Archive for category life lessons
I know of no other way to perfection but love. ~ St. Therese Of Lisieux
It’s moving day. I am taking the leap today, moving this blog over to my new website. I’m in the thick of designing a space that combines my new passion for photography along with my paintings and other aspects of my creative life. It’s not done and I’m not ready, my perfectionist tendencies have turned what I thought might be a 3 week project into 3 months of fussing.
The new site is not perfect, but I love where it’s going and I look forward to your feedback. You have helped shape this blog. I’m grateful that you find time to stop in and visit and I hope you join me at my new cyber home. The new blog/website will continue to have random posts that blend of my photography & thoughts in hopes of evoking something new in me or you.
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
~ Mary Oliver ~
It was one of those rare weather afternoons … pouring rain and the sun was shining through. I was on the porch, staying dry, having fun with my camera …I didn’t get many photos. My 13-year-old dog (who still thinks he is 2) found one of his toys and jogged over. Who could resist that face. He can hardly get up some mornings, his arthritis is awful, yet when he is outside with his toys he forgets all of that.
I put down my camera and got soaking wet playing fetch in the rain with my dog, it was so worth it. Sunrise has been a constant messenger for me to play, to drop everything I think I need to do, to let go and have some real FUN!
Who (or what) is your Messenger?
Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are. ~Lady Gaga
Over the weekend I put together 5 different collections of photos to share with you, all with beautiful themes or color stories, but I finally settled on this random collection in a small attempt to let it be… let it be.
I’ve think I’ve spent over 20 years trying to learn how to NOT try too hard. Some of the books I’ve read, workshops, therapists, and deep love poured into me from incredible family and friends rubs off and I can let down, let go, do less than I think I’m capable of, attempt to relax and just play,,, but for the most part it doesn’t last I soon find my way back to trying too hard… paying attention to every damn detail…Trying to get it right even when I know there is no Right.
The perfectionist side of me may always aches to create some kind of beautiful order from the chaos that life is?? It’s just part of my personality, I try too hard and that’s okay.
What part of your personality have you learned to embrace rather than TRY to fix?
Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm for the night. Set a man on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. ~ Terry Prachett
I spent last week warming up in Austin TX. My husband took part in an ‘Editors Retreat’ learning all of the latest & greatest for TV, film & web video production. The retreat included meals & activities from breakfast till after midnight most days. When I join him on business trips, he will try to take an afternoon off and we usually eat dinner together, this trip was so wonderfully different. He was like a kid in a candy store with 60 other ‘kids’ so excited to be together sharing their obsessions & expertise. I hardly saw him, but when I did he was so happy.
When he creates TV shows he often directs, produces, shoots and edits, if I had to choose, I feel like editing is his expertise. I think he is one of best in the business. He got back late the first night and talked about how exciting it was to be around so many editors who knew so much more than him! He loved the class on 3D editing.
On the second night they had a poker tournament, when he rushed out to join the group he said “I’m going to win this thing” I said “How? you don’t play poker” He looked at me with a big smile and said “I read people”. I think I rolled my eyes a bit and said “Have fun”. He got back to the hotel room about 1:00 am carrying the $2000.00 grand prize…. some fancy brand new video storage device that he and all the other editors treated like royalty.
The retreat set him on fire!
I did not mind having lots of time to myself. I found the greenbelt and went on wonderful hikes. Beside all the birds that let me get so close, I found two turtles sunning! I was tempted to crawl on the warm rocks and relax in the sun with them.
Look how close this guy let me get! That pattern on his neck is beautiful.
This guy was a little more reserved.
I jumped across a few rocks and found these bubbles on top of some green gooey stuff in the water… hmmmm??
I ran into so many friendly locals, two asked me to join them on their hikes, later in the day, a group of dog owners let me play with their dogs in the water. The vibe in Austin is so relaxed & friendly, I could live there. I was warned about how terribly hot and long the summers are but when I have a choice, I prefer sweating over shivering. What do you prefer?
I was so happy to be out of the cold wandering and finding all kinds of new things to photograph. I love the shape of these seedpods, they look like skirts dangling with mini bowling balls ready to drop.
