On and Over the Hills

"Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther." ~ Thomas Carlyle

Re-thinking Things: A New Title for an Evolving Project

When I started this blog I thought it would be entirely about photography. I intended to document and share as I learned: a place to keep notes, so to speak, and to exchange learning with others on a similar path. Very quickly I realized that photography for me was as much about the small and large adventures that ensued during my searches for subject and theme, as it was about the technical and artistic aspects. I also discovered that I occasionally had the courage to share writing that attempted some creativity – an entirely new venture for me. I soon removed the words “about photography” and added the category ‘The Journey’ to differentiate the posts. Six months down the road now, I have finally given consideration to its title.

“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  ~ J.R.R. Tolkien


I’ve chosen “On and Over the Hills” for several reasons. I love metaphor in general and this title works for me on several levels. My artistic and literary efforts, as anything in life, are journeys: they progress through barriers of wind-fallen timber, and up and down steep slopes with hard slogging through marshy ground and deep snow, and fitful rests on exposed beds of moist moss. This blog was one way for me to enjoy the process – to take in the view – without becoming too critical and unnecessarily analytical of my ordinary and imperfect work. It forces me to call some work finished and to move on despite knowing that someday I’ll be able to do better.

“Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey.” ~ Alex Noble

Geographically, all approaching roads literally wind uphill to my home. We locals often refer to it as ‘The Hill’. My life and therefore my photography, is naturally centred here. The title happily allows some expansion of that; some going beyond, or ‘over’. My journeys are seldom exotic, but they are journeys nonetheless and anywhere that is not familiar to me is exotic in my estimation – be it a small, hitherto undiscovered stream in the woods or an abandoned farmhouse one hundred kilometres away.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end” ~Ursula K. LeGuin

The new title makes a proverbial and accurate reference to my age. Unless I live beyond a century, I am decidedly over the hill of years. Far from being a limitation, it is easily understood that the downhill slope is much more easily traversed. I’m old enough to know that all journeys entail rises and falls, and wise enough to know that unless you’re willing and able to scale the next incline the journey may end in an uninhabitable morass. And again, within my new title, there is the intimation that I will continue beyond.

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.” ~ Erich Fromm

Possibly more publicly known, although somewhat oblique, is the connection to Robert Plant and J.R.R. Tolkien, both of whom I wholly revere as masters of their genre. ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ is a well-known Led Zeppelin tune that Plant wrote inspired by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I love the mystery implicit in the song title and we will all have different ‘pocket(s)ful of gold’ that inspire us on our journeys.

“Many dreams come true and some have silver linings / I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold.” ~Robert Plant

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19 comments on “Re-thinking Things: A New Title for an Evolving Project

  1. pixilated2
    February 5, 2011

    Bravo! You take my breath away…

    A lovely shift of title and suddenly we as readers are invited to see deeper into who you are and where you want to be.

    It is a gift, and we are honored, to be invited on your journey.

    • missusk76
      February 5, 2011

      My goodness, that was quick! 🙂 I hadn’t even finished changing the header. I thought the new one might apply more directly to the title. Anyway, thank you for your comment. It makes me feel good to have friends like you along with me on this path.

  2. Rose
    February 6, 2011

    Such beauty in these photos, and I so love the quote from The Lord of the Rings, is one of my favorite sayings. 🙂

    • missusk76
      February 6, 2011

      Thank you, Rose. The dialogue in Tolkien’s books is rich with often simply stated gems of wisdom. I’m particularly partial to that one as well.

  3. Carla
    February 6, 2011

    “words fell like roses at our feet” – Lucinda Williams. yes, I connect with what you’re saying on all levels – imagery, words, songs, and life experience all meld into the journey. great post Cindy –

    • missusk76
      February 6, 2011

      Hi Carla. Lovely quote! If only it were that easy. 🙂 Words more often fall like mud at mine: thus the infrequency of my posts. However, I don’t know what is more gratifying than experiencing the coming together of all elements. Thank you!

  4. Bob Zeller
    February 6, 2011

    Hi Cindy,
    I am not much at quotes and metaphors. I only know what I like. And I love your photography, whether or not you name your blog about that subject. That first photo makes me want to follow that trail, because I wonder what is down aroound that little bend. That abandoned farmhouse has a eerie, gothic, haunted feel to it. An awesome photograph. Don’t put your camera away. 🙂

    Bob

    • missusk76
      February 7, 2011

      I’m laughing, Bob. I certainly do not have any intention of putting my camera away. It is a passion and it’s a very rare day that I do not take at least a few pictures. Thank you so much for your encouragement. It means a lot to me.

  5. themichaellamcollection
    February 7, 2011

    I look forward to your re-thinking 🙂 I believe that as you blog, you will evolve! we look forward to the future blogposts.
    I was hoping to pick a favourite out of these, but they’re all so good!!! But I must say that the two that caught my eye are the same ones that got to Bob, I love those two if only for the sky that you caught in them, very dramatic and gives a mood to each photo!

    • missusk76
      February 7, 2011

      Thank you, Michael. They are both single-image HDRs, tonemapped in photomatix. It really can do wonders for skies.

  6. photosbymartina
    February 7, 2011

    I love the new header photo and your photos are all stunning, not to mention your words of wisdom. I do think as artists, we rediscover ourselves and continue to evolve and change as we grow in our craft. I’m happy to be a part of your audience.

    • missusk76
      February 8, 2011

      Hopefully as human beings we all continue to evolve – not like Gollum (to stay with the Tolkein theme) , but growing in wisdom and showing it through wise actions. Although it is tempting to attempt to settle into routine and embrace the comfort of the familiar, I have no desire to stop here. I have so much more growing to do. Thank you for your compliments and your support, Martina.

  7. julianhoffman
    February 10, 2011

    Wonderful new path to chart and follow, even if it is only a fine-tuning of your earlier vision. These small increments are meaningful beyond their measure. Lovely photos as usual, and for me the added bonus of discovering a mutual Zeppelin fan! Rarely a day of my youth passed without their songs….I’m off to dig out “Over the Hills and Far Away” and to change the blog name on my links. Happy wanderings!

    • missusk76
      February 12, 2011

      Thank you, Julian. I’ve been told I’m too impulsive and although I do believe I give changes a little more thought now than I did in my younger days, I never really know where each new day will take me. It does help to set it down in writing. I hope you enjoyed your Zep revisit!

  8. Linda
    February 11, 2011

    I like the new title…it feels like contentment and adventure all rolled into one.

    • missusk76
      February 12, 2011

      Thank you Linda. I like your interpretation! ‘Contentment and adventure’ would be the prefect life, don’t you think?

  9. Heather
    February 11, 2011

    Hi Cindy. What a lovely thought process. I think your choice of title is very apt and you don’t give your work enough credit. You have created some truly lovely pieces. I’m glad to have this alternative medium through which I can now enjoy your work in a deeper way.
    The idea of a journey resonates very strongly with me. My life is composed of many journeys at the moment, some small (snowshoeing through the forest), some monumental (starting a new business) and it’s nice to have someone else to share that journey with. Looking forward to your next post.

    • missusk76
      February 12, 2011

      I too am delighted to discover you have such a beautiful and informative nature blog, Heather. I can never learn enough or look at enough beautiful pictures! I wish you the very best of luck with all your journeys and thank you very much for visiting here.

  10. flandrumhill
    February 14, 2011

    All lovely images, but that second last one is absolutely magical.

    I love the new title. ‘Over the hills and far away’ is a tune that I recall as the theme from the Sharpe British tv series. The image in your new header is stunning.

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2011 by in The Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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