Into my arms

tony and su at whenuapai 94

Gray-Leslie family archive c. 1994

Sometimes, no words are necessary.

Into My Arms

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms

And I don’t believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
To each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms

But I believe in Love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candles burning
And make her journey bright and pure
That she will keep returning
Always and evermore

Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms
Into my arms, O Lord, into my arms

Nicholas Edward Cave

We’re nearing the end of the 30 Days, 30 Songs challenge hosted by Sarah at Art Expedition. You can see her latest musical choice here.

On birthdays, bugs and being grateful

Close-up shot of orange lily stamen coated in pollen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Lily stamen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Shot with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens

Well the election gods haven’t (so far — hung parliament) come through with the new government I wanted for my birthday, AND I’ve managed to spend the last 36 hours feeling utterly miserable from a gastro-bug-thingy , BUT …

… the Big T floored me with a particularly thoughtful and wonderful birthday gift.

I’ve been dithering for ages about buying a macro lens, and now I am the ecstatic owner of a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens. I’m a bit hopeless with technical terminology, but even from my first experiments, I can tell this lens is seriously cool.

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in ponga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I have no idea what these are, but I found them growing out of punga (silver tree fern) logs in the Waitakere Ranges. The tallest stem was about 5cm. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Otherworldly. Unknown micro-plant found growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

As my interest in photography has grown, I’m turning my lens more and more on nature, and particularly on the tiny details. In a world that I find increasingly — well, scary — I am comforted and sustained by the beauty and resilience of the smallest life forms.

And by the love of the good people like the Big T. And not just for the awesome gift — I’m even more grateful for his thoughtful compassion and nursing skills — especially at 3am when I’m sick and grumpy and, frankly, stink.

“All the things we can’t undo”

Full moon in evening sky over motorway. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

“No boy, don’t speak now you just drive.” Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Like the half-light that exists between night and day, there is a time in relationships when love is neither thriving nor quite gone.

Drive  — the title track of singer Bic Runga‘s first album captures the feeling of longing to hold on to what is good, even as darkness closes in.

I know it’s late
Now I know I ought to go
Ride in your car now
But please don’t drop me home
My head so heavy
Could this be all a dream
Promise me maybes
And say things you don’t mean
Let rain fall from concrete-coloured skies
No boy, don’t speak
Now you just drive
Drive
Drive
Take me through
Make me feel alive
Alive
When I ride with you
Keep my heart turning
On axles around you
Keep our love burning
Just like it used to do
Now just for us
They could play our favourite tune
Let’s not discuss all these things we can’t undo
Let rain fall from concrete-colored skies
No boy, don’t speak now
You just drive
Drive
Drive
Speed me through
Make me feel alive
Alive
When I ride with you
Let rain fall from concrete-colored skies
No boy, don’t speak now
You just drive

Drive is also one of the songs used in the play Daffodils by Rochelle Bright. Daffodils is a love story told as much through its use of Kiwi music as theatre.

Here is a clip of Drive, from Daffodils with Colleen Davis performing.

And here is Bic Runga performing the song.

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. The theme this week is half-light.

 

 

“If I fell in love with you, where would it end?”

Lone surfer, Muriwai. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Lone surfer, Muriwai Beach, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

One of the first dates the Big T and I had was to Muriwai Beach, on Auckland’s west coast. It was a mid-winter afternoon; we sat above Maori Bay, drank Guinness and listened to a tape recorded by New Zealand musician, Luke Hurley.

Japanese Overdrive –from that album — remains a special song for us. The title of this post comes from the lyrics, as does the line below, which captures perfectly how we’ve been feeling lately.

We could cruise in the country, but we’re lost in town. Concrete, glass and tarmac bring a pretty girl down.

Luke Hurley, Japanese Overdrive, 1986

Sunset, Muriwai Beach. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunset, Muriwai Beach, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

We could never have imagined, sitting together with beer in hand, that years later we would be walking together on Muriwai Beach, planning our escape from the concrete, glass and tarmac that’s become so wearying to us.

