A Realization

Photography, Poetry, Writing


A Realization

There is this notion that like begets like,
but what happens when you’re unlike?

There is a double consciousness
that arises when you realize
that you’re neither –
or it is that you’re either?

That you’re apart from –
and a part of,
but you don’t belong.

Your voice sings with the chorus,
but your song,
that solitary lament;
well, it’s all wrong.

But you exist
from and within these parts,
and in parts,

in this country,
where the select few
have taken it upon themselves
to approve everything –

so, like begets like.

And you realize;
either here or there;
neither here nor there.



Learning From Those Unlike Myself

Photography, Writing


fallivyIt’s a new month, so I thought I’d start with a quick update.

I’m taking another photography class, and I’m actively part of a new writer’s critique group.  Sadly, the previous one…well, it seems to have imploded within two weeks of my joining (yes, quite coincidentally).

Although I’ve had my fair share of photography and art classes as well as experience with writing classes/workshops, I feel a bit out of my element with these new groups.

For my writing group, we meet in person every two weeks or so for critiques.  I understand the basics well enough to be dangerous, but the other people are so unlike myself.  Demographically, the other members of my writing group are the complete opposite of me and our backgrounds are diametrically different. Needless-to-say, it’s created interesting conversations, often me making a fool of myself (I already did it once so I figured should be easier the next time around).

For my photography class, the instructor and I have different aesthetic sensibilities as well as different notions on what a “critique” should entail.  At the moment, I’m not quite sure how interested they are in actually “teaching.”  We’ve only had two classes so far, but it wouldn’t surprise me if students start dropping out.

Myself? I had thought about dropping the class and getting a refund after the first one.  But, I know that I need this class.  While I’m not keen on the instructor’s personality or teaching methods, the instructor is a successful and technically proficient photographer – so there’s something to be learned from all that experience and knowledge.

Besides, so much of this brave new world of social media allows for us to exist in our own echo chamber.  Easily dismissing what doesn’t support or confirm to our own views or aesthetics.  So far, even though we’re very different, I like my writing group and the pieces the others write challenges my thinking and the ways I read their material so I can be more helpful to them.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t stay in a bad group or a bad class if all you get from it is suffering.  But don’t be afraid to be a bit daring.  Having a variety of experiences provides you with the confidence to curate the valuable stuff from the slush – though Henry James says it more eloquently in “Art of Fiction” when he talks about the notion (and importance) of experience:

The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implication of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life, in general, so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it–this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience, and they occur in country and in town, and in the most differing stages of education. If experience consists of impressions, it may be said that impressions are experience, just as (have we not seen it?) they are the very air we breathe. Therefore, if I should certainly say to a novice, “Write from experience, and experience only,” I should feel that this was a rather tantalising monition if I were not careful immediately to add, “Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost!”

Nostalgia Tanka

Nostalgia, Photography, Poetry, wabi-sabi, Writing


Nostalgia Tanka

Oh, this nostalgia;
a fragile thing of beauty
never exactly
as it was or how we were
but knowing it always is.

© ettemeyer

These dried roses were the only good things I have from a painful time.  I kept them to remind me that even as our memories shift, sliding back and forth in time, it’s the warm feelings of nostalgia – the good things and the love we felt that call us back the most.

Weekly Photo Challenge: For this challenge, show us what nostalgia means to you — perhaps a moment or scene that makes you feel wistful, happy, sad, or somehow longing for the past. It might be with friends, family, or by yourself — anywhere, anytime of year.

An Utmost Quest

Poetry, Weekly Photo Challenge, Writing


An Utmost Quest
The long day wanes,
And in our bodies ravaged by time,
Hindered by mortality,

We still seek, we still strive –

And we will not yield
Because truth is rarely
Where we expect to find it.

And so we follow
Sinking stars
For ever and forever.

Weekly Photo Challenge: For this challenge, show us what quest means to you.

I’m a wanderer, often setting out on a journey with only the goal of getting lost because…well, that’s one of the benefits of exploring, right?

This image is just one of the many icons that adorn the city walls of Seville, Spain.  These icons are commonplace, but I found them remarkable.  They reminded me that things of beauty and joy are often enshrined in ordinary and can be found even when you don’t know where you’re going or where you are.  So, as Tennyson poetically wrote, great things are bound to be discovered in each of our life’s quest if we dare to seek them out.

City Mirrors

Nonsense, Photography, Poetry, Weekly Photo Challenge, Writing


City Mirrors
Though we’ll never meet
Know that our lives are
Mirrored in these city streets
Of hot glass, hard concrete
And cold steel –

But running late;
No time to contemplate,
Feet must move to and fro –
Things to see, places to go.


WPC Mirror: This week, show us a mirror. You can take this photo challenge literally, and find reflections in mirrors, or in the stillness of a natural body of water. Live in an urban area? Some skyscrapers are beautifully reflective of the cityscape around them. Or, use this challenge to take a photo of yourself in the mirror. Self-documentation is important, especially for those of us who are usually behind the lens. Enjoy!