When My Own Words Fail Me

I am leaving in a few hours to fly out to Los Angeles to visit two of my sons, one who lives there and one who has been interning there all summer.  I am more than a little excited to spend some time with my sons in sunny (and much cooler than the Midwest) California and then to make a wandering journey home by way of Land Cruiser–a journey that is sure to be ripe with photo and blogging opportunities and mother/son bonding (and yeah, that last bit was meant to be funny).

I am also more than a little stressed.

And it’s not just pre-flight jitters.  I had every intention of writing a new blog before taking off on my next grand adventure, but I waited until my final hours at home to finish the laundry, to stuff my suitcases (and then to empty and re-stuff them when I realized I had exceeded the weight limit), to make a few, obligatory housecleaning swipes here and there, to pay the end-of-the-month bills, to play with my camera, to read my book, to check out the latest on Facebook and Pinterest, and . . . well, you get the picture.  I ran out of time.

So, instead of desperately trying to come up with my own words of wit and wisdom when my frazzled brain is no longer functioning properly, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite, inspirational quotes from minds much greater than mine–and to pair those quotes with some of my favorite photos that I have taken recently.

Please note that I don’t profess to be a great photographer; I am, however, an aspiring one who is ever so slowly shuffling around the learning curve.  These photos aren’t necessarily the best examples of my work but rather the ones that, for individual reasons, speak to my searching soul.  As the acclaimed American photographer Imogen Cunningham said, “Which of my photographs is my favorite?  The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” I hope you enjoy!

NOTE: To see a larger version of any picture, simply click on it.  And please remember that all photos are copyrighted and can’t be used without my permission (I’m bossy like that).


 “Here I came to the very edge 
where nothing at all needs saying, 
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea, 
and the moon swam back, 
its rays all silvered, 
and time and again the darkness would be broken 
by the crash of a wave, 
and every day on the balcony of the sea, 
wings open, fire is born, 
and everything is blue again like morning. ”
–Pablo Neruda 


“Peace is always beautiful.”
–Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass


“There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal:
to convey to others what we are.
And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence
in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song –
but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.”
― Pablo Neruda


 “Be soft.  Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let the pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
–Kurt Vonnegut


“I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.” 
― James Kavanaugh, from Sunshine Days and Foggy Nights


“Don’t be scared to walk alone.  Don’t be scared to like it.”
–John Mayer


“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think,
all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read,
and all the friends I want to see.”
–John Burroughs


“The earth is art; the photographer is only a witness.”
― Yann Arthus-Bertrand, from Earth from Above


“Not all those who wander are lost.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

“The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd.
The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”
–Albert Einstein


“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.”
― Rumi

About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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17 Responses to When My Own Words Fail Me

  1. emjayandthem says:

    …stunning! Thank you for sharing your bright, beautiful photos with those wonderful quotes; I will revisit and bookmark this 🙂

    Have a safe, happy trip .. and don’t pressure yourself on the blogging. Enjoy the moments with your boys… the blog will write itself in due time.


    • Thank you, MJ–I’m glad you enjoyed my photos and the quotes. And I’m sure the trip will be perfectly delightful with no time to worry about anything more than where we’re going to dine and which beach we’re going to visit. 🙂

  2. Donna Circle says:

    Illustrious!!! ’nuff said.

  3. SUE says:

    When you aren’t laughing, be smiling & just have fun and be safe. We already know that you will and we will all be here thinking about you. Love your pix and quotes today, as always.

  4. Kip Light says:

    As some guy from a long time ago said “Seize the day” (or in this case, lots of days!) Lovely pics, lovely words, what else could we ask for. Take care and be safe on your slightly gender-bent version of Thelma and Louise [voice in head : please excuse his warped sense of humor, just be glad you don’t have to listen to everything that goes on in here] We’ll be waiting here patiently to hear all about it when the time is right 🙂

    • Thank you, Kip! I’m already enjoying my time with my sons and some beautiful southern California weather. The temperatures here are about 30 degrees cooler than the temps back home in the Midwest, which really doesn’t make sense to me. And as for that voice inside your head, I’m guessing the world is a much saner place because we aren’t privy to anyone else’s voices–I know my own would terrify the masses! 🙂

      • Kip Light says:

        [wide grin and wheezy laugh (the one I get when I’m really tickled)] Yes, the world is a much saner place without adding other peoples brainpan voices to our own. The coolness you’re experiencing out there are because of the proximity to the coast. If I’m not mistaken (like I usually am) I believe that there’s a lot of cooler than normal water flow on the left coast this year. No matter the reason, keep on enjoying it!

      • You’re right about the proximity to the coast affecting the weather–I could definitely get used to this!

      • Kip Light says:

        Every time I’ve been out that way, I’ve loved it (well, except for the traffic). Northern Cali is quite beautiful, too.

      • Yesterday was my first experience with LA traffic–didn’t much care for it. 😉 But the overall beauty is a worthy trade-off. I’ve not been to northern California and won’t make it that far this trip, but I do hope to some day.

      • Kip Light says:

        If the Sacramento area is still pretty much as it was 8 or so years ago, it’s a great place. You can even tell my first ex hello, LOL. It’s only a couple hours from South Lake Tahoe, which was gorgeous the last time I visited it. Big Bear Lake is also only a couple hours from LA, too. I delivered a load of phone books there it was covered in snow. All the locals were all along the way to the top of the mountain playing in the snow like they’d never seen it before 🙂

  5. Wonderful stuff – have a great trip!

  6. Melissa Weaver says:

    Awesome pictures and quotes!

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