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

confused

“A superficial culture, unsupported by a cultivated morality, is as “a confused medley of dreams,” and external luster without inner perfection is “like a vapor in the desert which the thirsty dreameth to be water.” For results which would win the good pleasure of God and secure the peace and well-being of man, could never be fully… Read More

verdant

“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, The Tabernacle of Unity

apple

“A survey, however inadequate of the varied and immense activities of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá in His tour of Europe and America cannot leave without mention some of the strange incidents that would often accompany personal contact with Him… …the touching scene when ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, receiving from the hands of a Persian friend, recently arrived in London from ‘Ishqábád,… Read More

ascension

Centenary Commemoration of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The new film, Exemplar, follows His life and works.

two

“Wherefore, wed Thou in the heaven of Thy mercy these two birds of the nest of Thy love, and make them the means of attracting perpetual grace; that from the union of these two seas of love a wave of tenderness may surge and cast the pearls of pure and goodly issue on the shore… Read More

farm

“You find, for example, that an individual seeking to further his own petty and personal concerns, will block the advancement of an entire people. To turn his own water mill, he will let the farms and fields of all the others parch and wither. To maintain his own leadership, he will everlastingly direct the masses… Read More

harvest

“Rejoice with exceeding gladness in your hearts and souls, for the night hath come for the harvesting of the ages and the gathering up of past cycles, the night wherein all days and nights were called into being and the time preordained for this Revelation was fulfilled at the behest of Him Who is the… Read More

noon

“Once the sun hath mounted to high noon, its fires will burn so hot as to stir even the creeping things beneath the earth; and although it is not for them to behold the light, yet will they all be set in frenzied motion by the impact of the heat.” – ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Selections from the… Read More

service

“Now this is the time that you may arise and perform this most great service and become the cause of the guidance of innumerable souls. Thus through this superhuman service the rays of peace and conciliation may illumine and enlighten all the regions and the world of humanity may find peace and composure.“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,… Read More

market

“He set forth, on foot, in the heat of midday, … reciting, as He walked, through the streets and markets, verses, in a voice and in a manner that greatly astonished those who saw and heard Him.” – Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By

early

“‘Abdu’l‑Bahá has stated that the morning Obligatory Prayer may be said as early as dawn.” – The Kitáb-i-Aqdas

journey

“In this journey the seeker becometh witness to a myriad changes and transformations, confluences and divergences. He beholdeth the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation and discovereth the paths of guidance and the ways of His Lord. Such is the station reached by them that search after God, and such are the heights… Read More

stretching

“Know thou that the Kingdom is the real world, and this nether place is only its shadow stretching out. A shadow hath no life of its own; its existence is only a fantasy, and nothing more; it is but images reflected in water, and seeming as pictures to the eye.” – ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Selections from the… Read More

sunset

“The physical sun has its rising and its setting. The earthly world has its day and its night. After each sunset there is a sunrise and the coming of a new dawn. The Sun of Reality, likewise, has its rising and setting. There is a day and a night in the world of spirituality. After… Read More

confinement

“In prison, all fidelity is Thine, O Thou the Bestower of gifts, and in confinement, all eternity is Thine, O Thou Who art the ever-abiding King!“ – Bahá’u’lláh, Additional Prayers Revealed by Bahá’u’lláh

across

“Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be rendered by man to Almighty God is the education and training of children… that these children, reared one and all in the holy Teachings, will develop natures like unto the sweet airs that blow across the gardens of the All-Glorious, and will waft their fragrance… Read More

pour

“Pour out Thy steadfastness and send down Thy calm upon them, O my Lord! Thou art, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh

city

“Issue forth from your cities, O peoples of the West and aid God ere the Day when the Lord of mercy shall come down unto you in the shadow of the clouds with the angels circling around Him, exalting His praise and seeking forgiveness for such as have truly believed in Our signs. – The Báb, Selections… Read More

splendor

“Cause them to enter the garden of happiness, cleanse them with the most pure water, and grant them to behold Thy splendors on the loftiest mount.“ —‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers

