#SoCS: Clearly Relieved

Relief by Maria L. Berg 2022

Relief

I’m excited for a little relief today. I’ve had stomach pain the last couple days, so alleviation, ease, or deliverance through the removal of pain, distress, oppression, etc. is greatly appreciated. A rain-free day with some sun is also something affording a pleasing change, as from monotony: release.

While thinking about visually creating relief, bas-relief came to mind. Bas-Relief is a sculpture technique in which the shapes only rise slightly from the flat surface of the background. In this case relief means the distance of the carving; bas-relief is low relief or a short distance, close to the surface compared to high relief. Coins are a good example of bas-relief images.

Because I finally have some relief from the rain and clouds, I can play with all my new transformer filters on the lake. The images I create using the glints of lights on the lake are like bas-relief in a way as the shapes stay connected to the water’s surface.

Relieved by Maria L. Berg 2022

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Today’s prompt is “clear.” Here’s an excerpt from this morning’s journal:

A clear blue sky. Finally. A faint half-moon lingers just above the all firs behind the house across the lake. Today’s mission is clear: to plant. I looked at the seeds I have, the herbs my sister gave me for my birthday, the vegetable seeds left from last year: lettuce, spinach, cabbage, radishes, and beans are all going to find homes in the soil today. Here I go.

Clearly, I did not expect pulling that dead plant out of the bed and putting my sister’s little birthday flower in its place would be so difficult. The dirt was hard as concrete and full of rocks. The wayward grass did NOT want to come out. I hope that little flower lives after all that effort. I’m glad it’s supposed to be nice tomorrow too because my nieces are here, and now I clearly have other things to do.

Maria L. Berg 2022

The Poem

Brief Relief

And when I finally find relief
release from pain and mind left clear
blue sky cloudless and half-moon near,

I hope the moment isn’t brief
the sun set free is quick to sear
and blinds all thought to steer or veer

Since time is such a greedy thief
a heart remembers cupid’s spear
a pain that aches renewing fear,

relying on our group belief
of control and measured hours: we’re
among our peers existing here

to smear the days with its mischief
the half-moon leers then disappears
leaving a trail of relief’s tears

And when I finally find relief
I hope the moment isn’t brief
since time is such a greedy thief
relying on our group belief
to smear the days with its mischief.


Release by Maria L. Berg 2022

#SoCS: Sticks and Stones and Words

Fragility by Maria L. Berg 2022

Fragility

The quality or state of being easily broken, shattered, damaged, or destroyed: delicate; brittle; frail: vulnerably delicate, as in appearance: lacking in substance or force; flimsy: in a weakened physical state; slight; tenuous: fragility comes to everything and everyone at one point or another. I think of thin, brittle, sheer tissue; skeletal frames; loose connections, crumbling.

For my images, I thought about how fragile the paper filters I created with paper punch shapes were. I pulled out the roll of paper to make a new one, but then thought about the loosely connected fragility of old lace. I have a collection of old lace trim, and tried placing some over the lens shield. I really like the effect.

A Fragile Connection by Maria L. Berg 2022

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Today’s prompt is to write about a phrase from childhood. Here’s an excerpt from this morning’s journal:

I thought of discipline first: Just wait ’til your dad gets home, and I’m gonna count to ten, but there has to be some fun phrases from childhood. I thought of Step on a crack . . . ; Tag! you’re it; Jinx! you owe me a coke; but none of those really spoke to me. Then I thought of Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me–a phrase used a lot as a kid that proved not to be true–and I’m rubber and you’re glue; your words bounce off me and stick to you–fun to say, but also not true. The sticks and stones saying goes well with today’s abstract noun “fragility”, and both phrases feel like they would work well in a poem.

