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

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

dream

“One of the created phenomena is the dream. Behold how many secrets have been deposited therein, how many wisdoms treasured up, how many worlds concealed.” – Bahá’u’lláh, The Call of the Divine Beloved

fowl

“The fowls of the air and the beasts of the field receive their meat each day from Thee, and all beings partake of Thy care and loving-kindness.” —‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers

keys

“Know assuredly that My commandments are the lamps of My loving providence among My servants, and the keys of My mercy for My creatures.” – Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas

shadow

“The lights of unfading splendor have so enveloped Him that all else but Thee is in His eyes but a shadow.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh

wall

“The Friend, unveiled, doth shed the splendour of His light Through every door and wall, O ye endued with sight!” – Hátif-i-Iṣfahání, as quoted by Bahá’u’lláh in The Seven Valleys, The Call of the Divine Beloved

home

“…make your home a true and happy home.”– From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Family Life

longing

“Longing hands are uplifted to the heaven of Thy grace and generosity: Where are the rains of Thy bestowal, O Answerer of the worlds?“– Bahá’u’lláh, Fire Tablet, Bahá’í Prayers

speed

“Speed out of your sepulchers[!]”-Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

dove

“O Lord my God! Long hath been the term of separation, and hard upon me the effect of deprivation! I, verily, yearn for the meads of Thy mercy even as a dove yearneth for a companion in its sylvan bower, wishing to behold Thy beauty in the World of Mysteries and to enjoy Thy pardon… Read More

three

“Each moon, O my belov’d, For three days I go mad; Today’s the first of these— ’Tis why thou seest me glad.” – Rúmí, quoted by Bahá’u’lláh, The Call of the Divine Beloved

path

“Wert thou to consider this world, and realize how fleeting are the things that pertain unto it, thou wouldst choose to tread no path except the path of service to the Cause of thy Lord.”– Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

amass

“Would that the inhabitants of the world who have amassed riches for themselves and have strayed far from the True One might know who will eventually lay hand on their treasures; but, by the life of Bahá, no one knoweth this save God, exalted be His glory.”– Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

after

“Behold how the manifold grace of God, which is being showered from the clouds of Divine glory, hath, in this day, encompassed the world. For whereas in days past every lover besought and searched after his Beloved, it is the Beloved Himself Who now is calling His lovers and is inviting them to attain His… Read More

tea

“Muḥammad-‘Alí would carefully consider every blessing that came his way. “How delicious my tea is today,” he would comment.” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful

rustling

“And what of the delights of these gardens—their exquisite grounds and gentle breezes, their purling streams, their soughing winds, their cooing doves and rustling leaves? … Alas for them! All have perished and are gone to rest beneath a canopy of dust.” – Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

angle

“The American nation, of which the community of the Most Great Name forms as yet a negligible and infinitesimal part, stands, indeed, from whichever angle one observes its immediate fortunes, in grave peril.” – Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, 1954

gem

“Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

colored

“The world of humanity, too, is like a garden, and humankind are like the many-colored flowers.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 23 April 1912 at Howard University, Washington, D.C., from The Promulgation of Universal Peace

reflection

“Yea, the sunbeam falls alike upon the dust and the mirror, yet differ they in reflection even as doth the star from the earth: nay, immeasurable is the difference!” – Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

lines

“…the lines were touching in the extreme, so that all who were there shed tears, and voices were raised in grief.“ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, describing the writing of the poet and coppersmith Áqá Muḥammad-Ibráhím in Memorials of the Faithful

scholar

“All men, not scholars alone, are exhorted to seek out and uphold the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.” – The Universal House of Justice

seed

“Look ye not upon the present, fix your gaze upon the times to come. In the beginning, how small is the seed, yet in the end it is a mighty tree.” – ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

fruit

“Consider the trees: If they remain uncultivated, they bear no fruit, and without fruit they are of no use. But when committed to a gardener’s care, the barren tree becomes fruitful, and, through cultivation, crossing, and grafting, the tree with bitter fruit yields sweet fruit.” —‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Some Answered Questions

powerful

“Thou art the Mighty and Powerful, Thou art the Forgiving and Thou art the One Who overlooketh the shortcomings of all mankind.“ —‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers

nature

“Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

secret

“Indeed, the wayfarer findeth a secret in every name and a mystery in every letter.” – Bahá’u’lláh, The Call of the Divine Beloved

canopy

“Now that Thou hast made them to abide under the shade of the canopy of Thy mercy, do Thou assist them to attain what must befit so august a station.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh

road

“O Hádí, seek a path unto the Truth, and a road leading unto God.” – Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

bloom

“…fields and plains shall teem with such a galaxy of sweet-smelling plants and blooms, that this lowly earth will become the Abhá Kingdom, and this nether world the world above.” – ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

educate

“O God! Educate these children.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers

brambles

“Obstruct not the luminous spring of thy soul with the thorns and brambles of vain and inordinate affections, and impede not the flow of the living waters that stream from the fountain of thine heart. Set all thy hope in God, and cleave tenaciously to His unfailing mercy. Who else but Him can enrich the… Read More

flight

“…if thou art standing, in thy yearning for My beauty, take flight…” – Bahá’u’lláh, Additional Tablets and Extracts from Tablets Revealed by Bahá’u’lláh

obscure

“The Clouds That Obscure the Sun of Truth” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks

heart

“We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other and every abiding change in… Read More

craft

“When anyone occupieth himself in a craft or trade, such occupation itself is regarded in the estimation of God as an act of worship…” – Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

iron

“The spirit of man transcends the qualities and attributes of any natural element. It is greater in attributes than gold, silver or iron, which are single elements and indestructible. As they are free from destruction and qualified with permanence, how much more so is the human spirit free and immortal. How will that ever be… Read More

illumine

“Illumine my inner being, O my Lord, with the splendors of the Dayspring of Thy Revelation, even as Thou didst illumine my outer being with the morning light of Thy favor.” —Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Prayers

forest

“So the supreme felicity of an animal resides in a green and verdant meadow, in a flowing stream of the sweetest water, and in a forest brimming with life.“ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

twisted

“Every path shall finally be twisted except the road of the Kingdom, which straighteneth day by day… Hence one must exert endeavor in whatever is lasting and permanent so that one may more and more be illumined, strengthened and revived.…” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

ripple

“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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