Laura Matthias Bendoly

Feather Rest


This image, “Feather Rest,” shows a swan asleep at the Columbus Zoo. It was tightly wrapped up in its plumage – but then woke, and stretched, as we all do, ready to tend to its family and its duty as a mate. So elegant, so refined, such perfection and energy and freedom all compacted into the frame of my lens. The opulent white along the curve of the feather filaments, they layer life and seasons and cycles all atop one another. And yet, within a few years, this swan will die, passing on that astonishing perfection to another generation of birds. What freedom, what peace, what amazing universality. May we each gain strength of purpose in the utter non-self-absorption of the swan asleep, the peace of we breathless mortals looking on.

~Laura Matthias Bendoly




My photo, “Tournesol,” shows the under side of a sculpted sunflower at Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville, Ohio. My image reflects the DoveTales theme in that these flower petals, like a dove’s wing, can be seen from above and below as a kind of shelter. They, the petals and wings, are emblems of flight, of protection, of transcendence. They are unique and yet very familiar. The petals on the sculpture I shot show, too, how a momentary experience — the observation of a flower in bloom — can last an entire lifetime, when cast onto the photographic lens, or made into glass. Even after the dove has flown or the flower has wilted, the photograph remains. And the light that penetrates through these glass petals radiates out to the viewer, casting a shaded, welcome, motherly embrace.

~Laura Matthias Bendoly


Laura Matthias Bendoly is photographer and author whose most recent novel is the age-of-discovery adventure, The Peddler of Wisdom.  Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, she is behind the camera lens, cycling, hiking, and discovering maps, old books, and art catalogs for character inspiration.  See more of Laura’s photography at and browse her fiction titles at and


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