fallen

“Happy is the faithful one who is attired with the vesture of high endeavor and hath arisen to serve this Cause. Such a soul hath truly attained the desired Goal and hath apprehended the Object for which it hath been created. But a myriad times alas for the wayward who are like unto dried-up leaves… Read More

golden

“From beneath her veil she drew forth her hand, golden tinged as a sunbeam falling upon the face of a stainless mirror. Rejoice! This is the immortal Beauty, come with a resplendent adorning.“ – Bahá’u’lláh, Days of Remembrance

extinct

“…the world of existence is dependent for its progress upon reformation; otherwise, it will be as dead. Consider: If a new springtime failed to appear, what would be the effect upon this globe, the earth? Undoubtedly it would become desolate and life extinct. The earth has need of an annual coming of spring.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,… Read More

consumer

“Every choice a Bahá’í makes—as employee or employer, producer or consumer, borrower or lender, benefactor or beneficiary—leaves a trace, and the moral duty to lead a coherent life demands that one’s economic decisions be in accordance with lofty ideals, that the purity of one’s aims be matched by the purity of one’s actions to fulfil… Read More

stream

“Drink your fill, O My companions, from this sparkling and luminous stream, and rejoice therein, O My friends! And this, verily, is from the grace of God, the Most Exalted, the Most Bountiful.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Days of Remembrance

luminous

“He it is Who is established upon this luminous Throne.” – In commemoration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, Days of Remembrance

orange

In commemoration of the life of The Báb, on this day of His birth in 1819. Learn about the significance of the orange tree here.

frost

“Jesus Himself was poor. He did not belong to the rich. He passed His time in the desert, traveling among the poor, and lived upon the herbs of the field. He had no place to lay His head, no home. He was exposed in the open to heat, cold and frost—to inclement weather of all… Read More

sun

“Far be it from us to despair at any time of the incalculable favors of God, for if it were His wish He could cause a mere atom to be transformed into a sun and a single drop into an ocean. He unlocketh thousands of doors, while man is incapable of conceiving even a single… Read More

park

“During My journey [in the Western U.S.] and traveling in those parts, I beheld wonderful scenes and beautiful panoramas of nature, orchards and rivers; national parks and general conclaves; deserts, plains, meadows and prairies; and the grains and fruits of that region greatly attracted My attention; even to the present moment they are in My… Read More

hardier

“…both vegetable and animal kingdoms have undergone transformation; for in certain strata of the earth, plants have been discovered which existed in the past but which have since disappeared, meaning that they evolved, became hardier, and changed in form and appearance, and thus the species have changed.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

eaten

“For as plants grow they are eaten by the animal and replace those elements which have been depleted in the latter’s body. In this manner the plants enter the animal kingdom. The microscopic organisms in the air, water, and food enter in turn the body of man and replace that which has been assimilated therein.”… Read More

flow

” Know that thy true adornment consisteth in the love of God and in thy detachment from all save Him, and not in the luxuries thou dost possess. Abandon them unto those who seek after them and turn unto God, He Who causeth the rivers to flow.”– Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

rain

“Nothing can prevent the fall of the rain from Heaven.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks

branch

“Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Daystar of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle… Read More

trail

“Even as wolves, tyrants are lying in wait, and the wronged, innocent flock hath neither help nor succor. Hounds are on the trail of the gazelles of the fields of divine unity, and the pheasant in the mountains of heavenly guidance is pursued by the ravens of envy. O Thou divine Providence, preserve and protect… Read More

rose

“Consider the rose: whether it blossometh in the East or in the West, it is nonetheless a rose. For what mattereth in this respect is not the outward shape and form of the rose, but rather the smell and fragrance which it doth impart.” – Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán

