I have already stormed through Brene Brown’s latest read. And when I say stormed I read like Gen Sherman marched through the South.

I need to lay down my torches and read it again. I so want to be the man in the arena, and even more so desire to be the man who rises strong to finish the battle.

My first read makes me feel that I may lay too long and languish with my face in the sand seemingly that I am not rising at all. But I find that we rise strong at different speeds. I am just not one that quickly arises with sword in hand ready to lay siege to the castle

I find that even with tattered and torn wings, I must just hold strongly awhile until my heart, mind, soul and body find ways to do battle that will end with me truly rising strongly.

And even knowing all of that, there are some battles that I cannot win.

So hold tightly today and prepare your body to rise strongly!  monos en theos ††† jas L

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #897 – Aqua-eyed Dragonfly


It has been kind of slim pickin’s around the grounds. Between the heat, a stomach bug and a few rounds with the black dog, I have not found much at which to aim my Nikon. I did have this young (I say young because of it’s size and the dare me attitude of a teenager) dragonfly to sit and pose for a few frames. Beats working for a living. ††† monos en theos…jas L

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“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” Thomas Paine

Same subject as yesterdays post, different perspective. In order to become my true self, I have to learn to reflect beauty. Beauty is as much as what is inside as the image you reflect.

It gets so tiring trying to wrap the same gift in different packaging. Trying so hard to present your best side. One will have a hard time if it is only the outside of the gift we worry about. You have to remember that at the end of the party all of that pretty packaging get dumped in the trash . Only the unwrapped gift remains.

monos en theos…†…jim

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“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”    Dalai Lama

As I continue to seek and find the signature of all things, I keep stumbling onto transparency. I very much like to open all of the window coverings in our home. I so enjoy not only being able to see out, but to also expose what is inside.

I grew up in a home in which we almost never allowed the light in. Not just through the windows but also figuratively. There was so much that needed to be hidden, not shared, God forbid that ordinary people might be able to peak inside at all that went wrong on inside our home.

It has been a struggle for me to maintain my transparency. After all these years, I am still trying to let all the pain out. There is such freedom in allowing the light in and your pain out.

All of this from the simple gift of a dragonfly. I may never again look at them in the same way.

Open up the windows…monos en theos…†…jim

Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #793 – DRAGONFLY!

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The Dragonfly

Now, when my roses are half buds, half flowers,
And loveliest, the king of flies has come-
It was a fleeting visit, all too brief;
In three short minutes he has seen them all,
And rested, too, upon an apple tree.

There, his round shoulders humped with emeralds,
A gorgeous opal crown set on his head,
And all those shining honours to his breast-
‘My garden is a lovely place’ thought I,
‘But is it worthy of such a guest?’

He rested there, upon the apple leaf-
‘See, see,’ I cried amazed, ‘his opal crown,
And all those emeralds clustered around his head!’
‘His breast, my dear, how lovely was his breast-’
The voice of my Beloved quickly said.

‘See, see his gorgeous crown, that shines
With all those jewels bulging round its rim-’
I cried aloud at night, in broken rest.
Back came the answer quickly, in my dream-
‘His breast, my dear, how lovely was his breast!’

This poem, originally composed byWelsh poet W.H. Davies in 1928, was the inspiration and lyrical source for the song ‘Dragonfly’ written by Danny Kirwan in 1970 while he was still in Fleetwood Mac.  This was the transitional period of the band, when founder Peter Green had gone nuts and left, Christine McVie had just joined, and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were still a few years away.

The song itself is very beautiful and, for me at least, very entrancing.  Danny adjusted the lyrics, wrote the music, sang and played all of the guitar parts on the record. Shortly after this he also went into a drug-induced exile and was last heard to be living on the streets of London.

more on the sad yet full life of Davies:


monos en theos…†…jim

Photo of Da Day @ Da Pine #364

Oh to be able and take some time to chase down a dragonfly. Right now that would give me such relief. We have been in Monahans, TX doing sports portraits the last couple of days. We have done about 2000 exposures of kids in Green uniforms the last couple of days. I don’t think I have the energy to chase much of anything. It is hard enough to walk from  editing on the computer to anyplace across the room………..I think I am seeing green

Be carefull what you wish for on your journey†††††nada te turbe†††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #333

While sitting on my front porch, enjoying the 80 degree shade. There were two of these large red dragon flies teasing me out of my rocking chair to follow and photograph. There is this small dead tree (a failed attempt to replant nature) that one of them kept landing on. They most certainly were teases as they would let me get to about 3 feet and then fly off. I swear I heard a faint giggle of laughter in the wind as they zoomed off.They had not a clue as to what a stubborn old fart I can be. I stood frozen in time feeling the summer breeze trying to move what little hair I have. I wished I could speak dragonfly to tell them it’s okay, I only want to borrow a brief moment of their time. One finally landed and gave me an unusual angle. He sat there for a total of ten – 1/250 of a second and for that slant slice of time, we spoke. He clung to the branch while I clung to it’s beauty.It can be a fine line between patience and stubbornness on your journey††††††††nada te turbe†††††jim

via Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #333.

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #315

The Dragon-fly by Alfred Lord TennysonToday I saw the dragon-flyCome from the wells where he did lie.An inner impulse rent the veilOf his old husk: from head to tailCame out clear plates of sapphire mail.He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dewA living flash of light he flew.In its eyes are mirroredfar-off-mountainsDragonfly!Some days words come to me, other days someone else has better ones. Hard to compete with Alfred Lord Tennyson. I can remember my dad helping me to learn the words so I could recite by memory The Charge of the Light Brigade to my fourth grade class.“Cannon to right of them,Cannon to left of them,Cannon behind themVolley’d and thunder’d;Storm’d at with shot and shell,While horse

via Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #315.

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #315

The Dragon-fly by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.

In its eyes are mirrored

Some days words come to me, other days someone else has better ones. Hard to compete with Alfred Lord Tennyson.  I can remember my dad helping me to learn the words so I could recite by memory  The Charge of the Light Brigade to my fourth grade class.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred

I thought it was so cool to hear the snickers of the rest of the class when I got to say “Hell” in class.

Cherish the memories and wonder of it all on your journey†††††††††nada te turbe†††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #285

Okay, we had rain twice yesterday, it was so wonderful for this dry desert. We went out on our walk this early afternoon full of great promise of what we might find. We were at the turn around point of our walk, about 1  1/2 miles. We stopped at this little grove of trees and soaked up some shade. We were about to start back when I looked down at Clovis who was totally oblivious to a 6 foot Red Racer that was literally right under him. I was not near quick enough and in the blink of an eye the Racer was off and went up one of the trees. We searched and looked for 1/2 an hour hoping to get a photo of a treed snake, but we never saw him again.

I was  little bummed, but enjoyed the encounter none the less.

I have been stalking (to no avail) these Mexican Amberwing dragonflies that zoom around the seep spring. I was concentrating on keeping Clovis from jumping in the pond for a cooling dip, and almost walked past the present. There it was, a handsome male specimen perched on a reed and just still as the sun. I made several exposures all the time moving a little closer until he filled the frame of my D800.

What an amazing gift. God is just flat out amazing with his intricate design.

Don’t walk past your present on your journey†††††††nada te turbe††jim


via Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #285.