Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Creative Challenges

I started blogging three and a half years ago and this creative outlet has stimulated an increased interest in the world around me. Other bloggers have taught me much and have challenged me to examine my views on many subjects. The internet is full of wonderful information but is also a source of much misinformation. I cringe at email forwards which are sent by people unable to form their own opinions, who are open to believing anything they read. I avoid ranting bloggers and seek out those who pursue thoughtful reflection about our imperfect world.

Digital photography has permitted many people to record and post about events with immediacy. Big Brother is not the government, police or Google street view, but may be anyone on the street with a cell phone or camera. News outlets readily accept photographic submissions from public eyewitnesses and initial reporting of breaking stories often comes from ordinary observers.

so much information...
so many visual images...

An old, disillusioned Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes,

"All things are wearisome, more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?

It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time."

Human nature is unchanged and rules which govern the natural world remain in effect for eons of time. But we must discover this for ourselves through exploration, inquiry and experience. Our natural creativity often gets buried and needs to be rediscovered in order to see the world with fresh eyes.

I have been contemplating my own creative potential and feel the need to challenge myself. In my fifteenth "season" of taking pictures and blogging over 1000 posts, I want to look at the world in varied ways. I joined a Flickr Photo Challenge group in December and tried to post a picture representing the theme of the day. The group has a monthly theme in 2010 rather than a daily theme and members are to post four pictures about resolutions in the month of January. I took the above picture this past weekend as we looked at a group of Mallards and one variant female duck. She became the focus of my resolution for the week. I have been looking for word prompts to stimulate creativity in my writing as well.

I may not be able to say “Look! This is something new" but hope to say, Look! Here is a new way to view this." And that is a productive approach for all areas of my life.

(photo prompt:resolution;- word prompt:unique)


  1. Ruth, that is a great quote and I love what you did with the image to really make the unique female mallard stand out from the crowd.

    You too stand out from the crowd and that's only one of the reasons I so enjoy reading your posts. Glad to have met you and look forward to more time to get to know you better. Blogging is a wonderful creative outlet and provides a way to view something old in a new way.

  2. This a really nice shot!

    Good for you to take up these challenges ... makes me think I should bestir myself as my blogging and photographs have become dull. Looking at your previous photo challenge shot ... I too have been thinking I need to take more people shots.

  3. What a thoughtful post Ruth. I love the photo and the caption you put with it. Your blog is an anticipated stop to start my mornings, and what you have to offer always gives me pause to think and reflect. Thank you for being here and for your beautiful photos and shared thoughts.

  4. I like what you did with this picture.It is indeed a new way to look at a common bird.

  5. I love this photo and post, Ruth. I wish we had digital cameras when we were kids to compare with everything now. Also, my friends and I can take the photos at the same time of the same places and they both turn out unique.

  6. I identify with everything you have said here and I too cringe at mindless forwards spouting off with a narrow uninformed view point or ranting bloggers. This journey on Earth as humans holds so much discovery if we are keen to the adventure!! Thanks for the post :)

  7. What a heartfelt post! I have been thinking along the same lines (creativity, being myself instead of the "pleaser" I tend to be), but sometimes I become overwhelmed.

    I like your duck photo.


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