Daily Photo Project

The Project: In 2000, I wrote a poem each day for a year as a personal project to find beauty in the world around me. Now, 21 years later, I could do with some more art and beauty in my life. Most quotations are from the Bahá’í Writings. Format inspired by the nineteen day blog, and subsequent nineteen months website.

The Photos & Camera: Counterintuitively, constraints and limits can improve creativity and life in general. For this project, all photos are taken on an iPhone 6s, using only the stock Camera app. No filters are used, apart from the occasional “Mono” when I want to go for a black and white image. I’ll adjust the light and use the zoom (barely). These are set before taking the picture. Post-edits include cropping if needed… and that’s it. This simplicity helps me focus on the subject and the associated spiritual theme. “Instagram worthy” isn’t the objective.

Attributions: All photos are by Jeffrey Anvari-Clark. Note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. Creative Commons License

exercise

“God has created mankind from the same progeny in order that they may associate in good fellowship, exercise love toward each other and live together in unity and brotherhood.“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

sublimation

“But according to the evidence of present world conditions divine philosophy—which has for its object the sublimation of human nature, spiritual advancement, heavenly guidance for the development of the human race, attainment to the breaths of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of the verities of God—has been outdistanced and neglected.“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of… Read More

108

– 108 – Ye should consider the question of goodly character as of the first importance. It is incumbent upon every father and mother to counsel their children over a long period, and guide them unto those things which lead to everlasting honor. – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, #108

welcome

“‘Abdu’l‑Bahá: Yes! This is the day of Bahá’u’lláh, the age of the Blessed Perfection, the cycle of the Greatest Name. If you do not smile now, for what time will you await and what greater happiness could you expect? This is the springtime of manifestation. The vernal shower has descended from the cloud of divine… Read More

interrupt

“Say: Nothing can withstand the power of Our might or interrupt the course of Our command. We exalt whomsoever We please unto the Realm of supernal might and glory, and, should We so desire, cause the same to sink into the lowest abyss of degradation.“ – Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

image

“Thereafter have We raised Thee up in Our own image betwixt the heavens and the earth, and ordained Thee to be the sign of Our glory unto all who are in the realms of revelation and creation, that My servants may follow in Thy footsteps, and be of them who are guided aright.“ – Bahá’u’lláh,… Read More

integrated

“Success will depend on the manner in which lines of action are integrated and on the attitude of learning that is adopted.“ – The Universal House of Justice, 9 January 2001 – To the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counselors Artwork by Rich Patterson. ISP, 2009, spray paint on canvas. (Commissioned for the Integrated Studies… Read More

end

“There can be no doubt whatever that if for one moment the tide of His mercy and grace were to be withheld from the world, it would completely perish. For this reason, from the beginning that hath no beginning the portals of Divine mercy have been flung open to the face of all created things,… Read More

table

“Blessed the insatiate soul who casteth away his selfish desires for love of Me and taketh his place at the banquet table which I have sent down from the heaven of divine bounty for My chosen ones.“ – Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

eternal

“Bahá’í marriage is union and cordial affection between the two parties. They must, however, exercise the utmost care and become acquainted with each other’s character. This eternal bond should be made secure by a firm covenant, and the intention should be to foster harmony, fellowship and unity and to attain everlasting life.” —‘Abdu’l‑Bahá Bahá’í Prayers

lump

“This is the wisdom of the appearance of the Prophets: to educate humanity, that this lump of coal may become a diamond and this barren tree may be grafted and yield fruit of the utmost sweetness and delicacy. And after the noblest stations in the world of humanity have been attained, further progress can be… Read More

embark

“Know, moreover, that should one who hath attained unto these stations and embarked upon these journeys fall prey to pride and vainglory, he would at that very moment come to naught and return to the first step without realizing it. Indeed, they that seek and yearn after Him in these journeys are known by this… Read More

shower

“My God, Whom I worship and adore! I bear witness unto Thy unity and Thy oneness, and acknowledge Thy gifts, both in the past and in the present. Thou art the All-Bountiful, the overflowing showers of Whose mercy have rained down upon high and low alike, and the splendors of Whose grace have been shed… Read More

seated

“…to be seated amidst the sandals by the door is the same as to abide at the place of honour, and in the path of the Beloved the retreats of earthly beauty differ not from the field of a battle waged.“ – Bahá’u’lláh, The Call of the Divine Beloved

summertime

“Then comes summertime, when the heat intensifies and growth and development manifest the fullness of their power. The life force reaches its plenitude in the vegetable kingdom: Fruits and crops appear, the harvest time arrives, the seed becomes the sheaf, and provision is made for the winter months.“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

burn

“I beseech Thee … to make of my prayer a fire that will burn away the veils which have shut me out from Thy beauty, and a light that will lead me unto the ocean of Thy Presence.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 2008), CLXXXIII) From: Prayer and Devotional Life

field

“Praised be God that there is now a school of this type in Ṭihrán where young maidens can, through His bounty, receive an education and with all vigour acquire the accomplishments of humankind. Erelong will women in every field keep pace with the men. Until now, in Persia, the means for women’s advancement were non-existent…. Read More

children

“O ye children of the Kingdom! Give thanks unto God that, at this tender age, ye have entered into the Divine Kingdom. The bounty and bestowal of God have surrounded you. While ye were yet children, He chose you and elected you. Ye became the intimates of His mysteries, whilst those of riper age remained… Read More

home

(On hiatus)

joy

“Ascend unto My heaven, that thou mayest obtain the joy of reunion, and from the chalice of imperishable glory quaff the peerless wine.“ – Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words

