Thursday, December 29, 2016

Growing Pains | A Musing We Will Go { 12-29-12 }

There are, in this world, so many many words, but never the right ones that I wish to use that can convey what it is I am thinking. I have been somewhat trapped in my own mind as of late, words lost and ideas unspoken and all, and with the Christmas days behind and the new year about to descend, I must admit, I have been rather grey. Writing, particularly, has been difficult for me these past few days. Staring at blank pages, willing somethings, anything to happen; the pencil stays still and my mind goes blank, the shadows growing, the drafts outnumbering the published; the sun relinquishes reign and I am left in the middle ground before darkness descends with silent mantras to do better come morning.

It was in this haze, between dusk and stars, linen and skin, my life a blur; it was here that I created this little image, to heal, to watch the water ripple away from my stone, and let the strange birds fly away, to clear my mind. Healing is, for me, something I do in my own strange ways; wrapping my head in yarn and tying myself to a tree is an example. They are moments carved in my mind each one, the days I make the turbulent thing that is my mind into a reality; sometimes the only days that the winds calm and I can see again. Solace in creating, rain upon soil, hands against sun; healing.

This image has been something of excitement and contempt when I look at it. I made it simply, me and the yarn and the tree, so post processing was a breeze because of that simplicity, and it formed into what I saw in my mind with ease. I felt entirely pleased with it, and I still very much do, a fact unachievable at times. Unannounced, the idea walked into my mind a few weeks ago, without ceremony or brainstorming, as if I had expected it, as if was a normality for unknown impossibles to walk in and sit down; well, perhaps it is a normality of a sort, but I am accustomed to it being a bit more formal, known to each other instead of strangers. It has been from the beginning that I have been wondering why it has left me without proper words to use concerning it. Many times I have sat down to describe what it is I thought about the photo, or about life, or about anything concerning the concept of thoughts growing or identity's twisted or constricted puppets; but soon it became something that was wordless, blank pages and spilled ink and such.

Just when I was beginning to think that it would forever be hidden away in my vault of unshared 
works, the winds and the rains came, bringing life back to the soils of the earth. Awash in sodden greys, the world letting the ode to winter come down, open palms and bare feet. I walked in the rain when I could, sneakers laced up, coat zipped, and the big umbrella with me. I didn't use it much; I like to feel the rain on my face you see. This warranted some strange looks from passerby's, but I didn't mind; I wasn't really paying attention anyways. It was amongst the stones wet and the gutters flooded and the boughs and branches shivering that I prayed much about things of the now and of the future, pleading with God to give me the words He wished me to speak and write. The rain, I have found, is not all the time secluded to heal just the earth. Wave upon wave, it can wash the mind just the same, as it has done for me and this photo.

So, the photo. I have often thought that the color red, when inline with a photo like this, would constitute the like of things such as power or blood or death. But I realized, it doesn't always have to be so. Nobility, strength, honor, sorrow it can be too, the like I think might be in this photo somewhere. It is many things to many people, I have found, but of my opinion, it is about the difficulties of growth. I know as an artist, it can seem all blood and war when it comes to growing sometimes, constricted minds wanting to be free and the like. But I have found that, like the rain which falls in time to the direction of the clouds and winds and such, we must not rush ourselves, but to have the strength to fall where we are directed, to grow where we are planted, with all it's growing pains.

As you can probably imagine, this photo was a peculiarity of hilarious maneuvering to achieve. My sister had to assist in the clicking of the shutter and flipping the screen around so I could peer through my wrapped up face to see if I was where I should be as I was preoccupied with, well, being constrained to the tree and all. Creating with others around is, in itself, an amazing thing that can produce much laughter at times; bonding in the ridiculous. As was the case with this photo. Holding that simple pose was harder than one would think, much less keeping a straight face with a giggling sister taking the picture; indeed falling victim to the glorious odd day that this was, of creating beauty and sorrow that forever bend and fold back with each other, forever growing, forever the same; just like the rain.

