Monday, December 12, 2016

a few photos from the past few weeks {perspective}

A little more than three weeks ago I decided I would start posting a photo a day on Instagram.  This is not a new idea, but neither have I started an official photo a day project with any guidelines or projected outcomes.  I am not particularly good with daily rituals, they generally come to feel burdensome, and inevitably I miss, a day or several, and when my streak is broken the perceived failure typically wards me off from returning. This holds true for creative projects, self-care projects and weekly house cleaning intentions.  It is some kind of self-defeatism that is decidedly unhelpful. However, I think that the structure of a project can sometimes overshadow the intention of a project and we can become focused on the achievement and loose the experience.  So this is not a project, but something I have just decided to do. Originally I thought I would share my weekly collection here, every Saturday, with some reflection or review.  I haven't started that yet.  I don't know if I will.  But I have found some value in my daily photos and that is something that I would like to share.  

Because my photos are accompanied by words it has become almost in equal, a daily writing exercise, not by intention, but by default. I sketch in words, rather than images in pencil and paper, it is the characters of the letters; they are how I process and understand.  One of the things I find interesting about writing is the ability of our own words to speak back to us. Perhaps our words can speak better to us than any intended audience, particularly over time.  They reflect our feelings; they remind us of understands, that have sometimes faded; sometimes they are embarrassing; sometimes enlightening; but always they are a window back to ourselves; they are perspective.

My daily photos have shown me the character of my days, I have tried to choose images that reflect some aspect of my day; my thoughts or activities, and as I look back over them I can see how varied my daily experiences actually are, how quickly the weather changes, how diligently time passes.  They help me look quietly when my mind wants to move fast, faster than my days, which are moving quite fast enough. 

They are tiny reminders, reflections and rebirths; here are a few of my favorites. 




November 17:

Sometimes dreaming about being someplace else is the best way to remember what you have right here...





November 18:

I spent the late afternoon cleaning up my garden, readying it for winter and sneaking out a late and final harvest of zesty greens. Winter in the Midwest is more than a season, it is the coming of a new lifestyle. In truth I have come to dread the approach of winter, not for its beginning but for its conclusion; that each year comes to feel so long overdue. Winter does not end here, it merely creeps away, slowly displaced by the life that was lain dormant by its presence. And we will enter the world again as well. Those moments seem a long way off today as I indulge in the final bounty of this seasons life. And I am reminded of the cycle and that is where the awe lives.



November 19:

These guys are my little brother's but I look up to them so much; they are kind, passionate lovers of life. Last month I had the chance to spend nearly a week with them in Door County, Wisconsin...I will treasure that always.





November 25:

I was out today for Flood the Streets with Art and feeding my soul



November 3:

My baby turned 7 today, she smiled ALL day and my heart is full to the brim!





December 4:

First Snow!




December 4:


This old man has been my companion and confidant for thirteen years, he came into my life just when I needed him and I am still thankful every day...




December 7:

I get a homesickness this time of year, a longing; for the air and the trees and the deer in my mother's yard, for the damp ground that sounds crisp and feels soft underfoot, for the damp air that envelopes and chills and smells of sweet pine. It's a dull ache in my bones that would be, that have been chilled by that damp air, longing to be quenched by that familiar mist.




December 8:

It is her face I miss, the wrinkles that meant time and glory and yes, pain. It is her hands I miss and their soft, soft touch, their ridges and groves that held and made and clenched and caressed. It is her voice I miss and the assurance it carried. It is her presence I miss and the intimacy of being that it revealed. Today my grandmother would be one hundred and one years old; she loved the redwoods, she called them the big trees




December 9:

I think there are times I look so hard for perspective there is no chance I will see it, no chance its subtle presence will be noticed, heard. What happens to wonder, to curiosity? What happens to awe? What happens to seeing? When do we learn to look; over and through and right past everything that is all around us, settling in on only what we wish was and wasn't there? If only we would stop looking we would find all of life to be so breathtaking...





December 10:

The in-between is a place we must learn to dwell, for mere moments if we are lucky; but often it is longer, stranger. And if we are patient it is the dawn we find on the other side, the dawn of new experience, new understanding; the morning of acceptance...




December 11:

My great-grandmother's thread box



With gratitude,

Joanna

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