Category Archives: purpose

Hiding or preparing?

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While in the shower this morning that voice that seems to get stimulated when you are cleansing yourself from the day before preparing to the day ahead, that voice, the voice that comes to you in the silence, not the neighbors voice from the shared wall in the bathroom. Your voice taking to you, sometime he is the gremlin chattering in you head about all the “failure” or “not enough” you know, the coulda, woulda, you shoulda done this or this or this. Well we are here now so none of the applies here.

The shower voice said, ” You’re hiding. You have been hiding since your left Easton Mt and returned home to NJ. Not just while you where caring for your mother, not while you were grieving for her and Riley, not since  you became to elder generation, not since you seemed to have disappointed people who were close to you or they disappointed you by not showing up as authentic as  you thought they were.”

During those times you managed to move forward, to show up, to get everyday living opportunities to assist you, you continued to do  your practice of spiritual reading and morning pages in some form or another. You walked everyday with Muffin and took photo’s while building a new life for yourself. Not bad,  you accomplished activities on your own, continued to share your work with galleries, exhibition, on your Redbubble site.

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Than Muffin was gone and I had no excuse to really go out anymore, oh sure you did for a while yet slowing those moments got to be less and less, those walks a bit boring, same old, same old. Five months ago, I stopped doing my morning pages and the reading of inspiring tracts to stimulate the emotional/spiritual sense of who I am. I thought I wanted more or I needed more. More what I didn’t know. The practice was no longer effective in many ways. Reading inspiring language is a powerful  experience when you can place them in action in your daily life. My life was just me.

Yes life still goes on, I continue to find ways to self improve through healthy eating by preparing meals from scratch, I have fallen in love with food blogs, I continue to discover how I can show up in the world even when I can hardly afford to show up in the world. A year and half ago I began to incorporate essential oils into my daily life while also learning how EO’s work with the body, mind, and spirit while improving all around health. I was uncomfortable for a while sharing this with other, so I researched, I watched video’s, I attended on-line Essential oil classes, social network seminars, pod cast, etc. Once again I have knowledge and wisdom about something I believe in yet the fear jumps in the way.

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For many years I have sought to share what I know, and I don’t know anymore than many other people, What I sought to accomplish is to guide and coach people into a fully integrated way of living. Seeking to do so and believing I could are two separate actions.

I am I a good enough example, are my life experiences and story interesting enough for people to seek me out for advice/guidance? Do people believe in me? Will they believe in me? Sometimes you just have to jump off the ledge, you have to let go of the and enjoy the roller coaster ride! I am going off the ledge, I have shooting around the next bend on the ride called life.

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Was I hiding or preparing? Is there a difference ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfolding

How many times have I considered returning to theses pages, to blog again, I truly don’t know yet what I do know this blog and the practice of  writing here is like a friend to me that I have left behind and wish to reconnect and build a stronger conscious relationship with.

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cloud magic

I wrote in my morning pages that I have so many parts of me that make who I am who I am and the  person and or being is ever-changing, well not really changing, manifesting, evolving into a whole presence of being.

A year and 10 months ago when I began the new phase in life it was fresh start and the old challenges and daily struggles gone. I was truly on my own which was at first lonely, no not lonely I had felt abandoned, everything and everyone I once knew and counted on was gone, or seemed that way. I had to become responsible for myself which meant uncovering who I was now. As I unpacked boxes from a lifetime ago that had been in storage the old me began to emerge again, some of that person I did not wish to experience again, so he was set aside. There were recent creative activities I had even let go of that I now wish to bring forward once again.

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suspended leaves

Those being the healer, of course I had healing of my own to do first. Being the healer meant I can share my wisdom and knowledge to those around me in whatever form that showed up as. The healing of self began  with eating healthier, getting exercise, building new social and creative connections and relationships. Ever growing, evolving and experiencing life in the present.