Maria L. Berg 2022

The Poem

Human Fragility

Sticks and stones–

so abundant / all around on the ground
quick to hand / broken from a dry branch
weaponized / slung, thrown, whipped, battered, broken
with the slightest aim / anger-fueled force

–may break my bones,
but words–

symbols and sounds / agreed upon to have meaning
combined with malicious intent / to produce hurt in the perceived fragile
shouted and chanted to taunt / because repetition erodes caverns from the cracks
because words evoke emotions that / though we’re told they don’t matter

–can [never] hurt me.

A Fragile Ecosystem by Maria L. Berg 2022

#SoCS & Day Thirty: Moving On with Zealousness

Zealousness by Maria L. Berg 2022

Zealousness

Ardent activity, devotion, or diligence. What is ardent? With great conviction or zeal. I have no idea why I follow circular definitions with such intense emotion; passionately and fervently; such zealousness; I guess that’s something more for me to explore.

Here we are at the last day of April: the last day of National Poetry Month; the last day of the A to Z Challenge; the last day of the Poem a Day Challenge; and the last day of my photo challenge. That’s a lot of endings, and yet I feel like it’s only a beginning.

While exploring abstract nouns, I’ve encountered so many more abstract nouns I would like to explore in the mirrorworld, and I now have new filters and techniques for that. This has been a great month of discovery. I hope you’ve also discovered a zealousness for your topic and art and poetry.

For today’s images, I tried something completely new. When I first set up the mirrorworld, I had a moment that felt really magical: When I pointed a flashlight at an object in the mirror, the light showed on the object. It felt like I had found a gateway to new dimensions. Today, I put the camera on a tripod, and light painted with a flashlight to create still and moving bokeh at the same time. It was very challenging and will take a lot more practice, but that’s where zealousness helps.

Ardently Zealous by Maria L. Berg 2022

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Today’s prompt is “zip, zero, zilch.” All great words. Here’s a sections from my journal this morning:

I thought zilch might have some more interesting meaning
but it’s only–nothing
Zip, on the other hand works
with zealousness–ardently active–
zipping around and
zero has the same shape
as the filter I used, and
circular definitions–though
maybe more oblong definitions
which is what abstract nouns
really have–distorted
by history and perception.
I like zilch: I never use it.

Maria L. Berg 2022

The Prompts

NaPoWriMo

Today’s prompt is to write a cento. A cento is a poem made up of lines from other poems. I like how creating a cento is described in the example as patching the lines into a coherent quilt. I recently bought the new book and CD by Dolly Parton. I also borrowed books from my local library by Adrienne Rich and Robert Bly. For this cento about moving on in zealousness, I’ll be quilting with lines from Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton, Silence in the Snowy Fields by Robert Bly, and The Fact of a Doorframe by Adrienne Rich

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is to write a moving on poem.

Zeal by Maria L. Berg 2022

The Poem

Moving On With Zealousness

#SoCS: Splicing the Frayed Ends

Rope Burn by Maria L. Berg 2022

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt “rope” inspired me to get out and take some pictures. Living near water and boats, rope takes on a special meaning of securing connection. Here’s an excerpt from my journal this morning:

“I was tied in knots. The rope fraying, unraveling, the rope tossed, wasn’t fastened at the other end and fell in a heap when I tried to climb.

“Unroped the weak trunk/stalk bends; the boat floats from the dock lost; the vines don’t rise.

“Roped the weak fibers grow strong; twisted and entwined the brittle become bendable; the separable, inseparable; the meek, brave. Rope connects the floating to the stable; tethers the roaming home; anchors the flighty to ground. Rope can tear and burn the skin when held, but also holds the opposing as they pull, growing stronger as they repel.” ~Maria L. Berg

On the Ropes by Maria L. Berg 2022

The dVerse Poets prompt from Thursday was to try the Synchronicity form. I started playing with it yesterday, but didn’t get very far, so I thought I would try again today. The form is a non-rhyming poem of 8 three-line stanzas. Each stanza has a syllable count of 8,8,2. It is in first person and has a twist presented in the last two stanzas.