The sun sparkeled after a brief rainstorm, I think getting caught in a warm rain is one of my favorite things.
It was such a good trip. We both came home fully refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Have you been on any retreats with peers that inspired you?
To travel is to live. ~ Hans Christian Andersen
My husband is a road warrior. Travel is second nature to him. He’s an expert at all of the nuances that make his adventures run a little smoother. He has very specific routines like packing the same bag the same way each time. This helps him find what he needs so quickly, he even zips each bag the same way so if he needs to get at something in the middle of night, he can do it all by feel.
I’m so impressed when I ask him for something and he has it in 2 seconds flat. I’m too random to adopt this routine but I have adopted a few of his travel tips. I roll my clothes to fit more in my carry-on. You can squish undies and socks into so many spots, even inside your shoes! Sometimes when I’m too stressed about fitting everything I want to take, I hand the task over to him. It’s like packing the car, he prefers to do all of it… his way. When I let go of my control issues and let him have at it, we both win
A few more tips that have made my trips more enjoyable…
- One of my favorite app’s for travel is Gate Guru. When you’re on long layovers you can enjoy decent food at most airports using this food finder, it’s like a mini yelp for airports.
- The Art of Non-Conformity is my favorite blog to read about travel. Today’s post inspired me to write about my travel tips, he has some great recommendations about which cards to use to get more frequent flyer miles & hotel perks.
- When I travel with my husband, I get to use his noise reduction headphones and relax in the sky club enjoying free food & drinks in a comfortable setting. I even took a shower on a long layover which was so refreshing after an all night flight. It’s just amazing how these two things make traveling calmer and quieter. They are expensive for those of us who travel here and there but if I traveled more, I would spend the money on both.
I’m soaking up the warmth in Austin, TX for a few days, it’s so nice to be hiking in a t-shirt this time of year. Here’s a few shots from the flight…
this is a view inside and out from the delta sky lounge at our layover in atlanta
wet & warm
i could not resist taking a shot of the reflection in the laptop screen of this beautiful girl relaxed & reading as her neighbors are busy chatting and getting thing done on the computer
once we got above the rain storm it was beautiful
castles in the sky
beautiful layers of blues & whites
even some god’s light as the sun began to set, it was an easy travel day
Do you have any tips that have made your travel more enjoyable?
A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance… ~Bob Dylan
Do you know much about these amoeba like particles that float in the air?
These nearly invisible particles, inside the hexagon, that float and seemingly roam as if they were alive moving on a plane of existence that is only rarely visible?? I see them when I’m sitting quietly inside and the light comes through a window a certain way. I see them when I’m very still, quiet and paying attention to the moment.
When I’m outside and the sunrays create the portal needed to see this magical amoeba dust?? I have not had my camera, until the other day… It was a gorgeous morning and I could easily see the moving particles in the hexagon sun spots. They are tiny clear worm like things?
My guess is that it’s probably some boring sciency answer that might ruin the magical way I feel when the portal opens and I see something rare and strange. They always remind me of Philip Pullman’s fabulous trilogy His Dark Materials. Have you read these mystical otherworldly adventures?
I want to know as much as I don’t want to know… What the…
Sunrays makes everything looks so dreamy and magical… what a beautiful world we live in.
P.S. It was so fun to read the answers to the challenge in my last post. Many got 5 or 6 out of 7 right! I was most entertained by all the wrong but incredibly creative answers and captions. The crowd favorite was Lisa A’s captions.
Here is what each of the photos actually are…
1. This is pond scum… beautiful pond scum
2. A few red berries out of focus.
3. Some breakfast potato oil floating on water in a fry pan by the sink.
4. A deflated basketball, now a dog toy, covered in frost.
5. A mushroom spore print. If you’re interested, I’ll share how to make them in the summer.
6. A guy standing on a dock taking a photo.
7. A sappy icicle.
Since no one got all 7 right, I used random.org to generate a choice from all 16 comments. The winner of an 8″x10″ print of your choice is #10, Lady Fi.
The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain. ~ Longfellow
I walked out into the fog & rain this morning and wandered to the ponds outback. It felt like I was living somewhere magical and beautiful. You’d never know that a giant grocery superstore is being built just behind these trees!
