discover your created self

Defining Moment

photo taken by Kel Rohlf

I picked this photo to introduce today’s post to get your attention. Possibly to raise a question or questions. Part of my desire with contemplating “I AM” is to waken us to something we weren’t aware of before this moment. (I will explain what the photograph is at the end of the post.) But for now, I think it’s always helpful to look at definitions to dig deeper into a concept or idea, or just because I like to get to know a word better.

The word “am” is small, fairly easy to pronounce. It seems like a simple word to me, but it is a very important word. It is a form of the verb, be. This verb is one of the first ones we use as we develop language and learn to put sentences together.

The dog is black. The car is red. We use “is” as a connecting verb to describe nouns.

Here are few definitions of “be” as listed at that stood out to me today:

1) to equal in meaning : have the same connotation as : symbolize

2) to have identity with : to constitute the same idea or object as

3) to have an objective existence : have reality or actuality : live

“Am” is the present tense, first person singular use of be. To use “I am” just by itself without an object is revealing in and of itself.

We could say, “I am” means that I am declaring my meaning, my identity and my existence. So when GOD used this phrase as a definitive name in answer to Moses, it follows for me that GOD is telling Moses (and us as the readers) something about GOD. Expanding the phrase “I am” with the above definitions, I see that GOD has meaning. GOD has an identity. GOD exists and is real, actual and living. (I know there are some who question GOD’s existence, but I am not addressing that question.) I am going on the premise of the usage and definition of the word “am” in context of the conversation between Moses and “I am who I am.”

And since other Scriptures state that humankind is made in the image of Moses’ GOD, I believe and do apply these same meanings to myself. I have meaning. I have an identity. I exist, in reality and actuality. I am alive. I live my life, because I am.

In the days ahead, I hope to shed more light on how making “I am” statements impacts how I live, and what I believe about myself, others and even GOD.

Back to the photo. Before I tell you what it is, I hope you will have enjoyed the color and the patterns and texture of the photograph first. You may think it’s a painting technique or you may have guessed that it is blackberry juice that left a pattern in a bowl after I defrosted and then ate the blackberries that used to be in the bowl. But the reason the photo exists is because I noticed the pattern, texture and hue, and so decided I could not pass by the opportunity to capture the image.


Write an “I am” response of how you reacted to the above photo. Or next time you notice pattern, texture or color that captures your attention, take a photo of it. And if you like, write down why you wanted to capture the image.

They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world. (Psalm 19:3-4 NLT)






3 responses to “Defining Moment”

  1. Deep thoughts, Kel (as always). And I? I thought it was an egg (I kid you not!) that you had dyed or else colored after photographing (as in some kind of computer graphic magic). Just goes to show you that *I am* different in how I behold something than *you are* (also present tense of to be)! 🙂 And perhaps another question for *your* consideration is: Are we present in our present-tense being? Ah . . . that is the question!

    1. I can see your perspective on the photo, and I love the diversity we share, as well as our common existence…common meaning shared. Thank you for the question to ponder! Very apropos in regard to living out our “I am”-ness 😁

  2. I am-ness. Now there’s a word for the taking.

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About Me

Hi! My name is Kel Rohlf. I am an intuitive mixed-media artist, creative writer and performer. Life is a performance. I often attend.


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