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First, the camera on my iPhone continues to surprise me. It can really grab low light:

Clockwise, starting at 12:Midnight:
“Djinn”, “Pequessa”, “Vlad”, “Una”, and “Venetian Qalico”

Alright then, on to the wordy stuff,….

Considering how often I’m nearly crippled with fear that my successes may’ve been no more than flukes, it’s with gratitude (and relief) that I discovered “Letters to a Young Poet” by Ranier Maria Rilke:

Your work needs to be independent of others’ work.
You must not compare yourself to others.
No one can help you. You have to help yourself.
Criticism leads to misunderstandings and defeatism.
Work from necessity and your compulsion to do it.
Work on what you know and what you are sure you love.
Don’t observe yourself too closely, just let it happen.
Don’t let yourself be controlled by too much irony.
Live in and love the activity of your work.
Be free of thoughts of sin, guilt and misgiving.
Be touched by the beautiful anxiety of life.
Be patient with the unresolved in your heart.
Try to be in love with the questions themselves.
Love your solitude and try to sing with its pain.
Be gentle to all of those who stay behind.
Your inner self is worth your entire concentration.
Allow your art to make extraordinary demands on you.
Bear your sadness with greater trust than your joy.
Do not persecute yourself with how things are going.
It’s good to be solitary, because solitude is difficult.
It’s good to love, because love is difficult.
You are not a prisoner of anything or anyone.

Some of these sing loudly to me.  I suspect that’s a nudge from my Muses:

You must not compare yourself to others.
My childhood was riddled with comparisons.  But it was my elders doing the comparing.

No one can help you.  You have to help yourself.
Yep.

Don’t observe yourself too closely, just let it happen.
Easier said than done.  Sometimes it’s much harder to not do something.

Be free of thoughts of sin, guilt and misgiving.
Oh, yes.  I’d rather be a hedonist.

Be touched by the beautiful anxiety of life.
That, with this —

Be patient with the unresolved in your heart.
— will require conscious effort.

Try to be in love with the questions themselves.
Hah!  Got this one nailed, baby!

Love your solitude and try to sing with its pain.
Pain is just another color for the palette.

You are not a prisoner of anything or anyone.
Ah.  This one wants to become a mantra.

Better than a fortune cookie.  I’m stronger, already.

– Ryl

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