Rain this morning. Delicious. Now the sun. It makes me glow. Heightened awareness. Okay so what’s that about….oh I just had an epiphany yesterday and suddenly — profoundly –realized in a somewhat much clearer way than ever before….that all I need to do is show up for me. No matter how desolate things can be, no matter how tremendous the challenges of every day health, work stuff, relationship fluctuations, etc etc etc — My real work is simply me. And once I put that front and center I truly believe I can do, achieve, create whatever I intend. It’s freeing to live in accord with my own true self. This is where I begin front and center and this is where I may serve through my art. May I open my heart wide to those closest and those on the street — to begin again and again.
The mighty sea always reminds me of beauty and turmoil in my life. Life’s been bumpy what can I say; however, it’s surrounded by puffs of grace and so much gratitude.
I pulled this photo out this morning and my heart skipped a beat. I suppose it always does when I am able to view this kind of image through my camera lens. It reminds me of the layers of my own life and the need for pauses. Our self-care is ramped up here in our household to balance out the complexities of everyday life.
What is it about extremes I go to when I slip down the rabbit hole and do the internal scream….”Hold on”…or as Mary Oliver so beautifully articulates….”Mend my life.” Yeah…that pretty much says it all. The best part is knowing that the bandaids are close by and at any time I can access my internal garden I’ve tended too so much in the past.
As I edge toward summer I wave goodbye to the windy days of spring and the somewhat unsettling times it has brought me. I’m an evolving modern elder moving into unknown chapters with glee, expectancy and always…the love of the sea.
I tend to make intentions rather than resolutions these years. I do keep the list and reference back and am happy to know I met my challenges and goals and oh sure there are those that fell to the wayside. That’s okay. It’s all okay.
A highlight of last year was being trained as a Friendship Line volunteer to answer calls from mostly seniors who basically need a friend on the other end of a line. I have one amazing 96- year-old-woman who regularly states her wish at this stage of her life is to keep learning and to keep reaching out to make new friends. She lost several of her best buds last month and I can feel the heaviness of her heart as her voice quivers talking about their treasured times.
And then there’s a young chap making his way through his disability and still holding hope high in each of his days. He shares his poetry with me. We laugh together, trade stories and basically feel a human being right there through a telephone.
This year I want to keep showing up and stretching and moving to the rhythm of what is before me and inside of me. I’d like my art to take a dive into a new layer in my heart perhaps to reveal a hidden landscape. Wonders abound. It is a New Year.
I realize just as I started settling into the hot sun on my bare legs and I embraced a more accepting demeanor riding the bus with other sweat-bodied individuals – I was forced to shift yet again with the arrival of the fog-filled air. I was so getting comfortable with those stretched-out Indian summer days. Alas, I can always count on the “time to shift time” peeking up to keep me vital.
I was on assignment to shoot the Baraka Gallery in lower Fillmore and I found the weather’s warmth became my companion as it challenged me to dive deeper into the crevices and artistic settings of the African gallery. My fingers walked through a book on Niger and the artifacts that decorated the community of the dark-skinned people. I discovered an enhanced sense of sprit and decorum that rippled through the pages on to me, the viewer.
All around me my senses were being activated by art through books, jewelry, clothing, blankets, and, as a highlight, a stunning man’s tunic stip weaved on hand loom with hand embroidery of the Wodaabe People Niger.
Truly art is everywhere embedded in our cultures. Daily I create more spaciousness to nourish my art. I am more accepting of its mystery and its darkness that emboldens me. I was recently reminded I need to get serious about taking myself more lightly.
So here on this Un-Monday, I am doing just that.
My first photo essay column on Medium.com on the impact of Gloria Steinem’s actions and words. I shot one photograph 45 years ago and the others a few months ago. Her impact remains powerful. Thanks for taking a look and following me for future words.
I am learning – goodness me – over and over again – to experience the complexities of my life on different levels. Perhaps that it because I rise and fall and wallow in the in-betweens and then shift and move again in a new direction.
The rumbles are part of the big messy-like picture – and my mirror is spring with its unpredictability. It echoes the curvatures of my inner landscape.
All I need do is buckle up for the ride.
And continue to recalibrate so I may dive deeper in a new arena with the knowledge that creativity is my arsenal of pure energy. I need only to tap it gently to get the wheels in motion.
Life is fascinating in a myriad of ways. Probably my biggest lesson of late is the companion of my breath and its miraculous powers to settle me. (take five)
We’re in for rocky rides these days. My camera shoots what it will and sometimes it’s a blur of unsettledness and I know when I witness the image I just shot, it is a container of currents awakening me to new tunes.
And so is this season of Spring.
So much chatter going on these days in all areas of our world. I read the other day how important it is to sharpen our “response abilities.” Respond in a fashion that takes us to a different place rather than reacting right away. It’s so easy to just react. I find I’m hitting that pause button more and more.
The ocean is such an anchor for me. I give so much gratitude for being able to witness the mighty sea at almost any day I choose. And it helps remind me to be okay with all the changes. There’s an ebb and flow to everything. I grab my camera and just go.
Autumn has always been a season of quirky shifts for me. The winds remind me that changes are comin; the air can be balmy and/or windy and of late, signal light rain. I walked out yesterday and held my head back to catch the raindrops on my face. This may sound silly; so what. I suppose I was seeking a cleanse from an unknown source.
I’ve also felt a greater sense of loss this season. I reflect back on my friends and family who have passed on and how they impacted my life. I try and pull up some of their kind words of support to get me through the weepy tears that surface. I remind myself it’s okay to just be with the discomfort of those feelings and let the love that I felt sink deeper into my being. It reinforces my heart was and continues to open. I stretch further into the sadness and find trickles of newness. Call it hope perhaps. There’s always another way-another option-another day. I take more rest periods. I walk with neighborhood friends. I call my 92-yr-old Mom and talk about really nothing; I hold my sweetheart closer. I stop and just laugh. I dance to a favorite old song and freak out my kitty cat in the process. All this to just renew as I continue to make my way into the complexities of this time.
Life needs us all. It’s that simple. I mark my spot in this crazy beautiful autumn day.
For days now I am greeted in the early am with layers of fog. It sets my morning in a way that allows me to move in an unfettered way. There’s a freedom attached to the fog. It holds what it is to come and for the few morning hours before the sun moves in there is a beaconing – a calling – so to speak – step in and create.
I shot these magnificent trees on the coastline in Half Moon Bay — a friend had said the night before — “I hope you capture the fog – it is suppose to be really thick tomorrow.” Well with that challenge I set out in the early morn and my camera companion did the heavy lifting. My body moved to the grace of the elements and I found myself in sync with the dance of the atmosphere.