Category Archives: Story of a Photograph

Can 2020 get more surreal?

Ironic, or is it – that today is 9/11 – a day which rocked the world into a huge state of emergency. Here in California – we are sheltered inside – pretty much sequestered to our homes. The reason – from off -the-charts basically bad air quality due to wildfires across the state of California. Governor Gavin Newsom put it bluntly….this is climate change. He went on to say, “Mother Nature is about three simple things: biology, physics and chemistry.”

My day began somewhat dark and proceeded to get darker – the photo above was taken right around noon in San Francisco. I worked through the afternoon and then we ordered takeout and then my physical being said STOP.

I felt like I had an electrical charge pulsating throughout my body. It made me pause and stand in the essence of the discomfort. Soon I employed various techniques to regroup from yoga poses to flushing my system with H20. Finally I went to bed chanting the powerful mantra OM. It took almost two days for me to regroup and still today on this momentous day of 9/11 I am heart stricken over that memory and now, over my beloved San Francisco’s tinted sky.

Climate change is real. Isn’t it about time we all get on the same page? Admit we have to make changes and start living in this new reality in a productive way to meet its challenge?

Zero Foodprint, located here in San Francisco, said it best:

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Also posted in Climate Change, San Francisco, Year 2020, Photo of the Day

Zigzagging into the Roaring 2020s

I photographed this image of myself last June.  It was the day before I suffered a pulmonary embolism. (a blockage in the lungs)  One out of three people dies from embolisms.  Mine peaked in a swollen leg.  I had walked five miles on that day and was feeling fine.  The next day my leg began to swell. 

I wound up in the hospital with a clot in my thigh and, because I had fainted at home, a CT scan revealed a piece of the clot had traveled into an artery in my lungs. 

The docs were miffed.  I was an active person. 

They monitored me and eventually took me off estrogen (hormones) – the power drug for women that helps with skin, joints and brain health.  I was on the medication for 22 years.  One risk was clotting.  The docs halted that medication and six weeks later, while my heart was healthy, my knee became stiff from an old injury and basically collapsed. Rehab began and remains a very slow process.

On that fateful walk, as I approached the word heal on the sidewalk before me, I placed myself into the image and photographed it.   Somewhat of a foreshadowing – being blood red and reflecting my shadow back to me.  I was feeling the impact of the image on my being.  I didn’t question.  I just kept moving.  My body took over from that point. 

I was soon forced to realize the impact of that message.  I made changes.  

I retired my 35-year-PR career and stepped fully into my true calling – my art/my photography.  

I am recalibrating.  I’m anchoring myself into a safe place where I go inward and feel the unsteady essence of who I am and what’s to come.  

Luminous Emptiness.  To quote the Buddhist view…” nothing is permanent or fixed.  The entire world of our experience is constantly appearing and disappearing at every moment.”

My dream, my life, is my work.  I move with mindful physical ease as I greet this new year with camera in hand, and begin to step further into a deeper work full of purpose and service.  I was given this gift of seeing beyond through a lens at age 13.  It’s been patiently waiting for me to fully embrace it.  Respectfully I do now, with gratitude and confidence and uncertainty and unknowing.   I am alone and I am in the community of a family of friends.  I walk ever so gracefully.   

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Textures of Life

I was gifted tickets to the Symphony yesterday and reminded of another huge presence in my life.  Music.  As an artist, I have loved so many genres of music and feel so grateful for digital access to almost any artist or tune I seek.  This concert was to be San Francisco’s Symphony Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas’ last concert prior to undergoing surgery before returning for his final season next year leading up to his retirement after 25 years.

He conducted Mahler’s 9th.  No intermission.  And I understand why as I was being transformed through each of the four movements.  The last one, Adagio, was weighted…“Grief gives way to peace, music and silence become one.”

I’ve always believed life is textured;  and as I learned early on about texture in photography, I became more aware of how this word so brilliantly illustrates movement in all areas of my life.

I am teaching a Mindful Photography class at a hospital where patients, (clients) can heal through various methods of occupational therapy.  We spent one entire class on texture and how it layers our world.  I suggested to the students to open their eyes further to feel and soon see how texture reveals itself through various forms.  As I walked home afterward I passed this amazing tree trunk just whistling through to me of its multi-layered texture.  I think of what this magnificent being has endured.  And how in its evolving age is still shining brightly through its passages of life.

It beckoned me to approach and raise my camera to photograph.  My heart was and is still full.  Yesterday at the concert I was reminded of the parallels of music and photography.  Both frame my life and cause me to stretch deeper into the creative process.    And, as a teacher, to pay it forward, purely and simply.  Such abundance abounds.

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The Exploration of Everything

I am everything.  Before you behind you all around you and most important inside of you, I rest.
I am exploration.  I am your journey to places you have been and those you’ve yet to tap.
Don’t give up on me.  The blur is merely a veil.  You must look deep inside to all the parts calling you.
You will find the way.  You are meeting your light.  Look for me in those not obvious places.  Dive into
unknown parts you encounter.  Be uncomfortable.  Notice the detail. Continue to be discerning.
Be aware.  Always seek.  Hold strong as you cradle the gentleness.  Your calling is before you.
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Being Okay with the In-betweens of Spring

Spring has so many different faces. This morning the sky is not quite ominous due to streaks of light coming forward to frame parts of my vista.

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.

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And into the New Year….

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.

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Renewal Around the Corner

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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.

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The fog of Uncertainty

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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.

 

 

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A Fog Calling

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I had been missing the fog horn lately and was surprised how much it shaped my early mornings.  Soon, as the end of June came and well into July and now early August — the fog has appeared front and center and I knew it was time to note its impact – with my camera and my words.  Truly, I love the fog.  There’s an uncertainty that comes with it and gives me a freedom to move in an unfettered way.  I take all the liberties I want in these early mornings of pea soup.

I shot these magnificent trees in this layer of fog after a friend challenged me the night before it all started – “I hope you’re capturing the fog – tomorrow is supposed to be the thickest.”  Well, with that directive, I set out early to Lands End, near the Cliff House – and approached what was to be truly one of the most graceful mornings I can remember.

Tall and statuesque, the trees were shrouded in layers of mist with branches clinging to touches of nourishment.

I felt part of their morning glee as I moved ever so cautiously clicking away — pinching myself I was given a pass to participate in their dance.

I hope you will find this image as inspiring as I do ~ it reminds me that being in the unknown is perfectly okay.  It triggers hope and possibility.

You may check it out further by visiting my gallery:
Fine Art Photography Prints

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Landscape of a summer beach

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I felt the air stream guiding over the exposed part of my tummy as I luxuriated on the sand.  80 plus degrees in San Francisco – a rare treat and it was edging up to Summer Solstice.  David was snoozing.  He was in recovery from life twists and turns and sleep soothed his restlessness.   Me, well I was in that space where stillness seemed to rock the outskirts and the insides of my being.

My breaths were deeper.  My actions had a new layer of kindness – for myself and others.

I closed my eyes.  Distant voices.  One man person pontificating to his somewhat inattentive family.

I was drifting.  The breeze woke me as the sun beamed on my bare belly.  Moments that one can find only on the beach.  There’s a joy smoldering in this landscape.  It’s pure.  I feel the oneness and the community of others in for simple frolic, bright sunlight and sand.  Kids seem to be at their best drooling in the sand with toys as tools guiding them to deeper depths.

yep, only at the beach.

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