Monday, February 26, 2018

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Moments in line, shape, textures, and tonality

Black-and-white movies present the deliberate absence of color.This makes them less realistic than color films ( for the real world is in color). They are more dreamlike, more pure, composed of shapes and forms and movements and light and shadow. Color films can simply be illuminated. Black and white films have to be lighted. With color, you can throw light in everywhere, and the colors will help the viewer determine one shape from another, and the foreground from the background. With black and white, everything would tend towards shapeless blur if it were not for meticulous attention of light and shadow, which can actually create a world in which the lighting indicates a hierarchy of moral values.

In 1989, film critic Roger Ebert wrote an essay entitled "Why I love Black and White" 
(Awake in the Dark, University Chicago Press)

A quiet Sunday afternoon

All photographers are, literally,"writers of light." We need to train our eyes to recognize the way weather, seasons, time, location, and structural elements influence the color, quality, and direction of natural light. Learning to identify beautiful lighting opportunities and to mold the light and shadow in your images is key to capturing captivating portraits, establishing mood, and illustrating your stories.

Some timeless tips from Sarah Wilkerson.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

An afternoon in the beach

Much of my crying is for joy and wonder rather than for pain. A trumpet’s wailing, a wind’s warm breath, the chink of a bell on an errant lamb, the smoke from a candle just spent, first light, twilight, firelight. Everyday beauty. I cry for how life intoxicates. And maybe just a little for how swiftly it runs.

-thousand days in Venice

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Can an elephant be a God?

One of my American students, David, called out, “Ms. Shunnarah, can an elephant be a god?”
I froze. This was one of those moments when the cultural iceberg was tapped, challenging my Judeo-Christian upbringing. I remembered from my studies of Hinduism in college that there is a religious entity known as Ganesh, who takes the form of an elephant. Ganesh is one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India. He is widely known as the “remover of obstacles” and “lord of beginnings” and is associated with creativity, the arts and sciences, intellect and wisdom.This information about Ganesh came to me quickly and I am glad that it did, because I could have carelessly dismissed David’s comment as silly. Instead, I told him yes, and described Ganesh and his place in the Hindu religion. After I said this, I noticed that one of my students from India, Abhra, pulled out his own drawings of Ganesh from his backpack. He had been discussing his beliefs with David, when David had called out the question. This small bit of knowledge I had retained turned out to be important. After my response, Abhra smiled; his religious beliefs and identity were acknowledged. This is just a small example of the kind of cross-cultural interaction that goes on every day in our class.

-The Cross-Cultural Classroom


Monday, January 01, 2018


Beauty is one of those muddied words. Our minds have been trained to go to perfect bodies and flawless faces on the covers of the magazines. But that, as the late great Irish poet and philosopher of beauty John O' Donohoue helpfully distinguished, is glamour. 

And it's rue on the edge of the ocean as well, and so there's ancient conversation between the ocean and the stone is going on.......that landscape is not just matter but that it is actually live. Landscape recalls you into a mindful mode of stillness, solitude, and silence, where you can truly receive time.

-Krista Tippett

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Be here now

You are good enough just as you are. Breathe and relax into the moment.

Wish you a happy and prosperous 2018.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Only window knows

As you go
  The essence of me
Caught on the window
   A constellation

      Of condensation....

-MaryJane Doe

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Flowers never ceased to amaze me.

Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought.

Like a lover waits
With her calm presence.

Like a dancer
In the rhythms of breeze.

Like a scientist
With a desire to decode patterns.

Like a mother
In her glory of offspring.

Like the angel

With Her petals to embrace light.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Final Analysis

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives,
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends,
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you,
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight,
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous,
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow,
Do good anyway.
Give the world your best anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is not between you and them,
It is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

-The Final Analysis, Kent M Keith

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the d...