Spirit of trash

“All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.”  Doris Lessing

Week two of the Artist’s Path Recovering a Sense of Identity this is the week that self-definition is what we are looking for, to gain understanding boundaries, paying more attention to new areas of interest, people, places, events, that encourage as well as inform us of what we don’t want, that blocks our creativeness and keeps us insane.

I am sitting here writing this and it feels forced and uncomfortable, does not feel true or authentic. I am writing because I made a commitment too, but I am writing as well to rediscover creativity, to clear the paths, that once kept me stuck, or on the track of sameness. I am writing to hear the voices, of sanity and insanity to make new choices, to envision to creative tools, new opportunities to grow as a photographer and as a person within the realm of all possibilities.

Caught in traffic!

Yesterday, after going to the bank and health food store for I got a bug to go find a 55-200mm lens and on the way by Target I almost stop there, but I went all the way out to Cherry Hill, to the Mall, oh my goodness, a journey I am grateful I don’t make often. Once there I find out that they have closed the Ritz Camera shop there too. It was early in the day but I was not going to go wandering around to find a Ritz Camera shop. I know one is in Philly and is convenient to get to once there. I look up the shops on the web and the Lens I was looking for, yet I did not buy one. Then this morning I get a newsletter from Target and they have the same Lens on sale for $10 less, then the camera shop. So the choice now is do I truly want to make this investment now at this time? If I had stopped at Target as I thought about it on the way by the lens would most likely be in my hands now. Hmm?

The distraction or blockers I am to look out for this week are Poisonous Playmates, Crazy makers, Skepticism. Poisonous playmates are friends/family who are blocked artist who may feel disturb by the recovery of my own. Using guilt or plans that keep me from my work. Crazymakers are usually ego based talented artist living off the energy of other artists while creating their own art, keeping the student blocked or in fear of venturing to create for themselves. Skepticism comes from our own voice, our ego even, creating doubt at what I am doing is really working and not just some fluke of nature. This is where the Creator comes into play in the creation of my own creation. It could be the voice I heard about the lens and Target, shall I follow that suggestion/voice. Julia Cameron writes, “Setting skepticism aside, even briefly, can make for very interesting explorations. In Creative recovery, it is not necessary that we change any beliefs. It is that we examine them.”


On the positive side of all of this is Attention: “Attention is a way to connect and survive.” It seem that my photography is about attention, paying attention to the sights around me, to inform others of the beauty the surrounds and evolves around them each and everyday. I write about my attention, things I see, feel, and experience while on a walk with the dogs, and camera, that the world is alive and in constant change.

“There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life –including ourselves.” Basic Principles 2.  The Artist’s Way .

I am wandering now so I must be at the end of this blog/page. Once I let go, stopped forcing the words to come the experience allow for a better flow, my attention was more in focus allowing the opportunity to be present!

Stars on the ground

Growth Question: Do you have Crazymakers, poisonous playmates and skepticism playing on your creative juice?

I am Love, Jeff

Just because I just discovered this young lady and her music Melody Gardot! I share her creations with you!


14 thoughts on “”

  1. Jeff – I love the Spirit of Trash; what a cool idea/photograph. You’ve beautifully captured that when we litter, it comes back to “haunt” us!

    Growth Question: Do you have Crazymakers, poisonous playmates and skepticism playing on your creative juice?

    I have one person who un-intentionally negatively impacts my creative juice. I’ve spoken with them about this, to no avail. As such, that person is now on the outside of my boundary lines. My energetic sphere is “by invitation only.” I welcome people, places, and things that are positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

    1. Laurie,

      There more then likely was that unconscious sense of what you write about Spirit of Trash, my immediate response was how to capture this into a piece of work. So I am thrilled that it has made a statement. ( Maybe one for exhibit)

      I love you response to the growth question, it is just a beautiful example of how to create and set boundaries for yourself. “By invitation only” love that!

      I am Love, Jeff

      1. Jeff,
        Beautifully writen, “I am sitting here writing this and it feels forced and uncomfortable, does not feel true or authentic”. . . I think you came across totally authentic. It’s hard to keep going when you don’t feel like doing it. Sometimes I don’t feel like painting, and then I go sit in my studio and have to ask myself, ” So what are you going to do towards being an artist today? How badly do you want to be a successful artist?” I don’t really like to ask myself those questions because it shows me that maybe I’m not committed. 😦
        I like your taste in music.
        keep being inspired.

      2. Jean,

        I believe that there are days that we need to just sit in our “studio” or on our cushion, in the wood, and just Be. Be quiet, be present, be aware, allowing spirit to embrace us completely!
        You are the only one who made a comment about Melody’s music, I posted several on my facebook pages and only got a few responses! Thank you!
        I am Love, Jeff

  2. Jeff
    My favorite two pictures are one of a pop bottle cap and the other picture of the trash bag. In recent years it seems like there is more and more trash just thrown everywhere and I live in the suburbs. I would also think in this day and age that more and more citizens in my world would be educated enough to know better, to no avail. I guess this is getting to me more because I am taking at least two walks a day with ore. Just this morning I found a bottle empty, I think whisky, on the side of the road in my subdivision. The other day I witnessed someone intentonally throwing a very small item out thier window.

    I think you are meaning “Hit the Road Jack!”….

    Do you have crazymakers, poisenous playmates, and skepticism playing on your creative juices?

    Well I would say that over the years I have really gotten to some extent over this, or I would not have excelled in the healthcare field very long. I deal with all kinds, every day. There are definitly those that I think, how can they possibly be here any further, or they are going to cut there own thoat. Then there are the poisenous snakes running around ready to pounce any time your guard is a bit down. I would also have to say that I struggle with the skepticism maker when I am at home, they see me just as mom and not someone who makes important decisions very day.

