Category Archives: Favorite Photos

Mastectomy: A Flowering Phoenix Rising

Photograph and poem and reading by Dan Windisch January 2, 2019

Click the play button above to hear the poem as read by the author Dan Windisch. You can follow along as you listen with the photos and poem below! This is part of my book “Alpha Martin and Omega Steed” available as an 8 1/2×11″ full color book on Amazon.com. Search for Dan Windisch on Amazon if you are interested in the book.
Paradox and pain
Who am I without my breasts?
A woman? Not?
Me? Not?
Who am I now?

Life or death, keep my Breast?
 
The easy smiling soft colored blondish woman
in the lightly red green and white faded loose cotton top,
Smiled gently and moved with ease
In our meditation workshop at Hollyhock.
 
She stood out in her quiet gentle beauty.
————
Evening in the hot tub.
 
Naked we sat
as the golden sun set
over shining blue waters.
 
Naked
she enters our waters.
 
Flat chested with a scar on one side,
and a tattoo of a pink carnation,
blooming,
on the other side.
 
She shines with beauty.
 
She talks of her pain of surgery, confusion.
Who was she? Was she a she?
Without her breasts.
 
She talked of her new blooming
And of the flowering tattoo
That was her new me.
More than breasts.
 
We are more than breasts or scars or bodies.
 
She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.

Northwest Fog, Rain, Reflections, and Reality


Poem and and reading and photographs By Dan Windisch 2018

Click the play button above to hear the poem as read by the author Dan Windisch. You can follow along as you listen with the photos and poem below! This is part of my book “Alpha Martin and Omega Steed” available as an 8 1/2×11″ full color book on Amazon.com. Search for Dan Windisch on Amazon if you are interested in the book.

For 69 years I grew up in, lived in, perceived in,
And will, in the not too distant future,
die in,
a land of mist,
reflections,
shades of rain,
and fog.

I grew up in lands of tall evergreen trees; 
Spruce, Douglas fir, and Cedar.
Trees formed, from fog, and rain, and days of occasional sunshine.


I grew up surrounded by Mountains that exist only in days of
glorious sunshine.
Even huge, magnificent, 14,408 foot, snow-covered, even in August,

Mount Rainier.
She often disappears, stops existing,
between the mists and clouds that covers us all,
Then, surprising us all, bursts out glorious,
and brightly snow covered,
in sunshine;  for a few days,
then disappears, again, As if, never having existed,
back into the mist.
Was she always there?
Are we always here?

I live in lands of rolling hills, covered by thick tall green trees,

and dense underbrush,
and wet dripping leaves,

and those marvelous Madrona (Mad Rona’s) trees 
with their shining when wet, bright red skins,
and red berries,
and regally red peeling bark (do you see her face in the bark? I do).

I live in Western Washington; Puyallup, Olympia, Lacey,

Dupont, Tacoma.
Don’t ask me for exact descriptions of people, places, and things.  
All adjectives and nouns slide into,
and out of
the fog, the mist, the varying shades of gray.

The joys of living in a land of mist, reflections, shades of rain, and fog?
No sharp
stabbing
reality.

The best aspect?
Sliding, mystical shape shifting Beauty, and a reality,
that slides from sunshine, to mist, to rain.
I hold, cherish, then let go, of everything,
even me,
back into the mist.

Yet, part of the my most beautiful, my most connected,

are the people, and moments of beauty and gratitude, that I so love,
They always remain in my soul,
even when I forget.
Even when they are hidden from memory by the fog, and the rain,

and the mist.
Like a dream, forgotten,
but still there,
Until I too slide back into the mist.

Currently, in this short moment in the long history of this land,
Currently in 2018, ours is a haunted land,
full of Walmarts, Costcos, strip malls, streets,  freeways full of cars
and frustrated, frightened,  angry, confused, lonely people,
glued to iphones, in hurried goings and doings,
to buy,
and store,
and throw away, and hoard, more and more.

Fearful people.
Yet also many kind, and good, and caring people.

Yet many of those that have more than their ancestors

could ever have imagined,
Are so full of fear of losing it all.
People unconsciously fearing Homelessness, which, realistically,
For most of them, is just a job loss,
and a few months away.
Scary thoughts, not thought about, but constantly there.  

I live in a land of homeless people,
with cats and dogs,
And too many clothes on hot days,
and needles on the ground,
and murmurings, and shoutings,



The pain?
No deep anything. Everything passes into, and out of, the mist.

