Little altars

morning has broken 003Morning has broken…

My cameras are with me most of the time. I don’t aspire to produce glossy, dreamlike photos, just a record of what I see. I was struck this first frosty morn by the one brown leaf on the hops hanging outside my bedroom window. It is the only window that doesn’t open so it isn’t screened.

As I’m getting used to one clear eye I like metaphors like “there isn’t a screen.” I’m a bit lopsided and I imagine I will be until after the second cataract is removed and that eye heals.

morning has broken 009

I experimented with taking pictures of other “little altars” in my room both with flash on and flash off. I do prefer the hazy dreamlike quality of this photo. The basket on the chair has served as one of my altars for many years – maybe 25. It is full of stones, disintegrating feathers, bones, snake skins, seed pods and lots of dust picked up over the years that sifts out the bottom each time I move the basket.

morning has broken 013

I haven’t thought about my tables and chairs piled with books and a bag of new art materials as altars until I read this description of altars from

“An altar can simply be a place where you come to reflect on the things you truly value–often deeper, more lasting, more eternal aspects of life. The objects on an altar are often symbols of larger ideas. Even family photographs are not just about the people themselves but also about your feelings toward family, community, love, and friendship. Objects–a rock or feather, even things you might not expect, like a poem, an old toy, or piece of clothing–can be, in the words of Theodore Roszak, in his book “Where the Wasteland Ends,” “a transparent doorway” to deeper realms.”

morning has broken 010                               One end of the pond from my window this morning…


About Marian Methner, B.S., D.Min.

Polydox: accepting that we are many labels, I am mother of 4, mother in law (love) of 4 and grandmother of 5. My life is a collection of bits and starts. I was recently on the road for over a year exploring ideas of living in shared housing. A recent summer course in Permaculture design, solidifed my interest in "social permaculture" or ways we interact not only with our Earthly environment but also with each other. I am back Bellingham, Washington, in a small rental house, owned by my ex husband, talk about shared housing, practicing living in community with family, and friends. My doctoral dissertation A Map to Living Open Heartedly, centers around making art as a way to healing. Paradoxiclly, a recent diagnoses of heart failure (cardiomyopathy) expands this exploration...
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One Response to Little altars

  1. Beautiful photos, Marian. All shrines; my favorite is the pond outside your window.

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