Vicarious Adventure

Annapurna, Emma E. Glennon (c) 2014

She has seen white nights in Russia, and a Queen of the Night near the equator.

In one photograph she is at the bottom of the sea; a neon-striped bright blue and yellow fish obscures her torso.

In another recent photograph she beams against a backdrop of temples in Myanmar.

My sons and I tagged along with her to Kyoto, and last summer my experienced young world traveler planned our great adventure to another continent with her father’s ashes.

(“Mom,” she said to me last spring, as she was planning her summer research.  “How would you feel about my catching plague rats in Madagascar?”)

This daughter occasionally sends photographs of her travels, allowing me to drink in what she has seen.

I am unlikely ever to experience the other senses these places fill–the smells and tastes of German and Spanish food; the feel of uncut sandstone; street sounds in Bangalore; drenching humidity in Bangladesh; cadences of speech in more languages and dialects than I can imagine.

But it’s such a treat to share her windows on the world.


Nepal, Emma E. Glennon (c) 2014

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A Little More Conversation . . . .



Half light, half shadow
Glasses half filled or emptied?
Living leaves on brick
A swath of cranberry bog
Breaking blue to bright white sky


My favorite photo challenge sought unspoken dialogue between two pictures.

So, with apologies to Elvis Presley, I’m adding a little more conversation–this time more of a conference call than a dialogue . . . . in tanka form.

Continue reading

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Discerning Dialogue





I attended a talk by poet laureate and poetry professor Billy Collins earlier this year. Someone asked him whether anyone can produce a poem, and he noted that one thing that cannot be taught is metaphor.

Thinking metaphorically seems to me to apply to images as well as words: you either see a connection or you don’t, and I imagine most people will see wildly different things.

This week’s photo challenge is wonderfully open-ended.  It asks us to present dialogue between pictures, for beholders to contemplate.  It’s almost too much fun to come up with such visual combinations.

I call this pairing “Burst”:

Some Sunday sloth:

“Caught in the Act”:



Possibly my favorite pairing:

Cupcakes, anyone?

For whom do the bells toll?

Of these two pairings, only one (in each) should be eaten:

Some architectural pairings:



Art is everywhere:


Some morning stars:



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Dawning on Me

206When’s the last time you were up at dawn?

Well, this morning: daily dawns came along with grief, as part of the package deal.

As soon as my husband Jim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I lost my capacity to eat, sleep, and otherwise function . . . until the day I realized I had to amass some strength for his sake, and our children’s.  But that’s another story (one I told not long ago on the Moth Mainstage in Boston).

I used to be inside at dawn and miss the whole thing.  I was either sleeping or scurrying around the house, doing tasks, preparing myself and the children and dogs to set about the day–though, in the dogs’ case, they don’t really require that much preparation.  Their duties are minimal, but important in their way.

Then, utterly unable to sleep while Jim was sick, I would wander outside with the beagles and see immense blankets of color above the pond where Jim would take in his last outdoor view of an orange perigee moon.

So even when I began recovering strength, I thought it worth keeping hold of the dawns.


Dawn at Jim’s Pond


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