Mist often leads me to,
the Mystical.
Homeless Please Help
and those with signs on too many street corners, ignored.
Veterans, beggars, Moms, down on their luck, or lazy?
“I need Help. Anything will do.”
“Why aren’t they working? Will they steal from me?”
Anger that they do nothing, while I work hard.
But do they need help? I’m sure some do. What do I do?

I’m both lucky and damned.  If I lost my job I would not lose it all.
I’m retired, have Social Security.
Yet I suffer from back pain, am blind in one eye,

and hurt most of the time.

Yet I am so grateful.

I still have a time, Just a little, (we die too soon)
before I die,
To cherish the mist, reflections, occasional sunshine, and

the mystical.

I will dance (if only in my soul) in the rain, and sun,
Reflect,
Stomp in the mud puddles,
Slide into and out of the mist,
and shades of rain,
And cherish our grandbabies,
as they marvel in the growing glory of it all.

Sacred Moment: Mt. St. Michel France

Photo Audio and Poem from Dan Windisch’s “Alpha Martin and Omega Steed” available on Amazon.

Sacred Moments read by the author Dan Windisch
I saw her in prayer.
 
And, sensing, in an instant, that sacred light, and posture, and place,
and time,
I respectfully, and slowly, and quietly, raised my camera
to my eye, and gently pressed the shutter release,
allowing the light to reflect onto my camera’s sensors,
this mystical moment, of
Her and God’s beauty, blending, melding, meeting, co-mingling,
communing,
in prayer, in a moment, sacred.
 
I love
The dazzling white light pouring through the three (Father, Son and
Holy Ghost) windows,
That brilliant light reflecting
on the altar, the tiled floor, her white Wimpled Coifed head cover.
 
I love
That brilliant Light resting,
on Her shoulder
leaning slightly-to-the-left, bent-in-prayer.
 
I love
That subtle light and shadow
on her puddled, circled robe,
on the floor,
like rings of a pond wave,
moving inward.
 
I love
that holy light
gently touching the red and white tiled floor, and softly reflecting on
Those thoughtfully shaped, centuries old, columns,
upholding it all.
 
I love
The tilt of her head
In contemplation and prayer.
 
I love
The red lit candle on the altar.
 
I love
That she is solitary, in prayer,
With her God.
 
I love
The carefree, and gorgeous flow, and shape, of her headdress,
As it wanders from her head, to her neck, and down her back.
 
I love
The flowing to the right
Of her white
Robe.
 
I love
How she kneels on that hard floor
Lost to everything, but God.
 
I love,
How in this moment,
She, I, God, that red candle, that light, that place, all of us,
are One,
in contemplation and communion.

Beauty in the photographs details: Summer Backlit Daisy

What I love about this lovely backlit Daisy:

I love how each white petal tip is uniquely beautiful, curved and pointed,
I love the orange yellow center, with their gorgeous geometric shapes,
I love the backlit whiteness,
I love the 2 companion daisies at the bottom of the photo,
I love the darkness contrast of the background.

 

 

The photo also reminds me of HAL in 2001 A space odyssey, 
where he sings “Daisy” as he is being dismantled by Dave.
“I’m scared Dave… will I dream?”

 “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do
I’m half crazy all for the love of you
It won’t be a stylish marriage
I can’t afford a carriage, but you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.”

Beauty in the photographs details: Lily B&W

Below is the original photograph, and the final edited photograph of the lily.

I wanted to emphasize the gorgeous nature of the Lily, eliminate the distraction of the background, eliminate the orange of the stigma, and make the background black. What remains is the awe-inspiring shapes, curves, and texture of this amazing flower!

Beauty in the photographs details: Hollyhock Chair Boat

There is so much in this photograph that I love.

The place itself I love. It is the Hollyhock Retreat center on Cortes Island in British Columbia, a beautiful, remote, and Magical, Transformative place, especially in the summertime. I first went there in 1978 And attended a 13 week long Resident fellow program with a different workshop each week. I attended a dream workshop where I learned that I was Dan, Dan, The rainbow man, a healer and a teacher. And for the last 45 years, I’ve lived being a Healer and a teacher. I learned about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin),The bodhisattva of compassion. I learned it from John Blofeld, that Very British China convert, Who wrote so beautifully about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin), and also  translated the I Ching. John Blofeld so enjoyed his afternoon tea :). I learned about the I Ching, and Tarot cards. And I learned from the wind, the trees, low and high tides, I learned from the lapping of the water, BJ, Whiskey and orange juice, early morning sunshine, the wonderful gardens, and even more wonderful vegetarian meals. I learned by working with Bill Glackman, now a lifetime friend, doing handyman work around the then COld Mountain Institute.

