Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SPC - 'Inspired by Literature' - #5

Lingering In The Golden Gleam

"In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream?"
Lewis Carroll - Through The Looking Glass

I figured when we were doing "Inspired by Literature" as a challenge theme for SPC that Lewis Carroll's Alice would likely make an appearance or two and I was right. There are at least three in the pool and this will make four. I knew I wanted to represent "Through The Looking Glass" in a "Through The Viewfinder" shot. This one is not exactly what I had in mind, but it's what I had time for. :-)

A brief word on the bottom camera seen in this shot. Over a year ago, lovegreendog hosted a give away on a couple of TLR cameras. I received one of those. This is the first TTV shot I've taken with it, but I did run a roll of 120 film through it last fall. I never made those photos public until just now. Here if you want to see.

My apologies to lovegreendog for the long delay in getting around to this. I intend to do more soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SPC - 'Inspired by Literature' - #4

We Are In A Book!

For Self Portrait Challenge -- 'Inspired By Literature'

Some of you may remember a similar image to this one from a few years ago (the boy has grown a bit, eh?).

I have found it interesting that, so far, many of the entries to the 'Inspired by Literature' theme for SPC have been from books and authors often associated with children. Some of them are hardly 'kid lit,' but still, those books we read during our formative years continue to resonate into our adult years and then into the lives and minds of our own children, too.

On the subject of children's literature, I have to make mention of Mo Willems. Here, we are reading the appropriately named, cleverly written and brilliantly illustrated title, "We Are In A Book!" from his Elephant and Piggie series. As a family, we also particularly enjoy his books featuring The Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, and Cat The Cat.

We still enjoy classic books from authors like Dr. Seuss, Bill Peet, Arnold Lobel, Don Freeman, etc., but it has been a good experience for my kids to experience excellent books from a living and working author, as well.

The are just imagining what will take place in the upcoming The Duckling Gets A Cookie!? knowing that The Pigeon will not be a bit happy about that!

Honestly, I can't wait either.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of Fourth Grade


Hannah started the fourth grade today. She's off to a new building (yet again), new teachers and new experiences.

This year, she was judged to be eligible for a high ability classroom that combines fourth and fifth graders. When we attended the open house last week, we saw that she had actually been assigned into two different classes. Let me explain -- no, there is too much. Let me sum up.

At the end of last year, we attended a fourth grade orientation at her new school building. At that orientation, we were quite impressed with one forth grade teacher, in particular, Mrs. Peyton. I quickly wrote a letter to the Principal asking that Hannah be assigned into Mrs. Peyton's classroom, if possible. Just a few days after I had written that letter, we became aware of the opportunity for Hannah to be in the high ability class. At the recent open house, we discovered that she was assigned into Mrs. Peyton's classroom and the high ability class. I spoke with the Principal and she indicated that Hannah could choose between the two classes. It was entirely up to her and she chose to participate in the high ability classroom -- without hesitation.

We are excited for the opportunity for Hannah to be challenged and proud that she is willing to face those challenges boldly and confidently.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SPC - 'Inspired by Literature' - #3

Revisiting Lewis again this week:

Dragon Skin
Dragon Skin

But the lion told me I must undress first.

I was just going to say that I couldn’t undress because I hadn’t any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that’s what the lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.

But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that’s all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I’ll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this under skin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe.

Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.

Then the lion said — but I don’t know if it spoke — "You will have to let me undress you." I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was jut the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know — if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.

Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again.

from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SPC - 'Inspired by Literature' - #2

The Safest Road to Hell

I remember reading "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis for the first time. I recall many instances when I found myself believing that Lewis had somehow managed to peer into my very soul and discern my thoughts, behaviors and attitudes.

C.S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters in the form of a series of letters in which the older, wiser demon, Screwtape advises his young nephew, Wormwood, in the subtlties of temptatation and ultimately, damnation.

Here, Screwtape is suggesting that Wormwood needn't waste his efforts on causing his subject to commit some grand sin when something more understated will suffice:

You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

SPC - 'Inspired by Literature' - #1

One Ring

'Hold it up!' said Gandalf. 'And look closely!'

As Frodo did so, he now saw fine lines, finer than the finest pen-strokes, running along the ring, outside and inside: lines of fire that seemed to form the letters of a flowing script. They shone brightly, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth.

'I cannot read the fiery letters.' said Frodo in a quavering voice.

'No,' said Galdalf, 'but I can. The letters are Elvish, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here. But this in the Common Tongue is what is said, close enough:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

It is only two lines of a verse long known in Elven-lore:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.'

He paused and then said slowly in a deep voice: 'This is the Master-ring, the One Ring to rule them all. This is the One Ring that he lost many ages ago to the great weakening of his power. He greatly desires it – but he must not get it.'


The challenge theme at Self Portrait Challenge for the month of August is "Inspired by Literature."

The Lord of the Rings
“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
--Oscar Wilde

This is my beat up paperback of The Lord of the Rings saga. I read LOTR several times surrounding the release of Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring and subsequent LOTR films The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

I am currently re-reading The Hobbit.

Photo Friday - 'Enormous'

An older shot (2004) from the Indianapolis Zoo.

Sepia Elephants on Parade