Saturday, July 28, 2012

Week 2 ~ Sun (10/365)

Elusive Saturday Morning Sun

In what has been a mostly hot and dry summer, the past few days have brought clouds and storms.  Today is delightfully overcast, cool and breezy.  And as one who struggles in the humid heat, I am grateful for this respite.

As I type this, I am actually supposed to be on a road comprised of both business and pleasure.  And yet I procrastinate.  Or is it that I am listening to my Spirit?  And choosing differently? So many of my old ways of doing things are being replaced by new perspectives of navigating the world (and my obligations in it).

Here's a beautiful post that similarly describes where I find myself these days.  I think it might hit home with you, too.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Week 2 ~ Sun (9/365)

Even after all this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
"You owe me."

Look what happens
with a love like that,
it lights the whole sky.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Week 2 ~ Sun (8/365)

Imagine my surprise when today, forecasted as mostly cloudy, I chose this week's theme of The Sun.

I went out this morning intent on capturing a photo of the actual Sun itself, but in the back of my mind I thought to keep my eyes open for another option.

Lakeside hosts an annual Arts & Crafts Show on the lawn in front of the Hotel Lakeside.  Today was the first day for that, so I decided to browse the booths.  It was quite an interesting time of strolling and admiring the varied handicrafts for sale by remarkable artisans.

Had I looked harder and longer, I probably could have found additional suns to shoot.  However, it was hazy, hot and humid and I didn't want to linger.  In addition, I had a rather lengthy conversation with one of the vendors (he makes gorgeous pens out of wood) which was both fascinating and disturbing.  I won't go into any details on the subject matter, but suffice it to say I was ready to make haste in taking my leave and heading home into the air-conditioned sanctuary of my apartment! is today's sun photo... a delightfully welcoming hand-painted birdhouse.  :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (7/365)

Late Morning Black-Eyed Susans

I have photographed this batch of flowers in years past.  Today, when I came out of Orchestra Hall, having spent another lovely hour with Philip Gulley's soul-stirring Quaker wisdom, I noticed the sun shining brightly on one half of the flowers, but not yet the others.  It struck me as relevant ~ a contrast of light and dark (or what we perceive as such) ~ which was the Scripture for Sunday's service.

"Where can I go to get away from your spirit?
Where can I escape your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there.
If I went to the grave, you would be there.
If I could fly on the wings of dawn,
stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean...
even there your hand would guide me;
your strong hand would hold me tight.
If I said, "the darkness will definitely hide me;
the light will become as night"
Even then the darkness isn't too dark for you!
Nighttime would shine bright as day,
because darkness is the same as light to you!

~Psalm 139:7-12, CEB

It is interesting to notice how the flowers still in the shade seem to have more depth of color.  In life, we often think of the dark times as bad, hard, wrong, unpleasant.  What I've learned though, it those are indeed the times when our light shines brighter and the qualities of our lives become more alive.  And we learn that we are not alone in the midst of the darkness.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (6/365)

Mixed purple flowers with variegated Coleus ~ outside our public library

I find myself dealing with some recurring anxiety this week ~ and am mindfully recalling the need, yet again, to remember what I have forgotten...

Happiness is not a brilliant climax 
to years of grim struggle and anxiety. 
It is a long succession of little decisions 
simply to be happy in the moment.

~J. Donald Walters

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (5/365)

I am giving up on my perfectionistic tendencies and posting a somewhat out of focus photo today.

My day started out nice and peaceful while enjoying a morning chaplain's hour with the amazing Quaker pastor, Philip Gulley.   This photo was taken shortly thereafter, near the venue.  I loved their little purple faces all clustered together like a tiny potted family of beings.

It wasn't until I got home (I'm guessing my new no-line bifocals have something to do with the adjustments in my photographic ability!) that I saw how blurry all of my shots were.

Suffice it to say the afternoon and evening unraveled ~ with crises that needed diffusing, boundaries that needing setting, and the emotional recovery necessary after those events.

So here, at 10:30pm, this is what today's post will be.....perfectly imperfect....just like my life!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (4/365)

Osho Zen Tarot with Buddha

I've had some mindblowingly incredible oracle card readings this week!  In this evening's rather lengthy spread, this card showed up...with flowers!  And while I had other plans for today's flower photo shoot, this unique improvisation seemed much more appropriate.  

Innocence appeared in my card spread under the category of 'what I am attracting from the outside'.  And, indeed, it serves to reaffirm that the way in which I am now choosing to live my life is being echoed by the wonder of creation all around me ~ and my newfound, delightful relationship with it.

