THE COLOR ORANGE The place of dreams, of rising sun, Burnt to orange when day is done. There is a place far over there– My soul’s true light, well lit her lair. On dusty roads of rusty hue, On tangerines where orange is true: Long ago finding fare, out of darkness finding truth:”The lattice of my heart saw fair.” East Africa, […]

via Into Africa: Then and Now — Lady Lorraine

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Five days and I leave for Africa, the place it all began…


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Into Africa: Then and Now


The place of dreams, of rising sun,
Burnt to orange when day is done.
There is a place far over there–
My soul’s true light, well lit her lair.
On dusty roads of rusty hue,
On tangerines where orange is true:

Long ago finding fare, out of darkness finding truth:”The lattice of my heart saw fair.”africa-orange-sunset

    East Africa, 1970-1974: My formative adolescent years were formed by her oranges: from  the ubiquitous cooking fires to the rusty orange roads to the bright bowl of tangerines my mother always had by our orange-cushioned couch.  Flame Trees of Thika or Out of Africa or Snows of Kilmanjaro provide an adequate taste, suggesting the power and pull of that lifeblood that Africa pours into your veins.  Africa gets in your blood.


And so, I’m going back.  Then I was young and now I am…old-er. Then I was hungrily wandering and now I am fully intentional, but both then and now I have questions and lessons to be learned. She will show me once again. but this time I hope to teach her–to help her through her biggest asset: her people. I’m in her blood and she’s in mine; I’m one of the many bitten by the Africa Bug.

That’s the why.  Next the how: One of my  high school friends in Rift Valley Academy has been ministering–teaching, preaching, travelling–in East Africa for decades.  She and her husband, the chancellor of Pan Africa Christian University, have invited me to spend next term there developing an ESOL program and Academic Learning Center.  I am thrilled, honored and excited to begin making the many preparations needed: from passport and visa, to travel bookings and inoculations, to lesson preparation and packing.

In 1970 my family moved from a small city on the flat, dry Canadian prairies to the lush, tropical foliage of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  And in 2017 I will go leave a huge, verdant, American city to return to the highlands and savannahs of Africa.  The circle of life.





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The Problem of Women’s Portraiture

Today, my 61st birthday, with a brand new IPad gift from my family (tucked safely away in a box beside me here in the dark) I do hearby begin an official blog. After years of writing–on envelopes, stickies, scribblers and overworked* journals–I am beginning by reposting (is that stealing?) the best piece I’ve read in a long while. Why? Because of its truth, its timeliness, its necessity and its redemptive power. You’ve set the bar very high, my daughter, but in doing so you have freed and challenged me…Thank you.
*Why can’t I get the word “bejewelled” accepted by auto correct?? Ha, this works too–ironically with more honesty.

Mitzi Starkweather Photography


So I’ll go with what I know. (Write what you know, that’s what they say.) I know self-image and how it relates to women’s portraiture. When I started doing boudoir photography six years ago I found myself diving into these problems pretty quickly– it was unavoidable. And after evenings and days and weeks of feeling crushed by their weight, I am writing about them now.

What if I said to you, woman, who do you want to be?

Present-tense. Not future. Who do you want to be now? Because there is no neutral when it comes to existence. There is no “I am not being anything” (more often disguised as  “when I am [something]…”

There is passive being and there is active being. Passive being is ruled by fear ; Active being by confidence.

So, the question remains: Who do you want to be?

We answer readily when the…

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Practical Portraits

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Light and Shadow – Mitzi Starkweather

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Originally posted on Mitzi Starkweather Photography:
Here’s what I wrote on Facebook last week in order to hold myself accountable: “This shoot will accompany a very personal blog post (once I finish putting all this stuff into words) and my…

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“…In the Vacant Places” by T.S. Eliot

Thank you B.D. Needed this to pass on to a confused young adult.

A Pilgrim in Narnia

ts eliot speakingIt is the weekend, and I am in the mood for a little treat. C.S. Lewis was a slow convert to T.S. Eliot’s poetry. In fact, Lewis was part of an entire club dedicated to mocking the modern poetry movement that Eliot led. Slowly, the common ground between Lewis and Eliot became greater and greater. First they shared some thoughts (and good disagreements) on literary criticism. Then they were both very close friends with Charles Williams. Later in life, their 1920s conversions and love for poetry came to the point of working together on a new English translation of the Psalms. In the end, they were friends. When Lewis anonymously submitted his memoir of the loss of his wife, T.S. Eliot knew immediately that it was Lewis. He kept the secret, and published A Grief Observedunder the name N.W. Clerk.

Lovers of 20th century poetry will be…

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