Fog can put a lovely layer of beauty in-between the chaos that exists.
The colors that come out when it’s damp are so exquisite.
On my way back to the house, I found this red drop coming from this blue berry, it must have been there long enough to extract some of the juices in the berry? Raindrops & fog who could ask for a better morning to wander.
Have you seen these dreamy photos that the google street view cameras took…
A few photo tips I learned from google street view camera:
- Travel to beautiful places.
- Take more photos of empty streets, they lead the eye.
- Go shoot when it’s foggy, everything looks dreamy.
Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup. ~ Wendell Berry
I wish it was the middle of the summer and I was rising early to collect dew wet red berries, but it’s not. Lately it’s been cold and gray so I decided to brighten my day and organize a few of the red berry photos I’ve taken over the last few weeks. There are still so many bright red balls clinging to branches and hanging in clusters. I’m grateful for the little splash of color.
I’ve actually been hunting for blackberries this time of year, not the fruit but the branches. In July, I stumbled on some wild blackberries while hiking and was able to pick enough to have some on my breakfast cereal. It’s been years since I had wild berries and I was so amazed by the taste.
They taste like my childhood, I remember being so lucky to live next to neighbors who had berries in their giant garden. I would just sit on the ground and eat as I picked, no need to go home for lunch, I filled up on berries and played outside all afternoon. Nowadays the supermarket berries are super-sized and strange tasting compared to the wild ones. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I can buy a pack of organic berries for $3.00 to have on my breakfast in the middle of December, this morning I had some yummy raspberries with my shredded wheat, but there is nothing like the taste of a fresh picked wild berry on a hot summer day.
The reddish purply branches have a beautiful icy gray patina, the color is such a feast for the eyes this time of year, they stand out against all the gray. Now that I know what blackberry branches look like it’s so much easier to spot them. I’ve found so many stashes of berry patches on many of my regular hikes, next summer I’ll be able to pick enough for a whole pie!
What tastes take you right back to your childhood?
In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place. ~ Susan Taylor
The snow was so heavy
we marched on
the tulip tree was full of snowy cup cakes
tiny branches sparkled in the sun
bigger branches leaned and arched to the ground.
Our first storm of the season brought about 8″ of heavy wet snow that sent many trees to the ground ( see why here ). It’s been a week and some are still bent and slowly trying to upright themselves… unfortunately many could not take the weight and broke.
The storm destruction reminds me of how topsy-turvy the world feels, lately so many things are out of whack and falling apart.
I think it’s fascinating that technology / transparency is bringing about more awareness, but there are times I’m not sure what to do with all the information. It seems that each time I turn on the computer or television, I’m confronted with a new story of tyranny being uprooted, greed and lies are being exposed. ‘Old’ ways seem to be collapsing, things once hidden are being revealed. It’s a mess and all this upheaval is shocking and hard to accept or fathom sometimes.
This topic feels too heavy to write intelligently about yet here I am attempting to say something? I’m so curious about all the energy that is swirling around, changing, crashing… perhaps creating a path for new ways?
Some how I feel lucky to be living at such an exciting time full of strange opportunities, new ways of thinking, new ways of connecting and collaborating. I feel like I’m having my own personal revolution as I let old ways breakdown and fall away.
P.S. People like Pranav Mistry are the ones who give me so much faith that wonderful new ways will prevail.
All things must change to something new, to something strange. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I took this shot ↑ last spring on April 17 during a late snow storm, it’s normal to see the buds appearing on the trees.
I took these shots ↓ this week on December 1. It’s not normal to see buds on the trees at the beginning of winter!?
I rarely watch the news but turned it on during our first snow storm. I’m glad I did, it solved a mystery I’ve been wondering about… when I was hiking a few weeks ago I was so surprised that I was finding so many caterpillars crawling, moths flying, and flowers blooming in mid – November, most surprising was a shrub that was budding? It turns out that we had exceptionally warm periods this fall that caused some odd occurences,.. trees and shrubs began to bud out soon after their leaves fell off. It’s so strange to see these buds in December?