Thursday, September 29, 2011

Light in the Darkness

Sometimes what there is to be grateful for is the mere specks of light in the otherwise dark sky. Yesterday was a dark day... today the beams of light came in the form of a couple of friends reaching out, one all the way over cyberspace from Belgium, plus her post about bringing fresh flowers into her home. That got me off the couch and to the store and there, completely out of season were the most beautiful tulips. Which reminded me of Elke (Belgium friend) because Belgium is next door to Holland and in Holland, I saw the most beautiful tulips ever. Once home, the artist in me, who frankly doesn't give a hooey about whether things are light or dark, who doesn't even understand those words, went to work, and became one with the mysteries of the creative process as she spent a couple of hours photographing and then post processing.

Two years ago Moloka'i was an incredible light in the darkess; a place some invisible wisdom took me; when all I wanted was to survive the despair I had fallen into, she gave me days of incredible and boundless joy; the energy there impossible to articulate; and that I've heard you either bask in or cannot tolerate it. I basked, and began to call her home. Once back on the mainland, the darkness returned... but she remained always an enormous speck of light on my horizon. It's hard to believe that in three days I will be returning, hard to fathom that my next Musings will be from there, my other heart home, Moloka'i.

See you there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

 Mt. Shasta, Northern California, part of the Cascade Range that runs north all the way to Washington, and one of my most favorite places on earth. A mystical mountain, a powerful earth vortex, I have loved her since I first laid eyes on her as a little girl; feeling like John Muir who wrote~
"When I first caught sight of it over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since."

Today begins my year of finding one thing that I am grateful for each day and photographing it. Leading up to this day I have experienced many and varied feelings. Today what I notice is that I am surprisingly grounded, a little in awe, and like a traveler packed and ready, standing at the pier, stepping onto the boat, destination not quite known. Wow, how unbelievably symbolic, as this is my truest desire in actual life as well...

This morning I am anxious about the well-being of someone I love very much. What an opportunity (challenge?) this year is going to be to find one thing a day that I am grateful for even when the waters are not necessarily calm or life sailing smoothly along, even when I am worried or scared or sad or overwhelmed or depressed. I think this has been my hiccup above all others... how to be able to hold more than one thing at a time, how to mix the positive with the negative, the oil with the water.

And yet, I'm pretty sure that's the actual point.

As friend-on-the-journey, Elke, reminds us in her post about getting started on this project, it's really all about the practice. A wonderful reminder. Something I need to repeat again and again.

It's taken me a long time to get to this point, where I am open to this, and for me, anyway, it's a fine line between bypassing or resisting what is real and authentic in any given moment and being open to something different. I'm not interested in crossing that line toward the former, even by a toe's length, and the only way I could ever have undertaken this is to be genuinely in a place where I can feel gratitude. And seeing that that shift has happened, somewhere along the way crossing some invisible threshold, I truly am grateful.

My Day 1 Photo~

Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn Equinox = Gratitude

New banner for my Snapshots blog...! I think I love it :)

So this week I begin my own personal 365 Grateful Project. I appreciate all of the support and encouragement I got here to move forward with it. I'm excited, nervous, cautious. And thrilled that two friends will be joining me and that we are embarking on this journey together (yay, Elke and Jill. :))  We've timed our start to coincide with the autumn equinox, and it feels so appropriate to begin as one seasons ends and another is beginning. I am dedicating my Snapshots blog to this project,  my goal being to post a photo a day there. I'm sure I will also post updates here as well.

Speaking of grateful. Moloka'i is now growing larger on the horizon, and as I write this, I am exactly two weeks from being on a plane heading westward into the middle of the Pacific. Though it still isn't quite computing in my brain, my body is starting to get it... and I am awash in somatic memories of driving down her quiet country roads, diving headlong into her warm waters, my ohana there. It's close enough that I am making mental lists; shorts, check; bathing suits, check. snorkeling gear, check, check. There's been an interesting development... more on this later, I'm sure, but for now, all I can really say is that I am seeing AGAIN how nothing is really in our hands, in spite of how it all may appear. And I'm humbled and blown away at how life sometimes unfolds.

