This is a work in progress…

This is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always. We are just uncovering them. We are rediscovering them. We’re not inventing them or importing them from somewhere else. They’re here. That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part. Out of nowhere we cheer up or relax or experience the vastness of our minds. No one else gives this to you. People will support you and help you with teachings and practices, as they have supported and helped me, but you yourself experience your unlimited potential.

From Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears, page 51.

Pema Chodron

Low visual
Low visual

Groggy from allergy medication and then headache experience beginning New Years Eve afternoon, continuing into New Years day after which forced me back to bed. Early morning wake ups because Riley seems to dislike being alone at anytime of the day, continues to cry throughout the night. A dying pet and a Mother with Alzheimer’s is a fact of daily living… it seems I have reduce mom to tears several times in the last few days as well. She going off to her room as early as 6 pm. It is mostly due to trying to understand what she is either doing or wanting to say, listening, explaining, listening, and explaining. For she cannot follow through with task she either wants to do or ask to do, and she is always asking if she can help. Which to me is easier to do myself. The thing is we have both been very independent people, we are much a like, and it begins to rub the wrong way. My task this year is to get her into day care, and/or companion care. I can no longer continue to do this on a regular basis. I had 24 hours free yet being so exhausted and stress filled that sinus and headache were my companions. Plus fear the few hours that I could spend elsewhere would be only a moment of sunlight, appreciated, too soon gone.

A different perspective
A different perspective

I have been consciously aware that I don’t take the camera with me as often as I use too. Part of the fact it has been too darn cold to be out longer than our walks. And the fact that the community recently had fence’s placed around the field we walk through and around, closing in or off part of the wood that we would walk. It is still accessible from a different direction yet so-called civilization has encroached as well as affected the line of sight. I am very “sensitive” to nature being altered by humankind. Some of that alteration is for progress, some just what seems to be forced enclosures!  So yesterday knowing that I was not going to get to Philly to photograph the Mummer’s Parade. I made a point of documenting the first day of the year, in black and white, nature and to make use of the fence as an object of art, which in some ways represents my situation in life at the moment. I had recently thought of doing my black and white photography for a number of reasons. One it is a different challenge, to see in another way, the shadow and light play, winter causes much of nature to be dull and seemingly lifeless. So if I am “forced” to photograph the same thing everyday find a new way to approach it is creative venture. I recall a photographer who lived in the burbs of NYC, who photographed out his window every day for years, the street below him, the light, the season. So why not make what I am doing a more conscious act. Season to season, year by year, different times of the day, weather etc.

repeating patterns
repeating patterns

A lot of this work is already done. For I have photographed the same area for the past several years, some of that you can see by viewing the photography here on the blog, redbubble, and Facebook pages. Even though I consciously did not submit the same views at different seasons they do naturally show up.

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11 thoughts on “This is a work in progress…”

  1. Jeff, taking a limited situation and viewing it from a different perspective seems to point up factors we had missed before. You are starting the New Year in an innovative frame of mind that seems to turn your challenges into opportunities for growth. I am not forgetting that growth also brings “growing pains”, it’s part and parcel of enlarging your frame to better support your growing self.

  2. So sorry to hear you’ve been poorly . New years eve has that effect on me …I just hate the ENORMITY of it . The evening brings all sorts of incurable illnesses only to miraculously disappear by New Year ‘s Day LOL . Please don’t think I am being in any way condescending …you have enough in your life to bring on living hell . I am so pleased you have come to a decision to get some help for your mum …it’s exhausting what you are trying to do and beautiful Riley give him a hundred hugs every day …fifty from me .
    Your photos are a delight …great idea.
    Happy new year Jeff may it bring you love and light .
    Cherry

    1. The Holidays always set in motion some type of “feelings” ! I really love getting out on New Years day to photograph the parade in Philly, and do some street photography. But I was stopped in my tracks… so I made the best of the situation.
      Giving comfort to Riley is what is all about now. Happy New Year Cherry!

  3. your photos are almost haunting, being solitary, black and white . . . stark and real and honest. Kind of what your situation is like. I hope you find the relief you need with your Mom so you can own some of your life back.

  4. “That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part.” I love Pema Chödrön’s teachings – and this happened to me this morning!

    You have my sympathy about your situation with your mom – it’s so overwhelmingly difficult caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s or any other mental illness. I urge you to get companion care if you can, Jeff. We hired one for a year until my father died, and she was a godsend. If you get someone who is a good fit it can make all the difference in the world.

    I love your idea of photographing the same thing every day, but in different ways. Perhaps you could chronicle your mother’s journey, too, if not with photographs of her directly, perhaps with pictures of things connected to her in some way…

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers… Hugs!

    1. Barbara,

      There are moments of light in all the darkness for sure! There are moments when Mom is trying to be playful and compassionate that I wish I could really respond too…

      I have considered photographing Mom’s journey, and I have a few times, it is just a bit difficult to accomplish.

      Thank you for you thoughts, prayers, and Hugs !!

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