We have a joke that comes up a lot – in response to anything puzzling, or in situations containing contradictions, we just say, “It’s complex.”   Long before the brain storm that struck four weeks ago today this phrase was shorthand for the shared knowledge that when contradictions arise, you acknowledge them and find a way forward, through and with the discrepancies. Or, maybe you set aside the conundrum and return later for another look, but there’s no getting around it – complexity is all around us.

So here we are. I go out

with my camera.

I see

dark and sad things, and

I see

beauty, which itself

is overlaid with



somber films.



I have

no doubt,

light abides too.














1)  Home – a foggy Pacific northwest woodland morning.

2) Chewed and fallen, a Cottonwood leaf at Quitobaquito Spring in Organ Pipe NM, Arizona.

3) Hydrangea bloom from 2016, still gathering the light at Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue, WA.Japanese wood Buddha, ca 1130, from Kyoto, now in the collections of Seattle Asian Art Museum, which will soon close for a major renovation.

4) Japanese wood Buddha, ca 1130, from Kyoto, now in the collections of Seattle Asian Art Museum, which will soon close for a major renovation.

5) Bamboo in the breeze, Bellevue Botanical Garden.

6) Camelia bud in black and white, Bellevue Botanical Garden.



  1. I have heard the phrase, “It’s complicated” used in the same vein before, but I like “It’s complex” better for sure. Much more nuanced and accurate word, I think.

    Is the complex
    necessarily also
    Somehow, I
    don’t think so….

    • Yes, we hear “it’s complicated” way too much, and “It’s complex” has a better ring to it. Your teasing the two apart makes a good point, too – you are ever the wordsmith!

      • It’s an affliction, for sure.
        I am also fond of the quartet of complex/difficult-simple/easy and how often people seem to mix them up.
        I have quit smoking (many, many times) and drinking (a couple of times) with greater and lesser success but addiction and quitting are really very simple.
        Every day it is a yes-or-no question, or a series of yes-or-no questions, but at root it is still a binary. Could not be more simple.
        And yet one of the most difficult things in the world.
        And many complex things are fairly easy to deal with given the right knowledge and a bit of patience.

  2. Yes, finding ways forwards, that’s the thing now. There are subtle opacities and sombre films, but you are absolutely right to be sure that light abides; never let yourself stray from that certainty. A

  3. Agree with Scott.. VERY nicely done. We generally say “it’s complicated”… but it’s the same principle! Love your view of the world. Love seeing it through your eyes.

    • Are you serious?!?!? Unbelievable signage! Thanks for showing it to me.

      Autumn hangs on into Spring in some cases, doesn’t it? I’m not generally melancholy either, but I’m more attuned to a somber mood of late, naturally.

      Thanks for your thoughts, always something to think about.

  4. Beautiful words, beautiful images, Lynn. I feel so lucky to read and look at your blog, and grateful that you share yourself with us so. (My favorite of these photos is the first—love that fog.)

    • Thanks! These days, there’s probably no place you can go where the weather will be dependable. But life goes on, in its own complex dance of arcs and sharps and blurs.

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