On days or weeks when there are nagging worries, it’s so easy to embrace the negative. Strength in numbers, misery loves company, or whatever the appropriate phrase, I find myself submitting as well. It’s what I imagine drowning to be like, being pulled deeper downward and seeing darkness, feeling cold , and in my case craving chocolate or any form of sugar.Like any other vice, once you’re hooked, it’s so difficult to break that hold. People commiserate and support your feelings. You begin to believe you have been wronged, cosmically or intentionally.You see only your point of view and your Greek chorus of naysayers become backup singers.Giving up that level of comfort is difficult, but no more so than losing the first twenty pounds or only shopping when you need something.Finding a substitute to provide comfort is worth the search.For me it’s sunshine. Like plants, I tend to lean into the sun. Literally. In my classroom at lunch, you may find my chair pulled up to the window so I can recharge.At home, I open blinds, drapes, curtains, any barriers to the light. Maybe I was a cat in a former life, but it’s where I choose to be. When I shot this photo, the sun on the other side of the pond beckoned the trees and they obviously are reaching out toward the light. It’s my best practice against believing I can be defeated by those unidentified powers that be when they choose to intrude into my daily life for no good reason. The wind in the leaves and birdsongs are more affirming that the sounds of wallowing .
Monthly Archives: January 2013
Unsigned works by itinerant artists claim their space, while time and nature paint on their changes to create a new vision.
Our history is written on the walls of our buildings – not prophecy or graffiti, just the remnants of signs that came before.Most of us don’t know where our eggs or poultry come from. Most of us no longer need to purchase feed or stable our horses in town. Prohibition’s repeal took place many years ago, but these reminders of our past still exist, but only when we notice.
There are those weeks or months that are so dark in feeling, be it dismal weather or depths of mood. This photo reminds me that there’s light up ahead. I can almost feel the warmth on my shoulders and the lightness finds an entry into my soul.
Life has been so crazy, I needed a quiet place in my mind. A friend and I decided to spend an afternoon wandering through the cypress swamp.Birds scrambled , peeked through thickets and called to each other . We moved as quietly as we could, trying not to startle hidden neighbors. A beaver glided by like a parade float. My friend reminded me to take a deep breath. While that shouldn’t have been necessary, I really needed to heed her words. As I drank in the afternoon light, the shadows performed a pantomime. At one point, my eye was caught by a layer of purple floating on the water. The remains of an old tree stood erect in contrast and held my sight. I pointed my camera and shot from a number of views. At home ,when I sat at my computer, I kept returning to that photo. The log seems to glow, it maintains my focus. I can sit and stare, breathe and feel transported. This gift of serenity is one more precious than I could have imagined and expected. A talisman of peace to call on whenever I need to, a lifeline from nature.
I’m really not a ghoul, but I do have a strong fascination for old cemeteries. Whenever we travel, I’m on the lookout for old burial grounds. I can’t resist the stories and always find unusual carvings or monuments. Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina is an especially interesting one. The setting features a lake, huge trees laced in Spanish moss, and abundant wildlife. Birds and small animals wander freely. Many Civil War soldiers, as well as the crew of the Hunley submarine, keep company with the city’s founding families . The delicate ironwork fences and ornate gates made me think about using their designs in a quilt. (But that’s another post.) The pyramid captured my imagination and with the shadowing palm trees, I could almost believe I’d been transported to Egypt.
I have always loved carousels, even after learning that their origins date back to battle training devices. The old ones, created by master wood-carvers are difficult to find and many are in need of restoration. Memphis has a special one hidden away in storage. Although fiberglass, this one is special because it combines lovingly created fish and sea monsters with the abandon of a child’s ride. Worries about monsters under the bed are banished by bright colors and googly eyes.The freedom of motion and the fact that each monster is unique made me anxious to parade my . This is the year! Enjoy the ride!
The Gullah women of South Carolina have perfected the art of sweetgrass basket-making, a traditional craft first developed in Africa. The tradition thrives today in the hands of women who weave these baskets using the same methods and materials. Along a highway appropriately named Sweetgrass Highway, their baskets are for sale along with their stories. I bought a middle – sized one with an edge called elephant ears or roller coaster. It has bands of pine needles to add colors, is signed by the artist and smells wonderful.These baskets on display in the afternoon sun made me think about how much I miss it when I’m not making things and how wonderful it would be to pass on this kind of tradition. Note to self -get busy!
A jar of found pieces in the window caught my eye. I loved that the shop owners cared enough about the remains under their corner of Charleston to display them. It’s these fragments of those who passed before us, and even from our earlier life that makes us who we are. As a magpie, I’m always collecting little pieces that catch my eye. Shells, rocks,charms, wrappers, letters, metal, all find their way into my hands and collections. I think this year is a good time to gather them together and display them to honor those fragments of memory. Using an old glass jar would be a great beginning and I certainly have many of those. I know there are shard lamps, plaques, and vases, but I think they’d be happier without glue or cement holding them static.Any suggestions?
Still learning life lessons at Sea World. My feeling is that if I find an image that inspires me to think more deeply, then the source becomes secondary. Shooting tropical fish in a wall-sized aquarium became an exercise in futility.Light , movement and crowds made it nearly impossible. Knowing that, I kept shooting. Of course this says something about my intelligence level or lack thereof, but the resulting photo made me notice that it was easier to see the background rather than the fish. Although dressed in bright colors, their constant movement made them nearly invisible. Life suggestion number two becomes slow down or try something different to stand out from the crowd.
The second image of a flamingo represents needing to be more introspective and survey what is closer to the heart.His position said more than his plumage, maybe this will help me to think before I blurt out the words that come so easily but can create havoc.