#wesembodiment Photo Challenge

My congregation is doing a Photo Challenge this month, in which everyone is given the same set of 31 words or phrases (well, 30, because one of them is used twice), one for each day of the month. What you are supposed to do is take a photo each day that embodies the word for that day, and post it on social media. Many people are following these directions, and I am enjoying their photographic interpretations of each day’s word on Facebook.

For me, the challenge of photographing and posting something every single day seemed a little daunting, and I have not followed the directions. But I did go through photos already posted in this blog, and I made a collage with a photo for each of the 31 days.


  1. Happy. The late great Duncan swimming at Patapsco Valley State Park – Daniels Area. The very definition of happy.
  2. Here Now. From the tour I took many years ago of the historic headquarters of the American Red Cross.
  3. Grateful. This photo is from my visit to Fallo, Italy in 2015 for the annual Festa festivities. I am grateful to my father and my very extended family for introducing me to this beautiful tiny mountain town, the only place where my last name is common.
  4. Generous. A Little Free Library, one whimsical example of the generosity of everyday people in sharing books with neighbors and strangers.
  5. Free. Though President Lincoln’s Cottage was not literally free to visit, in terms of admission price, the content of the house tour and the exhibit had quite a bit to do with freedom. Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation while staying at this house in the summer (he was still in DC, so not too far from the White House). The exhibit space forces visitors to confront the realities of modern-day slavery.
  6. Love. These three cats are on a tile in the bathroom at the Torpedo Factory. They remind me of the three cats who are part of my family. I’d like to think they secretly love each other.
  7. Inspired. Part of the Greensboro Lunch Counter is on display at the National Museum of American History, inspiring museumgoers who are trying to bend that moral arc of the universe toward justice.
  8. Intentional. The “spite room” at the General Federation of Women’s Clubs headquarters. (This room was built when the house was a private residence.)
  9. Radiant. Art from the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick.
  10. Enough. It’s hard to tell in this cropping of the photo, because there wasn’t enough room to fit everything, but this flag in front of Arlington House is at half-staff. The photo was taken just after the mass shooting/attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords. In the foreground is the Eternal Flame that memorializes President Kennedy.
  11. Service. This inscription at the World War II Memorial reads: Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices. Harry S Truman
  12. True. A bust of Charles Darwin at the National Academy of Sciences.
  13. Untethered. While this ship-shaped playground outside the Arlington Arts Center may not be going anywhere, children can play on it with untethered imagination.
  14. Awed. This photo is from Joshua Tree National Park in California.
  15. Optimistic. The Women’s March on Washington made me feel at least somewhat optimistic.
  16. Thankful. At the Children’s Garden at Brookside Gardens, the words on a tree stump remind us to say thank you to pollinators.
  17. Bold. The first Infinity Room that visitors enter at Yayoi Kusama’s Hirshhorn exhibit is small, but it’s filled with mirrors, bright red polka dots, and phallic-shaped objects. This room is called Phalli’s Field.
  18. Kind. At the 2013 National Book Festival, Jane Paley (human) and Hooper (dog) shared with an audience of melting hearts their stories of Hooper being rescued from Hurricane Katrina and then serving as a therapy dog in libraries.
  19. Open. Everything just seems open in this photo – open sky, open water, open porch at Mount Vernon.
  20. One. A labyrinth (like this one at the University of Maryland, College Park) has only one path into the center and back out.
  21. Alive. I photographed this flower, ladybug, and bee on the grounds of Washington National Cathedral.
  22. Breath. Someone’s breath blew these bubbles at the Blossom Kite Festival in 2010.
  23. Content. At Torre Argentina in Rome, cats nap in the sun or hide in the nooks and crannies of ancient ruins while they wait for their forever homes.
  24. Growing. I photographed these flowers growing at the United States Botanic Garden.
  25. Enough. A display of the rapid growth of bacteria at the Koshland Science Museum.
  26. Accepting. One of the many contributions to Takoma’s annual Seats exhibit, this set of six chairs emphasizes the inclusiveness that Takoma residents cherish.
  27. You. I photographed this wishing tree at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival a few years ago. Everyone, including you, could add their wish to the tree.
  28. Soulful. Roger Williams, in statue form at the United States Capitol, believed in soul liberty and was a champion of religious freedom.
  29. Still. A sculpture on the grounds of the Music Center at Strathmore. (I wrote about the visual art at Strathmore while considering the Slow Art movement, the idea of being still and looking at one or just a few pieces of art for a long time.)
  30. Heartful. Notice the heart on this figure at the now-closed Awakening Museum in New Mexico.
  31. Wild. At the National Geographic Museum, I learned about the complicated dance that male birds of paradise do in order to attract mates. It was pretty wild.


About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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2 Responses to #wesembodiment Photo Challenge

  1. Becky says:

    Nice interpretation, I love this!

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