Photos for Food

Welcome September! As 2020 marches on as a year of formidable challenges, this month the Society of Nashville’s Artistic Photographers (SNAP) steps in with a unique opportunity for us to come together to do something good, something beneficial, for ourselves and our community. Photography, and art generally, has long been considered a means to nourish or feed the soul. Over the next two weeks, SNAP breathes new life and meaning to this truism through a wonderful initiative called Photos for Food.

Photos for Food is a fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee (Second Harvest). It is made possible through the generous support of 41 SNAP photographers, Chromatics PhotoImaging Printing Service, and Aerial Innovations of TN, Inc. These photographers have selected 79 images for inclusion in a virtual gallery open now through September 13th. For $100, visitors to the gallery may purchase an 11 x 14″ print of gallery images. Chromatics, Nashville’s premier photo imaging lab, will print the images and send them to the purchasers at no added cost. All proceeds from Photos for Food benefit Second Harvest. How? Each print purchase will provide nearly 400 meals to the hungry in Middle Tennessee. Yes, you read that correctly, $100 = one 11″ x 14″ print and nearly 400 meals!

I’m an enthusiastic supporter of Photos for Food and I hope you will be too. Please click on the link below to view the gallery of available images:

http://www.snapgallery.org/shop/

It’s an inspiring gallery and endeavor, right? Something in it for everyone I think. In fact, you may very well want to consider purchasing multiple prints! This is a great way to start (or continue) your holiday shopping.

Since this blog is themed “photos in need of explanation,” let’s briefly cover that. Any guesses on why I chose to submit the image below?

Well, I was just thinking … who doesn’t need a little more love in their world right about now?

Thanks, as always, for following my blog. Please consider sharing this post with others. Take care of yourself and be generous with your love.

A Time to Tug

Have you ever read The Invisible String? It’s a children’s book by Patrice Karst. The mother in the story tells her young twins who have woken up in a storm that they needn’t worry and can return to bed. She then describes the invisible string which connects them to her and all whom they love. They can tug on the string whenever they want and, because the string is made of love, it will tug back. Karst asks readers to imagine how far their strings may stretch. It ends by assuring “no one is ever alone.”

Would you agree there are millions of invisible strings stretching around the world right now? They’re connecting grandparents with grandchildren who are social distancing, families gathering on balconies in the evenings cheering in support of first responders and healthcare providers, farmers and grocery store workers with neighbors waiting patiently in crowded food lines.

I could fill this post with countless examples of invisible strings connecting humanity (a good thing for sure) but I’d like instead to invite you to consider another invisible string – the one connecting us to spring and to God.

A couple weeks ago when the news seemed particularly sobering, I felt a tug to go outside and photograph spring. Honestly, it didn’t feel quite right at the time. It wasn’t the eerie quiet in the neighborhood so much as a feeling of guilt in doing something enjoyable. But the tug won out and, as is often the case, the more I photographed, the better I felt. By the time I returned home, my sadness had turned to gratitude. I gave a little tug to my string.

Here are some of the images from that day and another that followed:

patch of paper whites in a neighbor’s yard

tulips under a neighborhood stop sign
bee sucking nectar from cherry tree blossoms in our front yard
peppermint twist
row of pink tulips singing Lean on Me
social distancing, forsythia style
large white pom poms on Chinese Snowball Viburnum

I hope you like these images from around my neighborhood. Granted, they are not as showy as something I may have shot in a botanical garden, but they’ve given me a nice lift. That’s partly because, as devastating as COVID-19 is, it’s helped me appreciate beauty in people, places, and things that, only a few months ago, I’m not sure I would have noticed. I’m thankful for that.

Spring is best known as the season of hope. We’re excited to see the first robin or daffodil because it suggests we’re turning the corner away from the cold, dark nights of winter. Each bud fosters anticipation of something more joyous to come. Yesterday I walked through our neighborhood and saw purple irises, pink azaleas, and Knock Out Roses. Yes, they’re all proclaiming hope, but also providing comfort and reassurance from a loving God who gently, sometimes boldly, tugs our invisible strings made of love. Each little miracle of spring is a reminder – “no one is ever alone.”

Thank you for following my blog. For a free screensaver of the featured image in this post, or for a vertical version from the same tulip patch, please visit http://www.maryricephoto.com/spring. Click Select Photos in the bar at the top right corner of your screen. After the screen refreshes, click download. Should “menu” appear over the top left corner of an image, click it and then download.

Feel free to share the images with others. It’s a good time to tug someone you love.

Take care.

The Corona Virus: Making Sense of it All

News flash: I’m breaking my blog silence with this long overdue, surely much anticipated post …

A little context – On Thursday Gov. Bill Lee announced COVID-19 had spread to Tennessee. Only one man has it. He’s 44, lives in Williamson County (my county), and is staying home. Although his child (children?) attend a local private school, the entire Williamson County public school district responded by closing its doors for two days to do a “deep clean.” Really??

So yesterday afternoon I drove down to Lewisburg, Tennessee to photograph a fast food restaurant and as I was coming home I stopped in the local Walmart to buy some hand sanitizer and soap. That’s reasonable, right? I’d heard Costco had been crazy busy Thursday with people stockpiling supplies & this rural Walmart seemed like a good alternative. It was until the man in front of me at checkout turned around, eyed my soap and shamed me with:

“Oh! I see you’re got some soap there. Uh huh. You’re stocking up to fight the Corona virus. Not me. I’m not doing nothin’ about it. I say bring it on!” (manly big belly laughter follows).

The lady across the aisle then responds:

“Yeah. You know what? My Lysol can [at home] says it fights the Corona virus. Has said that for years. Says so right on the label!”

At this point I try to interject that while her Lysol can may say that, this is the novel Corona Virus – a new strand. It’s like she doesn’t hear me and proceeds to check out anyway. Nevertheless I hear her saying under her breath, “now I do sometimes worry that my children might catch it …” I start to tell her that actually children seem to be resistant but then I, too, fade off. It doesn’t even occur to me to take pictures. It’s just another day at Walmart.

As I’m nearing home about 6:30 I stop in my local Publix to buy some fake ice cream. Soon I realize this typically busy grocery is virtually empty. Only me and a few others are in the store. And, as I start to look around, many of the shelves are also empty. So now I take some phone pictures …

empty shelves for Lysol Wipes

Okay, I get that. Next –

empty shelves for toilet paper

I only get this because a FB repost from a friend in Washington state prepared me. It said “will trade for toilet paper.” Next …

empty shelves for paper towels

Okay, I kind of get this. If the Lysol wipes are out of stock, you spray your favorite cleaner and then wipe with a dry paper towel. Next –

mandarin oranges seem popular

Okay I may get this – it’s the Vitamin C thing. Next …

empty shelves for bottled water

Okay, I don’t get this. At all. Will somebody please explain the run on bottled water? Do people think COVID-19 is going to spread through our water supply??

and then there’s this:

empty shelves for Easter candy

Okay I got this. If we’re hunkering down maybe for the next month or so, by golly at least our kids are going to have a happy Easter! That’s it, right? No??

After I return home I tell Don about my topsy turvy “novel” encounters. You know what he says?

“and all these people vote for President.”

Ahhhhhh

Thanks for following my blog. I’ll be back, sometime, probably …