Willing to experience aloneness,

I discovered connection everywhere,

Turning to face my fear,

I meet the warrior who lives within;

Opening to my loss,

I am given unimaginable gifts;

Surrendering into emptiness,

I find fullness without end.

 

Each condition I flee from pursues me.

Each condition I welcome transforms me

And become itself transformed

Into its radiant jewel-like essence.

I bow to the one who made it so,

Who has crafted this Master Game;

To play it is pure delight,

To honor it is true devotion.

Jennifer Welwood: psychotherapist

 

I discovered this poem this morning which resonated with who I am becoming. The following blogs will illuminate that process of awareness. Who will show up are the many facets of my being, the inperfect self improving being we all have the opportunity to become.

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unfolding morning glory

 

 

 

 

The Art of answers and questions…

I cannot expect even my own art to provide the answers—only to hope it keeps asking the right questions. Grace Hartigan

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That art is the art of being an example of how to be fully present in the world, even when fear and sadness which try to invade from every other direction. Yet it from within that the right questions are asked  so that hope can bring the answers forth to be shining beacons on the present, guiding us to a fuller better improved future, for it is in the now that the future is planted, it is the days that follow that the future is nurtured and tended lovingly, compassionately offering the best solutions during the evolution of the human population and the evolution of the planet for its continual growth.

gaggle of geese
gaggle of geese

Yes I was gifted with the art of photography, I was sent out to use that gift to acknowledge the land, the planet, even if is just my small little bit of it, the everyday moments, the daily life that is there for us to see, as well as admire, to bring a smile, a warm thought. Whether it is the sunlight shining through the leaves on a tree, or the shimmer the light makes across the water of the lake, did you notice, squirrel scurry up that tree, did he stop and chatter at you? Are there rabbits along the edges of the bushes, look there they are! What color is the sky today? Pale blue, azure blue, grey looking like rain or snow, are there clouds, what kind, what do they look like, are they still or swiftly moving across the landscape? Did you notice birds flying there in the blue of the sky, did you recognize one or another, where you captured by their flight, how they move, up and down, or flapping wings like crazy to get to the next place, maybe there was one that captured your attention because it seem to float and rotate around the sky seeking something? Amazing right? All of that life surrounds you as you walk even if it is just to your car to get to one place or another. Were there people who you went past as you headed out, your neighbor, the mailman, a stranger walking their dog, did you acknowledge them or they you? A smile, and good morning, hey what up? This life, this is the fullness of life, the everyday events, pay attention to them they are just as important as any other activity in your life. Who knows that glimpse of a squirrel or rabbit, the flash of a bird flying across the cloud filled sky, the person you greeted or greeted you may be just the event that can shift your life to a fuller awareness of the beauty the surrounds you.

Oneness
Oneness

These are only small incidence that make up our daily lives, look around at the art of creation, look around at the creativity of evolution, and experience the grandest of a friendship with the planet and the other creatures that inhabit the same space each one contributing to its future.

Beyond the Clouds

I needed write something besides my daily activities from the day before, I need to shine light in my soul as well as out into the world. More and more I believe that my most pleasurable place is here writing even when the writing is not so good, but the fact that I get to create a world I wish to see, a world I wish to live in and do live in much of the time. There are moments that we have to stand outside of ourselves to see what surrounds and informs us of who we are, we tend to take the everyday for granted, while it continues to bless us with a powerful experience, Life!

in the details
in the details

Say thank you, remember to be grateful for it all, the good and the bad, the good we expect that bad not so much, but it is in the challenge that pulls us up, informs us of who we are, reflects back to us the person we have become. Is that person someone your admire, is that person who you thought you were, or are there more experiences that you must meet to continue on your journey? It is not about more things, and stuff that you have, it is about who you are and who you present to the world. Yes sometimes he or she may not so pretty to witness yet there are those moments when we shine with all the glory that we are at the moment. Hold them like jewels, to enrich the magic of your presence, let them shine, share those facets with the world around for there are more and plenty to share. The more you share the more there is.

