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Flower of Life

Posted by
Viewfinder (Bradenton, FL, United States) on 2 September 2007 in Abstract & Conceptual and Portfolio.

The fleur de lis is a symbol of Bourbon France. It is also a stylized cross. In our yard, it is a shape that graces the tops of each of our iron fence posts. Among other things, the fleur de lis symbolizes what might be called the flower of life.

In this image there are several fleur de lis, in shadow form, cast upon the stone of our patio. By these, I am reminded of the One who would give even hearts of stone new life, and that life abundant; the One for Whom this day is set apart.

It's the Lord's Day. Happy Sunday!
Soli Deo Gloria!

BAD NEWS happens...
Kind of a tough day for me. Saturday morning, we got up to find our big glass sliding door open and a couple of muddy footprints on the floor. We'd had an overnight intruder. What initially seemed missing was just a container of orange juice from the fridge and we felt violated, but didn't get all weird about it. Last night, it hit me that something major was missing. I went to the spot where I kept my camera backpack in that part of the house. And to my horror it was gone. My Nikon D50, three lenses, five filters, miscellaneous other stuff, plus my Pentax point and shoot. All gone. Todaywe will file a police report. Felt stupid to do it Saturday over the orange juice. But not over the camera(s).

Trying to pull something good out of all of this, it's just stuff and nobody got hurt. But I have to admit feeling pretty sick inside about somebody stealing my Nikon. Plus to replace it will be a pretty hard financial hit. I'll have to think about that a bit.

And minus any cameras, VF will definitely be posting from the old archives for a while.

PENTAX Optio E10 1/76 second F/3.3 ISO 100 8 mm

R from Nowhere and Everywhere, United States

OOOOOOOO - WOWZA ..... sorry to hear that View !!! The ironic thing I got a cold chill when I saw your picture and then after I read your story ...... I really was creeped out !!! Yes it is good no one was hurt , but I feel bad for your loss and your house being violated ! Have a better day today !!

2 Sep 2007 5:04am

@R: Thanks for the sympathy, R. Yes, this is now kind of a creepy image for me too. Last night has been a creepy night. I kept waking at every noise. This is the first time in my adult life that I've ever been burglarized. I never expected to be so bothered by the feeling of intrusion and violation -- not to mention being so upset at the loss of my camera(s) and junk. Whoever it was that got it found the one thing (other than people and pets) in this hose that I really valued over everything else. I guess after I get over the first few waves of continuing shock and dismay, it will dawn on me that the camera and equipt. are things that can be replaced. And it may take a while longer to regain a sense of security, if ever.
But I loved taking pictures with that Nikon D50.
Anyway... finally at almost 5 am here I decided I wasn't sleeping, might as well get up and play on the computer to try and relax. So here I am on Sunday morning. Blessings.

Lost Valley View from Kamloops, (west coast) British Columbia, Canada

I am so sorry to hear of the theft! I feel terrible for you! To have someone break into your home is a true sense of your private space being violated. It has happened to me twice once as a young child of 8 and most recently as an adult. I feel your anguish over the loss of your camera and supplies.


2 Sep 2007 5:26am

@Lost Valley View: Thank you LVV. With this happening to you twice in a lifetime, I can see how you'd understand the way I'm feeling. It is weird to feel so utterly helpless. My "Real men aren't helpless" tapes keep playing inside my head, but my head also tells me "gone... it's gone and you'll never see that camera again...".

So with my mind racing, and after tossing and turning at every sound all through the night, I decided I might as well get up.

My daughter suggested I watch e-bay and craig's list to see if something like my camera comes up for sale. I feel like that would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. We'll do the police report later today and hope for the best, but I seriously doubt this will ever lead to anything. And homeowner's theft insurance has a deductible just high enough to put making a claim on the theft a bit in the range of silly. So it's something of a big financial loss as well as a loss of security. This is the first time in my adult married life that something like this has happened to us. Me and Mrs. VF have been married 35 years.

