Weekly Photography Challenge: Extra-ordinary Creativity

Albert Einstein — ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’

Whether something is ordinary or extraordinary just depends on your point of view, and that is the theme of the photography challenge for this week.

While my husband was performing his extraordinary duties as the Golden Gateway Festival King (I know!), attending a variety concert in the iconic Ararat Performing Arts Centre, I spent a few hours at my friend Wilma’s open garden event. She seems to have endless energy and a great imagination when it comes to incorporating interesting…junk…into her sprawling garden. She puts ordinary things to extraordinarily creative use – this is not all of them, just a sample!

The vignette near the cottage window is so elegant – but then there’s the enormous spider on the gate…I think the arrangement of objects on the yellow chair is the work of her great-grandson – clearly an artist in the making!

There were also (extra)ordinary flowers, such as this glorious yellow bearded iris.IMG_6346

Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 23

Wednesday again already! I swear they are getting closer together…

There are two quotes on this next page, from Walt Whitman-

” To have the feeling I am sufficient as I am.

and Dr Seuss –

“You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.”

Words to live by!


That’s me, about 18 years ago. As a goddess, I’m still in training. Ha ha. The romantic Indian miniature is from a packet of incense – I confess my choice of incense is often influenced by the pictures on the outside more than the contents!as81Stars, and star stickers, plus a hand written description of the supposed qualities of Green Obsidian – volcanic glass.  There’s also a poem, by me, and a quote from Albert Einstein –

“Knowledge is experience – anything else is just information.”as82

Here’s an entire incense packet – this one I chose for the smell, although the pack is beguilingly shiny! I haven’t put anything inside it, but flat packaging like this can easily be converted into a pocket to hold surprise items inside your book., either by adhering it to another page, or punching holes near the edge and binding it in.as83

This Emerson quote is squeezed onto a tiny piece of purple card, and slipped into a pocket that originally held a tea bag.  I especially liked this brand for embellishing books and altered postcards because of the kettle on the packet, and the old-fashioned pointing hand on the bag tag. Tea bags often have nice graphics and I like to save them, especially when travelling – cafes use different brands, so you get some variety! And variety is a good thing.


Weekly Photography Challenge: Infinite

The Infinite

Only two things are infinite, Albert Einstein is supposed to have said, the Universe and human stupidity – and we’re not sure about the Universe….

The heart of a flower, a building made of mirrors, a snowy volcano hovering above the Sound…sunlight in beads made of glass and gems…a sprawling mega-city, a bird that is bluer than the bluest of skies…Infinity…


Three More Quotes

I like to read books...“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.”

Albert Einstein

“If you only read books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

Haruki Murakumi

“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one that makes you think.”

Harper Lee

I read widely, deeply, broadly, always more than one book at a time. There is always a pile beside the bed, and another by my favourite armchair. There are notebooks to hand as well, ready for me to jot down a pithy or thought provoking quote. Usually I take note of book and page, but at times, in a hurry, I have reduced the book title to an acronym, and, months later, I have no idea where the quote came from…don’t do that if you plan to refer back or to acknowledge the source…

My husband prefers books with maps – travel guides – and can’t understand my omnivorous tastes. I offered him  “Thinking, Fast and Slow” (a book that ‘everyone else’ is reading…or buying, anyway…) to read on the plane on his way home, and it just seemed to annoy him. Admittedly all that stuff about statistics is heavy going, but there are juicy bits as well… He wants to know what I have learned from it -” read it yourself” would be the best answer! But balance your diet with poetry, fairy tales, biography, botany, and don’t neglect your picture books and magazines…notebook - go for it!

I left my Quote Notebooks at home in Victoria – today’s quotes come to you courtesy of The Bodhi Tree Bookstore Cafe, which currently has a wall decorated with book-related quotes. I enjoyed a coffee there yesterday, and had my trusty notebook in my bag…

More Quotes

Storm 4

“When one follows the path of individuation, when one lives one’s own life, one must make mistakes into the bargain; life would not be complete without them.
There is no guarantee – not for a moment – that we will not fall into error or stumble into deadly peril.
We may think there’s a sure road. But that would be the road of death.
Then nothing happens any longer – at any rate, not the right things.
Anyone who takes the sure road is as good as dead.”

C.G. Jung

‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’Storm 3

“We were born to learn, to grow, to expand, to love, to create, to see the beauty in all things – including ourselves.
But we weren’t born to be perfect!”

Susan Jeffers

‘End the Struggle and Dance With Life.’Storm 1

“I want to know the mind of God. The rest is all details.”
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvels, is as good as dead.”

