Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Winter is here in full force. Snow is falling everywhere and the roads are quite treacherous. It is beautiful, though.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Christmas Penguins

Whitney participated in a musical Christmas program at her school. She got to dress up like a little penguin, along with about 20 other kids. It reminded me of March of the Penguins as they danced across the stage. It was really quite endearing to see them. Of course, Whitney was the cutest, but that's just my bias.

I would have posted a picture for everyone to see how cute she is, but a lot of other children appear in the picture, so I decided to not infringe on their privacy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I waited six months for this beautiful picture. It was worth the wait.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Canadian Geese fly over my head; the number 7 represents the members of my little family...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Teasel covered in snow...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Cover My Tracks

Mornings are usually difficult for me, but today I woke up at 5:00. Strangely, I felt alert and ready to begin my day. Immediately, I set out to tidy up some unfinished business; school work I left scattered and undone until now.

After three hours in the quiet, typing away on the computer, I suddenly felt sick and needed to get out of the house. I think my spirit needed to re-connect with the earth; to breathe fresh air again, to feel the sunlight on my skin. Homework can wait at least one more hour as I bundle up in my warm clothes and take a long walk in the outdoors.

It snowed last night; the world is quiet and new. Without the sounds of a hectic life to distract my attention, my feelings begin to move, like chunks of ice breaking away from the frozen body of everything I stuffed away. People don't talk about my feelings in polite society; anger, remorse, despair, revenge, bitter frustration; but as I walk among the snow-covered trees, I leave the world of humans behind. The trees never judge. They never laugh, or point, or disapprove. They never tell me I'm wrong to feel the way I do. All the world watches under a blanket of white; so open, so utterly open, and filled with light.

I've walked this path a hundred times, but today I notice things I never saw before. I always thought the field at the bottom of the hill was just one solid mass of vegetation, but the new-fallen snow reveals a network of deer trails, crossing each other and all lit up in white against the brown, sleeping grass.

A new trail calls me to follow the river downstream. Just then, a great blue heron lunges from his perch in the highest branch of a cottonwood tree. He makes a loud, gutteral cackle as he flies away. I realize I've seen dozens of great blue herons in my life, but I never heard one speak until now. The newness of the sound surprises me. As I watch the great bird flying away, another great blue heron appears on the horizon, and then another, and another. They seem to dance as they circle one another and join their voices in a coarse, but haunting song.

As I continued my walk, I came to a large, open field near a pond filled with thousands of ducks and Canadian geese. It reminds me of a dream I once had: the geese sang me a song and told me to not give up on life.

In that exact moment, as I reflected on my dream, seven geese left the flock and began to circle above me. They circled above me over and over again for at least 20 minutes and reminded me of every prayer I ever made for my little family to be restored. They reminded me of every tear I ever shed since losing Anthony and Derrick. They reminded me of every time I thought my life was over, but then some miracle brought me back from the edge of despair; of every time I thought I had nothing left to live for, but then I remembered the tender faces of my children looking toward me to show them beauty in this world. I heard them calling me as they circled, and all I could do was stand there in the open field and weep.

So many times I asked them to make my life the way it was before, but today I raised my voice and said:

"Spirit; give me wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong. Give me wisdom to know when to hold on and when to let go. Give me wisdom to know how to hold on when it's time to hold on, and how to let go when it's time to let go."

I walked home cleansed and refreshed, and I remembered my father saying he began a new year every time the snow fell. "The snow covers my tracks," he said, "Everything that was past, is gone now, and everything starts new."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Saint Paul's United Methodist Church houses the Spokane Interfaith Council...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

I saw this really cool yellow house with a tree while I was waiting for Kateri...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Odds and Ends of a Busy Day

I had a meeting at work, and I got a paid photography gig taking pictures of a friend's grandchildren. That was a lot of fun. Kateri and Sara of the Spokane Interfaith Council met with me over dinner to discuss final details of Camp P.E.A.C.E. this upcoming week. A client called me afterwards and tried to get me to kick her daughter's boyfriend out of her house. Oh, the drama. "If he's really that dangerous, you need to call the police." I said. Man, I'm tired.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

a pond near the Little Spokane River...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

geese in flight...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Afternoon Walk

I decided to do something productive with my day, other than sit at my computer; so I took a long walk behind the Bozarth Retreat. I took some awesome pictures of nature, including one of many flocks of Canadian geese which flew over my head.

bird's nest...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

The New Faces of Narcissism

I've not been feeling well the last few days, so I didn't get out much to take pictures. I was going to do a blog entry on the Christmas lights on my house (woo-hoo!), but I didn't do it for two reasons:

1) It's boring.