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

that's just plain awful...Oh gosh I'd be devastated to lose my cam and equipm. not to mention that fury that someone invaded my home. I am So Sorry VF. The photo seems to be a perfect fit for betrayal (from one human against another)

2 Sep 2007 11:12am

Viewfinder from Bradenton, United States

Thank you Lorraine. I guess the photo does kind of fit the mood.

2 Sep 2007 11:16am

Brian from United States

Terrible news, Viewfinder! It's hard to know what to say...a terrible thing to happen, indeed! In spite of it all, you've posted another wonderful image. Please continue to post from the archives. If we were to lose your lovely pictures, then the criminal(s) would indeed have stolen something irreplaceable.

2 Sep 2007 11:37am

@Brian: Thank you Brian for being so supportive in this tough time. We just interviewed with the sheriff's office and the report is now filed. They dusted for prints but didn't find much to work with, so all that's left is for them to check out the pawn shops in the chance my camera(s) and lenses, etc. turn up there.

Oh, and the archive well is pretty deep, so I expect I'll continue posting for some time to come. And soon, either the old or the new and hopefully improved VF will be out shooting some more.

Wolfgang Prigge from Canada

This is terrible news! I can feel with you, we were in your situation 35 years ago, quite a few things were stolen, some important to us and others completely worthless . As in your case, the biggest loss was the feeling of security that was gone for a long time.
BTW, the fleur de lys is also the symbol of our provincial flag in Québec.

2 Sep 2007 11:56am

@Wolfgang Prigge: Thanks for sharing your own experiences. Somehow it helps to remember yourself not unique to misfortune. As for the fleur de lis, thanks for reminding me it is part of the provincial flag of Quebec. It is also part of the official flag of the City of New Orleans.

Rebecca from Leicester, United Kingdom

I am so sorry to hear this vile thing has happened, VF. Our house was burglarised when I was little (about age 7 or 8), & though only some valuables were lost and everyone was safe and well, I felt traumatised by it, and till this day am very particular about (Jeff thinks I'm overly so sometimes, but means it in a good way) household security, especially now we have a little one to look out for.
It is really sobering the world we live in to know what humans (in their darker sides) can resort to in moments of desperation (my parents think it could have been a desperate drug addict who broke into our house back in those days; there were a few telltale signs, and he/she was clearly after our valuables, probably to finance his/her continued drug bondage), or for whatever other reason.
But on another level, VF, I think (as your picture & narrative today remind me) even amidst this darkness, it is beautiful that you & yours are able to still praise Him, the One who loves and cares for us both in pastures green and in the valley of the shadow of death, in the dark times as much as in the happy & bright ones. Bless you, VF. You and yours are in our thoughts and prayers through this time.

2 Sep 2007 12:27pm

@Rebecca: Your experience as a child of this same kind of thing reminds me again that this was not "personal" but the work of a senseless somebody who was caught up in their own desperation or lack of humanity. So while it still bothers me and will cost us a lot of unnecessary money, I can be glad that nothing worse happened. And we have already agreed to become far more security conscious; we are activating our alarm system next week.
Thank you Rebecca, for finding something worthy of praise in my comments and my photo today. You are a blessing.

SK from Singapore, Singapore

Deeply sorry for your loss...... I was sad to hear the news after reading your narrative.........

2 Sep 2007 1:28pm

@SK: Thank you SK, you are very kind and supportive... the good thing is my family and I are all fine; I can always get a new camera.

Craiger from Vacaville, California, United States

An excellent photo. I'm sorry to hear about the burglary. But, actually this may be a wonderful opportunity! Don't focus on your loss. Focus on what you want. All cameras have their limitations. Even the Hassleblad. It is big and bulky. Your Nikon required a backpack to lug all the attachments around. Do you remember what you told me on Aug. 7? Now may be your opportunity to pick up something like the H-5! Even the H-5 has it's limitations but there are several advantages over the D50 and the Hasselblad and even Ansel Adam's view camera! The good photographer learns how to work around the limitations.

