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A walk along a moon lit Charles Mills Lake.
Are you beginning to hear the music of the water and the birds
Over the noise of the day?
“Just One More”
Pushing to find “just one more” trailhead before dark…
“Just one more” pitch of the ball, and
I wacked the ball through two panes of glass in Grandma’s second floor bedroom.
“Just one more.”
Rounding the left curving forest “road” a little too fast,
Breaks! SKIDDDD….. Parking was 90° Right.
Astonishing, this crisscrossing fence covered with surely a hundred years of patient, deep sphagnum moss.
The meaning was clear. Stop.
Saunter to the beauty of each log.
Caress the soft soothing wet moss. So much more is experienced, sauntering. My fatigue was quiet
And insistent. “Just one more” trail would be a silent forgiveness from the moss, with a message.
“Let us be your last trail for today. It’s good to leave some things until tomorrow.
A wearied body had to take into my bones what I was being shown. “Just one more” for me, had been, for a long time, a Red Flag.
I thanked these logs and soaking moss for another transformation.
I am on the gravel road at the most eastern side of the Smoky Mountains.
Ten mph then five at the hair pin turns.
It is here, in the sharpest turning, that waters have seeped toward a V
Leading down to the gravel road.
This coming together of waters into a fragile waterfall,
Is also the meeting place of moisture seeking life,
Mosses on soaking nurse logs,
a humble stream
And creatures who in one night
create the most exquisite symmetrical webs.
In the mornings they are strings of pearls,
The home to hundreds of drops of dew.
The slow drive up this gravel road to Mt. Sterling (5600’)
Can take hours—because at each hair pin turn,
I stop and look and am as attentive as I can be.
I love this exception to the norm,
The ones who live their unique lives in the V at the hairpin turn.
Once I had stopped off the road
Right where the road made a radical, abrupt turn away
from the seeping water,
Green moss nurse logs.
The sun chanced to shine revealing hundreds of symmetrical pearls.
There were additional works of beauty further up the stream
But I would have to walk through the lowest string of pearls
And I could not do destroy the delicate elegance
This one spider had created in the night,
her brilliant contribution to
The Great Work of Creation.
This was easy to do,
because I had already made a commitment
to cause no harm to another living creature.
When a Dark Cloud Arrives
My feet know immediately,
run out of the house
into an open space.
When a dark cloud sneaks in
the room loses its brightness,
and me and my feet know, a great adventure is waiting for us outside.
I’ve been this way from before I can remember.
One of the best gifts my dad ever gave me.
When the darkness arrives in those early years,
We look at each other,
Race to the car,
I clamber onto the front seat,
My Dad’s key in the ignition
Ready to go when I am sitting upright,
And leaving behind all the maternal warnings,
We speed two full blocks,
skidding to a stop at the edge of the white sand.
The best view of a storm on the lake
Is at the edge of the water,
As close as we can get to the slowly moving,
Lightning flashing storm which covered the entire lake.
We both cannot get any more excited
Than witnessing a nearly black storm
Lumbering across Lake Erie from west to east.
Dispatching 30 mph wind
Directly at us, north-to-south,
As we stand on the shore
In t-shirts and shorts,
The winds always beat us,
Whipping up eight-foot white cap waves,
One giant wave after wave speeding
Their way toward shore,
Except for that subtle pause,
Like the baseball pitcher
Drawing up to his tallest, most threatening stance,
He leans away from the batter,
Interrupts his flow
To send his fast ball spinning
As he comes down toward the batter
In his most menacing face,
“I’ve got ya.”
Those winds windup their pitching arm,
Lean back like a pro
Size up the batter,
And then let loose a wild fast ball,
And in that daring height,
That slight backward leaning,
The waves come flying onto shore,
Pulling the sand back into the lake
Then delivering spinning sand and stones
Forward onto the worn-out beach.
That pause before the pitch
Puts the batter off balance
And sends the waves onto shore
Every time in a different cadence,
Walloping the shore
Shaking the ground with her basso thunderous tones.
On this shallowest of the Great Lakes,
A pip-squeak thirty feet deep far
beyond the horizon all the way around to Canada,
Swirly spirals fly onto the beach
As good as any respectable sandstorm
in the western deserts.
This is high adventure.
Carving out a west to east path over the water,
Turning and heading to the place we are standing
With hard hitting pellets of rain
“Get out of our way!”
We run back to the car,
Speed back to the house,
Run through the house to the back porch
Out that door into the open space of the back yard,
And stand and gaze up and the storm passes over us,
We stand near the only object immovable,
The only place anywhere near being
And yet are safe, immovable.
When the room indoors becomes dark,
High adventure is waiting to challenge us outside,
And we are more than up for the dare of the storm,
We run to see the black cloud that covers
Our Great Lake.
It passes us by.
We are so high
And a tad bit of disappointment.
Our adventure is over
Until the next time
The room goes dark.
This is how I was shown
Of the storms.
They come and they pass,
watch them, come out to see them, see how
they arrive and no matter the direction, they pass. ©2020 John Holliger
A Floral Glance
Walking a forest path, suddenly in the corner of your eye, a gleam of vivid color, a wink of light in the shadows, a flash then it’s dark and a quick return, an oblique glimpse of something white or cyan or crimson.
Absent a rigid adherence to your next few steps, you have learned to pause, and look attentively for such oblique appearances of light and color, for they are meant to be just so, to be seen by those with a soft, receptive heart, perhaps blown open by a breath of wind.
How else would they catch your attention and your pause to hear their message, their call to change directions, to absorb their glance of beauty and light, their desire to companion you in your lonely grief and loss, your longing no words can adequately describe…
And yet this floral glance is offering to travel with you, an open gate to a new way of walking and seeing, you would not have imagined possible, except for this floral glance, your pause, your attentive heart.
“One life shaped by photography.”
Westerville Photography Club Westerville Senior Center February 25, 1-3 p.2020 Program Design
1. Getting started from my Dad.
said about their work.
A graduate of Oberlin College and Yale Divinity School, John is an Episcopal priest who served parishes in Connecticut and Ohio. Laying down that work at 58, John is a life-long self-taught nature photographer with an animated curiosity for how potters, painters, poets, musicians, craftsmen like farriers and wood bowl makers, and classic photographers approach their art—always on the creative edge, taking risks, asking “What’s next?”
This following list of projects can fill in my background: business interiors and exteriors, professional portraits, corporate products and their
installation, construction and architecture, restorations and renovations, portfolios for contractors, photography of model homes, macro photography for scientific and poetic books, university events, retail and restaurant photography.
My portfolio includes Ohio Wesleyan University, distinctiveartsource.com of
Virginia, greatamericanart.com, Marion General Hospital, Rivers Edge Conference Center, Cleveland, Green Dental Offices, Grady Memorial Hospital, Button Up Gallery, Sunbear Studio, Culver International Molding Company of Lewis Center, Delaware City Hall, Spirituality
Network, St. Martin de Porres Center of Columbus, Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal, Lexington,
KY, Pendle Hill Quaker Conference Center, Main Street Delaware, published work for Dr. Juan Armando Rojas Joo, Holmes County Wood Fired Functional Ceramics, and Farming Magazine of Mt. Hope, Ohio, Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance
70 Welshire Court
Delaware, Ohio 43015 www.photographybyjohnholliger.net email@example.com
Saturday December 7,
22 West Main Street,
Westerville for party and show., 22 West Main Street, Westerville