So, here are a few links to some great things for you this week of the in between Christmas and New Years. 

~ This wreath tutorial by the blog Local Milk. I have always wanted to make a wreath, and maybe someday I will, but if I do, or when I do, I would want them to be in the somewhat likeness of the ones in that blog post.

~ Another thing of inspiration by Beth Kirby of Local Milk (what can I say, she's awesome)- These Earl Grey Marshmallows laced with Salted Lapsang Souchong Caramel that look entirely amazing and if I ever attempt different things that are awesome in the year 2017, I want one of those things to be these marshmallows.

~ Okay, I must say that I am not a food blogger. I don't develop recipes and I don't post weekly of my various baking try's and do's and don'ts because, quite frankly, I have no sense of those things. But I am inspired, for my art and my mind and my creative inspiration, of things that are of a different life I live, one where I dwell in cottages and countrysides and practice arts of living simply. And that is why I take photos of such things, both still life and fine art; they feed and cultivate one another, both of lives I live in my mind, both of the life I live of the present. And so, this Chai Tea Hot Chocolate recipe by Nathanial Crawford is of those things that inspire both my mind in photos and my small kitchen adventures in recipe.

 ~ If you want a pretty cool tutorial on how to Photoshop a person in the middle of an ocean, than this is for you, a tutorial by the wonderful Brooke Shaden
~ This image, in particular, has inspired me greatly as of late, by the incredibly cool Rosie Hardy.

~ Lastly, and another piece of inspiration from Brooke Shaden, is this photo and blog post has been one of my favorites this year.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hope Held

I am tried. So tired. Of always trying to out do what I have already accomplished. Tired of looking back and thinking about how things were better than they are now. Tired of seeing myself as decaying rather than growing. I am not all that I want to be sometimes. I look at this fact everyday and shove it aside muttering, I know I know I know, let me just try, let me grow, leave me alone.

I am tired. The world moves faster than I can handle. I'm sick of the noise and the stifling humans who infect everywhere I go. I am melting under all the sickness that crawls around kicking and screaming at every burning ember that touches the ground. They reach for me. I feel them all at my back. And sometimes, when the sun goes down and I'm left in the dusk of my mind, they grab me. They tear at my clothes. And all I can do it stare between rough fingers.

Please let me go.

I feel strange as the year closes, as you may have noticed from my words above. But, I am happy. Blissfully so. Christmas always makes me this way. I am going to bake various things and read my favorite blogs that post seasonal magic like Beth Kirby and Nate Crawford; they make me wish I could be a food blogger and I adore their photography and words and foody things so much. ( I know, great technical word there). I am going to drink my favorite seasonal teas and take little photos around my house of the beauty that is this season and yes, listen to all that Christmas music and be simply happy for a time.

But I am looking forward. Mostly toward just a few weeks for that special day yes, but oh, beyond toward distant skies that I am reaching for indeed.

I tend to shove past the gloomy side that crawls on skin when looking into the future over a cup of coffee and by consulting those whom I trust; ignoring the arms at my back. My poor friends, gosh they have to deal with a lot of questions about this or that or with my need to be quiet and away from phones and computers and communication at other times. 

But I have begun looking at what I have accomplished this past year, and what it is that I wish to do more of in the year to come; horizons and all that. A business fell into my lap through the months and I have felt lost. I have had to ask myself questions that I have put aside for awhile; "where the heck to do you want to go from here? What is it that you wish to do more of? Why can't you decide anything."

Mumbling uncertainties, I drink my coffee.

The truth, I have found, does not need many words to be what it is. I know what I like to do; that is a truth. So far, I haven't actually made a living out of my crazy photos and sometimes it doesn't seem possible. Poetry within a frame, written in ink and contrast, pinning down my clouds and grounding my spirit, that is what I truly wish to do. This is not something that I am asked to do by people. I have not been paid to make fine art images. Gosh, I haven't even printed my photos for myself. But they are what make my heart burn with purpose, what I am most connected with, what I have found that I wish to do and it is what I have found that I love to do most. In this field I am running, without ground it seems, but I'm running.