"The old man in this card radiates a childlike delight in the world.
There is a sense of grace surrounding him, as if he is at home with himself
and with what life has brought.
He seems to be having a playful communication with the praying mantis on his finger,
as if the two of them are the greatest friends.
The pink flowers cascading around him represent a time of letting go,
relaxation and sweetness.
They are a response to his presence, a reflection of his own qualities.
The innocence that comes from a deep experience of life is childlike, but not childish.
The innocence of children is beautiful, but ignorant.
It will be replaced by mistrust and doubt as the child grows
and learns that the world can be a dangerous and threatening place.
But the innocence of a life lived fully
has a quality of wisdom and acceptance
of the ever-changing wonder of life."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (3/365)

Busy Bee on Hollyhocks

Life is a mosaic of pleasure and pain ~
grief is an interval between two moments of joy.
Peace is the interlude between two wars.
You have no rose without a thorn; 
the diligent picker will avoid the pricks
and gather the flower.
The is no bee without the sting;
cleverness consists in gathering the honey

~Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Friday, July 20, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (2/365)

Today felt like a black and white day.  Weather here brought a blustery wind from the Northeast, some rain and much-welcomed cooler temperatures.  With gusts of 20+ mph, I knew trying to capture flowers outside might be more challenge than I wanted to face.

In addition, with the utterly devastating news of the shooting tragedy in Colorado, my spirit needed to stay in the safety and calm of my cozy home.  As a highly sensitive person (HSP), empath, and emotional intuitive, days of national shock and mourning like today take their toll on my Being.

I stayed in meditative, contemplative silence most of the day.  The cats seemed to reflect my mood and maintained a mellow, close presence throughout the late morning and afternoon.  When I looked over at Tanner sleeping peacefully curled up on the couch, I soon realized, "Hey!  There are flowers on my couch!"

Thus, the subject for today's image.

* * * * * * * * * 

It is in tribute to ALL those affected by horrific violence across the globe, I offer this photo, divine prayer, and beautiful video:

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
And may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life
contribute in some way to that happiness
and to that freedom for all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (1/365)

Red Hibiscus at Lakeside Pavilion

We had a much-needed soft, cooling rain this morning.  I ventured down to the lakefront Pavilion for a foot reflexology session.  It was cool and breezy enough that I chose to cover myself with a fleece blanket during the relaxing release of tension and toxins. Ahhhh...

The landscaping in front of the Pavilion is one of my favorite places to find these majestic flowers.  They have been my source of study for perhaps the past three years.  I find them endlessly fascinating!

Little did I know that this one in particular is named Alicante, after a city in Spain.  Which is, of course, very serendipitous because I have an afternoon phone chat scheduled for later today with my magical friend Gail  ~ whose soul is most at peace on Spanish soils.  Perfect!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Arm's Length Studio

Sunset on the evening of the Venus Transit across the Sun ~ 6/5/12.

Back in 2006, when I started taking photography more seriously, I began using some of my shots to create photo greeting cards.  I had seen others market and make money in this simple yet powerful way, and found myself saying, "I can do that!"

Wanting to come up with a catchy brand name for my work, my husband brilliantly suggested "Arm's Length Studio".  It fit perfectly!  Since most of what I was capturing was indeed, just a mere camera extension of what could be photographed within my arm's reach, this new mindset provided a refreshing perspective from which to intention my artful hobby.

Amazingly, I sold many of my greeting cards ~ and gave away probably an equal number to friends and family.  It was an exciting time of creating something uniquely mine and sharing it with the world.

As the wheel of Life has turned and the years have passed, this branch of my entrepreneurship has waned, in light of more pressing demands on my time and energy.  However, in the past week, my kinship with and fondness for Arm's Length Studio has been rekindled.  When my blogging friend, Rebekah, suggested a 365 photo project (in honor of her birthday!), I again found myself thinking, "Hey, I could do that!"

The timing seems right, as my creativity has been all but absent in recent months.  I need to get back out  into the world, so to speak, and see with new eyes what stories and pictures my trusty little camera has to share. honor of this month's New Moon ~ and the day of two birthdays of family members (my sister and uncle) ~ I will launch my very own 365 days of Arm's Length Studio photo project this Thursday, July 19th!

In order to give myself some structure, it is my plan to have a weekly theme.  Tomorrow, while waiting for new brakes on my car, I will cut up 52 small pieces of paper, each marked with a theme word.  They will be folded nicely and then placed in a shoebox (which might even need its own decoration!) to serve as my version of a weekly drawing 'magic hat'.  :)

It seems funny to be starting on a Thursday.  (Of course, you KNOW I toyed with the whole Sunday/Monday starting day approach!)  But, given the unpredictability and massive-transformation quotient of my life these days, it seems rather fitting.   I need to continue to challenge myself and shake things up a bit!

(Oh yeah, you're invited to join in if you're so inclined!)

See you back here on Thursday!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Way Forward

Since words are not coming easily to this space these days, I've decided to accept an offer by the lovely Rebekah to embark on a 365 photo journey.  I know in my heart that my creative spirit needs to be rekindled and allowed to emerge, so I am hopeful this will jumpstart that process.

I hope you'll stay tuned!