(Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures) Runners-Up!

All images (c) Stephanie Glennon 2012

I jumped the gun.  Hopped the horse.  Prematurely flipped the cyber-page.

Just over a week ago I spent hours reviewing every photograph I’d taken during 2012 in order to pick one favorite from each month, to accompany one favorite post from each month of this blog’s first year.

Some of the choices were difficult to make, but I’ve just been handed a chance to share the runners-up.   To change it up a little, I’m going to add some back story. . .in haiku form.

In my defense, I’m recovering from a holiday influenza-fest and remain punchy (and not in the good, Christmas bowl-of-cheer way).


A cranberry bog/cream curving under crimson/half-light or half-dark?

Our children’s music/made so many ways, all notes/help refill my heart

Bright orange sunset/missing only Jim’s blue-greens/still stuns me at dusk

Whimsical bunny/cow-sized, near a road, stops me/Who will believe it?

I don’t like eggplant/but its colors are gorgeous/indigo from earth

Moving day brought me/to a bright windy sidewalk/graced by cabbage rose

First day back in court/began with another storm/sculpting an Iris

Jim’s wreath became home/to an elaborate nest/hatching three robins

A sun back-lit leaf/fluttered against another/I see hearts, always

Kyoto was cold/cherry blossoms just starting/to peek from their buds

Wind-carried prayers/fluttered on papers, temples/in mountains and air

I thought it would be/surrounded by hydrangea/but Jim sent just one

Changing Seasons: Summer to Spring Segue

Fall  Edging In (c) SMG

My husband Jim’s diagnosis hit us along with summer’s pulverizing heat.  Coming out of the air-conditioned hospital to lean against a cement pillar and weep was like stepping through a portal onto the tarmac in San Cristobal.

For me the summer was a whirlwind: physicians, surgical procedures, hospitals, chemotherapy, pharmacies and prescriptions, paperwork, imaging and re-imaging.

It was exhaustion–not pain or nausea, nor even a side-effect that made drinking cold liquid feel like swallowing crushed glass–that most distressed my husband as he endured the worst of the treatment attempts: having to sleep for so long meant to him a day slipping through his fingers, among precious few seasons of such days. Continue reading “Changing Seasons: Summer to Spring Segue”


Self-Portrait (c) SMG

In response to a photographic challenge, I am taking a brief pause in my reflections of the soul and sharing more literal ones.

Clipper Band Room (c) December 1, 2012

One set of photographs comes from one of my favorite places: the high school band room.  On Saturday evening instruments and their musicians were being decorated in preparation for a holiday parade.

Other instruments’ reflections are captured in the brass of a sousaphone, which also grabs bits of copper and bright color from neighboring tympany and bits of tinsel.

A horn reflects the white bars behind which instruments are imprisoned, making the parallel steel lines undulate in concentric waves.  A reflected snowflake light adds another ethereal imprint over gold and white.


Two years ago Jim was well enough to go out and watch one of our children marching in what would be the last earthly holiday parade for him.  (Of course he had his camera.)  The band director saw us on the sidewalk and came over to us, giving us both a hug.

In some ways such pictures will always be reflections of the way life used to be.   (I challenge you to read that sentence without your mind switching into Diana Ross’s voice.)

As I returned from visiting a son at school this weekend I found myself pulling off a road where enormous white rocks beckoned to me from another shore and found reflections galore.

Some reflections seem fairly standard. . . .

Reflecting on a Change of State (c) SMG

This was taken underneath the bridge near Hanover, New Hampshire, where a granite block marks the point at which one steps over the line between New Hampshire and Vermont.  (This bridge happens to be haunted in a good way, with scenes of Jim at the wheel and our young toddlers bundled up in bright printed full-body down coats for winter,  pointing from their assorted car seats in excited wonder at the enormous orbs which garnish its more visible surface.)

But we were challenged “to head out and create an image that uses reflections to force the viewer to question and interpret the reality of the shot.”

Turned 180 degrees, an inlet becomes a whimsical creature with labyrinthine antlers–or perhaps a yurt in a surreal, misty landscape, or a cave carved out of a volcano peeking  from the sea:

No Telling Where (c) SMG December 2, 2012 

And what is this other-worldly satellite outlined in pinpricks of reflected golden light (a photograph I will  only say I took during a blackout later Sunday night)?  I’m not telling, but you are free to guess.


There’s no telling where reflections may arise, and where they might lead.

Green: Of Monsters and Men

When I was in first grade, we were given mimeographed sheets (look it up, kids) to color.  They had rows of small images, like comic strips, filled with simple outlines–a house, grass, an improbable spiky sun.  Below the images were empty dashes where we would write in the name of the object and then color it in.

Whether or not my parents truly had favorite colors, I assuredly had bugged them until they both claimed one for me.   My mother said blue was her favorite, and my father reported a fondness for green.

When I took out my bright Crayolas–how I loved those crayons, especially the breathtaking tiered assortments which came in boxes with a built-in sharpener–I was obsessively careful to be fair.  With mathematical precision I would parcel out an equal amount of blue and green as I meticulously filled in shapes.

Fairness can be a simple for a five-year-old.

For Elphaba and Kermit, it was not always easy being green, but all its shades remain a glowing, growing wonder for me.

It happened that on our very first date in college, Jim wore a hunter green button-down shirt, and I wore cobalt blue silk.  I have a curiously acute memory for fabric.

When I went out today to capture images of green, I was drawn to interiors–to the soft cotton fabrics with which I nested, creating quilts for our children-to-be; to bright emerald silk like the precious yardage my daughter brought me from India; to the ribbons  Jim and I would use to wrap gifts well into the wee hours of Christmases past as our children slept and we gamely attempted to assist Santa.

But when I think of Jim’s greens, they overwhelmingly tend towards the outdoors: the brilliant green of those pre-incarnadine multitudinous seas,  the diamond at Fenway Park, the solemn gray-green Solitario Jorge.

Together, somehow, Jim and I forged a marriage that–were I prone to bouts of synesthesia–was of deep greens and blues.

Green speaks to me of Jim–the Scout leader, the outdoorsman, the nature lover.  His eyes, especially as they looked at me during the months he knew would be our last here together.  Shagging flies on the Green Monster.  Hiking in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  Walking hand-in-hand around the Emerald Necklace.  Holding our youngest infant’s tiny hands and gently guiding them through the sleeves of a mint-green sweater knitted by her grandmother.  The shiny Boston Celtics-green wrapping paper on what he knew would be the last present he gave me.



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