after church

I really liked the sermon today. I felt as if I were a wounded animal who had been found by a Saint, and to whom the Saint had said “You’re OK.” And when that happened, lo, I was OK, and then I could fly, like a bird.  The bird I suddenly realized I had always been. A big, strong bird. An eagle. Look at my wings–big, strong wings! Jump! And push, and up I go–push, push, push, higher and higher!

Later in the service–during that part where we each share the peace with each other, the pastor stopped and asked Charlotte and I if we might help people make a decision to subscribe to the Canada Lutheran magazine.

It is true that we receive the Canada Lutheran magazine each month. And in that respect either of us could offer a testimonial in its favor. But how to raise the subject with the other members of our congregation, without seeming unseemly? As if we were advancing some hidden agenda? I enjoy reading it, but Charlotte rarely looks at it, so perhaps a testimonial from me would have a more authentic feel to it.

A few years ago, we were both a little mystified as to why we continued to receive it, because neither of was aware of –at that time– sending them a check to continue our subscription. After talking about it for a few minutes, we supposed that the $20 or so per year subscription cost was simply taken from our monthly contribution to the church. We both had vague recollections of the church treasurer asking us, years ago, if this would be OK with us. Talking it over today, we agreed that, if that memory ever really happened, would would likely have been OK with it, and if it were to happen today, we’d give the same affirmative answer.

During the sharing of the peace time, neither Charlotte nor myself were sure exactly how we might accomplish the Pastor’s request. But later in the day I wondered if perhaps I could use my new Nikon camera to help.

Once Upon a time I was a photojournalist. I have also been employed as a reporter. And I’ve enjoyed those occupations. In my retirement years, perhaps I could once again enjoy pursuing those occupations, but this time on a volunteer basis.

If I were to tell people in our church that I had, for example, taken a photograph that was in an upcoming issue of the Canada Lutheran, then perhaps they might be interested in subscribing, simply to see my photograph. Or perhaps I could write an article and include a photograph with the article. Even more compelling.

Charlotte bought me the camera to which I refer, for a present — for a Christmas present. Several weeks ago she asked me which camera I would own if I could own any camera. What was my “ideal” camera? I took a long time to think about this question and in the end decided that, of all the cameras out there, the camera that I would most like to own would be the Nikon D850 — a professional digital SLR.

These cameras are not cheap. I bought a lens for this camera (a nikkor 24MM 1.4 lens). Also not cheap.  Over the next two or three years I’ll probably purchase two or three more professional lenses.

I now own the Nikon camera–it sits beside me at this moment, on a stereo speaker, and I’ve had it for two days, without the lens. The lens was a “special order,” and I expect it to arrive from Japan in a few weeks.

How to justify owning such an expensive piece of kit? Maybe ‘justify’ is the wrong word. ‘Use’ might be better. Taking photographs for a magazine is one way. So it’s a nice coincidence that the pastor, in church today, raised an idea that might lead to this opportunity.

Perhaps this will become a new hobby, to replace my old hobby of playing the trumpet!


Colour Patches

I’ve been colouring a lot lately, and picking wax crayons out of a tin box as I need them, but recently thought I’d be a bit more systematic about the process, so made these colour patches.


I’m experimenting, learning, thinking about line drawings. Planning on making a colouring book for myself, once I’ve finished the children’s colouring book I’m currently using. Here’s a video of my explorations, original images (which I’ve traced) taken from The Guardian newspaper and old Penthouse magazines (from the 70s), and one photograph I took, many years ago. Some of the images contain text, but I don’t think I’ll keep adding text.

A new way of colouring

When I run out of pages in the children’s colouring book I’m using, I may create my own line drawings to colour. But what to draw? I’m thinking of choosing topical issues. The Guardian newspaper has a section where they publish photographs every day relating to current events. They recently published some winning photographs from a photography contest, and I traced one of these on my computer, using an app called  Sketchbook (I then processed the resulting line drawing in Adobe Illustrator) which I then filled it in with wax crayons, just to see how that would work. It worked well, so I might go with that.