Also, when I had a $3,000 Canon I insured it for a few bucks a month. It not only was insured for theft but any accidental loss! Even if I dropped it and broke it! Sorry if this seems like a lecture. I'm sure everything will work out for a good photographer like you!

2 Sep 2007 1:49pm

@Craiger: Thanks Craiger; I just need to work past the "bummer!" feeling this puts inside my gut. I'm already starting to accept it is not likely the perp will ever be caught, and that I'll probably never see my Nikon or Pentax ever again, or the lenses and stuff. So it's time to move on to other possibilities. That might be fun, if expensive.

jen from Alpharetta, United States

Oh my VF I am so incredibly sorry.
You are right the loss of the camera is a financial hi but also an emotional hit, because you love photography so much it is probably more of hit than if they had stolen some other electronic device.
Thank god you and your family are safe!!!
My thoughts are prayers are with you and your family for safety and peace during this very hard time!

2 Sep 2007 1:51pm

@jen: Thank you, Jen. Your prayers and words of encouragement are very much appreciated by me and Mrs. VF. The deputy just left; we did the police report thing and he dusted for prints. Not much showed up. It's looking like there is a new camera somewhere in my future.

Rabbit from Richmond, United States

Awww - i cannot tell you how :( i am and disappointed in our society in general. BOOOOOO to the intruder. I hope they always take crappy photos filled with thumbs in their shots, red-eye, Over-exposure of tooo much flash and a computer virus or two when trying to open their photos.

On a different note, i must say the photo above has wonderful shadows - which made me think of the Queen in Alice in Wonderland. I had visions i was walking into her courtyard. Beautiful composition.

2 Sep 2007 3:05pm

@Rabbit: You're a pal Rabbit. Thanks for being so in tune with my situation. Actually I hope that whoever has my Nikon and Pentax takes good care of them; they both gave me so much enjoyment. It's like family members now are missing. OTOH, I hope the law catches up with whoever this perp is.
And if this pic reminds you of Alice In Wonderland and the Red Queen, I'd be all for the Queen getting her hands on this thief and yelling "Off with his head!" just like in the Disney cartoon version. Nobody actually lost their heads.

Richard_Irwin from Belper, United Kingdom

Sorry to hear that news - thats a bad blow, and a bit like ones worst nightmare. I hope you are able to replace your kit really soon (I hope you were insured), and continue with your photography without to much interuption. A friend of mine (pro photographer) got mugged in Manchester, lost about $4000 worth of kit, so I know what you must be thinking, as my mate was devastated.

I'm so glad the house intruder wasn't of the violent sort, and you and the family are all safe.

Take care

2 Sep 2007 3:41pm

@Richard_Irwin: It was insured, but under our theft policy -- which is part of homeowners ,and in Florida, homeowners' policies are being cancelled left and right. So we are a bit afraid to file a claim. Plus we've got a fairly high deductable -- so it might not be cost-effective to take a risk like that.

tyan from Singapore, Singapore

Dear VF,i am terribly sorry to hear abt your loss. It must be a great trauma and heartache for you to lose such a priced possession,but i am glad that you and family are safe and sound and nobody is hurt. I remember once i thought i lost Caleb in a store,quite a big one,and though i was crying and ltried to get the staff's help,they were busily chatting away and were simply nonchalant.I was so very upset at the indifference of people nowadays,not to say thieves who steal orange juice and camera!But thank God you guys are ok.Please take care,will be praying for you:)

2 Sep 2007 3:50pm

@tyan: Thank you for being so caring today. You have really blessed me with friendship and encouragement.
Oh, what happened in the store with Caleb happened once to us with our then-baby Sarah (about 2 1/2 - 3). She was there one minute and disappeared the next. She was found by a store clerk running at top speed in the opposite direction, way down at the other end of the mall. Had no idea she was "lost." So much the baby still.
Blessings to you and your loved ones tyan.