Ohio

(On hiatus)

friendship

It is Our hope that our encounter may never be forgotten nor effaced from the heart by the passage of time, but rather that, out of the seeds thus sown, the sweet herbs of friendship may spring forth and remain forever fresh and verdant for all to behold. – Bahá’u’lláh, Tabernacle of Unity

farewell

“In your hearts I have beheld the reflection of a great and wonderful love. The Americans have shown me uniform kindness, and I entertain a deep spiritual love for them. I am pleased with the susceptibilities of your hearts. I will pray for you, asking divine assistance, and then say farewell.“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation… Read More

sort

“A Bahá’í has the advantage of the divine Revelation for this Age, which shines like a searchlight on so many problems that baffle modern thinkers; he must therefore develop the ability to learn everything from those around him, showing proper humility before his teachers, but always relating what he hears to the Bahá’í teachings, for… Read More

prey

“Love accepteth no existence and wisheth no life: In death it seeth life, and in shame it seeketh glory. To merit the madness of love, one must abound in sanity; to merit the bonds of the Friend, one must be free in spirit. Blessed the neck that is caught in His noose, and happy the… Read More

blooming

“Each thing must needs have an effect and each sign reveal a secret. Not until the world-illuming sun hath shone can the east be distinguished from the west, nor the blooming garden discerned from the barren waste. Heavenly strains compare not with earthly clamours, and the croaking of the raven can in no wise be… Read More

pile

“For every thing, however, God has created a sign and symbol, and established standards and tests by which it may be known. The spiritually learned must be characterized by both inward and outward perfections; they must possess a good character, an enlightened nature, a pure intent, as well as intellectual power, brilliance and discernment, intuition,… Read More

shocking

“Towards that end, recent world developments have, paradoxically, been both shocking and reassuring. On one hand, the disarray of human affairs produces a daily diet of horrors that benumb the senses; on the other, world leaders are often taking collective actions that, to a Bahá’í observer, signify a tendency towards a common approach by nations… Read More

fruits

“It is therefore evident that it is possible to cure illnesses by means of fruits and other foods. But as the science of medicine has not yet been perfected, this fact has not been fully understood. When this science reaches perfection, treatments will be administered with fragrant fruits and plants as well as with other… Read More

ominous

I would again direct your attention to those ominous words of Bahá’u’lláh which I have already quoted: “And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake.” – Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

clay

“When he was very young, people thought of ‘Abdu’lláh Baghdádí as a libertine, solely devoted to pleasure. He was regarded by all as the sport of inordinate desires, mired down in his physical passions. But the moment he became a believer, he was carried away by the sweet savors of God, and was changed into… Read More

clear

“O My brother! At every juncture We have restated Our theme, that all that hath been recorded in these verses may, by the leave of God, be made clear unto thee, and that thou mayest become independent of those who are plunged in the darkness of self and who tread the valley of arrogance and… Read More

humid

Wrapped in its stygian gloom, breathing its fetid air, numbed by its humid and icy atmosphere, His feet in stocks, His neck weighed down by a mighty chain, surrounded by criminals and miscreants of the worst order, oppressed by the consciousness of the terrible blot that had stained the fair name of His beloved Faith,… Read More

relationships

“… the exhortations contained in the Bahá’í Writings should increasingly inform economic relationships within families, neighbourhoods, and peoples. Not content with whatever values prevail in the existing order that surrounds them, the friends everywhere should consider the application of the teachings to their lives and, using the opportunities their circumstances offer them, make their own… Read More

tiers

He said: ‘Bid them recite: “Is there any Remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding!” Tell them to repeat it five hundred times, nay, a thousand times, by day and by night, sleeping and waking, that haply the Countenance of… Read More

middle

“If haste is harmful, inertness and indolence are a thousand times worse. A middle course is best, as it is written: “It is incumbent upon you to do good between the two evils,” this referring to the mean between the two extremes.“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization

rush

“The earth hath been shaken, and the mountains have passed away, and the angels have appeared, rank on rank, before Us. Most of the people are bewildered in their drunkenness and wear on their faces the evidences of anger. Thus have We gathered together the workers of iniquity. We see them rushing on towards their… Read More

return

“Unto God do I commit Mine affair and yours, and He verily is the best Judge. Were ye to return, however, ye would be granted whatever ye desire of earthly possessions and of the ineffable delights of the life to come, and ye would inherit such glorious might and majesty as your minds can scarce… Read More

