Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pat Tillman Jr?


Hava fig?

So this is why they picked the fig leaves

When in need of a family photo ...

A family photo courtesy of a panhead on the Eastern Shore of Alabama

Bathtub lizard

A week or so ago, we captured this tiny lizard in the bathtub. He was so small and translucent that you could see his heart beating through his skin when you held him up to the light. He was later released into the wild of the backyard ferns with the assistance of Liam on flashlight.
(No animals were injured in the photographing of this picture.)

Brown-eyed girl

This is Baby. 

Grandaddy's Plow

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tiny Praying Mantis on Sunflower

This guy sat up and posed for me while I was shooting closeups of the sunflower. I shot a few with my Pro Nikon camera, so I took the time to go get our smaller camera to take some photos to share online.

Date Day

 HWY 90 CAUSEWAY, Ala. --- Today was an absolutely perfect day that reminded me why I love my wife and wouldn't trade a minute of the 1,440 minutes a day we spend together for anything.

We started the morning at the break of day, getting up and going to visit with Grandma, who was having a great morning. We stayed there until after 9 visiting with her, then my Mother, God bless her soul, took Liam with her to work, giving us the day to go play. 

We headed to the Hobby Lobby in Daphne, Ala., to pick up more paper, since I am getting dangerously low as I am completing the First Week Series, and to find art supplies for the gaggle of kids at Cousin MJ's house. Though we had intended to go to Fairhope and eat at Panini Pete's, we diverted down the causeway to take pictures of the amazing clouds spread out painting the gulf waters with an impending storm front.

Its one of those amazing feelings of contentment. I looked across the expanse of sky, reveling in God's awesome creation and completely digging just having time to BE with Heather. There she was, glowing from gathering gifts for the kids, a beauty in jeans and clover green, the blue of her eyes popping despite the fact they were the same colour of the sky. And silly ole' me got so caught up in how much I love her, I completely forgot I was holding a camera. I guess I'll just have to keep that memory in my heart.

Day Six and Seven and a couple of details

Creation of Man
The Sabbath, from Gen 2.1-3
A detail from Day Two
Detail from Day Two

Day Five and Six

Day Five brings on the birds and fishes (Gen 1.20-23)
Day Six is a big day as the animals are created (Gen 1.24-25)
Day Six part Two and the first commandment to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1.26-28)
Day Six Part Three (Gen 1.29-31) And God saw that it was very good.

Day Three and Four of Creation

Day Three of Creation and the separation of water and dry land (Gen. 1.9-10 if you're reading along)
The creation of vegetation on Day Three (Gen 1.11-13)
Day Four and the Creation of the luminaries (Gen 1.14-15). Though its not visible right now, there are coloured dots which correlate to the star patterns, which are drawn out from the month they are dominate in the sky, some even getting a mention in the Bible.
Day Four still and the fixing of the Sun and Moon, thus the trajectories of the heavenly bodies (Gen 1.16-19)

In the Beginning ... the visuals

As I've talked about before, I am working on completing an art illustration series on the first seven days of Creation, and what follows are the first photos of the series thus far. To explain, they have been designed, each line is covered in Hebrew and English scriptures and the rest are filled in with the several thousand translations of Peace and Love, then all the ink is covered, with semi-transparent wax crayon.

"In the Beginning ..."
The Spirit hovers over the formless Earth
Separation of light and dark
Separation of the waters

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Day of Sun, Sand and Seawater

FAIRHOPE, Ala. --- After watching cousin-by-marriage Lance and his step-daughter Christen get the holy dunk at church Sunday morning, we decided to pack a bag and head for the sunny surf of the Alabama Eastern Shore, not to be confused with the Maryland Eastern Shore, despite a similar appearance of farms in sight of the coast.

We were originally going to Fairhope to try out Panini Pete's, a restaurant featured on the FOOD NETWORK's Diners, Dives and Drive-ins, but it was unfortunately closed, so we headed to the old standby Old Bay Steamer for a taste of seafood gumbo. Then, we took to a local bookstore, where we supported the local economy, bought coffees and smoothies, then headed down to the inlet.

