The Conversation


Before we begin this new experiment, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for stopping by last week and many, many thanks to those who shared your thoughts about blogging in general and what your blog means to you. It was enlightening and I learned so much. I have a new respect for the blogging platform. Now, instead of shutting down my blog, which I was really close to doing, I’m excited to continue…with all of you.


As mentioned last week I have an idea for a weekly post that I’d like to try. Many of you know I participated in a weekend long workshop with Mark Nepo. For those who don’t know him, he is a writer and a poet who shares his journey of spiritual inquiry. At the workshop he would share stories or poems, many his, others not…and then he would pose what he called “table questions” and then open it up for conversation with the group.


It was an uplifting and enlightening experience and I was wondering if it is possible to do something like that in a blog platform. What do you think? Perhaps we could take this one small step together, starting with this short story by Mark Nepo


The Oldest Conversation

I wonder, will anyone recognize us without our anger or our fear?

And if we stand here, softly in the open, will we be watered or just mowed down?

Wait. Now that you’re here, tell me about the moon and how deer dream of running water and how dogs are simply dogs.

Teach me – before we’re tossed back in – the Sanskrit of your eyes.


What I get out of this story is that if we shed our anger and/or fear to reveal who we are born to be, will we be nutured or shunned? I think that is the question we all ask ourselves and maybe that is why we sometimes hold our anger or our fear close to us like a protective blanket. I also like his asking for us to wait and tell him about the moon and how deer dream of running water and how dogs are simply dogs. Each of us know what we know, but we have the opportunity to be enlightened by learning what others know based on their experience if we listen. Try and see through their eyes.


Table Questions – comment only if you are comfortable doing so. There are no wrong responses.


Tell about a time when you put down an anger or a fear. How did it feel? How were you received by others?

Have you ever been privileged to hear someone else’s truth? What opened in you from that experience?


Thank you all again for being here today.

A note about the photographs – they were taken over the weekend at Greenlake Park in Seattle, WA. It is a lovely park with a large lake in the center. There is a 3 mile paved path around the lake, but also places in the grass and at the water’s edge to sit and enjoy. I take a lot of pictures like these but rarely share them. I mean, they aren’t incredible works of art ¬†or anything, but to me they reveal a certain quiet and introspective part of my character that I’ve been hesitant to share. So here I am, putting down my fear for the day.


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About Carol

Thank you in advance for respecting my art. All the images and text posted to this blog are owned my me and protected by copyright law. Copying any of the content here without permission is against the law and you know, not cool. Many thanks again.
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18 Responses to The Conversation

  1. Jana Vargas says:

    I continually put down fear – I have been asked to in the many times I have been tasked to uproot what is a comfortable, happy life in order for my partner to follow his path – Fears abound, changes in homes, downsizing earnings, letting go of what is familiar and satisfying, uprooting my life and finding a new one in a new place. – That is why so much of my journey is one of spirit, I take that with me where ever we go. When I find my self spiraling in anxiety over change, I constantly remind myself of all I will be asked to let go of one day and it makes the changes less daunting. Beyond the fear and anxiety of change, new options and opportunities have always greeted us, new friends can be found and old friends are still with you no matter where you go. This is what I have learned when I have out down fear.

    • Carol says:

      Thank you dear friend for sharing the fears you have faced and how you have dealt with them. I’ve known you for quite some time & I have to say that I have long admired your ability to adapt to adjust to a new home and a new environment time and time again. And you are so right, the really important things travel with you wherever you go. xo

  2. Ann Davis says:

    You continue to amazing me. I have learned so much from you. Your grace and dignity beyond words. When you shared about your breast cancer. I really appreciated that. Such a safe place but also showing the courage and the importance to live and go on everyday. I live with an illness that change my course in life. Because of that my confidence at Most times is 0. So even posting pictures is a struggling and feeling that they are good. But because of individuals like you and others in the studio I do post pictures and am being to see my work as beautiful.
    Thank you
    Ann Davis

    • Carol says:

      Thank you Ann for sharing that. Life illnesses are no joke and you are brave to face it head on and following your passions. I enjoy your photography very much. I think your images speak to your love of nature.

  3. Good to see you here, while I haven’t followed Mark Nepo I always have appreciated the quotes you have given on your blog. You have a wonderful style about you. I disagree with you saying your photos today are not anything special. I always love photos like this as opposed to made up still life’s. Don’t get me wrong I still love still life but they don’t speak that special “in real time” experience for me as these do. A moment in time real time spent enjoying a beautiful day. We all have favorite types of photography, mine being flowers just whisper the goodness to me. I always wish you wonderful things in your photography journey where ever that might lead you. That is the joy of the unexpected.