2) Any escaped convict or crazed psychopath surfing the web could easily identify my house by the picture. Who knows what they might do to my family then??? (I know it's a little melodramatic, but it's possible, but certainly more exciting than what I was going to post earlier).

So, with no amazing photgraphs to capture your interest or dazzle the senses, you're left with another photo-creation based on my personal sense of narcissim and self-aborption. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I will, but I doubt it:)

Of course, I retain copyright of all these photos. Would a narcissist have it any other way?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Elder Skaggs and his new companion, Elder Jacobson.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Missionary Transfer

Wo unto us, oh inhabitants of Brentwood (in North Spokane); for our beloved Elder Stahura did go the way of the Jungle and receive his transfer to Spokane Second Ward. May God have mercy on his soul, as he ministers to the inhabitants of the West Central Neighborhod, also know as Felony Flats for its abundant wickedness.

Elder Stahura's faithful companion, Elder Skaggs from Spanish Fork, Utah, visited our home as eventide fell upon us, and behold, it came to pass that he did introduce his new companion, Elder Jacobson of Las Vegas, Nevada, to the inhabitants of this household, yeah, even unto all the homes of Brentwood Ward. And it came to pass that those who were members of God's Church, and who made covenents with him in the waters of baptism, and yea, all those who did receive the Holy Ghost received him with rejoicing and an open heart.

And it came to pass, that I, Moses, did raise my voice unto these men of God and said, "Brethren, what testimony would you declare to all the ends of the earth by means of words I shall write?"

Elder Skaggs spoke first, and declared with deep solemnity of heart, "Wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10).

Elder Jacobson also pondered what words he should send forth unto the nations, and with words of soberness he did declare, "The Lord delighteth in the chastity of women" (Jacob 2:28).

Interesting testimonies, aren't they? I'm going to see if I can get them to tell something a little more heart-felt and real.

Until then...happy blogging!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The sanctuary of Saint Mark's Lutheran Church.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Gennagiy Kotenko and Natalya Gnatenko are singers from Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church. They sang several Russian language pieces during the interfatih service.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Thanksgiving Interfaith Service

The Spokane Interfaith Council hosted an annual Thanksgiving Day Service at Saint Mark's Lutheran Church. They originally planned to hold services at Temple Beth Shalom (a Jewish Synagogue), but vandals recently destroyed five security cameras on site and created an unacceptable risk to worshippers. The venue changed at the last moment.

The service was beautiful. We heard speeches from Pastor Alexander Kaprian of Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church, Reverend Clare Austen of Unity Church of Truth, Bishop Martin Wells of Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ameena Aamer from the Spokane Islamic Center, and Steve Rorie of Soka Gakkai International (Buddhist). We also heard music from many faith traditions, including Christian music from Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church, Jewish music from Temple Beth Shalom, and Hindu music sung by Aruna and Chandan Bhuta. Everyone who spoke or presented musical selections touched upon the theme of peace between all the world's peoples and religions.

The most moving music I heard today was a song called "Peace Will Come:"

Od yavo shalom Aleinu, od yavo shalom Aleinu,
Od yavo shalom aleinu, v'al kulam.
Salaam, aleinu v'al kol haolam,
Salaam, salaam.

Peace will come to us, peace will yet come to us,
Peace will come to us, and everyone.
Salaam, peace for us and for all the world,
Peace, peace.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I modified this picture of Sacagawea using Photoshop Elements.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Sacagawea (erroneously called Sacajawea) leads the way for Lewis and Clark. This statue in her honor stands on campus at EWU.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Eastern Washington University

My family and I drove to Cheney this afternoon to turn in my resume at Eastern Washington University. I'm applying for a job working with Chicano/Latino students and other minorities. The job announcement requires applicants to speak both Spanish and English and be bi-cultural. I am bilingual and bi-cultural, but in a slightly different way. My two primary languages are English and Spanish, and my two cultures are American Indian and White.

In other news, I'm still gimping along with my broken camera, wishing I could take pictures with the now-defunct special features. I did manage to get a few good shots using what few features I have left. In fact, I got a few good shots of a statue on campus honoring Sacagawea and her infant son Jean Baptiste.