The beach at Fairhope isn't much more than a short sandbar, but it is also a beach vacant of all the tourists that plague Gulf Shores, and after having to coax Liam into the waves, 3 1/2 hours later we were having to drag him ashore. Needless to say, he was dreaming in the car on the way back to Granny's house.

Beach bums

Okay ... I'm coming in.
Blub blub blub blub
Into the deep
Heading for the shore
Let us pray, Lord, let us thank you for this beach. Amen.

What a strange sea creature you are.

The bobbing family

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hanging with the King

The Voting Rights Memorial Park, Selma, Ala., next to a mural portrait of Martin Luther King Jr., and the martyrs of the civil rights movement of the 1963 March from Selma to Montgomery.
The 12 Stones Memorial of the 1963 Civil Rights March in Selma, Ala.

Catch of the Day

Granddaddy and Liam drowning worms on the Chattahoochie River

Got One!

Catch of the Day Two

Some photos from the past few weeks

Heather and Liam taking a stroll through the Voting Rights Memorial Park in Selma, Ala.

The masked Ranger rides again
A new bubble wand from Granny Trish

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In the Beginning ...

My current artistic endeavour in creating a series of illustrations based on the first seven days of creation has reached a milestone as I have currently created 14 drawings to illustrate key elements in the first seven days. Each illustration is made up of the scriptures related to the specific portion of Genesis each one represents. For instance, Gen. 1:1a (In the beginning - ) is echoed in Heb 1:10 - 12, Isa 40:21, John 1:1-2,  Psalms 89:11 and 90:2 and about a dozen other verses from the old and new testament. The center element in each illustration is that portion of scripture in both Hebrew and English and some surprise elements are in the works as well. Thus far, I have inked a considerable amount of each illustration as well.

My plan is to have everything ready for an October gallery show my brother-in-law has organized. I am planning to show the 14 with some additional drawings and to have a book of essays and illustrations as a companion element to the primary illustrations. I have thus decided to offer my rough drafts here for your amusement.

Rough Draft One
FROM THE WOMB OF GOD, A birth story

We can only speculate on the dream that manifested and impregnated God's womb with possibilities,  on the conception of the universe, and the fetal movements of creation.

But as for the birth -- for that we have a story.

In the beginning, ovulation ached in the belly of God. As the desire to create Life and community welled within the Godhead's being, God consummated within their character to create the universe and conceived it within a womb of desire.

God, dreaming of what community would be, revealed himself as Love, his dream becoming a womb, impregnated with nothing but Love, manifesting Life. As the universe lay in the womb of God, the dream had already been dreamed about what we would be and what we would do with this gift of Life. God had already seen it through to the end. With the joy of conception all around, creation crowning, with God's vision of Peace and Love bathing the universe as it slipped into being, filling the void, Life bringing order to chaos.

If you are looking for God open your eyes to what is around you, draw a breath, smell a scent, touch something. Listen - even to the silence. God exists in everything. It is in our DNA - in the building blocks of every thing in existence. God put himself into Life as Love. He is the ache of desire, the ecstasy of fulfillment, the connection between people and the wonder in the big and small.

God simply is. 

We, all of Life, all existence, are in the lineage of God. We are all intentional creations, manifest out of Love - a desire for community and we all carry the DNA of the parent. God both in us and all around us.

God's dream bleeds across our cellular level and is reflected in our most innate desire to create. We are the creatives - the creations mandated to continue creating and communing. Our creation story begins with, "In the beginning of God's creating ...", because creation continues through us, and in partnership with God. 

God's creative lineage becomes evident in us when a woman's hand strays to her ovulating belly as her body makes its desire's known, primed to fulfill a need to create. She goes inside of herself and dreams a dream of community, of unconditional, inexplainable Love. Woman and Man bond together, becoming one in consummation, in partnership to creation. Life begins and her belly swells with Life, creation swimming in possibilities, suspended in Love. And then, when the dream can't be dreamed any bigger, Life emerges from the womb.

This is the birth story of creation, when Love filled the void.

From Starbucks to Civil Rights Trail to Alabama Backwaters

BAY MINETTE, Ala. --- Sitting at around 2,380 miles thus far in our travels, we returned from Dad's to Mom's house today, leaving a bit earlier than we are all accustomed to waking up, as Daddy and Patricia were on their way to their property in Tennessee, but thank goodness for Starbucks, which offered a respite about one hour into the trip and some mega-strong coffee.

