Invitation to Photography: Listen With the Ear of Your Heart

Welcome to the our second Abbey Photo Party

This is a new experiment and sort of a twist on the regular Poetry Parties.  Instead of my selecting a theme and image and inviting you to respond with words, I select a theme and poem and invite you to respond with images

Since you can’t post images directly in the comments section here, I invite you to add them to the Flickr Group I have created.  Please do leave a comment below to let us know you have joined the party and feel free to link back to your own blog and post your image there too.  If possible I’d love to have them all in the Flickr group as well (joining Flickr is free)!  Share as many as five of your images in response to the theme. Feel free to take your image(s) in any direction and then if you have a blog, please post the invitation and encourage others to come join the party!

On Friday, July 17th – I will draw a name at random from those who participate and send the winner a copy of Sacred Poetry: An Invitation to Write.


Photo Party Theme: Listen with the Ear of Your Heart

ears listen, eyes look,
hearing, seeing below ground
to the sacred source

I am away leading a retreat on Lectio Divina and creative expression.  I am inviting the retreatants to explore the rhythms of lectio (read, reflect, respond, and rest) with a listening and seeing heart (Rule of Benedict and Ephesians) through different mediums of art-making.   How might photography be a process of lectio with the world?  

Let this Photo Party be an exploration of what we discover when we listen and see deeply.  Feel free to offer images that invite different interpretations of the theme.


© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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20 Responses to "Invitation to Photography: Listen With the Ear of Your Heart"

  1. stacy wills says:

    i added a pic of our dogs, jimmy and precious (both of them "rescues"). i love the way they are being attentive in tandem.

  2. Rich Murray says:

    I just love the audacity of the color of the caterpillar commanding our attention to look closer.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I love the new experiment! I posted my response here:
    and I'll join the flickr group asap!

  4. kigen says:

    Have some questions regarding Flickr's FAQ, but there
    are so few people around now that it's summer, I'm not sure
    you'll get a big response on this, so have posted a photo —
    and I hope others will join in too. It is a project well-worth
    our efforts!. Christine says:

    ears listen, eyes look,
    hearing, seeing below ground
    to the sacred source

    Thoughts of ancient people putting their ear to the earth —
    but the creatures come to mind too, with their wide range
    of sensitivity to vibrations, color, scent, etc. I settled on
    a photo of a ladybug beetle holding on to a windblown
    fleabane daisy for dear life (that's me)!

    ~ kigen

  5. Andrea Cox says:

    Thank you Christene for the inspiration, container to share and the link to other creative souls, whose views and expressions are sublime.
    I added pictures which invited me to look beyond the obvious and I was astounded and thrilled to find within them the mystery of life and light.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I've responded with a photograph of Scarlett that I think beautifully illustrates the thought.

  7. Deb says:

    I posted 5.. I hope the memories that are associated with the photographs will ring true with the poem. In each case, there was a silencing of conversation or expectation as we watched and listened together. They were "thin" moments – when the distance between earth and heaven is very "thin"…


  8. Christine says:

    I added comments to your wonderful photos over at Flickr. Although I don't think a couple of yours ended up in the photo pool because there are 7 comments here but only 5 people who have submitted at Flickr.

  9. Deb says:

    Huh. I don't know what I did to not get them in the right place in Flickr. I guess I am Flickr challenged. I did post them on my blog here…

  10. Deb says:

    OK – I fixed it. They're all playing in the pool… :)

  11. Terri says:

    I was browsing the beach all morning with these thoughts in mind and my camera. Unfortunately, I forgot the cable that connects my camera to the laptop :-(

    But my thoughts on images I saw…
    two favorites…

    There is a skeleton of a gray whale with a historical marker describing a whale seen during the Lewis & Clark explorations. I thought of a song my daughter wrote that starts…"We follow the path of our ancestors." Calls to the unseen cloud of witnesses who have gone before us.

    And fabulous birds, literally hundreds, grouped together worshipping the fogged in sea, listening and waiting for their chance to dive in and get that which sustains them. That was my favorite.

    I can't wait to get home and get the pictures from the camera into the computer so I can start tinkering!

  12. ymp says:

    I'm really loving this invitation this summer. One of the things I wanted to do was spend more time with my camera and this is a wonderful reason. My photo can be found here:…-of-your-heart
    or at the Flickr group where it seems I will be known as "theologybird"

  13. Kate I says:

    Hi Christine, I loved participating in your Photography Invitation…thanks for the opportunity to visually contemplate this topic. I've posted on Flickr and here's the link to my blog post…

  14. Sharie says:

    I posted a few photos from my recent trip to Illinois. I went with an attitude of "looking and listening for beauty"…and "where is God in all of this?" in a place that challenged me so much as a child. It was a great meditation and made the trip so much different than usual.


  15. Hi, this is my first interaction with this group. The poem is beautiful and I posted two images that mean a great deal to me and I believe reflect the intent of the poem. "yellow" and "New Mexico Door." Thank you for the opportunity. Kind regards, Karen

  16. Christine says:

    Thank you for these wonderful submissions, you guys sure know how to throw a party! I left comments over at Flickr.

  17. Kate Jobe says:

    My entry, posted at this link, is a photograph taken at the the Grotto in West Bend, Iowa. I called this one, "A River of Stones."

    Thank you for the inpsiration of your challenge.


  18. I uploaded a picture from rural cemetery in Alaska

  19. BruceA says:

    I might be too late for the drawing, but I've added a photo anyway.

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