Viewfinder from Bradenton, United States

To my wonderful Am3 friends and "family" -- I feel so lifted up by your words of support and encouragement today! Even though this rotten deed was done at my expense, on the other hand nothing so irreplaceable was taken, and no physical harm was done to my family or me.
Besides, I am far better off and all the richer to know that I have friends all around the country and world who care so much. Thank you, each one of you. It is my privilege to be numbered among such absolutely wonderful human beings and talented photographers, and to be able to consider each one of you my "family" of friends. God is good, and I am truly blessed. I pray you will feel God's blessings to be especially close and abundant, in your own life and among your loved ones today. --VF

2 Sep 2007 5:45pm

Mandy from Johannesburg, South Africa

Oh VF I'm so sorry to hear that.... Your heart must be breaking. A few weeks back my Nikon D70 was damaged and I was heartbroken, so I really feel for you!!!! Thankfully they never hurt you or your family! Please know that You're all in my prayers.

I loved your image by the way...it intrigues me that you find such wonderful subject matter to photograph!! You've inspired me to look in far more unusual places for my subjects from now on..... look out on my blog to see if I actually get it right!! hahaha. :)

Take Care

2 Sep 2007 6:21pm

@Mandy: Thank you Mandy. Your words of caring and encouragement really help ease some of the "bummer" feel this has left me with today. Thanks for the prayers. At times like this, it's good to have friends like you and this pretty remarkable Am3 "family" we've got here. Blessings to you and your loved ones today Mandy. --VF

LuisRodrigues from Lisbon, Portugal

Cool photo! VF don't be sad..you will see, soon you will be ''shooting'' again wonderful photos!

2 Sep 2007 10:11pm

@LuisRodrigues: Thanks Luis. I'll take that piece of advice kindly.

Betsy Barron : www.thebetsy.com from Glenmoore, United States

VF! This is awful. What a violation. I was hoping to read your HO insurance would cover your camera and lens losses, but alas, that doesn't seem to be the case. Truly, I feel for you and your family. On the positive side, thank goodness no one was hurt and VF will live to post (from his archives) another day!
Hang in there, buddy...

2 Sep 2007 10:56pm

@Betsy Barron : www.thebetsy.com: You are right, it's good no one got hurt, and VF lives on. A new camera is likely in my future. And the archives are abundant with possibilities. Thanks for the encouragement.

amy from Rocky Mountain House, Canada

This is a truly FANTASTIC image Viewfinder!!!

I'm really sorry to hear about the burglary. It's downright obscene the amount of crime today... and I too understand that feeling of violation. I have a "rider" on my household insurance for my camera equipment in the event of it being lost, stolen, or even just accidentally broken. It came in handy once for me when I left my eqipment on the roof of my truck and drove away. Very funny now.. not so funny then. However, I was able to replace my equipment. Just make sure if you do get the rider to check the small print; the insurance company's definition of replacement is not necessarily yours. Good luck Viewfinder... and keep those archivals coming because all your stuff is wonderful!!

3 Sep 2007 4:31pm

Viewfinder from Bradenton, United States

Thank you Amy. I believe the insurance rider is a good idea; not something I've had before but probably well worth it as I get my next camera. And replacement value is the key, so your good advice is also timely advice. Thanks again.

5 Sep 2007 12:46am

HorseRotorVator from Newton, United States

Super cool shot! Sorry to hear about your loss. Just remember that life and happiness is not about material things. I know it hurts though.

