LIFE LINES

The engines droned on and on as the fat-bellied plane continued on its path to a destination on the other side of the world. She was in a near stupor by now … the loud buzzing, the stuffy cabin, the narrow seats. It seemed the only defense was to slide into a state of fugue and let the hours slip away.

It took a little while before Maggie noticed the quiet little woman in the adjacent seat talking to her.

“I’m sorry, I was off in la-la land. What did you say?”

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The old woman smiled. “Hard to hear with all the noise. I asked you if you’d care to have your palm read. I have some small talent in such things … and I noticed you have an interesting pattern … Has anyone ever read it?”

“Oh,” she laughed, “Years ago when I was out in San Francisco. She didn’t know what to make of it because it didn’t make sense. She said I had the Sign of the Beast — whatever that means — but it didn’t matter because it was my left hand and I’m right-handed. But she wasn’t all that clear on the other hand either, so maybe she just wasn’t a very good palm reader.” She laughed again, a bit nervously.

The old woman raised an eyebrow. Maggie wondered how she did that. Raising a single eyebrow was so expressive, but she could never get one to go up without the other. Then, she sighed. “Which hand would you like?”

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Smiling, the woman answer “Your left. Of course. That is your soul. The right palm shows your life and events, but your soul … what you were given to do in this life … that is on your left.”

She looked at it for a long time then folded Maggie’s hand and wrapped her own hand around Maggie’s fist.

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“Your journey is long, complicated and unclear. You have power to change yourself and others, but many things, many people will take the power from you.” She looked sad.  Maggie twitched uncomfortably.

“Do you want to see the other hand?”

She shook her head. “No, it doesn’t matter. Yours is a unique path. Your story cannot be read on your hands. Or in the stars.” Then she became quiet, as did Maggie and the long miles drifted by in a loud buzzing of engines.

CEE’S COMPOSE YOURSELF : USING TWO-THIRDS OF THE FRAME

CEE’S COMPOSE YOURSELF PHOTO CHALLENGE: WEEK #10 USING 2/3 OF YOUR PHOTO FRAME

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From Cee:

As I promised in last week’s essay about the Rule of Thirds, I’m going to extend that discussion to cover what I call the Magic of Two-Thirds. Instead of putting your subject in one-third of the frame, use two-thirds, leaving the rest bokeh or negative space to accent your subject.

As with the Rule of Thirds, you can use the upper or lower two-thirds or the left or right two-thirds. I use two-thirds a lot with my flower photography, so you’ll see a lot of examples here. It’s great to use for any still life photography.

You can use the top and bottom two-thirds, but I find those are harder for me to frame, especially using the top two-thirds. Top weighted photos can look a little awkward sometimes. They can be quite effective if done right.

But enough words… let’s turn to the things that say a thousand words… some pictures!

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These are the proportions I use for most pictures flowers, gardens, and bouquets. These are also ideal proportions for many (most) portraits.

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I’ll try to include a variety of subjects. It think the important thing is to leave at least a quarter to a third of any picture more or less empty. If you make every part of the picture busy, it’s hard for the eye to find the main subject.

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This proportion is also important when designing a page for print or web. You need to make sure you have “white space” or it becomes difficult to read or focus.

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UP CLOSE KAITY PROM PORTRAIT

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Bi-tonal treament (warm-cold filter) on the Mumford River Dam

WHAT’S COOKING

Multi-tasking is a great concept. I’m usually pretty good at it. I can listen to an audiobook while I edit photographs, or play a simple game ( but I can’t listen to a book while I write or read). I can also listen to an audiobook, edit pictures, and cook. Usually.

As look as I remember what’s cooking.

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A lot of the cooking devices I use these days turn themselves off. They’re on timers. Both my oven, the big one that’s part of the range, and the convection oven. The rice cooker, and my microwave have timers too.

Which is how come I forgot, yesterday, that I was steaming shrimp while rice cooked. And while I was listening and assembling a photo post.

Until the moment when I smelled that old familiar acrid smell drifting on the breeze. The scent of torched food.

I haven’t burned anything that badly in a long time, probably more than 20 years. But I did it thoroughly. So completely I had to throw the entire pound of shrimp and worse, I had to toss the pot. That’s a major loss. I hope I can replace it.

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I’ve had it so long. I bought it at Lechmere, a great store which was put out of business for no good reason 20 some odd years ago. It sold all kinds of appliances and housewares … good stuff, not junk. None of the stores that rushed to fill the gap are half as good or carry the quality and variety you could find at Lechmere.

The moral of the story? When multi-tasking, remember what’s cooking.