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Invitation to Photography: Give Me a Word

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 where you were invited to pray with one of the stories of the desert fathers and mothers where one monk asks another “give me a word.”

You were invited to share your word for 2014 here (you can still share it, although prize winners have been announced).

I invite you for this month’s Photo Party to hold your word for 2014 in your heart as you walk in the world and see which images shimmer forth in response.  See what new dimensions of your word are revealed through the gift of photography.

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 your word 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.

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40 Responses

  1. My word is Light. I have prayed with my camera for several years as a way to focus my attention upon God’s visual gifts. I received this picture early one morning at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas, where I frequently go for a personal retreat day. The simple beauty of light in Spanish Moss flowing from an ancient Live Oak tree speaks of wonder and transcendence.

  2. “OPEN” ~ my word. This photo taken last April at Machu Picchu shows the doorway, open to a beautiful world that speaks of present, past and beyond.

  3. My word for this year is Quiet, and so I’ve begun observing a weekly Sabbath, something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. Last Sunday, I sat quietly by a stream near my house and saw this beautiful orange leaf, pressed hard against a rock by the rushing water. A gift from the Silence.

    1. Thank you for sharing your word, thoughts and gorgeous photo here, Stephanie! I feel a quiet myself in looking at this, and a deep inner beauty. I love all the colors and textures, the swirlings and the single beautiful bright leaf so steady there, it appears. And in looking longer, I see how other shades of orange resonate with the leaf in the photo, and how I can see thru the swirling water to other layers and patterned rocks. Very peaceful. gratefulness for this your way.

  4. One of my two words for 2014 is GLOW. This mandala image expresses that for me. In the center of an aqua & lavender pottery bowl gifted to me as a wedding gift from a dear friend, is a turquoise blue Irish crystal ball, radiating healing fluorite crystal blue green and lavender bead streams, all glowing in the light of the four directions. Thank you for this lovely opportunity to share my process & others!

  5. commune 2 |k??myo?on|
    verb [ no obj. ]
    1 (commune with) share one’s intimate thoughts or feelings with (someone or something), esp. when the exchange is on a spiritual level: the purpose of praying is to commune with God.
    • feel in close spiritual contact with: he spent an hour communing with nature on the bank of a stream

    1. My word “commune” was immediately evident, though I had not articulated it aloud. Now it announces its importance, relevancy, even urgency, to live fully in community with All.

      As I searched for an image, I realized this painting I did years ago speaks clearly my word. I also see that most of my art has been in service to this word. I am moved deeply to allow this word to steer my year ahead, in art and in life.

      “Even the Rocks Have a Song”
      mixed media painting on canvas

      FYI–the image isn’t showing up in my comments but,I assume it will after moderation.

    2. My word “commune” was immediately evident, though I had not previously articulated it aloud. Now it announces its importance, relevancy, even urgency, to live fully in community with All.

      As I searched for an image, I realized this painting I did years ago speaks clearly my word. I also see that most of my art has been in service to this word. I am moved deeply to allow this word to steer my year ahead, in art and in life.

      “Even the Rocks Have a Song”
      mixed media painting on canvas

      FYI–the image isn’t showing up in my comments but,I assume it will after moderation.

  6. PLAYFUL
    As I was walking around a neighborhood with my camera, I noticed that someone had playfully twisted and fastened a pipe cleaner onto a utility pole. This brought a smile to my face as I appreciated how someone had taken the time to contribute such a simple pleasure to our visual world.

  7. Evelyn,
    thanks for the reminder to take a closer look at the simple things right in front of us in our daily lives. I love the way the seeds glisten with juice!

    1. Evelyn,
      I agree with Mary M’s comment about reminding us to “look up close” at the beauty that is all around us if we really take the time to *see.*

  8. My word for 2014 is Ripening and along with the word has come a recurring image of the pomegranate. I’ve been reading about them and find they are an ancient symbol in several religions for fertility. While I’m personally beyond the age of the fertility thing, my spiritual and creative lives are not! These are what I hope ripen during 2014. And I’ve chosen the pomegranate to symbolize that. Too rainy to walk in Nature today, so I strolled through a pomegranate. Hoping all those plump, juicy seeds burst into new, ripe directions for 2014

    1. Thank you Evelyn, this photo and your sharing about ripening into the fertility of creativity. This image is glorious! I love the juiciness, and the colors and composition of your photo.

  9. My word Fortitude resonated with me during Mass this morning. Father spoke in his homily that we should look upon the Baptism of the Lord, the close of the Christmas season, not as an end, but instead, a beginning. Looking at the altar, with the lit trees of white lights, I became conscious that next week the altar would be dressed for ordinary time. At that moment the sanctuary reminded of a photo I was inspired “to receive” after Christmas 2008. I titled the photograph “Alpha and Omega”. It was one of those days that will always be with you. One evening I had been sitting in my former parish church alone (I had a key). The altar was lit, the trees sparkling, and I found myself leaving the pew and kneeling in the center of the aisle gazing upon the altar. The stable was set in front of the altar (which has statues of the Last Supper encased) and as I looked up at the Crucifixion I felt strength come over me.

    There were many changes to come during 2009 (and they came) and I had a creative yearning to preserve it. I went home and came back with my camera. Resolutions rarely happen, but one or two intentional changes do, the rest depends on the gift of fortitude, especially accepting the changes that come our way we didn’t plan.

    I have a strong sense that 2014 could be one of those years, and this morning was a reminder of keeping Fortitude.

    1. Gorgeous photo! I love the way the lights twinkle around it all…seems they complete the circle of life to death to life eternal.

  10. This photo I call Up to Heaven, because it draws the eye there with the lines and angles.