Sunset, Muriwai Beach, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Lesie, 2015

Sunset, Muriwai Beach, New Zealand. Image: Su Lesie, 2015

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. This week’s theme is nature.

Daily Post Photo Challenge: “… a good day ain’t got no rain”

I have probably said it before, but I am a “glass half empty” person. In truth I usually feel that my glass is three-quarters empty — but that doesn’t make much sense as a pithy observation.

I have a profound capacity to see and dwell upon anything negative in a situation, even whilst those around me experience great joy. The best I can say about this is that I’ve gradually learned to keep my mouth shut (usually), so I don’t spoil others’ pleasure.

The American musician and comic Oscar Levant said that happiness isn’t something you experience, but something you remember. While I subscribe wholeheartedly to that view, I often struggle to even remember happiness, such is my Eeyore-like nature.

So my personal challenge for this week’s Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge has been to bring together the things that make for a good day; those things that get me out of bed and willing to try on a happy face.

In choosing these images I am paying tribute to the scenes, moments, rituals, and above all people, whose presence contribute to a good day — if only I let myself see it.

The title for the post comes from Paul Simon’s Slip Slidin’ Away. I could be the woman, but am trying to choose not to be.

I know a woman
Became a wife
These are the very words she uses
To describe her life
She said a good day
Ain’t got no rain
She said a bad day’s when I lie in bed
And think of things that might have been
Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Paul Simon, Slip Slidin’ Away

Inspiration

The boy-child aged 8; punting on the Cam. Cambridge, England. Photo: Su Leslie, 2006

The boy-child aged 8; punting on the Cam. Cambridge, England. Photo: Su Leslie, 2006

I have to admit it; I’ve struggled with this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge. How can I show what inspiration means to me when I am feeling so uninspired.

I don’t know if it’s the gloomy weather or the sense that my life is in limbo while we get ready to sell our house. Maybe it’s just the lack of challenging projects at the moment. Whatever the reason, nothing much seems to have got me out of my chair recently.

So the challenge was to work out what, in the big scheme of things, does motivate me and lift my spirits?

The answer basically is travel — and my kid.

Like most parents, I try to do the best I can for my child, and to be a positive role-model. A chronic avoid-er of conflict, I know that over the years I’ve gone into bat for him over issues that I’d probably have tried to ignore (and silently eaten myself up over) if they were just for me. I’ve not taken the path of least resistance because I want him to grow up knowing that you don’t have to blindly accept everything that happens to you — that you can shape your own destiny.

I’m inspired by his very existence to be the best person I can.

And then there’s travel. Even the smallest opportunity to be somewhere new, to see new sights, eat new foods … I’m in. Maybe that’s part of my current malaise; I have been at home too much lately.

So my contribution to the challenge isn’t the best photo I’ve ever taken, but it’s the shot that reminds me of the things I love (and actually I’m pretty fond of Cambridge too), and that get me out of bed in the morning.

You can see more bloggers’ Inspirations at the Daily Post.

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Post Photo Challenge: half and half

Half for you, half for me. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Half for you, half for me. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Love shows itself in the smallest ways. A piece of ginger crunch, cut in two equal(ish) pieces and shared.

 

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge: theme half and half.

Here are a few other bloggers’ responses to the theme that I particularly like:

https://doublewhirler.wordpress.com/2015/07/19/half-and-half/

https://marantophotography.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/weekly-photo-challenge-half-and-half/

Daily Post Weekly Challenge: Half & Half

http://blog.photographybyalexk.com/2015/07/21/sunset-reflections-at-karekare-beach-in-new-zealand/

https://squarelamb.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/tallinn/

https://senkaustav.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/two-to-tango/

https://akebild.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/weekly-photo-challenge-half-and-half-3/

Split on the Diagonal

https://memoriesaremadeofthisblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/weekly-photo-challenge-half-and-half/

https://catiehannahphotography.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/weekly-photo-challenge-half-and-half/

https://jaapkroon.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/weekly-photo-challenge-half-en-half/

Half and Half

https://winedrinkingmummy.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/weekly-photo-challenge-half-and-half/