Tag Archives: object

Utility Pole: Day 13

As we walked around Portland, we kept seeing utility poles and trees layered in paper fliers until they seemed to bulge in their paper dresses.

utility pole

Utility Pole


Layers of paper


a sale

tonight’s concert

an upcoming community event


flier upon flier

telling stories

as fibers melt

running together and joining

to become a part of the pole

expanding girth

paper upon paper upon paper

what is the utility of the pole?

bulletin board

or art?


Douillard 2018

And a student poem:


Plucked with delight
Strummed with music

A fat body
Long slender neck
Sounds flowing from the heart


What object are you seeing and sensing in a new way today?


The word #object has come up a few times in the last week or so.  First I heard about composing with things…and started thinking about how “things”…particularly photographs help me with my writing.  And then Annelise Wunderlich at KQED offered a Do Now focused on selecting an ordinary object, experience, or material to represent or inspire you.  (You can join in by posting yours on Twitter, Google+, Instagram, or Facebook using the #donowobject and #clmooc tags)

A number of ideas came to mind when I fhought about how I might objectify myself.  Dandelions and other weeds come to mind…I love the way they thrive wherever they find themselves, rather than being dependent on others for ideal growth conditions.

dandelion puffball

But I think glass is the object I will pick.  Geoff and I have been looking for beach glass on all of our beach walks over the last year.  This glass on the beach is pretty rare–probably due to the ban on glass on the beach over the last decade.  But we do find it–and that search for treasure on the shore has helped me to pay close attention the the interesting qualities of the glass.


Beach glass is not transparent.  Unlike a window, it is not easy to look inside or through.  Time and tumbling have created an opaque quality, no longer shiny and clear but instead the surface suggests a history hidden in the sanded surface.

My favorite pieces of beach glass are smooth to the touch and feel good in your hand.  They are worn and rounded rather than sharp and angular.  We often categorize the pieces of glass as we pick them up…some are young and sharp, juveniles in the glass world.  But it’s the pieces worn smooth that are prizes in the glass game.


And beach glass plays well with others.  It mingles with rocks and shells, sea creatures and seaweed.  It hides in the sand, gets tossed in the tide, and reveals itself only when you take time to look.


Beach glass is my choice as an object of inspiration and representation.

Clouds and Rain: Objects of Fascination

It seems that we always yearn for what we don’t have.  Around Christmas time I was fascinated by snow…I longed to try my hand at capturing a macro photo of a single snowflake.  But I live in a place where it never snows…I didn’t see snow fall from the sky until I was well into adulthood and I have never had a white Christmas.

This last week some of my fellow photographers at the iAnthology have been posting pictures of snow and ice in response to the prompt, Playing with Light.  One particular photo of an icicle lingers in my mind and I find myself wishing for an opportunity to photograph ice…and the play of light…for myself.  And then my teaching partner emailed me a link to some photos created by a man on snowshoes…intricate, gorgeous designs…made by his intentional walk on snow.  Oh…I know a trip to somewhere cold is in my future!

But I live in Southern CA…in a place where we are having a drought and unseasonably warm winter temperatures.  More people are wearing shorts and flip flops than sweatshirts and Uggs…and umbrellas have been stashed or lost or are coated in the dust and grime caused by lack of use.

The last couple of days have teased us with hopes of rain.  The air is moist and fog has been rolling in along the coast in the mornings and evenings.  And yesterday we had some hints of rain…that misty mess that muddies the windshield but doesn’t produce any measurable precipitation.

I awoke this morning wondering if it had rained overnight.  The app on my phone said no…and gave no suggestion of rain for the day.  But as I was dressing for no rain, planning to wear the kind of shoes you wouldn’t choose on a rainy day, my husband came upstairs to announce that it was, in fact, raining!

I rethought my wardrobe for the day, choosing my boots instead of my Toms, and headed out the door.  For those of you who live where rain is common, you would probably laugh that we were considering this rain at all.  But the first objects that caught my eye as I walked out the door were the poinsettias near the front door.  They were glistening with drops of rain.  I immediately pulled out my phone and began to photograph the droplets glistening on the bracts.


I love the way the black and white photo draws attention to the precious drops–something we see so rarely these days.

Honestly, this “rainy day” turned out to be not so rainy after all.  I would be surprised if we even measure a quarter inch of rainfall in the county.  But as I left work today, I found myself drawn to the clouds.  In some directions the clouds were white and wispy, sitting in a backdrop of blue.  In others, they gathered in tall white towers…and in others, gray and black framed the edges.


I was compelled to drive towards the clouds on my way home…and pulled off to the side of the road to attempt to capture the complexity of the clouds with my phone’s camera.  The clouds became the object of my fascination and I took shot after shot, trying different angles to take advantage of the varieties of light available.

I don’t think I am done with clouds yet.  And I hope the clouds are not done with us yet either.  We desperately need some rain, although the forecast doesn’t look promising.

What is the object of fascination for you right now?  Is it something within reach…or are you yearning for something you don’t have?  I’d love to know more about your object!