Here are some words I have written to myself, inspired by a sign developed by HYPERFIT USA in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a remarkable fitness program I had the opportunity to visit with my daughter, Carrie and her husband, Josh, over Christmas.  These words have been changed from Hyperfit’s words, but most of the tone of their exhortation remains.

“As you venture forth, Bob, on the endeavor of this specific hour, or even part of an hour, this writing project, this article for the Clayton Tribune,  this question being answered for the website,, this time of meditation, this lecture, this interview, or this task in the garden you love so much, agree to give 100% of what you have. Let there be no excuses for failing to do your best. Remember that there may be no second chance. Every moment of every day is an opportunity to excel, to express love, to be the very best that you can be and to be more than you were before.  Life is simply not a dress rehearsal.  Do not squander your time by simply going through the motions.  Train, think, write or garden to the very best of your ability, but get results. At the end of the day, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you gave this day your all. If you don’t have this level of commitment, reconsider the venture you are considering setting forth upon.  If you don’t have this level of commitment maybe you shouldn’t set forth on this venture at all.  It may be a waste of time”

Over and over Lucinda Bunnen returned to the little pond below our house with an incredible level of commitment.  For the most part she returned when the lotuses had died and what was visible were the pods, the stalks, (sometimes as long as 3 feet up above the water, but now bent over in interesting angles by the weight of the pods), and an occasional dried up leaf.

Her return to this scene mystified me.  What was she seeing? Well, she was seeing what her genius as an artist saw.

You can see it too in Atlanta at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Her huge photos (just over 6 feet by just under 5 feet) are on display from now through July 3, 2010.  The museum is at the end of Bennett Street (75 Bennett Street) just off Peachtree.

From Hatcher’s Pond: From the Artist describes some of Lucinda Bunnen’s thoughts explaining her photos: “At Hatchers Pond I realized I was seeing something I hadn’t seen before and I started coming back as often as I could, to see the pond in different seasons, times of day, weather and light conditions.  When the first winter season came I got really excited by the many possibilities and started to see more and more patterns and feel the meditative pull. I tried to keep my mind and eye open to things I didn’t recognize and allow the camera and lens to show me things I hadn’t seen.

During my second winter I went when it was 17 degrees.  It was bone cold and so was I; but I was determined not to think about that and make new images.

I hope that the transparency of my images of the lotus stalks and pods reflecting in the water with earth and sky will give you, the viewer, an emotional jolt.

In Hatcher’s pond the reflection of the stalks and pods, sometimes looking like dancing figures and other times like musical scores, are the culmination of all my photographic desires in one of the most rich and exciting places.

Lucinda Bunnen, you are a creative genius and your exhibit has made Maggie and Bob Hatcher look upon the little pond below our home, with new eyes.  Thank you so much.