_Redwoods_Donna-&-Hunter-on-path-Glowing-Mist_by_Rich_Hill

This photo of Donna W. Hill with her guide dog, Hunter in ” Glowing Mist in the Redwoods” is by Rich Hill

 

It was 1954. A four-year-old girl with blond banana curls was in the living room. The house was quiet. Her parents were at work; her brother and grandmother in the backyard. She felt relieved to be alone. She didn’t know, nor would she for 14 years, that she was already legally blind.

 

The voice startled her. She stopped breathing, her ears scanning the house. But, it wasn’t necessary. She had felt the message settle into her spirit.

 

“You are here to do something important involving music.”

 

What did it mean? She instinctively took it as an anointing from God, though one with a disquieting lack of detail.

 

The Calling

 

That four-year-old was yours truly, and at sixty-five, that message still puzzles, intrigues and guides me. Initially, I assumed it meant that I was to become famous for my music. I didn’t share the experience, but I begged my parents to get me an accordion.

 

“You’re too small.”

 

Always a literalist, I was amused in second grade when — instead of the “massively-huge” accordion” — they bought me a piano . I progressed quickly, my nose on the brightly lit book, developing my memorization skills.

A Rude Awakening

 

Later that fall, I was selected for the Christmas concert. I was sure my ship had arrived. I was, however, wildly mistaken. I soon realized that there would be major obstacles.

“Go up to the top row of the risers.”

I was in the auditorium for our first rehearsal. I didn’t know what risers were, but I was soon on a contraption that shook and rattled with no way to steady myself. I didn’t understand how tunnel vision impacted my balance, and neither did anyone else.

Almost instantly, the director ordered me down, dismissing me from the group. She wouldn’t give me a few minutes to work it out or let me stand on the floor. The lesson wasn’t lost on me; although my voice was good enough, something more important about me wasn’t.

 

That spring, my teacher took my workbook away, despite my above average grades. She wasn’t comfortable watching me struggle to read. The other shoe dropped the following fall. I was placed in “Special Class,” where only first-grade large-print books awaited me. The thrust of my education was to fulfill the tiniest assignments, after which I was encouraged to play with pre-school toys.

 

My ophthalmologist was outraged. I was removed from “Special Class” and placed into a normal third grade class. The teacher, displeased with the placement, delighted in allowing open bullying of me and punished the girl who read me the questions from the board.

A Mission Slipping Away

 

By sixth grade, my vision was worsening, and piano music was far more complicated. My ability to memorize it was at a breaking point. I did what I thought any self-respecting twelve-year-old would do. I quit.

 

How was I supposed to interpret what I had heard in the living room? For the first (and far from the last) time, I considered the possibility that it could have merely been the ravings of a deranged mind.

In Search of a Miracle

 

Had God changed His mind? Or, perhaps, I needed to do something else first. If so, I knew what that was — get normal sight. It was obviously impossible to be successful without it.

 

Years before hearing televangelists discuss healing, I somehow knew I had to believe it would happen. Every morning for months, before I opened my eyes, I thanked God for restoring my sight, imagining the bright and detailed world that awaited me. My eyes, however, opened to dimness and confusion.

 

Progress and Compromise

 

At fourteen, I was devastated without music in my life. I asked for and received a guitar. Though I was too shy to share them, I started writing songs, beginning the inexorable link in my life between music and language.

 

In Junior High and High School, the bullying became more physical. The increase in work coupled with declining central vision necessitated a prioritizing of my work — literature and science were in; history and math out. Braille and recorded books were never discussed. I was legally blind in a world where it was more important to read and navigate with your eyes, regardless of how many mistakes you made, how much time it took, how sick you got or how many other things fell by the wayside, than to learn nonvisual skills.

 

The overt bullying stopped when I entered college. Nevertheless, I had lost the reading vision in my better eye that summer and was ill-equipped to take full advantage of the college experience. For the first time, however, I used recorded books and readers.

Reawakening the Dream

 

After graduation, I tried to make up the deficit. I trained with my first guide dog and learned Braille. I would pursue my dream of being a self-supporting musician — initially, as a street performer in Philadelphia’s Suburban Station.

 

I had my own apartment, kept an organic garden complete with a compost pile, baked whole grain bread and made everything from soup and tomato sauce to pesto and spanakopita. I started performing at schools, churches and other venues. I wanted my audiences to have a comfortable experience with a blind person and learn a bit about how we do things. I released two albums — “Rainbow Colors” and “Harvest.”