    Thanks for asking.

    1. Kim,

      I have a shot that I call “Red, White, and Blue today” which is a photograph of an overflowing trash can, in which the plastic cups, and plates are in those colors. One of my first “statement” pieces. Yes trash, litter is all around us, and I is truly sad about the way people treat the planet, and spaces that are not their own. It is reality it is all their responsibility to care for the planet.

      The task of naming the crazymakers, poisonous playmates and skepticism is to allows us to become aware of these people, thoughts, that may block our creative juice. I must say usually in the most resent past I was the worst of them all to myself, and the purpose for the blog, artist’s way, and Life Harmony work.
      When working from spirit we will always know that we have done our best!

      I am Love, Jeff

  3. Jeff — I so admire your willingness to continue through this journey EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO! When life is easy and things are going well, it is no effort to live large. But, let a few dark clouds stray into our vision and some dead ends turn up on our path, and uh-oh. Those who live life fully even when they don’t feel like it, live larger than life. You are so much more who you are now than you have ever been before in your life. Congratulations.

    My family were the greatest bunch of crazymakers. I rarely see or talk to them any more. Poisonous playmates? No. I zero in on them within minutes and don’t play well with them. Skepticism reigns supremely. But I believe in me, and I believe in my path, and I believe in following what makes me come alive.

  4. Jeff, it occurred to me, as I read your caption, “Spirit of trash,” which I thought was very clever, that coming up with a name for our creations is of itself another creative endeavor. And using a fence to help illustrate “understanding boundaries” was also very original!

    I agree with Barbara K. There are some relatives that I just avoid because they are materially ambitious and not encouraging of creativity or contentment.

    Don’t give up! The tide goes in and out and so do our moods and creativeness ebb and flow…

    1. Barbara R,

      As I wrote to Laurie I am not sure I was completely conscious of the full effect of title and placement of “understanding boundaries” ! I am grateful that you found the gems within the writing and photography!!! It add another dimension to the process.
      Yes finding the title for a piece is an important part of the creative aspect of process, for it could lead a person to a place they may not have gone them selves.

      Family are a nice place to visit but not always a good place to live!

      Yes the tide ebbs and flows. Just like a breath, in and out, moving us from this moment to the next.

      I am love, Jeff

  5. Barbara K,

    I am humbled by your response and honored to be admired for my journey, as naked and raw, as it maybe at times. The activity of blogs/pages allows the light to shine when it doesn’t seem to be. One of the reasons for this process. So thank you “seeing” that, and for commenting.

    Yes, family units always seem to be the last on the list of supporters, and the first to assume you are something else than what your present yourself as. Believing in ourselves is the truly the light that we must shine on our path.

    I am Love, Jeff

  6. Growth Question: Do you have Crazymakers, poisonous playmates and skepticism playing on your creative juice?

    What a great question Jeff. I play in a broad field of creative connections.
    I find that every once in awhile a Crazymaker will drift in but they never stay long. Shining a light on another’s work seeking out its special gifts is not really their interest. Poisonous playmates have been a little harder to untangle… these moments usually show up as compliments with an under-sided prickle – “Oh I really like that piece but I find it a bit pricey” or “I wish I could retire to an island and paint too” or “I like the red in there but the blue is taking away from your subject don’t you think?” or “oh well, that is a great low end venue for a first show.” I can recognize these intended and unintended poisonous playmates by the fact that I always feel a little sick at the pit of my stomach after I listen to what is said. And the worst poisonous playmates are the ones that I have owned and have wormed their way into myself talk. I use meditation to notice and release them as pure simple energy … with no harm to me or another.

    Skepticism is the worst… it is where I doubt I am an artist, writer or photographer. I heard myself say yesterday when asked what kind of camera I use say “well I have a middle of the road Canon with one lens – I know, a photographer with one camera and one lens can hardly be a photographer but that is what I have…” The receiver of this comment did a beautiful job of reframing my response: “That Canon is a decent unit and one lens is fine as long as you have the right lens for your type of photography.” I sometimes must do list in my head about why I call myself a writer, artist or photographer… and this reminding keeps the skepticism in check enough to be able to create, show and publish – just barely:)

    1. Terrill,

      You jumped right in there didn’t you! Good for you!
      I find it amazing when I hear myself “defending” or speaking small about what I do or who I am! Is it doubt or pride? Do we have a sense of desire to stay humble?
      I am glad the question stirred your artist!

      I am Love, Jeff

  7. Jeff, thank you so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment and introduce yourself. I really love what you are doing here with your blog.

    You’ve reminded me about Morning Pages. I did them for a little while a few years ago, dutifully hand writing them, since Julia said the energy is different when you hand write. But now, I almost never pick up a pen and write anything — hardly ever a check, even! Maybe a grocery list is about it. So I’ve put some thought into this and am thinking I should be able to stream my thoughts onto a keyboard just about as effectively. You’ve inspired me to try doing Morning Pages again.

    Crazymakers, Poisonous Playmates and skepticism intrude themselves into my days on a regular basis. We’ve recently relocated to my hometown, so I have a whole new crop of family and friends to “train.” Skepticism? Terrell is right — It’s all just negative self-talk and is very seductive. It can paralyze me some days. It’s always good to know we’re not alone.

    Great to meet you!


    1. Martha,

      Thank you for coming by the reluctant bloger to read and comment.
      This is my second time around the spiral of the Artist’s Way. The first time I did hand write which was a very powerful experience. My purpose this time is to get more “real” on this turn around the path.

      You response to the growth question is great! Thank you for being honest!

      I am Love, Jeff

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