I'm not feeling so well tonight. I think I'll stay home from class and go to bed early.

Monday, November 21, 2005

the interior of Saint Paul's United Methodist Church...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Camp P.E.A.C.E. Meeting

I met with Kateri Caron at Saint Paul's United Methodist Church to discuss Camp P.E.A.C.E. It's a camp for high school age kids to promote diversity awareness and tolerance. She is asking me to use my background in teaching to align her program with state educational standards. More on that later.

Oh, the tragedy and despair!!!

A terrible thing happened the day before yesterday; I dropped my camera and broke it. Well, I can still take basic pictures, you know, the old "point-and-shoot" sort of pictures, but all the really cool functions are disabled. I can no longer use the time lapse function to take photographs of objects at night, or the interior of buildings. I can't tell you how horrible I feel!

I spent the better part of this morning trying to find some way to get a new camera and not have to pay a ton of money. Unfortunately, the warranty expired and reparis will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $140. How horrible!

I tried to stay optomistic and take regular pictures during my errands today, but I felt totally handicapped. For example, I got to see the interior of Saint Paul's United Methodist Church, and would have loved to take pictures of the sanctuary, but alas, I could not.

It's been awful. Did I mention I feel horrible?

If any of my faithful readers care to send condolences, or make donations for a new camera, please let me know (wink).


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Extreme Makeover Home Edition

We got to witness part of the filming of Extreme Makeover Home Edition in Sandpoint, Idaho. Check out the pictures and stories below.

The Hebert home as it appeared on Saturday morning.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Ty Pennington received the key to the castle.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

The Hebert Family checking out their new home...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Michael Moloney.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Eduardo Xol gave me his autograph.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Ed Sanders from Extreme Home Makeover posed with Dakota.
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Extreme Makeover, Home Edition: The Reveal

My little family drove back to Sandpoint, Idaho to watch the famous reveal. Once again, we parked in a lot about a mile away and rode to the home site in a shuttle provided by Schweitzer. Unlike Thursday, thousands of people arrived before us and formed a huge line.

When we arrived at the home site, I saw people playing bagpipes outside of a castle playhouse in the back yard. A man dressed as a medieval knight knelt and presented a large key to the host of the show. Ty Pennington received the key and waved it over his head shouting, “I have the key to the castle!” On Thursday, we waited all afternoon and never saw anyone from the show, but today we saw Ty Pennington within the first few minutes.

Later in the day, my kids got autographs from several members of the cast: Paige Hemmis, Michael Maloney, Ed Sanders, and Eduardo Xol. We also got a few really awesome pictures. Ed Sanders posed for two pictures with Dakota and Whitney. We waited for Ty Pennington to sign autographs, but he never approached the public.

Of course, the most exciting part was the actual reveal. We got to see the limousine, and we shouted “Move that bus!” with other members of the crowd.

The family consists of a single man and his niece and nephew. Apparently, his sister died some time ago and left her children to him. We saw them when they came out the back door of the house. One of the kids shouted about the new hot tub on their new deck, and then they were invited into the playhouse by Ed Sanders.

In all, we spent five hours at the home site, and it was worth the wait. Our kids will have new bragging rights at school for a few days.

Friday, November 18, 2005

i got another amazing shot of this tree in the fog and the blue moon shining behind it...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

ARMS Meeting

Yesterday Rhonda and I attended a planning meeting for the upcoming ARMS Banquet on March 4, 2006. As you may recall, ARMS (Abuse Recovery Ministry and Services) is a Christian ministry for abused and battered women. They offer outreach to women in abusive relationships, education for pastors, and meetings for men who abuse. Ophelia asked us to raise awareness in the community and find sponsors for the banquet. I'm excited for the work we're doing with this organization.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

This home is being built by Extreme Home Makeover in Sandpoint, Idaho...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Mark Peterson of KXLY News 4 in Spokane...he was the only "celebrity" we managed to see on the Extreme Home Makeover site...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Extreme Home Makeover in Sandpoint

My family drove to Sandpoint, Idaho this afternoon to watch a portion of Extreme Home Makeover. Rhonda and the kids watch the show faithfully every week, and enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to participate when they learned of the filming nearby. During the entire drive, Dakota could hardly contain his excitement. “I’m going to get Ty Pennington’s autograph!” He said over and over again.

