A Poet's Life

Mona Bethke

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The power of a photograph…

Do you ever really stop to think when you are looking at a photograph?  I know when I see a picture of a person, I immediately wonder what they were thinking, how they were feeling, and if I don’t know them, who they are.  That old saying that a piece of the soul is captured along with the image in a photograph seems like a realistic idea.  Though I do love looking a photographs of people, I am far more intrigued with photographs of places.

Having grown up on Europe, I’ve always had a passion for taking pictures of my surroundings.  Just a like a person, there is personality in photos of trees, bodies of water and so on.  The thoughts that cross my mind are, what souls walked here?  Where were they going?  How arduous was their journey?  Though nature changes much more quickly than people do, it still carries the spirits of those who once resided there or passed by.

I’ve never been a big fan of history, because it always seemed to be about this war of that war, human strife, plagues, drama and so forth.  There never seems to be a history lesson that isn’t filled with the human struggle.  I suppose that is what history is meant to be.  I had a hard time retaining the years these human struggles took place and what general or leader perpetuated said piece of history.

Back to images of nature.  I am intrigued with the shape of a tree, watching dragonflies flitting over streams lazily meandering through the forest, mountains that are green and lush at the bottom while the top is capped with snow.  That kind of beauty captured in a photo touches my heart in ways I often can’t describe.

I’ve been wondering why my mind, body and spirit have been restless lately.  Though I love the beauty of this state (Florida) and I marvel at how the ocean fills my soul with joy, there is a longing to envelop myself in more of the beauty of this country and let the ideas for my writing flourish. Perhaps the spirits of times gone by that I capture in my photos will speak to my creative side and tell a story or two.

That is all.

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