    • Carol says:

      Thank you so much Barb for your kind words. The joy of the unexpected…like meeting you at Oasis! So glad I followed my heart and attended that event.

  4. Annie Veas says:

    I love your blog. It’s beautiful!

  5. Beverly says:

    First off Carol, I want to thank you for following your heart and sharing a new topic here today. In my eyes, you are a natural leader…gently prodding those along who are not (one being me). Such a thoughtful question, whether we’ll be nurtured or shunned for laying down anger or fear. I would hope a person would be nurtured…after all, everyone wants to be accepted, liked, and even nurtured. Whether small fears or angry times, or consuming, often times a person uses these as you say, as a security blanket. I’ve let down a few fears through photography sharing, by opening my blog to strangers. I was totally not comfortable with doing that several years ago. Some days I’m still not comfortable with the blog, and thus I only post pictures, and very little words. Your photography is beautiful…I love the black and white’s from the park…I feel like I’ve entered the pages of your day, for just a few minutes, and I can linger and enjoy something I’ll never see in person.

    • Carol says:

      Thank you Beverly for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and offering your kind comments. I should tell you I have never, ever thought of myself as a leader and my life before cancer was one where I kept my head down and plodded through my life attending to life’s daily chores. I did not speak up for myself, nor share my artwork. However, the life after cancer has been a different story. Through my journey through that difficult time I cam to realize that I needed to start standing up for myself, to follow my heart as much as I can. It is not easy and I often retreat into myself. Being the person we were born to be is a never ending practice!

  6. Julia says:

    One of the hardest things to do, I feel, is being vulnerable. Fear of what others think of us can be so disabling. I’m still learning to speak out and share bits of myself

    • Carol says:

      Thanks so much Julie for contributing to the conversation. Indeed, dealing with the feeling of vulnerability is hard to do. All we can do I think is what you are doing, speaking out, showing yourself, bits at a time. You are wise.

  7. Sherry G. says:

    Carol, I commend you for taking this tack with your blog for many reasons. It’s not easy to ask deep questions and stimulate more than superficial conversation in any venue these days — and yet it is sorely needed. You are taking a risk and I do so admire that. The way I relate to your question is that I think there are many reasons we don’t want to expose our souls to each other and that we even hide our authenticity from ourselves. But to me the task of the later years is precisely to become who you really are — and to show that to the world without shame or fear. I can relate to how cancer changed you — not because I have had it but because I have witnessed the journey of someone very close who has — and that accompanying the person on that journey changed me profoundly and made me realize how very precious are honesty and kindness and generosity, and oh my goodness “love” — but not just familial love, which most are comfortable with, but a wider love for the world and all its sentient beings — whether or not we understand them or share their experiences. If the planet is to survive for future generations, we have to cast the net wider and push ourselves more to understand “the other” but to do this we really have to start with ourselves and embrace and forgive our humanness and imperfections.

    • Carol says:

      Bless you Sherry for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate your kind comments. I too yearn for conversations that scratch below the surface. I know we all have these things we are thinking about and issues we are struggling with. So helpful to speak to others about these things. We are indeed in need of a wider love for the world and all its beings.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I think it would be safe to say that most of us face fear . . . mostly comprised of self doubt and feelings of inadequacy and artistic souls seem to be more infected than most. Are we good enough, I am not as good as . .. , will this be judged unfavourably by my peers, my family doesn’t get me, my friends don’t get me, etc., etc. I personally have had all those issues cross my path and at times it makes you feel so unworthy. Why is someone with a law, accounting or doctor degree perceived as being more valuable to society than an artist who brings joy and beauty to a clinical world. I love the idea of table questions and have often done that at dinner parties. It is an amazing tool for drawing people out and for getting to know their soul.

    • Carol says:

      Thanks for stopping by Carolyn. I love that you have table questions at your dinner parties and agree that having these kinds of conversations help to know each other better.

  9. Karen Olson says:

    Carol, I had to think about your post for quite a while before responding.

    I really long to have that conversation. The one where the depth of human emotion is explored and talked about and seen in all reality. I personally want to explore with visual poetry, words and images.

    My fear is that in my exploration I discover the depth of emotion locked inside me. Do I dare let it out? In public no less?
    Perhaps slowly, carefully, methodically. Perhaps first as you have done here with moody landscapes and maybe later with figurative imagery. Perhaps.

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