Once we arrived in Sandpoint, a shuttle took us to the home site. The actual street was closed and guarded by police, so the shuttle was the only way for “spectators” to view the construction progress. The home was literally surrounded by portable cattle fences, creating a human corral for the public.

Of course, we hoped to see the stars of the show, but we had no such luck. We heard Michael (from the show) waved to a few people about a half hour before we arrived, but we never got to see any of the stars. We did see hundreds of workers wearing white hard hats and blue Extreme Home Makeover t-shirts. We also saw my cousin’s friend Gabe driving a small tractor on the home site (I believe he works for a local landscaping company).

We were disappointed to not see any celebrities, but we hope to return on Saturday for the reveal. The kids already practiced their lines numerous times: “Bus driver, move that bus!”

Well, we did see one local celebrity, Mark Peterson from KXLY News. He stood right next to us and told us about the home interior. He was waiting to speak with Ty Pennington and decided to mingle with us spectators while he waited. News coverage of the home is posted on the following website:

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

gratitude dinner...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Gratitude Dinner

Summer Quest sponsored a Gratitude Dinner at Positive Power Studios in honor of all those who helped make the organization a success over the years. Guests arrived early and decorated tables with fine dinnerware and candles to create an atmosphere of abundance, elegance, and thanksgiving. Rhonda presented a slide show documenting the history of Summit Quest, from its inception as a women's circle, through its evolution into women's retreats, and other workshops. Guests took turns sharing what makes them grateful in their own lives. The dinner was enjoyed by all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

we saw the most amazing purple sunset over our home tonight...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Purple Sunset

Glenda called home from work this evening and said I had to drop whatever I was doing and go outside to photograph the sunset. "You'll be amazed," she said. I was falling behind on a project at that moment, but she talked me into it. When I looked up into the sky, I was truly amazed. The sky was alive with a brilliant purple light. I was lucky enough to get a picture. I'm glad I set my work aside and took a moment to appreciate the beauty of the sky.

stained glass window inside Saint John's Cathedral...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

looking west inside Saint John's Cathedral...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Saint John's Cathedral - Interior

I returned to Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral in hopes of photographing the interior. I was in luck. I got some amazing shots of the stained glass windows and a replica of the Labyrinth at Chatres, France (see below).

A tour guide stopped to chat with me and invited me to join the choir. She even introduced me to th choir director and a young man who was playing the pipe organ. The choir sings every Sunday at 11:00. I love to sing, so I may actually join them when they begin rehearsals in January.

a beautiful eagle podium at Saint John's Cathedral...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Eagle Podium

After I finished walking the Labyrinth, I entered a nearby side chamber with various historical displays. The room had the most beautiful wooden podium shaped like an eagle with outstretched wings. The podium held a giant red Bible. It was quite beautiful to see!

in the center of the labyrinth...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Labyrinth at Saint John's

As I explored the interior of Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral, I discovered a replica of the famous labyrinth at Chatres Cathedral in France, printed on a giant canvas. The idea of walking a labyrinth intrigued me some years ago, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it.

A table was set up near the labyrinth with a paper describing the process. It reads:

"The Labyrinth is an archtype, a divine imprint found in many spiritual traditions, in various forms around the world...

"There is no 'right way'to walk a labyrinth. The labyrinth has only one path so there are not tricks to it and no dead ends. It is not a maze, but a unicursal path that winds throughout. You have only to enter and follow the path. It becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives; it touches our sorrows and releases our joys. So walk with an open mind and an open heart. The labyrinth is non-doctrinaire, non-judging, and non-competitive. Persons are at DIFFERENT places on the path, not better or worse, right or wrong. They are all on the SAME path journeying toward the ONE! This labyrinth is very ancient, very traditional, and very Christian! It is also very Jewish (Kabbala - Tree of Life), Buddhist (Walking Meditation), Hindu (Mandala), Native American (Hopi Medicine Wheel); IT IS UNIVERSAL!"

The pamphlet then describes three stages of walking the Labyrinth; first comes a process of "shedding," or in other words, as the participant follows the path and walks toward the center of the Labyrinth, he or she releases all the mundane cares of life and clears the mind. The second stage is called "illumination," which occurs when the participant reaches the center of the Labyrinth. At this stage, the person enters a deep state of meditation and prayer. The third and final stage occurs as the individual leaves the labyrinth by following the same path used to enter. This stage is called "union" and is a time of connecting with the Higher Power.

