Tag Archives: creative journey

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 Darkness of the Morning

I make my way into the darkness of the morning –  it’s 4:20 am.  I have been writing and writing and writing.

In the darkness of the morning, I feel the aura of the unknown. I welcome its mystery.   I reach for my trusty oh-so-classic, weighted-by-its years laptop.   It sits on a pillow on my lap with blanket and cat bordering me.

Cat duties done. Coffee made.  I am here with my blank palette to spout where I may.

What is this luscious landscape I’ve embraced?

I awaken to the force of this new day as I write my first thoughts.

In the darkness of the morning, there is possibility. There is newness – an untapped potential of whatever I wish.

I gaze at the blackness outside the window.

Dark.

Sip coffee.

Back to writing –

Darkness triggers my mystic. It gives me permission to dive into the parts I treat sometimes as wickedly demonic.   Just write. Let the words be my shelter on this page of a new day.

Again, I look toward the window and notice that the

dark is becoming gray-like.

Coffee is also in the middle ground – lukewarm yet still beckoning me to sip.

I feel my own wholeness in these moments. I am free of judgments and self-critic banter. The page is my partner to this momentary evolution – a discovery trek to acknowledge and articulate the composition of the inside layers of my divine self.

Cat growls.

Time to stretch, meditate, make my daily call to my 94-year-old Mom. We chitchat and talk of nothingness. I treasure her acknowledgment of my voice.  “Hello, Susie.”

The vibration of her voice nestles inside of me.

I hold the sounds of her lingering words ever so gently.

Heartthrobs.  Hands to heart.  Breathe into that feeling of pure mom love.

I know these calls will soon fade.

Just as I know

there will be a new day

every day.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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This is What’s Up

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.

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The Mighty Sea always changing

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.

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Shifting days temper my moods

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.

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Renewal Around the Corner

golden-cropped1

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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A State of Becoming

speckled ocean IPHONEphoto

Welcome to the official launch of the Facebook Business Profile of Suzie Biehler Photography.  My photographic trajectory began around age 13 when my Dad became my catalyst for an inspiring path of following the light, the shadows, the action, the moments that fell ever so gracefully though the lens of my camera.

Repeatedly I am nudged by my inner muse that I “become” over and over again.  I muzzle through the passages.  Days I feel on fire – or times when my allusiveness distracts me and I retreat.  The wisdom of age saves me and alerts me a new moment, a new day is imminent.

I’ve been writing this blog for a number of years.  (You can stroll through the archives for a peek).  Due time I step out and show up to you, my friends and new friends and colleagues and family and artists of all mediums.

I encourage you to visit my site, explore, read, be inspired and let me know your favorite image.  This one here is one of mine — it echoes my state of becoming with its rippled textures of pure earth and sea.

Thank you for joining me on this creative wave of exploration.

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Laundry Day

whitelite

There’s something about freshly washed laundry to spark a memory.

As I was hanging up my wet clothes to dry in the fresh air I remembered being with Mom on one visit where we exchanged favorite items we once valued with each other.

She gifted me a scarf from her treasure trove and I passed on a used makeup bag no longer wanted. What amazed me about her actions was that she truly coveted this old makeup bag and spent the next hour or so soaking it, rubbing it, and hanging it out to dry to be made new, so to speak.

I thought of that memory this morning as I was hanging up a blouse and my emotion caught the best of me. I sunk into that moment just being together – sharing tips from each other and honoring the exchange of our simple stuff.  I love her so just for being a girl with me –

I’ve shot many photographs of clotheslines and fresh laundry. This is one of my earliest – fresh cotton diapers blowin in the wind. I’ve folded my share of those in another lifetime.

It’s the purity, the profound whiteness, the freshness of something renewed that triggers my attachment.

Spring is here. Time to renew and begin again and again.

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