Photo Friday: Happiness is ...

A Tender Moment ...

It was a cold day on the coast and this hug just happened. I'm glad I took the photo just then. I will always treasure this picture of my Mom and my son.

I like the way his hand seems to be in a strong, protective gesture while my mother's hand is gripping his sleeve and arm in a way that fits so perfectly. She took care of all her 8 kids (and our many friends) for so many years ... I really like the way my son is grown up enough now to take care of her a little.


If you rise before dawn you can transcend the day

Inspired by a W.S.Merwin poem:

The Flight

At times in the day
I thought of a fire to watch
not that my hands were cold
but to have that doorway to see through
into the first thing
even our names are made of fire
and we feed on night
walking I thought of a fire
turning around I caught sight of it
in an opening in the wall
in another house and another
before and after
in house after house that was mine to see
the same fire
the perpetual bird.
-- by W.S.Merwin from The Compass Flower Copyright 1977


Boot imagines he's lighter than air ...


Boot stays. He wants to chase. Cow-dog!


Sit, Boot ...

Sit, Boot ..., originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

Boot is his name. Boot has a very thin aura of wiggliness surrounding his head. You can see it in the photo if you look carefully .... you only see that wiggly space, that vibration in the air near Boot, when he sits very still, all wound up and quivering because he knows you want him to stay, or sit, but what he really wants to do is run and chase. Endlessly.

all the curly things down there at the bottom of the picture? Oh, yeah -- those are the shapes Boot was just making in the barnyard mud immediately prior to sitting for his portrait! how could I forget?

As Blue as Devotion

As Blue as Devotion, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.



Intersection, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


Grafitti Synchronous

, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


Canyon Floor

Canyon Floor, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


Perhaps to our senses ....

Perhaps to our senses ....
Originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

Perhaps to our senses,
things offer only their rejections.
We know them by their refuse.
Perfume is what the flowers
throw away.

-- quoted from poet, Paul Valery


Googie Style

Today I learned a new word: Googie. And no, it's not related to Google, though if you Google Googie, you'll get all sorts of interesting websites devoted to the style popularized in the 1950s and early 60s. For years, my kids, Tim and I have used the term "Jetson's style" to describe that particularly weird space-age design style (found in architecture, textiles, home decor, book illustration, you name it ...) the style that paid homage to our society's idea of a bright future already here. Now I find out there is an "official" term for what we call Jetson's style. I can hardly wait to spring this new word on the rest of the family ...

Jetson's Style Architectural Canopy

I learned the term Googie from someone commenting on this photo on my flickr page. Do these shapes, found in nature, remind you of a motel or diner leftover from the 50s-in-America? How about a flashing movie theatre sign, roadside signs, wallpaper or the Space Needle in Seattle?


Reverie under Wild Parsley

Reverie under Wild Parsley
Originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

Something I wrote while lying under this wild parsley:

Wild Parsley

I lay my cheek down on
cool green blades
and watch flickering sunlight move
through disks of wild parsley

inhale spring sap perfume -- the
scent hangs sweet and redolent from
cottonwood buds -- heavy
like a cloud of old memories

I listen to a swishing
crinoline gesture in the distance
branch-dancers rise beneath
the always-flow of water music

my thoughts float
on the surface of years ago ...
carried over and over through the repeated questions
of some bird's one-note-song

each repeated stanza rises at the end
like a bedspring in the forest,
creaking under the weight of
so much life

insects float and twirl,
their translucent wings
are dust motes
beckoning wild unstructured

the way memory sometimes
and stops -- in fits --
and broken soundings and
comes back to the light

copyright M. Shaughnessy 2006


Canyon Buckwheat

Canyon Buckwheat, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


Juniper Snag

Juniper Snag, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.



Conversation, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.