My personal experience of walking the Labyrinth was indeed quite spiritual. I was surpised by how long it actually took to follow the winding path toward the center, and then reminded how impatient I can be in my day to day life. As I let go if my impatience, I reflected on how God provides for me and sustains me in all I do. When I reached "illumination," I literally felt the presence of God washing over my entire body. I felt a cool, tingling sensation start at the crown of my head and wash over my body like flowing water. I left the center more quickly than I entered, and felt new resolve in my life goals and endeavors. Then as I took the final step out of the Labyrinth, the church organ started playing the most beautiful music. The timing was so amazing I laughed out loud.

Monday, November 14, 2005

saint john's episcopal cathedral...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral

I've been slacking the last few days when it comes to taking pictures, so I stopped by Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral to see if there were any good shots I missed from my last visit. It was such a beautiful, sunny day that I think the pictures turned out quite nice. I had hoped to take a picture of the stained glass windows with the sunlight shining through, but it was closed today.

a view of the historic architecture on the rookery block preservationists are trying to save...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

tractors are visible inside partially demolished buildings on the Rookery Block...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Rookery Block

I passed by the old Rookery Block this afternoon and photographed the wreckage. Someone purchased the block and plans to demolish it to make room for a surface parking lot. Preservationists have been fighting to save the historic block for a long time, but seemed destined to fail. However, I just saw on the news that the Spokane city council is working to make a last minute deal to save the block.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

i didn't take any pictures today, so i'm left with one i took a few weeks ago...from browne's addition, spokane...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

It is finished...

My children invited me to hear them sing at church services today. Dakota and Whitney even had speaking parts. They looked so proud standing before the congregation, and I was proud to see them.

After many hours and days, we finally finished Rhonda's office. We decorated the office entirely with photographs I have taken. We plan to display pamphlets of my photographs for people to purchase if they choose. Rhonda will officially open for business tomorrow morning.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

McKenna's baptism...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

McKenna's Baptism

Rhonda's father and grandmother are visiting us from Arizona, mostly to attend Tucker's and McKenna's baptisms. Ron baptized and confirmed McKenna in a brief service tonight. Lanith gave the talk on baptism, and Glenda gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. Grandma Great gave the closing prayer.

Friday, November 11, 2005

sacred heart catholic church in the time i got to wellpinit, it was already quite dark, but the church was all lit up as I drove by, so i stopped to take a picture. my father is buried behind this church, along with many other relatives...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Rhonda's Office

I'm feeling much better today than I did yesterday.

Rhonda, Dakota, and I spent most of the day preparing Rhonda's office for the grand opening on Monday. We pieced together furniture and hung pictures on the wall. We decorated the office entirely with photographs I have taken over the last year. Trent also helped, and started building shelves in the closet. By late afternoon, the office came together beautifully and looked like a respectable place to conduct business. Both Rhonda and I were quite pleased with the results.

Afterwards, I drove to Wellpinit to sweat and met some old friends. It was a good day.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

this photograph fails to show the true majesty and beauty of tonight's sunset...
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.

Feeling Blue

So, after my excursion into ego-land yesterday (posting 8 separate pictures of me), I returned to my senses and rejoined the world of sanity and humility. Actually, I felt relatively depressed most of the day; sort of "under the weather," though the sky was brilliant and clear. Mostly I'm discouraged by misunderstanding between friends, though I don't care to recount the exact circumstances here.

I long for a day when everyone sees eye to eye (even if we disagree on some matters), and everyone cares for one another; but this must be a fantasy, a mythical Garden of Eden that never really existed, nor ever will exist.

Buddhism teaches us to find peace in the world by accepting the transient, impermanent nature of reality. Nothing is constant. Everything is illusion, and yet I still cling to desires, notions, and preferred outcomes. These factors no doubt create confusion and depression within me.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mood Swings Photo Strip

OK, so I'm going to admit I'm totally bored and did not photograph anything of interest today; I have very little to report out of the here you go: you get to see the many faces of might call them mood swings:) This piece was sort of inspired by the photo booth strips you can get in shopping malls where you see how many goofy faces you can come up with...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

whitney has been teaching mckenna how to read...isn't it wonderful?!?
Copyright © 2005 Barry G. Moses.