Saturday, May 29, 2010

Recent Photos

Here are some pictures I've taken on recent photography expeditions:

Behind Publix
Loganville, GA:
(This wasn't really a photography expedition, I was just waiting for our pizza to be ready at Little Caeaer's, and I happened to have my camera with me.)

Vines Gardens
Loganville, GA:

"Mama, What is Daddy Doing?"
Vines Gardens
Loganville, GA:

Vines Gardens
Loganville, GA:

Vines Gardens
Loganville, GA:

Geese Heading in for the Night
Vines Gardens
Loganville, GA:

Abstract: Sunset on the Lake
Vines Gardens
Loganville, GA:

Round Oak, GA:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Elyse's Baptism

Elyse was baptized this morning at our church, St. Matthew's Episcopal, almost exactly three years after her big sister was baptized. Elyse did a fine job of maintaining her baby dignity and composure, and it seemed clear to us that she will take her baptismal covenant seriously--most importantly, I believe, the vow to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being," perhaps the finest ideals to which any human being can aspire.

Jessica also did very well. I've never been prouder of my two daughters.

Here are four pictures from the event.

(Pictures taken by Uncle Jeff) 

Also pictures above are Father Doug Coil and Anita Genung of St. Matthew's, and, of course, Granny and Pa.

* * *

Whenever I hear or read the baptismal covenant, especially the vow I quoted above from the Book of Common Prayer, I think of this from the last page of Madeleine L'Engle's novel The Arm of the Starfish:
"...If you're going to care about the fall of the sparrow you can't pick and choose who's going to be the sparrow. It's everybody, and you're stuck with it."
You can't pick and choose, it's everybody. As Father Doug points out, we are commanded to love and care not just for those people we like, or who have the same beliefs as us, or who look more or less like us, or who live in the same city or state or country as us.  We vow to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. A daunting promise, yes, but one worth contemplating and trying to keep.

I think also of a line from one of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon stories, "Gospel Birds," when the members of the Lutheran church congregation are sitting in quiet contemplation for a few moments, and they remember "times when they had performed acts of kindness and love and mercy despite the embarrassment of it." I have long thought that this is one of Keillor's keenest insights, that performing acts of kindness and love and mercy can be embarrassing, especially in the culture we live in today. But that we do perform those acts can also be, as Keillor says, a sign of "a presence of grace in the world that lifts all of us up."

I think also of the unnamed man in John Denver's song "Rocky Mountain High," who is "seeking grace in every steps he takes."

Madeleine L'Engle, Garrison Keillor, John Denver...perhaps not the people most people think of when they contemplate baptism, but they all have something to say to me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Self Portrait

This is my new favorite self portrait:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Elyse is now four months old, which means she is ready for the ExerSaucer! Here are some pictures of her on her first ExerSaucer outing:

The pictures of bananas and apples and grapes made her hungry for her knuckles:

(You can see Jessica in the background above, telling Elyse how much she enjoyed the ExerSaucer when she was little enough to use it.)

While she was exploring, she managed to push the Cow button hard enough to make it moo at her, which she found very intriguing:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Old Planet Burdett Studio Pictures

Looking around at old files on my computer today, I came across some pictures I took in my studio basement at our house in Lawrenceville, back in 2003. Here are six of my favorites:

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Renaissance Festival

On Sunday the four of us went to the Georgia Renaissance Festival in Fairburn. We'd been talking about it for weeks, and looking forward to it for months. This was Jessica's third trip to the Renaissance Festival, but the first time she could really appreciate at least some of what goes on there--namely, that there are lots of "princesses." Jessica wore one of her own princess dresses and also a tiara, borrowed from the dress-up trunk she has at Granny's house.

After the hour and fifteen minute drive from home, we arrived just in time for Jessica and Mommy (and Elyse, in the sling) to participate in the Maypole Dance:

Here's Jessica in a pensive moment by a pond:

Jessica rode the peasant-driven carousel, and enjoyed it a lot more than her expression indicates:

Finally, here are the King and Queen of the Festival: