oh what fleeting moments I should capture, oh what memories I should still possess

Places

Which side is up?

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What I see is a recessed ceiling alcove with little circular windows surrounding a chandelier that hangs at the top of a circular staircase. What I think is this view is disorienting!

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Every orientation

presupposes a disorientation.

– Hans Magnus Enzensberg 


Old Souls

What I see is the remnants of an old factory or something.

What I see are the remnants of an old factory or something – I don’t even know what this was. What I think is “I want to go in there!” I can’t pass by any kind of old run-down, boarded-up, falling-down structure without a burning desire to explore it.

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Buildings have souls too.


walking in the wreckage

We spent a lot of time in this old wreck of a house.

What I see is my friend standing on the sloping upper floor of a collapsing farm house. We loved to walk around in that old house, and though we felt very safe, I know we’re lucky none of us ever got hurt. What I think is a lot of the things I’ve built in my life are kind of like that old wreck of a place we spent so much time exploring. What I wonder is if it’s better to hold on to the old dream as long as I can, or is it safer to walk away when things start to fall apart.

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It ain’t over

till it’s over.

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Some more pictures:

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Winter Wonderland…

My job requires me to work a month or two in advance, so I start thinking about the upcoming seasons well before they actually arrive. This time last year, I was working on the October schedule, and so I had fall and Halloween and pumpkins and sweaters on my mind. This year I’m still working on the September schedule, but I can feel the cool winds of change coming up behind me!

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It’s beginning to look

a lot like Christmas!

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Too soon?


Closed

 

What I see is a quaint little restaurant courtyard, cozy and quiet – that I can’t get to. What I think is, were these gates open to me, I probably wouldn’t have as much desire to get in.

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There are two tragedies in life.

One is not to get your heart’s desire.

The other is to get it.

– George Bernard Shaw

 


Smith Point Lighthouse


low tide

Nearly everything watery feels romantic to me, inspiring the dreamer, the artist, the adventurer within. A wooden post sunk into the ground is ordinary and mundane. Somehow that same post, raising its weathered head out of the water, becomes a metaphor for life. What I see here are many such posts, basking in the sun at low tide. What I immediately thought when I saw them is that life leaves its mark on us all.

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The people we meet, the things that we do –

the experiences of our life –

leave a permanent mark upon us.

Sometimes it’s just more visible.


Star Light

This was taken last January at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. What I see are lovely stars hanging from a metal "sky". What I think is that even these man-made stars felt magical.

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Even a small star

shines in the darkness.

— Finnish proverb


here is the steeple

You can just glimpse the top of this steeple in Tuesday's picture "Unique". What I see is part of a large building in downtown Fredericksburg. What I think is that I am drawn to the crisp lines of a building's architectural elements, brought out by the sun on a nice clear day.

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A day without sunshine is like,

you know,

night.

– Steve Martin


something pretty to look at

What I see is the side of a building that would be rather nondescript if it weren't for several of these little indentations placed at intervals along the wall. I thought it was interesting that someone paid to have a railing put here that serves no functional purpose. What I think is that wild animals don't decorate their spaces for the specific purpose of having something pretty to look at.

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Many animals build their own homes,

but humans are the only species

that have fabricated

an entirely new habitat for themselves.

Of course, I kind of like how the old one is decorated.


Unique

This is Fredericksburg, seen from an upper window of one of its many museums. I don't know why this window had a screen on it, since it's surely never opened, but it made for an interesting effect. What I see is a lot of roofs. What I think is that this could be any city.

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Always remember

that you are absolutely unique.

Just like everyone else.

– Margaret Mead


looking up

I took this picture at a bookstore in Fredericksburg. My nephews played with a band here last summer, and I loved the space, so I went back in the daytime to take more pictures. What I see here is a lovely kind of skylight and some posters displayed for sale. What I think is that it's so worth it to take some time and look around.

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The moment one gives close attention to any thing,

even a blade of grass,

it becomes a mysterious, awesome,

indescribably magnificent world in itself.

– Henry Miller


entrances leading out

I took this picture in downtown Fredericksburg, where there are many of these entrances leading out to little courtyards or small restaurants. What I see is a doorway to a very inviting space. What I think is that doorways were meant to be gone through.

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Look on every exit

as being an entrance somewhere else.

– Tom Stoppard


through the screen

This is a shot from the screened porch in my parent's back yard. What I see is just trees and sky, but I like the interesting effect the screen had on the light. What I think is that the ordinary doesn't have to be just ordinary. It's all in how you view it.

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Every man takes the limits

of his own field of vision

for the limits of the world.

– Arthur Schopenhauer


an old memory

This is a very old picture of a barn that fell apart long ago. What I see is a wall that's as much hole as wood and bales of hay that appear to be moldering on the floor. What I think is how like memory this is, a snapshot of things that no longer exist, imperfect, color faded, and encompassing so much less than what I'd like to see after all these years.

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How we remember,

what we remember,

and why we remember

form the most personal map

of our individuality.

– Christina Baldwin


tracks to everywhere

And here are the tracks that yesterday's old buildings were gathered around. The building in the background here looks well-kept, and I wonder if that was a little station once upon a time. What I see is a pair of train tracks heading straight into the distance. What I think of is forever, and heading to unknown destinations, and so many places I've never been.

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And there is the headlight,

shining far down the track,

glinting off the steel rails that,

like all parallel lines,

will meet in infinity,

which is after all where this train is going.

– Bruce Catton


My Country Commute

Last week, the weather was so beautiful that I was compelled to take pictures (on my phone, sorry) of my commute home. This week I'll share them with you. What I see here is a fabulous, large, awesomely reflective and wonderfully splash-worthy puddle that typically lasts for a few days after each rain. Beyond the tracks, a few old buildings gather around what must have been a train stop at one time. What I think is it would be a great treat to see those buildings as they once were, and wouldn't I just love to go exploring in that boarded up old store.

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The world is mud-luscious

and puddle-wonderful.

– E. E. Cummings


Exploring

Louis and I went out to walk in the leaves this week, and just see what we could see. What I see is a lot: crunchy brown leaves carpet the ground, a fallen branch creates a little arch for Louis to walk under, and the sky...what a beautiful sight to end the day with. What I think is that I should be more like Louis and explore as much of the world around me as I'm able to.

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I used to dream about escaping

my ordinary life,

but my life was never ordinary.

I had simply failed to notice

how extraordinary it was.

– Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for
Peculiar Children


Stating the Obvious

It's too bad the picture quality here is terrible, but it was taken on roll film, with the maximum zoom from across 4 lanes of traffic 15 or so years ago. What I see is a Dead End sign that's hardly necessary. What I think of is how nice it is to get a laugh in the middle of your work day, especially if that day requires a lot of driving and dealing with government red tape.

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Better safe

than sorry!


See

These stairs are on the outside of a building in downtown Fredericksburg. What I see is ordinary metal stairs with pretty scroll-work decoration between each step. What I think of is how I go through much of my life with my head down, lost in my thoughts and concerns. What I wonder is how many other interesting and lovely things I may have missed along the way.

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The question is not

what you look at,

but what you see.

– Henry David Thoreau


Cheers

This is Goolrick's Pharmacy, which opened its doors in 1863. They operate the oldest running soda fountain in the nation. What I see is a man sitting at a lunch counter, having what seems to be a lively conversation. What I think of is a bit of the past that we need to hold on to, having places to go that feel like home to us, and a man named Jim, who sits on the same stool, at the same time, five days a week.

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A harbor,

even if it is a little harbor,

is a good thing.

It takes something from the world,

and has something to give

in return.

– Sarah Orne Jewett