Albert Einsteinstorm 5“We are players in the universe, actors and actresses on a cosmic stage in a twenty-billion-year-old awesome unfolding display of creation and generativity.
Our play is not only prayer and art as meditation, it is also the expression of our role in the universe – it is a revelation of display  of the unique image of God, that unique ‘I am’ that is our unique way of being in the world.
Each of us displays a different aspect of the divine face, divine humour, and divine hands by the ways we choose to live put our spirituality and our lives. Our co-creation is a display and revelation of the divine essence.”

Matthew Fox

‘The Coming of the Cosmic Christ’Storm 2 (Thor)There was a brief storm over Ararat last Tuesday, two massive rolls of thunder, a spate of rain, and magnificent, roiling clouds.
Luckily, I was on my lunch break and had my phone in my bag…if you look at the last photo here, you may be able to make out what looks like a human figure in a rather theatrical pose.
We are pretty sure it’s Thor himself.
I can’t be certain, but when I look at that beautiful sky, so full of  threats and promise, I am strongly inclined to think that a divine sense of humour is on display!

Post a Day : Quote Me.

What’s my favourite quote? I’m one of those people (I know I’m not the only one) who keeps notebooks just to write quotes in, ie, I collect them by the dozen. Which means that choosing one favourite is quite a challenge! Do I really have to restrict myself to only one? I don’t think so , after all, Rules are made to be broken (is that a quote, or just an old saw?)

I have pulled out a couple of notebooks that were handy to the computer, and here’s the first one I found-

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”

Albert Einstein.

I particularly like this one, because it’s quite comforting at times to think that what seems to be reality is actually an illusion. Every day when ‘The News’ comes on, generally.

Next in the pile is this one-

“I have no interest in leading people along with some little “here’s what this is about”. Let them discover things on their own – let them decide what they think it’s about. It’s better. There’s a line in Lost Highway, the David Lynch movie, where Bill Pullman says he doesn’t like video cameras because he likes to remember things his own way. I think that’s really important. Music is communication, art is communication. But how it communicates and what you get out of it is anybody’s guess. If you listen to something and it moves you, it doesn’t have to be explained. Why should it. Maybe it’ll ruin it.”

Buzz Osborne, of the Melvins.

And in the next notebook down-

“Most of the lyrics are just like contradictions, and I’ll write a few sincere lines and then I’ll have to make fun of it with another line like I couldn’t be bothered, you know. I don’t like to make things too obvious because if it is too obvious it gets really stale. I s’pose you shouldn’t be in peoples faces 100% all of the time. We don’t mean to be really cryptic or, you know, mysterious, but I …just think that lyrics that are different and kind of weird and spacey paint a nice picture, you know – it’s just the way I like art.”

Kurt Cobain.

I’ve got another one somewhere from William Blake that says something similar – that he wouldn’t explain what his art ‘meant’, because he felt the viewer needed to work it out for themselves.  I too like art- and music- to be at least ‘interesting,’ if not ‘mysterious’, and I  have no desire to have it explained at length,or, as William Blake said, “elucidated”.

And there’s this quote, which I return to frequently and am inspired by in my work (and my cooking – I’ll never be cordon bleu) –

“Punk rock should mean freedom, like in accepting everything that you like, playing whatever you want, as sloppy as you want, as long as it’s good, and has passion“.

Kurt Cobain

Of course  I don’t restrict my sloppiness to Punk Rock.

I may have used this quote in my blog before .

I may use it again..Play with passion

thinking about creative thinkers


Creative thinkers tend to be malcontents who see beyond the myths of popular beliefs and common practice. This is in part why idleness – a precondition for reflective or critical thinking, and for deep contemplation – is not encouraged: idleness creates the conditions in which social norms can be challenged.

As a result, the status quo has imposed the unspoken dictum, ‘To work, and therefore not to think too much!’

In a system in which we live to work rather than work to live, there is little time to become an informed global citizen – an active participant who develops new views that liberate the community into expanding it’s outlook and seeing beyond set assumptions and limiting boundaries. In a community that is challenged by freely expressed creativity, creativity is pushed to the margins, corralled outside the safety and security of established norms. But creativity at the extremes of any whole – whether the margins of society, the tips of a tree branch in springtime, the edges of ignorance or at the far reaches of everything in the universe – creates new possibilities that transform reality.

Creativity is a force for change that transforms by forging new relationships, connecting the parts at their extremities, and originating a new and healthy whole.  

As Albert Einstein said “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

And because it was Guy Fawkes Night yesterday –

Bonfire Haiku

The moon had risen;

So had the wind.

I put out the fire.

I am aware that I have not adhered to the haiku rules here, but that’s O.K. Poetry can always use a little anarchy.