We had decided to take an alternate trip avoiding as much of the highways as possible, and wanted to go through Selma for some indoctrination into Civil Rights Movement history. We stopped at a nice park and memorial to the non-Irish Bloody Sunday of 1965 and the martyrs who were killed by the Alabama State Troopers of the day. We had a nice walk as we discussed the events of those volitale days ... until Liam announced, "I've got to poop!"

This was a much greater emergency than we were prepared for but he got to perch on a stage rail to do his business and was pretty delighted to do so. We also snagged a flower growing behind one of the memorials for Shane Claiborne, considering his grand appreciation for the great MLK. 

We then followed the back roads as it ran over the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers and finally to Spanish Fort, where I broke down and bought a pair of sandals. Not the easiest thing to find considering the change in foot structure from the accident.

I'm suffering the effects of a cold currently, while I am trying to start writing the essays for my "In the Beginning ..." series which will be ready to show around October. I've also started working on some whimsical drawings to go on t-shirts, starting with "Jazz-hand Jesus". It will be followed shortly by "Rockin' Rabboni" and  If it doesn't sound like a good idea, blame it on the nasal drip and stuffy head.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fishing on the Chatahoochie

PHENIX CITY, Ala. --- Our roving band journeyed once again between my home stomping grounds near the Gulf Coast to my dad's house along the Georgia/ Alabama border. 

We've been working diligently on my mom's house since we arrived -- putting in a new dryer, then painting the house, and putting hardwood floors in one of the bedrooms -- so a free weekend to go fishing was a welcome respite. 

Liam got to reel in three small brim as well as taking  a dunk in the river, so we've had a very active adventurous day.

Photos will be online soon, though the photos from Brandon and Rebecca's wedding will take some time, since I shot it in RAW (a very large format) and its sort of occupied my iPhoto program for the time being.  I also loaned out some transfer equipment to my cousin, so I can't download photos for a few more days.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hanging Loose at my old stomping grounds

BAY MINETTE, Ala. --- We remain in Alabama at Mom's house as we try to help out in preparations for my cousin Brandon's wedding, the arrival of out of town family, caring for my grandmother and working on the house.

I've been working on my tan lately, spending as much time as I can outside repairing and painting my mom's house and preparing to lay hardwood floors tomorrow morning before out of town family arrive tomorrow night for my cousin's wedding.

I start my days at the nursing home - yes, there are some of the residents who can walk faster than me - visiting my grandmother and remembering a lot of stories with her. We drink coffee together and I read the Psalms when we don't have anything in particular to say, but it just means the world to be able to spend time with her. Sometimes its just a comfort for her to wake up from sleep to see somebody there. My cousin-in-law Lance, who just graced the pages of the Mobile Press Register by burning down a house - its okay, he's a firefighter - stops by every morning after his shift and tells her he's taking her dancing and she just smiles the biggest smile. He's helping out with the house repairs as well.

Our on the road library has expanded after  trip to the local Barnes and Nobles yesterday. We've been reading Shane Claiborne's Ordinary Radical, which is amazingly changing our perspectives of the world, and we've also got Jesus for President, and Brian McLaren's Everything Must Change - all about how we Christians need to be walking out what Jesus was doing toward bringing social justice to the world. To that, we added two books by Mother Theresa and a collection of Martin Luther King, Jr's essays and sermons. We also found a book by Bono about the Jubilee in Africa and the need for aid to Africa, a photo book of the U2 tours and a sociology book called Hippies - which is about hippies. Also, a green building book about solar power.

We've been imagining a different world lately, dreaming with Shane Claiborne and Brian McClarren and Rob Bell about a new kind of church congregation we hope to start in Boone after the move.  We've also been talking about the need to be more creative and open with what we are doing for the society around us. More on that later.

The IN THE BEGINNING ... series is really taking shape and I've even started on Chapter 2 of Genesis, which expands on Chapter 1. I've completed two sketches, though I am going to need to pick up some more paper before I can start the second chapter series.