Baltimore

“I am pleased with the friends from Baltimore, for I have observed that their hearts are attracted to the love of Bahá’u’lláh.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

fire

“O God, my God! Praise be unto Thee for kindling the fire of divine love in the Holy Tree on the summit of the loftiest mount: that Tree which is “neither of the East nor of the West,” that fire which blazed out till the flame of it soared upward to the Concourse on high,… Read More

crooked

“As to the differences of character arising from education, they are great indeed, for education exerts an enormous influence. Through education the ignorant become learned, the cowardly become courageous, the crooked branch becomes straight, the acrid and bitter fruit of the mountains and woods becomes sweet and succulent, and the five-petalled flower puts forth a… Read More

cling

“Those who have rejected God and firmly cling to Nature as it is in itself are, verily, bereft of knowledge and wisdom.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

door

“Desire and self come in the door And blot out virtue, bright before, And a hundred veils will rise From the heart, to blind the eyes.” – Rúmí, as quoted by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in The Secret of Divine Civilization

changed

“I beseech Thee, O my Lord, by Thy most effulgent splendor, before whose brightness every soul humbly boweth down and prostrateth itself in adoration for Thy sake—a splendor before whose radiance fire is turned into light, the dead are brought to life and every difficulty is changed into ease.“ – The Báb, Selections from the… Read More

crack

“As the fabric of present-day society heaves and cracks under the strain and stress of portentous events and calamities, as the fissures, accentuating the cleavage separating nation from nation, class from class, race from race, and creed from creed, multiply, the prosecutors of the Plan must evince a still greater cohesion in their spiritual lives… Read More

bridge

“The sciences of today are bridges to reality; if then they lead not to reality, naught remains but fruitless illusion. By the one true God! If learning be not a means of access to Him, the Most Manifest, it is nothing but evident loss.” – ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

chickens

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings!” – Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, ref: Matthew 23:37

solitary

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord,… Read More

flock

“If these people would love and help one another instead of being so eager to destroy with sword and cannon, how much nobler would it be! How much better if they would live like a flock of doves in peace and harmony, instead of being like wolves and tearing each other to pieces.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,… Read More

waiting

“Thou seest, O my Lord, Thy suppliant waiting at the door of Thy bounty, and him who hath set his hopes on Thee clinging to the cord of Thy generosity.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh

sphere

“For He dwelleth in the ark of fire, speedeth, in the sphere of fire, through the ocean of fire, and moveth within the atmosphere of fire.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries

sign

“For everything there is a sign. The sign of love is fortitude under My decree and patience under My trials.” – Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words

aged

“O thou whose years are few, yet whose mental gifts are many! How many a child, though young in years, is yet mature and sound in judgment! How many an aged person is ignorant and confused! For growth and development depend on one’s powers of intellect and reason, not on one’s age or length of… Read More

truth

“When we are freed from all these bonds, seeking with liberated minds, then shall we be able to arrive at our goal ‘Seek the truth, the truth shall make you free.’ So shall we see the truth in all religions, for truth is in all and truth is one!“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks

resting

“How many the nights which found the beasts of the field resting in their lairs, and the birds of the air lying in their nests, while this Youth languished in chains and fetters with none to aid or succour Him!“ – Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

curbed

“How great is the blessedness of him who, for love of Thy beauty and for the sake of Thy pleasure, hath curbed the desires of a corrupt inclination and observed the precepts laid down by Thy most exalted Pen!“ – Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh

morning

“We are gathered here this morning for His mention.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

illness

“When an illness is slight a small remedy will suffice to heal it…” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks

detachment

“O God, my God! Adorn the heads of Thy loved ones with the crown of detachment and attire their temples with the raiment of righteousness.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Let it go?

quiet

“Send down, then, upon them that which will assure their hearts, and quiet their souls, and renew their spirits, and refresh their bodies.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh

immersed

“This all shows that material progress alone does not tend to uplift man. On the contrary, the more he becomes immersed in material progress, the more does his spirituality become obscured.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks

legumes

“What will be the food of the future?” “Fruit and grains. The time will come when meat will no longer be eaten. Medical science is only in its infancy, yet it has shown that our natural diet is that which grows out of the ground. The people will gradually develop up to the condition of… Read More

insect

“…the creeping insect…” – ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

pine

O Love, who sellest me this wine,  O Love, for whom I burn and bleed,  Love, for whom I cry and pine—  Thou the Piper, I the reed. – Excerpt from Rúmí, as quoted by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, telling the story of Ustád Ismá‘íl, whom Bahá’u’lláh, was instructing to bring to mind the Báb, in reciting the… Read More

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