 

“If I had healed you back then,” said the same voice, “You would have never known that blindness didn’t have to limit you.”

 

Sidetracked

 

While recording my third album, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After treatment, Rich and I married, and I finished the project. Just as “The Last Straw” was coming out, I found another cancerous lump. The drain on our energy and finances prompted a change in plans.

 

What about my mission? Had I done what I was supposed to do? Perhaps it had something to do with the many small contacts I’d had over the years. Maybe it was the man who wore out his copy of “Rainbow Colors” while recovering from an auto accident. Maybe it was one of the thousands of kids who had seen my school programs. I was well aware by then that we are all here to do something important. putting forth our best efforts and walking in love is the greatest, most difficult and most rewarding mission.

 

I didn’t give up. Blind people still aren’t being welcomed with open arms. Education, digital accessibility and unemployment remain major problems. I learned to use a computer with text-to-speech software to pursue another dream. In an effort to promote acceptance among the general public, my novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill was designed to allow the reader an intimate look into the mind of a blind teenager, embroiled in an exciting adventure. And, the music angle? Abigail’s a shy songwriter.

 

Blog15_DHill_THAH-w-multiple-Amarilis-blooms-1-22-15-010

Donna’s novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill, an educator-recommended diversity and anti-bullying classroom resource for middle school and older readers, is available in print, eBook versions and accessible formats for readers with print disabilities. For more information and to follow Donna’s blog, visit:

http://DonnaWHill.com

 

 

Photo by Rich Hill. Photos used with permission of the photographer. Thanks so much!

 

 

 

Donna is a singer and songwriter.  Click on the LINK below to enjoy listening  to Donn as she sings, “Love of my Life.”

 

**

Special THANKS to Rich and  Donna W. Hill for allowing me feature this story on the blog today!

Copyright 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Flo Budny – Pictures From My Soul

Gallery

This gallery contains 32 photos.

The response I received was overwhelming. Most said that my work brought them joy. If they had a bad day and looked at my photos, it made their moods change and put a smile on their face.- Flo Budny, Pennsylvania photographer Continue reading

Nature: House of Worship

Introducing Kentucky Artist and Author,  Tammy Ruggles~

Tammy is my GUEST BLOGGER for the month.

Ruggles_Photo_Young (2)

Nature: House of Worship

by Tammy Ruggles

While growing up and attending a small country church, I always sensed that there was more than one way to worship the Lord, and this was by communing with Him in nature.

At the age of 12 or 13, my dog and I would walk around the 100 acres of my grandparents’ farm as I read the Bible and let the passages soak in. I didn’t quite understand the meaning of Romans 1:20 but felt it inside nevertheless. At that young age, if I had to point to one thing that proved God’s existence, to me at least, it was nature. I’m sure it’s that way for a lot of Christians or even those without a religion.

This isn’t to say that I worship the creation more than the Creator. No. In fact, creation is one of the things that speaks to me about the power and existence of the Supreme Creator.

Ruggles_Photo_Sunset Sky (2)

 

Whether a blooming flower, a singing bird, or a fiery sunset, God is in it. The whole universe is His canvas, and look what He paints.

Nature works together in perfect harmony, from the top of the higher species to the lower. I think we humans want that, deep down. I don’t think we really want chaos, but peace. But so many factors are at work that put a stumbling block in front of us.

Once in a while I pray for peace. Not just in a general, universal sense. But in a personal, one-on-one sense too. So much strife going on with those around us. When was the last time we unplugged from all the gadgets and just took a walk to commune with God and even ourselves?

I think it actually recharges us, giving us nourishment to meet each day with renewed strength, hope, and faith.

We live in challenging times, and it will help us to live as close to the Lord as we know how, and to worship Him in all the ways that are pleasing to him—serving Him and each other.

Ruggles_Photo_AcrosstheWay

I love the churches I grew up in but have always strongly felt that we don’t have to have walls in order to worship God. God has no walls, and neither does nature. Nature is one of my favorite ways to feel close to Him, and I capture His power and beauty with my camera.

Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse

**

Tammy Ruggles Bio: Tammy Ruggles is a legally blind photographer, artist, and writer living in Kentucky. Her first paperback book, Peace, was published in 2005 by Clear Light Books.