Day One: Foolish Ambition

Happy April Fool’s Day. I’m not a fan of pranks or practical jokes, so this in not one of my favorite days, but today being the beginning of a poetic journey, I thought of the Fool of the tarot: head in the clouds, not looking where he is going, about to step off a cliff. Looking at the card this morning, I thought it was a perfect illustration of blind ambition. However, my challenge is to photo-illustrate ambition in my own way.

The word Ambition on pavement under a pink and white Japanese Camellia flower in the circle of a fisheye lens
Dark Green Ambition by Maria L. Berg 2022


So what is ambition? The definition at says “an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.” The fun thing about that definition is all of those nouns are abstract nouns as well. If I boil down that definition, it says, to want attention and do stuff to get it.

How will I create a photograph representing ambition when it has no visual aspects?

I started by looking up the symbolic color of ambition and found that dark green represents ambition, greed, and jealousy–an interesting trio. I took my darkest green Sharpie and wrote ambition on a clear filter. Then, thinking about the fool not looking where he’s going I wrote Fool on a clear filter and encircled it in arrows and stuck it on the world with my fisheye lens.

The word Fool encircled by arrows written in dark green on the sky in the circle of a fisheye lens
Foolish Ambition by Maria L. Berg 2022

However, those images do not get to the visceral state of ambition. The letter A bokeh shape filter I made last fall to represent screaming has an arrow shape in its center, so it felt like a good filter for today. I took it into the mirrorworld and created my abstract photograph of ambition.

Abstract Ambition by Maria L. Berg 2022

The Poetry Prompts


The first prompt of the month is to write a prose poem that is a story about the body.

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is to choose a word that starts with “F” and use it in the title.

The Poem

The Fool’s Foot and Fingers Flying

Head held high, enjoying the sun on my shoulders, I begin my journey with a spring in my step accompanied by the trill of birdsong. My ambition soars through the cumulus clouds, as if helium guides me toward the stars. The scent of the rose I paused to pluck lingers in my nostrils as its thorns prick my thumb and forefinger where I delicately pinch the stem. Wild strawberry and mint delight my tongue. The space beneath my hat, sparking with passionate want, foolishly forgets it is attached to feet, and feet need ground. Bodies have so many needs ambition would like to forget: desire’s nemesis hunger rumbles in my stomach; achievement’s enemy sleep heavies my eyelids; and distinction’s adversary thirst scratches my throat. But I ignore them all, and the nagging bark at my achilles, and keep going, and going until, like a cartoon character, I notice the ground fell away a while ago, and with nothing supporting me, I fall, losing my rose as I flail.

10 thoughts on “Day One: Foolish Ambition

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  3. How splendid is this? Too dreamy and yet so real. Here, “as if helium guides me toward the stars” so after all it was this. Don’t mind the rose… the scent lingers, the prick of the thorns reminds you it’s real. Aww. so beautiful. Thank you for taking me along.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maria! It’s so, so good to see you again! Bodies have so many needs ambition would like to forget – I love this line. It’s so striking and so evocatively true. I love the whole poem and I love your photo-illustration experiments!

    Liked by 2 people

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