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Invitation to Photography: The Call to Our True Selves

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 reading from Thomas Merton, this image of what it means to become a saint kept shimmering for me, and the image of creation as witness to this call to be myself.

What if we could receive the trees and rivers and creatures as wise guides about what it means to truly embrace ourselves? What can they teach us about not refusing our divine call? How might their witness reveal new dimensions of my own sense of self?

With our overall theme of the year at the Abbey as discernment, I love the possibility of exploring how creation can remind us of what is most essential, can call us back to our true selves.

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 the true self 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 “The Call to Our True Selves” 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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23 Responses

  1. Mountain glow sunrise
    Let me paint a word picture
    Cumulus sky
    Of dazzling pinks
    Symphony of splendour
    Awakening the smile
    of a new day
    Resurrection glow
    Brilliance of white
    Calls forth Glory song
    Awake and live!
    Be the Beauty way
    Bless this day
    Grief subsides
    To Rabboni touch
    “My Lord & God”
    Such a gift, this mountain
    And the dancing butterfly

  2. Standing at the base of this immense Beech tree was like being with a wise old sage. He had lived for centuries and weathered countless storms and had secrets to tell me. Like the old testament prophets, this tree represents wisdom and a special connection to the divine. No grand cathedral has more beautiful columns than this magnificent tree as it reaches to the heavens to support the vaulted sky. The choir of birds that dwell in its branches is all the music I require and I felt closer to God beneath it than I had in quite some time.

  3. You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
    the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
    and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.
    –Isaiah 55:12

  4. These photos are beautiful and come with such insight. Thank you for sending them. Each one has touched me in a special way.

    I’m not sure if my photo will appear. New at this. It’s a photo of an orchid which flowered out of season. My strong sense of abandonment at the time, was cradled by the fragrant presence of beauty and mystery. The yellow-throated pure white orchid has become the centre of my being since then. I carry it with me.

  5. Nearly a month ago I was walking in the woods at the Benedictine Monastery in Erie, PA., and came upon this tree. I thought how it exemplified my life, how I had lost a part of myself as a young girl, but how–just like the tree–I’ve been able to grow beyond what was missing. This is my true self. There will always be wounds, scars, holes, broken pieces. But by God’s grace I grow and reach upward in spite of them.

  6. Last night I watched in enthralled silence as these three clouds, separate at first, gradually joined together and were painted in deepening colours. Creation was happening in front of me. It made me stop and think – God’s creativity can and does also change me, minute by minute, reforming, deepening, giving me new colours and vitality – and sometimes I don’t even realise what is happening.

  7. The Way Bearer

    The tree which yearns to be mortal,
    Goes where it pleases being vast portal
    Leaving roots and branches with outstretched arms,
    Embracing loved ones, keeping from harm.
    Alas, tree must settle on staying firmly planted,
    Being the way bearer for those all enchanted.

    Genora W. Powell

    1. Sorry – I had problems with the image loading. However, if you click the link, you will see all three.

    2. Thank you for taking us along that personal invitation from God – your pictures, the poem were filled with such beauty of the moment.

  8. There is a beauty in the dying of the leaves in this autumn season that cannot be there during the times of life and vitality. Surrounded at this time of my life by much sadness and loss, these leaves remind me that there can be something lovely in my tears if I can see it all as part of who I am, and who God has made me to be.

  9. The call to the true self is as unique as the bark of a towering and aged tree. Looking deep within both slows and propels me in search of the divine.