Broken and complete coexisting

baby-buddha-cham-shan-temple-niagara-fallsLast weekend Irene and I were in Niagara Falls, Ontario looking for something “non-mainstream” to do. Tired of the usual Clifton Hill trek, Irene took to Google to see what we could find. Turns out there’s much more to Niagara then the typical Falls and shops that we usually frequent. Several options to fill a few hours were quickly revealed, but ultimately, we decided to visit the Drummond Hill Cemetery and Cham Shan Temple (Ten Thousand Buddhas). The cemetery is the burial site of Laura Secord and was also the location of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane between British and Americans soldiers in 1814. The Cham Shan Buddhist Temple on River Rd. is a 7 level complex on a 3 acre property. If you want to view inside the temple though, you’ll need to visit between June and October for one of their guided tours, as we found out. Photographing the exterior is OK, but you cannot bring your camera inside the temple or main building.

So the car is parked, the camera is out and we start our unhurried and observant walk through the entire property. I’m not sure how busy it gets during “peak” season, but going this time of year there were almost no people around, plenty of space, time and peace. Needless to say, I took many photographs, which I’m sure you’ve seen on my social accounts or website.

While exploring I came across a small baby Buddha statue (see above). Just slightly larger than a hand and resting on the corner of a sizable solid base that held another larger Buddha statue. It caught my attention because it seemed so out of place. Similar bases were located all over the property, but this was the only one that had a baby Buddha resting on its corner. Then I did something I shouldn’t have, I touched seemingly solid statue with my finger; ever so gently as to not disturb it. The interesting thing is, this article wouldn’t exist if I had not touched it. As my finder came in contact, I noticed movement in the right arm. As I inspected closer, the small statue was in fact broken into several fragments. A strong wing, a person accidently bumping or carelessly touching the small statue is all it would take for the pieces to separate and fall to the ground most likely breaking into even more pieces.

There was a great deal of symmetry that day. Buddha statues, dragons, the architecture of the Cham Shan temple all perfectly aligned and fascinating, but it was the out of place, broken Buddha statue I’ll remember the most. A solid stone sculpture that could fall apart at any moment over a delicate nudge and interestingly, there’s someone here to pick up the pieces and put it back together. My memory of the small broken stone sculpture can be accredited to the individual who gives their time to put the pieces back together. I find myself wondering how long has the tiny Buddha been broken, how many times has he been reassembled, how long has he been sitting peacefully on the corner of that concrete base and the really intriguing question, will he be there the next time I visit? I hope so.

Thank you to the person who demonstrated coexistence of broken and complete.

Dog of Carnage

As you can plainly see, my vacation to Puerto Plata in took a turn for the worse when encountering this aggressive beast of a dog. The solid iron fence structure barely contained this ferocious monster; I swear I could see the bars starting to bend! The owner, a deceptively delightful little old lady did nothing but sit there and smile as I stood traumatized, shaking camera in hand, praying that this savage killer wouldn’t end me where I stand.

Friendship Poem

only a path when traveled
this moment defines direction
looking back it’s unfolded
inside, a time for reflection

friendship connections mature
separate beings becoming one
occasionally a brewing storm
lightning strikes, we’re done

created from a genuine place
evolves into something more
drifting into the distance
can’t get back to shore

pieces fall aside
an incomplete puzzle
no matter what we convey
feels like an awkward muzzle

communication is key
vulnerable without guard
honest and true to oneself
lead a life less scarred

-Geary LeBell

True Worth – A poem written for a friends wedding

A ring caught my eye
i didn’t walk by
looking so unique

One of a kind
In my mind
like some kind of freak

cast with 1000s more
pedaled like a whore
what is it that I seek?

the meaning within
seems pretty thin
it makes me weak

forget that ring
it won’t make you sing
i haven’t killed the mystique

the curled metal band
from the garage wasn’t planned
it is what you seek

the flowers made from screen
cannot be unseen
it is from where i speak

shift your perception
said with nothing but affection
all is not oblique

true internal worth
you’ll have to unearth

your creation, no boutique.

-Geary LeBell

Done waiting…

Taz the black cat
This is Taz… Taz is a freak.

News flash. I own the domain “”. First registered back in 2004, it has been the ONLY domain I’ve registered without the accompanying .com, ever. Another person got to the .com before I did :(. I’ve been keeping an eye on it for quite a few years, hoping it would expire so I could grab it, but have come to the conclusion that’s not going to happen. Then I started thinking recently that most of my social network (instagram, twitter, pinterest, etc..) usernames are “gearylebell”. So there you have it, forget! will be the new home for all my photographs and other interests.

BTW… I’ll be keeping the forever. So if you’re out there waiting for me to dump it…. not going to happen.

I’m sure there’s LeBell’s lined up around the block just waiting for it ;)