Toward horizons and such.

But at least I can see them. And I'm holding onto hope.

And so I have written goals. Not some resolutions of cliche, or hopes that I think impossible; but goals that I know that I can at least try. Some are simple ideas that aren't concrete I realize; I hope to be inspirational for someone, even if to only one person, and even if it is in some small way. Some goals are simple and weird; I want to take more photos of my cats and try different teas. But others are of the kind that will help, or perhaps to even force myself to grow. I want to learn more Photoshop. I want to print my creations, if only for my wall. I want to find those who will follow my strange path with me. I want to show people more of the "how" and the "why" I create. I want to be what God wants me to be, whether I know where I am or not. And that starts with goals and plans and distant horizons and a open heart to what could be and a willingness to follow.

I have come to realize that I am capable of more things than I know. My borders this year have widened and been all over the place, I know. I didn't know if this photo would work. Yet it slid into place in Photoshop. I have been trying to write this blog post for longer than it takes to add eight arms to a photo. Yet here it is. I didn't think I could photograph a wedding again, but I did this year, and guys, it was entirely amazing, although not something that I wish to do for the rest of my being. I didn't think I could give a best man speech, but I made it through with all it's shaking hands and those eyes... so many eyes. I didn't think I could go to another country to do what I love, but I did. 

So, chase those clouds. Run with what you love. We are capable of more than we realize, and sometimes the greatest thing we can do to accomplish our dreams is to go and try. This photo is a reminder to hold onto hope, to He who is all knowing, and to fight, goodness, fight those arms at your back; we do, after all, have the God of the universe to hold onto. I know I will be.

I hope we can do it together my friends.

I would love to hear what goals you have set for the coming year! 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ashely's Senior Adventures

This was a session to end the year with all it's uniqueness indeed.

To start, and this is really the only important thing, Ashley rocked her session completely. We scurried around in the leaves and looked at all the buildings that make up Pioneer Village, stopping against this or that building to pose against the cool wood or taking pictures under that gloriously orange leafed tree. A session of outside museums and Christmas decorations and aesthetic mugs and good friends; yes please. There wasn't many people, because, well, it was closing soon, so I was kind of startled to look through a window of an old doctors building to see a human silhouette in a really strange position. Guys, it's okay, it was just a mannequin, we don't have to bolt and never come back ever...

Okay, I will admit, I was a little worried that we wouldn't have enough time to get in all that we needed to get in when we first arrived at the museum. Because, yeah, we only had twenty minuets to go in, shoot, and get out. Pro tip, remember to check when your location closes, otherwise you may have to scramble. But the time restraint couldn't keep us from our fun. The session ended with us hiding behind buildings to take just a few more photos and avoid being kicked out, eventually being  escorted out by a man on a golf cart.

The twenty minute session was a new experience, but we all ended up laughing the whole time, even with the time restraint and our trusty back up golf cart man, who was honestly just doing his job; poor guy had to deal with a crazed photographer and darling subject prancing around the property.

It was an entirely good way to end this year of client work I say.

 I don't know if I will blog much in the month of December, or if I will more so than usual, but I have purposed to blog not with obligation, but only when my heart stirs. And so I will, and we will see what it is that comes from my heart stirring.

This was my last session of the year. 
It's strange for me to even say the word session, much less realize that I have had more this year than any year. I have so enjoyed getting to create with others during this season of change and growth; a year of first's it has been. And it's here, in my little circle, my little blog, that I can share and give and let people see and maybe connect in a way that is beyond what I thought was possible. Such a special place this is and I can't thank everyone enough for even enjoying something that I post, much less telling me so or finding some encouragement or inspiration from my long blog posts and crazy photos. 

So, here's to Christmas and a year of first's and to a group of awesome people.