Circles of tyranny and margin

by bzephyr

We’re coming to the end of four years this term in Papua New Guinea, and we’ve come to realize that we’re seriously burned out. We’ve been constantly reliving the tyrannical cycle of idealistic planning and too little margin. So after 17 years of marriage (our anniversary is this week), we’re finally making a serious attempt to get healthy and unlearn the habits of the past. It’s not easy, and it will probably be a long road, but I’m learning to build margin, rest, and re-creation into my weekly routine.

So I started contributing pictures today to a local photography club. This week’s theme is “Circles.” How appropriate at this time when I’m leaving the old cycles behind and learning a new routine. I’m deeply thankful for good friends, brothers and sisters in the family of God, who are encouraging us in our journey. In these weeks I sense that I’m coming closer to what I discerned several years ago was God’s purpose for me: to enjoy life abundantly, and to share that life with others.

For the rest of this post, I want to share with you the colors, lines, and patterns that I enjoyed today as I paused to explore the world around me at our home in PNG and in our overgrown garden.

We have a collection of flat, circular PNG baskets, and I love the ones that use three colors with stark contrast, so my first subject was our biggest one of these, the only one with concentric circles…

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Then I turned to the garden, and this decaying banana stalk stump was one of the few things that wasn’t blowing around in the wind, so it’s the image I ended up submitting…

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My favorite subject of the afternoon, however, was the curled choko tendrils that are hanging all over the banana stalks on our hillside garden. I’ll have to come back to these on a calmer day and get them more in focus…

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And here’s a few more before their prime. I had to scramble and maneuver on the steep side of our hill and nearly twisted my injured knee before I sat down amidst the spiders to get where I could photograph these…

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While looking for circles, I couldn’t resist capturing these beauties…

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But I kept looking for circles…

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These choko tendrils kept intriguing me with their loops of circles, but my wife insisted that these are  spirals and not circles, so I didn’t submit this picture to the club for the “Circles” theme. But I decided to submit it a little late for last week’s “After” theme…

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These banana stumps have new circles shooting up from the old…

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Along the way, I found some other interesting lines, and if you look closely or use your imagination, you may see some circles…

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13 Comments to “Circles of tyranny and margin”

  1. Wow Zephyr ! Absolutely beautiful ! As I moved slowly through your post with my eyes it gave me a warmth to see how cathartic a simple exercise can be to help us see amazing things that God has put there for us not only to see but to bring healing to our spirit. As a fellow visual artist, I can really relate. Thanks for sharing. riverrunner

    Date: Sun, 11 May 2014 22:50:05 +0000 To: riverrunner7@msn.com

  2. beautiful! it’s easy to let the busyness of the day sweep you away. running around in circles makes quite the vortex. and, you’re right, it’s draining! it drains your energy and the joy out of life. i’ll be praying for you and Mandi as you make a new life pattern together. we shall reap, if we faint not. it’s worth the effort.

  3. Be Well, Ben. ‘Glad you recognize the area that’s out of kilter and are taking steps to remedy that.

    I like the two pictures of the fuzzy new tendrils under the sharply jagged fuzzy leaves 🙂

    Love and Prayers,

    Sue

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Thanks Sue. I was looking for curly-ques like these new choko tendrils among the ferns in our garden, but I guess it wasn’t the right time of day or year for ferns. So I was really glad when I spotted these among the undergrowth of the bananas. Now if I can just get all the hairs in focus at the same time. I need more practice with macro shooting and aperture adjustment.

  4. Your time of exploration and filming has award winning shots. I loved the flowers the best. I remember taking a walk with Ellie when we were there….just looking closely at flowers. Another beautiful thing about where you live is the new (to us) variety of bird song. We loved hearing the birdsongs at daybreak. What a concert! Enjoy. Enjoy, dear Ben. Love, Mom and Dad.

  5. Wow, Ben! Thanks for taking us on a journey through your garden world. Just beautiful and captured perfectly. We hope you find more and more food for the soul moments. Love ya bro! Can’t wait to see you all … SOON!
    Stephan and Jen

    • Had another chance to feed the soul this evening before dinner. This time I took the two littles with me to help point out beautiful things for us to capture. We’re really excited about seeing you guys too!

  6. One of the things I remember most about you, dear Ben, is the absolute wonder at which you would look at the world–even as an 18 year old. You would pick a tiny 3 leaf clover; study it, marvel at it, and glory in its Creator. I had never seen anyone look at the world that way, with that passion. But then passion seems to be the way you embrace everything! An exhausting way to live now and then ; ) But one which has great treasures to be discovered, both here and stored up in heaven. I’m so thankful for what you and Mandy do. So thankful for the energy and passion with which you have poured your hearts into the gospel. I’m thankful even for the times that you have been utterly spent in every capacity–because I know that you will offer even your “nothing left” to the Lord as holy worship.

    I think you’ve chosen a wise outlet to refresh your spirit. Thank you for once again helping me see the world through your eyes of wonder.

  7. These are absolutely gorgeous.

  8. So enjoyed seeing the younger “chip off the old block.” I’m surrounded by the men in my life displaying their God given talents. I’m blessed!

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