Tag Archives: inspirational art

Onward into the Spring of 2020

Spring during the time of coronavirus.  I find myself with all sorts of mixed thoughts.   I’ve been immersed with work stuff, reorganizing closets, the kitchen, buying a new mop to tackle the floors, Zoom gatherings, webinars, etc.  Here in the 23rd day of “shelter in place” what seems to comfort me the most is sinking into meditation, dancing ever so gently to soothing tunes, walks in the Presidio, and communication with loved ones.

And yes, I take deep breaths as Stephanie Ruhle, anchor on national television, reminds us all to do and to remember that we are all in this together.

I look for small victories.  Walking is such a healing act for me.  Yesterday I laid on green grass off a walking trail.   I let the earth hold me as the sun was drenching me with healing energy.  On another walk in our hood, I photographed David, above, walking into what looked like an abyss.  It was dusk and the sky was a companion of sorts with its lingering colors.  It renewed my hope;  just like the rain showers do by nourishing our lands.

I realize how it’s okay to be in a state of unknowing and to relax my self-judgment.  Whatever I do is okay and as I maintain my own courage during this time I am able to extend my service to others.  I do wellness calls to those in need for The Friendship Line.  The service offers “a friend” to mostly seniors – and anyone mentally or physically handicapped.  I learn so much from my callers. By providing active listening skills to their needs,  I am reminded of my own vulnerabilities.

I remember the wise words from a healer years ago – be brave.  Better yet, be braver.

I’ve held on to that.  Keep moving, pushing, relaxing, just being.  And stretch – not only my body– my mind and heart.  Always there is a new trail that keeps opening me to new vistas, new learnings.  Elizabeth Gilbert said recently –to feel with your heart and cultivate with your brain.

I am new every day.  My camera treks where I do.  Companions all around me.

Posted in Blog, Creative Process Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

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.   

Posted in Blog, Creative Process, Story of a Photograph Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A New Year to Mark

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.

Posted in Creative Process Also tagged , , , , , , |

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.

Posted in Uncategorized Also tagged , , , , , , |

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.

Posted in Blog, Creative Process, Story of a Photograph Also tagged , , , , , , , |