6 Sep 2007 1:41am

sheri from Tacoma, WA, United States

Hey, Viewfinder,
usually, i don't send replies to things but your situation really hit home to me. You see, I just moved into this little house in late July and felt so safe and secure. I am a writer/photographer. Was gone for just two hours (2:30-4:30 pm) on August 22 and when I returned, I discovered my sun porch door open. Going through the house, I found that the basement sliding windows were smashed and the thieves had gone through the entire house, removing my Canon digital and attached lens and battery griip battery grip from my main floor bedroom, a portable DVD player from there, as well, my vintage TLR Rolleiflex, my laptop apple ibook computer, my 30G ipod, my 400G external hard drive, my ipod portable docking station with am/fm radio, my Bronica medium format ETRsi with two superb lenses, filters, lesser digital and film cameras, zoom lenses, etc. etc. etc...my canon digital was in my dad's leather camera bag (my dad died in 1963). . .the Rollei was the camera i'd dreamt about throughout my childhood and young adulthood. . .the thieves used my kittens's big flannel sheet-lined bed, from the upstairs bathroom to cart the equipment away (they also used an empty litter tub from downstairs)

all in all, the losses came to around $8,000. . .but the sense of violation and trauma were beyond any financial loss. . .my photo equip is, of course, how i earn my living. . .one way or another the important pieces will be replaced. . .although they drug my sinar view camera case to the head of the upstairs stairway, they must have looked at the size after opening the case and decided it was too big to mess with. . .either that or my coming home interrupted them. . .

for the first week following the burglary, i slept with all my lights on and still could not rest easily. . .now, the house has an alarm s ystem installed and it gives more of a feeling of safety, but i am stil apprehensive. . .

anyway, View, I am commiserating with your situation and laying my own on you. . .forgive me. . .it is still so raw for me. . .whenever i think of it, i begin getting an anxiety attack and have to go on to something else. . .

good luck in replacing your photo equipment. . .and BE SAFE!!

Your work is lovely.

6 Sep 2007 7:18pm

@sheri: Thank you sheri. And wow! You really got hit hard. My heart goes out to you. My losses are minor compared to yours -- mine had no particular sentimental attachment or value -- losing your dad's leather camera bag to thieves must really hurt. And what amazing equipment you had. I am sure the cretins who stole it had no real idea of its value. And then to take your 30 G ipod and equipt (I have one like that; it didn't get stolen this time), your ext. hard drive, and ibook is so hateful to consider, adding insult to injury.

Like it did for you, this unwelcome, uninvited intrusion into our lives and space left me and my wife with a heightened sense of anxiety and violation. I was angry and disoriented for days. Thankfully I am starting to feel a little more normal. My wife is very alert much of the time and sleeping the night through is somewhat problematic for both of us. But again, this is slowly improving almost a week into this trauma.

We, like you, have taken steps to correct the lax security around our home. We're starting up the security alarm (lived here a year without doing that) system and will use it each night, once it's fully connected next week. We have beefed up some of our locks. We've begun locking certain doors we never locked (the door leading inside from our attached garage, and two screen doors on our back porch). We have a maid service every other week; we have decided that a new security drill is to check all doors and windows after they finish, every time. Likewise, we have grasscutters every week; we are being sure to check all doors and windows each Monday afternoon. Plus our neighborhood watch team is galvanized and on the alert -- they are excited! According to a neighbor it had pretty much fizzled, but now that we've been hit they have a cause again. Good!

All these things help restore a sense of control to a senseless act that felt so out of control. And this feels good.

The one thing that nags at me is the fact that this happened so quickly and cleanly; no broken glass, just a slide of a glass door and he was in. I wondered if we were that careless, or if someone (like a maid) left this seldom used part of our double sliding door open (by accident or intentionally?). What I really wonder is if this was someone who knows us. This sounds so paranoid, but I have heard somewhere that these kinds of crimes are surprisingly often carried out by people with some acquaintance with the victims. The camera and equipt was all in a canvas backback case, sitting by the door where I'd left it for quick and easy access (for me, not thieves). In a break-in situation, it would have looked like a kid's book bag, unless somebody knew what they were looking for. The other thing I worry about is whether this was just a quick run-through by a cat burglar, who just mostly wanted to scope things out for a later, bigger hit. The soonest we can get our alarm system up and running is later next week. That can't come too soon for me.

PENTAX Optio E10
1/76 second
ISO 100
8 mm