Weekly Photo Challenge: Dem Broken Bones


The Weekly Photo Challenge is broken.

We are passionate about travel…always have been…always will be. I’m back in the states digitizing my photos and I found the perfect photos to represent broken. While roaming through Portugal, we discovered the Capela dos Ossos ( Chapel of Bones) in Évora.

This small chapel was built in the 16th century by a Franciscan monk, who wanted to send the message that life is transitory. A broken skeleton dangles near the entrance, reminding all who enter that “Better is the day of death, than the day of birth.”

IMG_7916Broken pieces of pelvic bones and shattered knee caps adorn the windows.

IMG_7918The number of broken skeletons of monks was calculated to be about 5000, coming from the cemeteries that were situated inside several dozen churches. Some of these skulls have been scribbled with graffiti.

IMG_7921The ceiling is made of white-painted brick and is painted with death motifs. Skulls embedded in cement make an interesting border.

IMG_7925It reminds me of the old spiritual, Dem Bones.
Toe bone connected to the foot bone Foot bone connected to the heel bone Heel bone connected to the ankle bone Ankle bone connected to the shin bone Shin bone connected to the knee bone Knee bone connected to the thigh bone…

But, here the bones are all disconnected and broken.

IMG_7919Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around.
Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around.
Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around.
Now hear the word of the Lord.

IMG_7922Inside the Capela dos Ossos a poem about the need to reflect on one’s existence hangs in an old wooden frame:

Where are you going in such a hurry traveler?
Stop … do not proceed;
You have no greater concern,
Than this one: that on which you focus your sight.

Recall how many have passed from this world,
Reflect on your similar end,
There is good reason to reflect
If only all did the same.

Ponder, you so influenced by fate,
Among the many concerns of the world,
So little do you reflect on death;

If by chance you glance at this place,
Stop … for the sake of your journey,
The more you pause, the further on your journey you will be.

by Fr. António da Ascenção (translation by Fr. Carlos A. Martins, CC)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mastering the Force of Nature


The weekly photo challenge is Forces of Nature.

             “Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding”
               ― Jacob Bronowski

The rainy season has begun in Nicaragua. Our first rain started gently, and I grabbed my camera to get this shot of a heron bathing in the lake. But, within a few minutes, the rain sliced through the sky so forcefully it uprooted trees and our new stepping-stone path to our house reminding me, once again, that man masters nature not by force, but by understanding.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Intricate Fibonacci


The Weekly Photo Challenge is intricate.

I have always been fascinated by the complex Fibonacci numbering system found in nature. This intricate mathematical arrangement occurs everywhere.

When the spirals in my pineapple are counted, the two sets are found to be adjacent Fibonacci numbers.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: A Motion Filled Walk on Corn Island


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Motion. Join me in a windy motion filled walk on Corn Island.

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” ~Kalil Gibran, The Prophet
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“Words are wind.” George R.R. Martin
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Weekly Photo Challenge: The Early Bird Gets the Mango


The weekly photo challenge is Early Bird. Living in Nicaragua, we’ve become accustomed to rising early…sometimes as early as 4:30 am. All of the action occurs early in the morning in Nicaragua…the earlier the better because the afternoons are reserved for long siestas in the tropical heat.

If you are an early bird, you will probably see… the parrot getting the first ripe mango
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Once Afloat


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Afloat. I am fascinated by what was once afloat and then drifted slowly to shore. I could be a beachcomber. I am a beachcomber because you’d be surprised at what I salvage from things once afloat!

I wanted to bring this driftwood back to Ometepe Island from the Corn Islands. It looks like a bear just coming out of hibernation. Too bad the airline restricts us to 40 lbs. This piece that was once afloat would make a great addition to my flower garden.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: A Fleeting Life


“There is no tomorrow..it is always today. Tomorrow is the fleeting and minute distance..between hope & once more..once again!”
― Victoria June

 

The Weekly Photo Challenge is ephemeral. Photography reminds me of life. You have to catch it when you can, for it is fleeting and illusive.

In the adult stage, a butterfly lives approximately 3-4 weeks and the female only mates once in her lifetime. I imagine that observing mating butterflies is a short-lived experience, so I had to catch it quickly.

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Reflections on Corn Island


“Life is like facing two mirrors at each other: there is no beginning, there is no end. Just the beauty within the reflected infinity”
― Michael Biondi

 

Last week was our second time to fly to the Corn Islands. We were hoping to visit Little Corn Island this time, but it wasn’t in the cards. The winds were ferocious and it rained on and off all week making the thoughts of a long panga ride to Little Corn Island one big vomit fest. I opted out of that adventure, and a good thing I did, because we heard that a huge wave attacked a man riding in the front of the panga. He was thrown to the back of the panga…breaking his back!!! He had to be flown to Managua by helicopter.

We stayed with friends who have a beautiful house on Big Corn Island. Late one afternoon, we took them to Martha’s Restaurant for dinner and I walked around a pond where I took these reflections of the trees in the water.

Did you ever wonder if the person in a puddle is real, and you are just a reflection of her? That was one of many strange reflections I had as I peered into the water.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Walls of War


The weekly photo challenge is wall. Nicaragua abounds with walls of war, remembrances of their defense of personal rights, freedom, and dignity. Honoring their Nicaraguan heroes is especially clear on the walls in the cities.

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ― G.K. Chesterton
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The Small Fly on the Solentiname Islands


“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?”
― C. JoyBell C.

 

Tito told me of the small fly named Envy, that is creating cracks in the sidewalks along the San Fernando Island in the Solentiname Archipelago. I wanted to know if the sidewalks in the Solentiname Islands connected the people like the sidewalks in El Castillo. What I discovered was somewhat surprising, yet understanding the jealous nature of many Nicaraguans, I gained a new appreciation for Tito, the grandson of a local businesswoman on San Fernando Island. Tito has several plans to reconnect the people and mend the cracks in the meandering sidewalks.

I won’t go into the history of the Solentiname Islands, so check out this descriptive article In Lush Nicaragua,Legacy of a Priest for more information. Tito is the grandson of Ms. Guevara Silva, the owner of the historic Albergue Celentiname Inn, where we stayed.

We arrived at the Malecón de San Carlos to wait for the daily boat to the Solentiname Islands. Finding a boat schedule online was difficult, but a captain at the Malecón reassured us that there was a daily boat which left at 3:00pm for the archipelago and returned to San Carlos at 9:00 am.

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