The Rope

The rope hangs from the reaching branch
of the ancient maple next door
waiting

Its looped shadow reflects below
changing as a breeze whispers through
the leaves

I believe it has always hung
there, dry, aged, and fraying, yet strong
enough

The branch may be the weaker link
How much weight will it take before
it breaks?

An eagle screams as the others
gather and motion me over
to join

The threat of danger makes my bare
skin erupt with goosebumps as I
shiver

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One after another they climb,
put a foot in the loop, and swing
Scream! Splash!

This time I will dare to let go
of the rope swing and fly into
the lake

Bowline by Maria L. Berg 2022
End of the Rope by Maria L. Berg 2022

#SoCS: Everything Turns Into Dreams of Flight

A photograph of a large seagull flying past the slope of Mt. Rainier.
The Auspice by Maria L. Berg 2022

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “fortune.” Here’s an excerpt from my circular journey in my journal this morning.

“The greatest of my fortunes is letting go of the past, of gathered resentments, and disappointments, turning them into new paths of discovery, changing them into flying dreams. How else can I explore “fortune” today? Dictionary: fortunate (comes before fortune) adj. 1. bringing some good thing not foreseen as certain: Auspicious. . . . Auspicious: adj. affording favorable auspice. Auspice: n. observation by an auger especially of the flight and feeding of birds to discover omens. What a fun full circle to my stream of consciousness about turning past disappointments into flying dreams. “

A bokeh image of a fairy flying from a seeding flower.
Dreams of Flight by Maria L. Berg 2022

#SoCS: Every Day a Fresh Page

Exploring the Page by Maria L. Berg 2022

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “page” which inspired me to really explore a page during my morning pages. I’ve meant to do this ever since I started using artist sketchbooks, but for some reason I come to the page every day and write in pretty uniform lines across the page. I had fun, and hope I continue to explore lettering and color and direction as I get my thoughts on the page. Thank you, Linda G. Hill, and my fellow Stream of Consciousness Saturday bloggers, for the little push I needed to explore the page.

I hope you will all come back tomorrow as I do a weekly assessment of the small changes I’m making to make this The Year of Finishing Novels.

#SoCS: Celebrating 100 Days

Feet on the Ground by Maria L. Berg 2022

If you’re curious and want to look back over what I created every day for 100 days, you can click on October 2021 in the column on the right under Archives, and hit “older posts” at the bottom of each page until you get to October 1st when this posting streak started.

Head in the Sky by Maria L. Berg 2022

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “In the.”

Wading In

In the gray
in the office warming
in the office chair
in the house that
rejected its drainpipe
tossed it to the porch
In the expectation
of a possible visit
for repair In the
cleaner, but still messy
interior with the vacuum out
and waiting in the fifth
hour since waking, still hazy
drinking coffee and
chomping on a candy cane
In the morning pages
in the artist sketchbook
in the middle of the desk
I let the words flow in the
stream of consciousness I hope
to wade in all day

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Answer.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Clean Slate.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #243 is Temerity. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 69 words.

Facing the Future

If, after a year of temerity,
one finds oneself in disparity
and wishing for a clean slate

wait, and think if erasure
is truly the only answer
before taking such a drastic step

all those hard-earned failures
failed better to face again
and the neural trauma
it will take to clear
every foolish and rash
deed from your pate

might be worth this heap
of embarrassment
in the end

Kitty Yells 100! by Maria L. Berg 2022

And we have arrived! Here we are at the end of the journey: 100 days of photographs and poetry. It has been fun, and I have explored so many new ideas, techniques, and forms. I hope you have enjoyed my triumphs and failures through this writing experience. I’m going to attempt a week (or two) off, then come back with some new experiences for 2022.

If you’ve enjoy the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#SoCS: Resolve to Dissolve

Sky Writing by Maria L. Berg 2022

Today, in response to Of Maria Antonia’s 2022 Weekly Photo Challenge prompt “A New Year,” I tried something I’ve been thinking about. Using the same clear plastic that I used for my “snowglobes,” I created a filter with written words and put them in the world. This opens up so many possibilities, an exciting discovery to start the year.