Thank you for reading and viewing this blog, the photos will be released to my store front within a few hours. Please pop over and give them a view there.

New Walking paths

My present walking paths in Haddon Lake Park, which was once Crystal Lake. Tree lined and stream follow the path.

Tree lined path
Tree lined path
Elders
Elders
casting light
casting light
Open space
Open space
Into the shadows
Into the shadows
Walk along
Walk along

I believe the first living cell

Had echoes of the future in it, and felt

Direction and the great animals, the deep green forest

A the whale’s track sea; I believe this globed earth

Not all by chance and fortune brings forth her broods,

But feels and chooses. And the Galaxy, the firewheel

On which we are pinned, the whirlwind of stars in which our sun is one dust-grain, one electron, this giant atom of the universe

Is not blind force, but fulfills it’s life and intends its course.

Robinson Jeffers, De Rerum Virtute

What is true, what is pretense, what is…

inward
inward

 

it feels like everything that came before has been a pretense, a false start. as I grasps for my reality this morning my serenity is devolving into a massive heap on the floor, like scattered dirty laundry, colorful but smelling of being worn to long. The endless weeks of being weakened by a cold, has left my plans and projects sitting collecting dust. Has caused loneliness and emptiness to seep into the fabric of my being. i have missed events I wished to attend to photograph and be part of. Willing to spend my last few dollars to do so.

Is this illness, this cold, the flu, the true culprit or the endless dreams and visions which seem to energize my being for short periods of time, that keep drifting off like a mirage, wafts of smoke from a conjurors magic spell? Am I truly lost, have a just been spinning narratives in my mind. Have I truly failed at my life’s purpose?

How do I keep going, when my dreams and visions don’t seem to fit into a world that no longer cares for magic for healing, for beautiful?

shadowed wall/closed window.
shadowed wall/closed window.

I surrender now, I let go. Right now I am fighting the demons of illness. My center has been blasted out of me! It is debris, it is trash. Is there still worthy pieces, can they be upcycled, reinvented? Do I just burn them all and scatter the ashes in the ground hoping natures has use for them?

Waking up, feeling like you have not slept, body sore, chest heavy, the head in urgent need of coffee. Coffee cold but drunk, like an achlie’s long needed fix to face the day.

Stark blank screen endlessly fills with words, streaming out some thoughtful, many just flowing from one place to the next.

Coffees fresh and hot now. or was when I started. Nothing changed since I sat down to write, or has it?

There is no blame, there is no what if’s, should haves, there is knowing that it is within me, to show up. I showed up, this is the present. Is the future I wish to have? Not at all!

Illness, attracts ego playing mind games, playing tricks, making fun. Well it is not fun. Ego, get out-of-the-way, we have better things to do that lay about feeling sorry for ourselves. Is one step at a time, one activity at a time.

Breaking through
Breaking through

Let the little glimmers of light break through. The world is created within the steps, moving forward while sometimes going around or over.

 

The View from Here.

There was a time that each morning I awoke to loving warmth of my two Golden Retriever’s, Riley and Muffin. We would get petted and nudged, roll over, dance in excitedness to see me and to begin their day. Pushing their way out the door, Muffin always first because Riley was a gentleman, but always the protector. Off we would go down the street, to our little woods, what was left since the building of the Great Wall of FedX and accompanying business. The path led along the wall of fake stone front and cement, the fortress wall only went so far, and there was plenty of nature to our left to entertain.

