Category Archives: simplicity

Week 8: Confusion


This week we have an intriguing suggestion from Debbie D.: “How about confusion as a prompt. This could be a facial expression or through metaphor. For example a conglomeration of intertwined computer wires, or anything that looks chaotic.”

So often it is confusion and chaos that pulls us away from contemplation. This week gives you an opportunity, then, to put confusion at the center of your contemplative focus, more fully integrating what is an inescapable part of life.

The moment I read the prompt, I remembered two photographs from a few years ago.

Emulating Vivian Maier

September 2015. Jamestown, NY.

I called that one “Emulating Vivian Maier.” Take a look at her self portraits at

And another I took on the same day, captivated by reflections in storefronts:

Store Front Reflection

September 2015. Jamestown, NY.

It was a busy week with few opportunities for a contemplative walk with my camera. but I was captivated by this image; I can’t even say why…

IMG_0943 Pine Needles.jpg

White Pine Needles, Lakewood, NY. October 2019.


Elderberry Skeleton


3:30pm November 11, 2014
Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Jamestown, NY
Elderberry Skeleton

Japanese Maple


5:00pm October 30, 2014
My Backyard, Jamestown, NY
Japanese Maple







Route 62 – Yes, Again

I drive past this scene every day on my way to work.  But not this scene exactly.  It is different every day.  It all depends on the sun, the clouds, the amount of moisture hanging in the air.  It’s the same and it’s different.  It’s like that saying about never being able to step in the same river twice.  The river is always there… but it’s not the same river that it yesterday, or even one second ago…

Recently, a friend invited readers to make public their convictions.  It is interesting that I keep getting the invitation over and over.  (I’ve been fascinated by the NPR “This I Believe” series for years and have had it in the back of my mind to write mine.)  The same invitation.  But different.

In the early 1980s I participated in EST.  One of my favorite quotes from that training was, “I used to be different, but now I’m the same.”  I can’t articulate exactly what that means to me, but somehow, it’s just so true.

Every time I sit down to write what my convictions are, those things I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt, I am stymied.  Words go up on the screen, and then are erased.

The circumstances of my current situation may be different than they were yesterday… but everything is still the same.  Or… The circumstances of my current situation may be the same today as they were yesterday, but everything is different.

Whatever… I don’t know what I’m talking about…  Does it matter what my convictions are?

The truth is not found in a different set of circumstances. The truth is always and only found in the circumstances you’ve got. – Werner Erhard