121. Hungry Postie (Humour 8)

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I don’t think our postie remembered to pack sandwiches this morning. This is how one of our pieces of correspondence (read bills) arrived on the doormat. I hope she doesn’t eat anything too important, or get indigestion. Perhaps her doctor told her to eat more lettuce. Letters. Get it? Oh dear. Sometimes my inner punmeister goes into overdrive and this is bad news for everyone around me. Again, both the imagination and the pun are ways of making connections, of mapping words, such as homonyms, to create new or humorous ideas. Contemplation and creativity are closely related. Both rely on innovation and connection, just as comedy does.

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

120. Simpsons Sky (Humour 7)

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When my husband and I saw this sky he started singing the theme tune from the Simpsons TV show. It took me a couple of seconds, and then I couldn’t stop laughing. It really does look like the cartoon clouds in the opening titles. Whenever we see a sky like this now we say, “Oh look, a Simpsons sky!” and so a new Wyattism is born. It is satisfying to make comedic connections. In fact, so much of comedy is about connecting unlikely things. If you have the sight to make those leaps, it enriches so much of life, communication, and contemplation.

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

119. Ent (Humour 6)

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This surprised Ent, or maybe a tree bear, in the wood stump outside our back door made me smile today.  He or she looks a little shocked. Or maybe about to burst into song? Do not underestimate the spiritual weapon of laughter – for those of us who are sensitive, or prone to bouts of depression, for those of us who are lonely or feeling hopeless – the ability to see something innocent to smile or chuckle at is priceless indeed.

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

118. Escaped Giraffe (Humour 5)

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Sitting in my carer’s car in the library car park, waiting for her to get the wheelchair out, I noticed that this tree seemed stripped of bark very high up (I’m not sure if you can see this, right in the middle of my photo?). My first thought was that there must be very tall deer around, and then I laughed at my silly imagination as I decided that it would make more sense if there were an escaped giraffe nearby. Perhaps he or she had stopped for a snack on the way to borrow a few books? The Long Neck to Freedom, maybe? Or something by Giraffery Archer?

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

117. No More Photos! (Humour 4)

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My cat here looks like she is tired of being bothered by the Pupparazzi. After all, one can’t look glamorous every minute of the day. Some people frown on anthropomorphism, but since I see animals as having souls and personalities, I enjoy it. Some of my British readers might be old enough to remember Animal Magic with presenter (and zookeeper) Johnny Morris. He would do voices for all the animals, and they were well-observed, funny and often, poignant. It helped birth in me a lifelong love and respect for animals and I think that, done with a self-conscious understanding, putting words in others’ mouths this way can often allow the joke to be on us! It can help us too, in our contemplative seeing, to recognise the “human” characteristics or behaviours in other species, so that we find out we are not so very different after all. It aids our inner poets and storytellers too, if we can imagine a ladybird going shopping, or a dandelion feeling the cold. Humour is often built upon empathy.

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

116. Bert and Ernie (Humour 3)

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This is the fabulous Cubist painting my talented husband did (without working from any photos) of two of our favourite characters from Sesame Street. I absolutely love it! Taking something familiar and reworking it using another cultural style or vision is something we can only do with a very free and wide-ranging imagination. To merge two such different references tickles us, it is humorous precisely because it is so original and so unlikely a combination, as well as because something for children’s entertainment isn’t usually given a highbrow treatment.

In this way, we see humour, imagination and juxtaposition all contributing to our seeing – even as onlookers rather than as the artist. Similarly, just as this gives us an insight into Rowan’s inner world, we can find ourselves learning more about God’s character and thought processes when we see his creativity all around us. Can you really declare God without humour once you have seen a duck-billed platypus or watched a bird balancing on one leg? And doesn’t he very often tickle our funny bone by dressing up fools as kings?

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017 Artwork copyright R R Wyatt, used with permission.

115. Moustache (Humour 2)

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Okay, I’m not sure this really qualifies as a contemplative photograph, but what the heck! This was my finding humour in the large amount of hair I received as a gift for brushing our cat. So obviously it became a lovely handlebar moustache. Perhaps it is a good illustration of how we can take even the detritus of life and make something cheerful out of it. I hope it makes you smile. I like to think that contemplation (in whatever form) is almost always a bringer of joy.

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

114. The Dockdoor will see you now. (Humour 1)

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So our next theme in learning to see with new eyes, is humour. What do you see around you that makes you laugh, or makes a sweet or funny connection? This word (presumably a shipping reference) on a cardboard box, made me roar with laughter as I imagined a vampiric doctor with fangs and a stethoscope….

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

113. Bright and Dull – Juxtaposition conclusions

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Conjunction, the seeing of things in relationship to their surroundings, is what we’ve been looking at over the past fortnight. Another aspect of seeing and understanding the world around us. Bright things look brighter next to dull things as in this photo of a matt brown raft spider and its web covered in dew, and vice versa. It is something to be on the lookout for in our contemplations, in our ponderings, in our photography. When something stands out to us, we might be clearer on exactly why that is. And of course, as always, this can be highly personal. What you notice, what jumps out at you rather than me, may be doing that because it strikes a thought or memory that is particularly strong. Sometimes the juxtaposition is not right in front of us, but between our inner life and the outer world. Next we will be looking at how humour influences our seeing.

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

112. Summer and Winter (Juxtaposition 12)

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Bunting, long dead, flapping against the window, and the skeletal branches outside feeling cold and unadorned. Yet it is these latter that will soon be reborn, holding life sleeping within, and the flags that will stay drab and dusty, all they have to look forward to is being packed away until the next celebration. Outside, the green leaves will bedeck the branches.

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017