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The trapeze act of squirrels scurrying from tree branch to tree branch, High wire jump from tree to tree, chattering all the way. The sounds of birds everywhere, The Cardinal elongated call and sharp whistle informing others of intruder in woods their red flash through the green always gave them away. The chick a dee’s in winter, their little gray tones sitting on branches and following along our path. The call for the Red Tail Hawk informing us from far above that he was there, but disturbed by our presence, circling in deeper and deep turns to scout for it breakfast.  On rare and lucky occasion we would get stared down by young white tail deer until one of the dogs would get wind of it, with a bark, start chasing after what now would be a small family of deer, running off along the little paths created by them to get away, disappearing in the brush.

shifting These adventures are multi purpose, the dogs got to run about freely, in a somewhat “wild” area. They would run off this way and that, sniffing, digging, rolling in something smelly. I was always in sight if not they would wait until I was or comeback to look for me. What was I doing observing, observing the light, the shadow. That green was no longer just green it was every hue of green, emerald, forest, yellow-green. The leaves shaped like stars, or maples others of oak brown green, contrast with humus of the ground rich decay of many past season of leaves, wood in branches and whole trunks that had fallen over or uprooted by the weather. In those logs chipmunks flashed by making its chirping sound causing Muffin to go into a frenzy. All this time I am waiting for the view, the right setting, the shadow here, the light just hitting there, on a mushroom or a leaf, a twisted sticker vine, spying little blue flowers, violets, and Queen Anne’s Lace, Mountain laurel, all to be photographed.

exist

Each season provided an never ending evolution of tree, plants, downed wood, fungi and mushroom popping up here and there, the rains made streams and puddles, created stick dams to hold things back, to wade over and to sit in. Seasons changed, the years have unfolded, progress took more of forest, years took Riley just this spring. Muffin who is now older stops and starts, would rather have attention than an actual walk, even though we manage at least once a day to get a full walk. There is always photography happening, I am never without my camera, Nature is my muse, she shines and dance, she sit gracefully, she changes clothes in full view of the world. Life is an impressive, expressive place. Look around, be present. View it from Here.

Riley and Muffin
Continue reading The View from Here.

What do you long for?

Last week or so ago, the poem used here today was shared by a friend on Facebook. I said I going to borrow this for my blog for I felt it resonated with my journey at the moment, and some of my photographs would complement in a visual way the journey outward to go inward. 

As I prepared the blog something spoke to me about finding out who Melissa La Flamme is. I am glad I did. Her website intrigued me, the little that I read, so I reached to her via email, and then a bit later via facebook. Where we at once connected via messaging. Making sure all was clear to publish the poem here, that she was a Jungian Psychotherapist who incorporates Shamanism into her practice, was a flash of my not so distant past a vision to create just this type of therapy combination. 

What did I long for, so unaware of a dream set aside. Called out through this poem and Melissa’s own practice. We discussed a possible guest blog or interview later in season, which now I can hardly wait for ! 

I will let the vision unfold: 

 

I AM CALLING YOU: by Melissa La Flamme

 

What do you long for?
How do you call its name?
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Take your longing to the earth.
To the woods. The trail. The park. Your well-tended lawn.
And if you can get there, to the desert.
And with devotion, give your self to these questions.
Like you would a lover. A baby. A tender green shoot.
Like this, tend your own fragile heart.
Your longing will ravish you.

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You must ravish back.

When you do, your soul will walk you
to the soft, thirsty ground
of your being.

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Sink in,
all the way in.
You will lose your mind.
You will sing to rocks, seduce pine trees, make love
to red earth.

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Songs like this will carry you till
your own song sings you.
You must let them.

©2014 Melissa La Flamme

 

The Art of blogging 201

A few weeks ago I signed up to take part in Blogging 201 Branding, Traffic, and Growth. Day one began yesterday April 15, at 10 am est. I am already overwhelmed ! The more I try to understand, the more confused I get.

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The basics of the first assignment is setting Goal’s. I can I do that! Of course the lesson begins with a nudge, a question: Why are you doing this? 

I am doing this to gain more followers of course, to get clarity, to create a more comprehensive understanding how blogging works.

If your blog exceeded your wildest dreams, what would that look like? I would post at least three time a week, it would continue to be “personal” as well as artistic, and connective. It would not only have followers but regular commenter’s, links, resources.