serpent

…by “Adam” is meant the spirit of Adam and by “Eve” is meant His self. For in certain passages of the Sacred Scriptures where women are mentioned, the intended meaning is the human self. By “the tree of good and evil” is meant the material world, for the heavenly realm of the spirit is pure… Read More

trace

“It behooveth thee to consecrate thyself to the Will of God. Whatsoever hath been revealed in His Tablets is but a reflection of His Will. So complete must be thy consecration, that every trace of worldly desire will be washed from thine heart. This is the meaning of true unity.“ – Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the… Read More

stick

Many years ago in Baghdád I saw a certain officer sitting upon the ground. Before him a large paper was placed into which he was sticking needles tipped with small red and white flags. First he would stick them into the paper, then thoughtfully pull them out and change their position. I watched him with… Read More

legged

Upon completing your prostrations, seat yourselves cross-legged—men and women alike—and eighteen times repeat “Glorified be God, the Lord of the kingdoms of earth and heaven.” – Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas

glare

“O God, my God! The gloom of night hath shrouded every region, and all the earth is shut away behind thick clouds. The peoples of the world are sunk in the black depths of vain illusions, while their tyrants wallow in cruelty and hate. I see nothing but the glare of searing fires that blaze… Read More

move

“Through Him all things live, move, and have their being.” – Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan

depth

“Abasement hath reached its lowest depth: Where are the emblems of Thy glory, O Glory of the worlds?“ – Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Prayers

repose

Whereupon the clouds of the Divine Will were raised to rain upon thee the outpourings of heavenly wisdom, to divest thee of all that thou hadst acquired aforetime, to draw thee from the realms of contradiction unto the retreats of oneness, and to lead thee to the sacred streams of His Law. Perchance thou mayest… Read More

house

“Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.“ —Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Prayers

run

“On a sudden, a watchman followed after him. He broke into a run, with the watchman in swift pursuit; then other watchmen came together and barred every passage to the weary one. And that wretched one cried from his heart, and ran here and there, and moaned to himself, “Surely this watchman is ‘Izrá’íl, my… Read More

rooted

“The main thing is to remain staunch and firmly rooted, and persevere to the end.“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

rays

“O Songster of Paradise! Trill out upon the twigs in these wondrous days, for God hath cast His effulgent rays upon all created things. Praise be to Thee, O Thou Who art “He”, O Thou besides Whom there is none but “He”!” – Bahá’u’lláh, Days of Remembrance

seek

“I seek patience only in God. Verily He is the best protector and the best helper. No refuge do I seek save God. Verily He is the guardian and the best supporter.…“ – The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb

hardship

“In hardship, all praise is Thine, O Thou the Goal of them that seek after Thee, and in comfort, all thanksgiving is Thine, O Thou whose remembrance is treasured in the hearts of those who are nigh unto Thee! In wealth, all splendour is Thine, O Lord of them that are devoted to Thee, and… Read More

creep

“Although to outward seeming the divines and the unjust and foolish rulers are raising an uproar and flaunting themselves, erelong ye shall witness how, like the owls of the night, these people will creep into a desolate ruin, hasten to the tomb of eternal loss, and fall into the abyss of everlasting perdition. Even now,… Read More

reflect

‘Abdu’l‑Bahá: You are always smiling. Mr. Osborne: Surely our faces should reflect happiness in this presence. ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá: Yes! This is the day of Bahá’u’lláh, the age of the Blessed Perfection, the cycle of the Greatest Name. If you do not smile now, for what time will you await and what greater happiness could you expect?… Read More

evening

“I have wakened every morning to the light of Thy praise and Thy remembrance, and reached every evening inhaling the fragrances of Thy mercy.“ – Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh

vine

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5 KJV

trees

“This is the Day whereon the Sun of Beauty dawned above the horizon of the countenance of God, the Most Exalted, the Most Great, and the clouds of bounty rained down, and the trees of Paradise yielded such fruits as God hath apportioned to them that turn unto Him with radiant hearts in this Dispensation…. Read More

games

“Notwithstanding all that hath passed, I still fervently pray and implore God that he may, perchance, leave aside these childish games, turn away from iniquity and rebellion, and repent and enter beneath the shadow of the Covenant. I swear by Him besides Whom there is none other God! I would then show him the utmost… Read More

memories

“Thy letter hath reached this captive of the world in His prison. It brought joy, strengthened the ties of friendship, and renewed the memory of bygone days. Praise be to the Lord of creation Who granted us the favour of meeting in the Arabian land,1 wherein we visited and held converse. It is Our hope… Read More

serenity

“Consider the ocean, how serene it lieth, how majestically it reposeth within its bed. Yet the winds of the will of the eternal Beloved cause countless ripples and innumerable swells to appear upon its surface, each wave distinct and divergent from the others. All the peoples of the world today are preoccupied with the ebb… Read More

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