Surfing the net a couple of days ago looking for inspirational images for autumn equinox, I came across the creations of Carol Wiebe, and was especially moved by her poem "Broken," and the connection I felt between revere and grateful. I hope you enjoy it, too. My appreciation to Carol for permission to post the poem here. You can find her unique and beautiful art at Silverspring Studio by clicking here.

by Carol Wiebe

Passing from Wholeness into
Brokeness is a journey every one of us
has taken. The border between them is tissue
thin, often invisible. It is a delicate
balancing act to maintain your grip
on sanity after an event abducts you, then
leaves you broken.

Some of us travel deeper into Wholeness, others fall headlong
into Brokeness but none can claim they have not carried
baggage between them. And believe it
or not, there is a certain fulfillment in being
broken ~ when striving has ceased
and life is realized as something
to simply revere, no matter what

state we find ourselves in. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Love and Peace

Today I'm participating for the first time in a new online photo opportunity, Photo Art Friday, "an artistic showcase using photos as your canvas," hosted by Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art (who btw, makes and generously shares some fantastic textures for use in transforming photos!) I love the inspiration for Photo Art Friday, the Jackson Pollack quote, "Is it really art? Your opinion is the only one that matters." Bonnie stresses that this is not a competition, but a friendly showcase of creativity and inspiration. I love that!

I chose this photo for a couple of reasons. First, it's one of my most favorites since I began learning photoshop earlier this year. And second, and most importantly, because roses symbolize love. And on this, the tenth anniversary of 9/ll, I want to send out love and wishes for healing and peace to our entire beautiful planet and all of her beings.

So thanks, Bonnie, for this opportunity. Click on the badge below to check out other beautiful and inspirational photo art.

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mother Love

Beautiful Crater Lake, Crater Lake National Park

There have been a few really great things about my daughter living out of state for a couple of years - surprising as it is to hear myself say that. I have loved being able to go for visits a few times each year. There's an intimacy in waking up under the same roof, hanging out in a whole different way than just heading across the bay for lunch and an afternoon. There's all the roads we've been able explore on our many drives between here and there over the past couple of years. And I've gotten to know Boyfriend so much better, and have felt our love for each other deepen and grow, have felt us become family.

This trip was bittersweet. I helped them sort through things, pack boxes, get the house ready for its new owners. Then we packed her car to the roof and set out, just she and I, but with all of our hearts in our hands, waving goodbye, tears running down all of our cheeks, she heading closer to her dream of the writing life, he and sweet Lola (four-legged child) to a new job on a mountaintop, an hour and a half from his home town in Colorado. The plan, to do the long distance thing for the two years that she's in school, then after that, who knows...

I am in awe of them. The way they have processed and worked their way through this. Having the hard discussions, making the heartrending decisions. He honoring her dreams, she honoring his.Taking the risk to follow those dreams, loving each other enough not to hold the other back, trusting that what they have is real enough, strong enough to see them through. And if it isn't, they'll find that out, too, and be better to have found it out.

It's a lesson for me, all this letting go into the unknown following your dream stuff. It's my constant edge. And on a whole different level, to watch my daughter in this process, one of only two people on this earth I would willingly give my life for, setting out on her own for the first time in years, growing her dreams into being alongside the sadness of leaving her home and her family to do it, unloading her car, seeing for the first time her little room in the messy house full of other college students, watching my baby grow up again, my heart breaks in that mother way, and the poignancy of it is just too big for words.

And Crater Lake, well, also too much for words. It was a gorgeous afternoon when we passed through. The light and clouds and mountains just beautiful, and the lake itself stunning, one of those ancient, amazing, indescribable things, like mother love I guess, that cannot really be explained, only felt and experienced and revered.

Posted at The Creative Exchange - thanks so much, Lisa!