Those visions into three goals:

  1. To publish at least three blogs a week. Art blog,  personal blog, and feature blog.
  2. To gain 50% more follows in 6 months, by September 15th.  Not only followers, commenters as well.
  3. To be more organised and more knowledgeable about the workings of blogging.

This is not like my regular blogs of course. I wanted to make this public so that in some ways I would be accountable for the course of this process.  Fellow bloggers/followers you are my coaches.

 

Success is rarely created unless you’re having fun at it.

There may not be any quotes to lead off this blog. There may not be any photographs to enhance this blog. There may not be any coherence to this blog, it my wander aimlessly with thoughts expressed as words, “like why hell is the type so small?” Okay fixed that.

To state the obvious it has been months since writing, the reluctant bloger certainly has lived up to his name. It certainly not because he has had nothing to write about, for surely that would be an untruth. The truth of the matter is I have been waiting for the “right moment” if there ever is such a thing? I had ideas of blog I wanted to create, with photos and words, those still may materialize? The moment now happened because I could not find something else to distract myself from not doing the writing. The voice in my head kept say, “it early, there is nothing else pressing, and other distractions you are finding boring. So write, create, just like yesterday when one of the first things you did was photograph the roses from the exhibition reception, capturing their beauty two weeks later. (now here is a lead in if there ever was one)Reception Rose

Opportunity to share photos and to write about the Artist reception for the Photographic Society of Philadelphia’s tribute exhibition which I curated.

On March 16th 2014 after a month-long run of the exhibition the artist reception took place. It was a smashing success, a semi climax to a year and a half long process of promotion, invites, chatting, networking, for submissions of Photographs and Photography equipment and a bit of history the show open the first week of Feb 2014.

Submission began coming in January 29-30, from members of the society many of them I knew, a few were either new members or just new to me personally. The submission process was simple, three pieces each, sizes and genre varied from artist to artist. There is not theme, there is no juried submission, or competition. The mission of the PSoP is to offer the opportunity to photographer of all styles, and ability to exhibit together, to meet, to discuss work, share knowledge of equipment, and technical abilities. This allows for a much more relaxed form of exhibiting.

Mom Viewing exhibition

During the submission process along with Pauline Jonas as was my Mom,  I was unable to leave her at home, plus it gave her a chance to socialize a bit, which is something she was sadly in need of. Her wandering was a bit distracting but also entertaining to watch while she view photographs and met people who chatted with her, kept her company while Pauline and I received the art.

During the course of the exhibition I went to the gallery several times, to view hanging, to take in other works that were still coming after submission dates. The extra visits allowed me to “really” view the photography, admire the work of the members, to readjust the positions of some of the work for better viewing advantage. I used my networking to promote the exhibit with the Philadelphia Inquire, the story even made the Sunday edition!  Next was another visit with Don Brewer for his blog DoN ArTs NeWs interview and photographing the exhibition.  During both these interviews members of the township were interviewed about the gallery in the municipal building. Which created more excitement about this collection.

The interview w Pauline & Kevin

Culminating in a successful  Artist reception of March 16th 2-4: a fairly nice day weather wise, since we had had so much snow and freezing weather, the opportunity to go to a gallery, enjoy art, meet the artist, have a nosh, even view a film on Ansel Adams to round out the afternoon. A pleasure to me of greeting 40-50 people, fellow exhibition photographers, all but two attended. Family, friend, people who had either read the article/blog or followed post on Facebook.

Mom was unable to attend for she had had a fall twice in less than a week, on the second hospital stay Drs. recommended 20 day rehab which she had just begun two days before the reception. She was missed by many, her spirit was there with us.

The Exhibit comes down next week April 2-3 ! This journey has been an amazing opportunity to be involved in the creative world of art in new form, in active creative participation, one that will expand they way I view art/photography and its world!