Invitation to Photography: Softening and Yielding

Welcome to this month’s Abbey Photo Party!

button-photographyI select a theme and invite you to respond with images.

We began this month with a Community Lectio Divina practice (stop by to read the beautiful responses).  As I prayed with the poem by Yehuda Amichai, this phrase kept shimmering for me: 

But doubts and loves / Dig up the world.

These last few months I have been called more deeply into a journey of softening and yielding, of discovering the profound grace that comes with embracing my own earthiness and the layers beneath all of the armoring I have in my body, my mind, and my heart.  This is a lifelong journey.

With our overall theme of the year at the Abbey as discernment, I love the image that doubt can be a bearer of gifts and certainty can kill our deepest dreams. Doubt softens us to come to know what is beneath the surface of our image of achievement.

I invite you for this month’s Photo Party to play with this idea as you go out in the world to receive images in response. As you walk hold this inspiration of softening and yielding and be ready to see what is revealed to you.

You can share images you already have which illuminate the theme, but I encourage you also to go for a walk with the theme in mind and see what you discover.

You are also welcome to post photos of any other art you create inspired by the theme.  See what stirs your imagination!

How to participate:

You can post your photo either in the comment section below* (there is now an option to upload a file with your comment) or you can join our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group and post there. Feel free to share a few words about the process of receiving this image and how it speaks of the “Softening and Yielding” for you.

*Note: If this is your first time posting, or includes a link, your comment will need to be moderated before it appears. This is to prevent spam and should be approved within 24 hours.

You can see the fall calendar of invitations here>>

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14 Responses

  1. I was on a contemplative walk in the morning light the other day, mostly noting leaves and shadows. However, this late rose bloom seemed uniquely soft in this environment, yielding to the sun.

  2. Here is a photo on this months subject. Yielding to the cold and dark of a winter morning waiting hoping for something beautiful to appear that I can capture with my camera. This morning I was not disappointed.

  3. I received the true gift of this image when ,due to an “oversight “, my ISO setting captured this morning image in this shade of blue. It lead me to write the companion Haiku….
    Azure day begins
    awaiting Divine guidance
    then…step out in faith

    1. Love the photo and your haiku. I like writing haiku. Here if one from a book I did.

  4. “Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my sacred space and love beyond my fear, and thus walk in balance with the passing of each glorious sun.” ?Lakota Prayer

  5. Image taken by Nigel P. Eastman from Gorilla Shark Pictures

    Let nothing disturb you;
    even when your heart pounds, aches and yearns –
    warm sand, the calming rhythm of the waves and a skirt-tugging breeze.
    All thing are passing;
    even when the weight of care seems like something you’ll always wear –

    feeling dowdy, looking tattered and out of season.

    God never changeth;
    even when the ground rumbles with tremors of uncomfortable impossible things – vertigo inducing, balance shaking and hope rattling.

    St. Theresa knew that we all need reassured at times to: “let nothing disturb you” and allow the gentle surf speak peace to your restless heart. For “all things are passing”, this moment is not eternal. Because, “God never changes” but is the constant, current, past, present and future where love resides and grace runs deep and wide – Just like the ocean your heart longs to surrender to.

    T. Eastman October 2013

    This post borrows segments of “Nada te turbe” prayer by St. Theresa of Avila, picture and weaves prose to respond to Abby of the Arts photo requests to the theme of “softening and yielding” for October.

  6. As soon as I saw the title for this month’s photo party, I thought immediately of this image that I received on Saturday. For me, it embodies what it means to “soften and yield”.

    Animals and birds have always been strong teachers for me – and often reflect what I am experiencing in my own life before I am consciously aware of it. On this day, I felt a particular connection with the goose in the middle.

  7. This is a photo of “balancing rocks” near Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon. I took it a couple of months ago but looking at it and thinking about softening and yielding I was struck with the image of these rock formations which happen as a result of erosion. Each layer of the built up soil structure has a different hardness (or softness) which results in the hardest parts (like the head) being left on top of sculpted bodies…..My head is always the hardest part to allow change….

  8. There was a time when this golden haloed sunflower yielded its direction to the warmth of the sun travelling across the sky. Its neck supple, its petals smooth and soft yielding to the water that has come up through the roots in the soil.
    But now it has succumbed to a deeper power; that comes when the life juice can no longer hold the warmth. Tissue attempts to yield, to expand along with the water-becoming-ice. The force is unrelenting and the stretch is broken open.
    This gorgeous foot and a half diameter sunflower can no longer move with the sun. Its brittle neck bowed over in a yielding surrender. There are different degrees of softening.

  9. I photographed this moth while on the Awakenings intensive with Christine recently on the Hood Canal. It was a “soft” drizzly afternoon and the moth allowed me to creep in close and capture her beautiful face. The image reminds me to move slowly and yield to the surprise that taking a walk in the rain can reveal.The softness of that feathery antenna is so captivating!!

  10. Autumn is a time of letting go. This year I am challenged to accept health limitations as well as drug therapy which may result in some nasty side-effect. I feel vulnerable and at the same time I find myself sharing this with my sister Oblates and asking for prayer. So it has become a new time of grace as well as letting go.

    The photo I selected simply represents Autumn

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