Snow Writing by Maria L. Berg 2022

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “resolve.” I am resolved to have a day of stream of consciousness. Let those thoughts flow unfettered. When I looked up resolve, I was surprised to find it’s almost a janus word. It has the definition I expected: to come to a definite or earnest decision, but it also means to break up or disintegrate. It also has the musical meaning to progress from dissonance to consonance which could work well as a triple meaning in a poem. If my song ends resolved, is it determined to act, dissolved and broken, or just not dissonant? It can also mean to clear away or dispel (doubts, fears, etc.), so in that way it is a janus because if you resolve an issue, you can come to a decision about it or clear it away and dispel it.

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Harbinger. I am a big fan of the word harbinger.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Light.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #242 is Goodnight. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 45 words.

On the Cusp

We have said goodnight but
light’s fingertips grip the horizon
the triumphs and horrors dissolve
and for a moment peacefulness
smells like melting orange dreamsicles
and the chill of brain-freeze
does not hurt but excites
almost every note I breathe
is a harbinger of resolve

A Bright & Shiny New Year by Maria L. Berg 2022
Dreaming of a Happy New Year by Maria L. Berg 2022

If you’ve enjoy the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#SoCS: Everything is yummy when you give it away.

The Spirit of Altruism by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today’s prompt, altruism, inspired me to finally make an open hand bokeh filter. I like how it turned out. Then I had fun filling it.

Giving is Growing by Maria L. Berg 2021

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “yum.” My family gathered for gift giving last night and my mother made the most delicious strawberry cake. Yum. This morning I put the super-soft slipper socks that my sister gave me onto my frozen feet and wow they are yummy. I opened the Starbucks mug from my bother and it came with Holiday coffee which I am drinking. Yum. And it’s perfect with the old fashioned donut holes I bought for this morning’s breakfast. Yum. But the yummiest was waking up to my favorite kitty who came to cuddle with me and gave me loud purrs for Christmas. So yummy.

Handful by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I repeated what I did last week and browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Memento.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Gift.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #241 is Din. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 19 words.

Weihnachtsgespann

Through the din
of crumpling paper
and electronic toys
she presented an
unwrapped gift,
a delicate memento
to cherish.

Helping Hands by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoy the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#SoCS: Nostalgia for Opposites or the Opposite of Nostalgia

Picking the Happy Memories by Maria L. Berg 2021

Last night I made a candle filter. I thought I would try it with the fisheye lens technique to create flickers of nostalgia.

A Flicker of Nostalgia by Maria L. Berg 2021

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “opposites.” In my experience opposites attract, but today I am more interested in nostalgia and its opposites. Living in the moment is the opposite of nostalgia, but aren’t my perceptive filters and emotional experiences in the now driven by those memories I would dwell in if nostalgic? Isn’t it healthy to face, visit, perhaps dwell in them a while, looking toward the future? Is it futurism that is the opposite of nostalgia? Or are they both a form of fantasy? I pick and choose which memories create a warm glow in the same way, as a futurist, I pick and choose which signals and drivers to extrapolate into possible futures. Nostalgia itself triggers cycles of fashion and entertainment, wanting to bring the best memories into the present only starts their cycle into the future, so where is the opposite?

Wired for Nostalgia by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I repeated what I did last week and browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Bite.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Variegated Skies.

Quickly’s prompt is Pretending.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #240 is Pavonine: of or resembling a peacock. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 81 words.

A Peacock-Feather Fan

This roaring wind and rain
bite through the heavy gray
Yearning for the day’s opposite,
I imagine variegated, pavonine skies
hues of blue and green
water and sky in conversation
Waves crash as if ocean-side
If only this nose tickle
was from salt and sand
As I fill another tissue,
I pretend a peacock-feather fan
in hand, wispy tendrils tickling
As I create a delicate
breeze to dry my perspiration
on a lovely opposite day
of peaceful relaxation far from now

The Sounds of Nostalgia by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoy the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!