But what do I love about this picture! I love the early morning light, with the side-light and long shadows. I love the empty chair and the empty boat, both waiting for us/me/you.

I can feel myself sitting in that chair, with my eyes closed, warm, with the sunshine on my face and arms in the cool morning, and ever so gently, I feel a slight breeze. With each breath, I breathe in the light, salty smells of the sea. I hear the gentle lapping of water on the beach. I hear the bird calls of morning,  welcoming the new day. That chair is a place to simply be, mindfully and appreciatively.

The empty boat, red and white and waiting, Is not about mindfulness. The empty boat is about adventure awaiting! Come,Let us row away to adventure! Morning is the time for both contemplation and beginning of adventures! I love that in this photograph.

I love the colors, the greens of the grass and the tree. I love the shades of blues in the sea, and in the mountains across the sea.  I love the bands of lighter color blue on the water.

I love how small I am in that early morning light, And how big that quiet sea is,  and how the shrouded mountains are at the top the photograph.

I love the lines of the small waves, lapping towards the shore.

I love the juxtaposition of the living Green tree, the stump, and the wooden chair. Three stages of existence?

I love the variations between the rocky shore, The tidal zone with it’s small rocks and mud , and the two big rocks In the nearby shallow water.

When I look at this picture, I feel gratitude, the hopes of a new morning, The beckoning of mindfulness and adventure, and the sheer beauty of it all: colors, bands of blue and green, and waves, sea, trees, shore, chair, boat, and distant mountains… and ME!

Dan’s “Images of Peace” art show at St. Placids in Lacey May 19 7-930pm

Below are my photos that I will be sharing and selling at  the “Images of Peace” Art Show at St. Placid Priory in Lacey, WA on May 19 7-930pm.

Tickets are available at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2906826

I find that these photos bring me a sense of peace, and I hope that they also do that for you!

Dan

 

Our first daffodil of Spring 2017

 

Our first daffodil of Spring! It reminds me of the quote from one of my favorite movies, “City of Angels” where Nicolas Cage reads the following from Hemingway. Cycles, and even pain, end, as flowers bloom once again.

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Beauty in the photographs details:Teapots

I love this photo! 

 

I love this photo and put a lot of work into it. I wanted to emphasize the teapots, the linen, the reflections, and therefore made everything but the table and the teapots into a black background.

What do I love in this photograph?

The T shape folded white tablecloth and the detailed weaving of that tablecloth.

The white teapot in the foreground, with its beautiful curved elegant handle shaped perfectly for pouring. The gentle curved classy but deliberately understated spout, that white 5 petaled rose on the knob of the cover, and that so wonderfully curved reflection of light on top. I love the reflection of the trees of the garden and the afternoon sun on the front of the teapot. That teapot is elegant perfection in the service of tea! Yet, we often don’t see it. Thinking about something else, we just pour our tea.

The blue handled, blue spouted, Blue topped, colorful teapot in the background. I love the colors, the flowers, the orange with yellow dotted bottom. I love the shape of the handle and the tear drop shaped top handle. I love the bright light and shadow of the afternoon sun on the teapot. I love the shape and The light and  the shadows of the blue handle against the black background.

I love the light of the sun and the shapes it makes on the tablecloth at the top of the photo.

I love how the teapots in their simple elegant beauty, and the tablecloth, and the sunlight on the tablecloth are the stars of this photograph. Yet, the tea cup and the plate with the scone almost hidden at the top are also part of the photograph.

For me, this is almost a perfect photograph that brings me great joy, and great remembrances of the teahouse in Victoria British Columbia.

Sacred Places: Christ Walking on Water, Stained Glass Rotorua New Zealand

Christ Walking on Water, Stained Glass from Saint Faith’s Anglican Church, Rotorua, New Zealand

Near bubbling mud pools,

and the 90 foot Pohutu Geyser,

and a  Maori village,

This is my photo of

a stained glass of Christ

in Maori robes

seemingly walking on the waters

of Lake Rotorua.