Autumn…

equinox, is winter upon us?DSC_3037-Edit-2There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The autumn equinox is upon us; the days will become shorter, and soon, if not already, the snow will begin to fall.

Today there will be equal hours of day and night and rituals abound for marking that sense of balance.

One of my favorite stories comes from Greek mythology and Persephone who was abducted from her mother,¬† harvest Goddess Demeter, and taken to the underworld to become the wife of Hades. She eventually got her back only to lose her to Hades for three months of every year. During this time Demeter would refuse to grow plants resulting in “winter”.

I don’t share Demeter’s sense of loss when winter comes calling. For me it’s a time of stark, clean landscapes and crystalline structures.

Enjoy every moment, not just the ones that are perfect…that’s what is important.

Like paint…

off the end of a brush.

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Energy and motion made visible-memories arrested in space.

Jackson Pollock

Sometimes it’s her office; other times her place of sanctuary. As we glided across the smooth surface it wasn’t the scenery enveloping this beautiful lake that caught my eye, it was the swirling of imagery through the water. There one moment and erased the next by a single sweep of the paddle.

Paint flowing off of the end of a brush onto a blue canvas.

I like to capture something different in a landscape. I look for those things that are fleeting and not repeatable, often imagining how many times a landscape has been photographed exactly the same way: same light, same settings, same perspective.

It’s almost always about the water…

Today’s a great day…

to take a few stairs.

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The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps-we must step up the stairs.

Vance Havner

One of the things that I’ve been working on is living in the moment. For me that means appreciating what’s good in my life and not dwelling on those things that could be better.

Those things will resolve over time and as is life, others will no doubt come in their place.

I’m trying to remember that I have a choice to make each day. I can be happy and content or I can dwell in those things that are beyond my control.

Today looks like a great day to take a few stairs…

Moving forward…

while purging the past.

We cannot tear out a single page of our life, but we can throw the whole book in the fire.

George Sand

A note about the post that follows:

It’s not my intention to give the impression that the last 37 years of my life didn’t matter and that they were filled with bad memories. That simply wouldn’t be accurate, there were good times and we become the person that we are by the sum of the parts. I doubt that this story is unique, I’m fairly certain that there are others just like me out there; putting on a brave face and acting like their life is oh so normal. It’s easy to see now that the choices I made in my late teens were motivated by emotion and not a lot of practicality. I wonder if at some point in the future I will regret being so transparent about my divorce. The flip side of that is if my words could stop someone from making the same mistakes that I did, wouldn’t that be worth it? If I could share one piece of advice with another young person it would be to choose your partner wisely: it is one of the most important decisions that you can make. Don’t make a decision based on potential and never make excuses for behavior that you don’t like. Those behaviors are likely to never change and are more likely to get worse over time. The  people in this story weren’t fundamentally bad, they just didn’t belong together and if you’re reading this and it hits too close to home, know that you can change the course of the rest of your life. Understand that, no matter how badly you want to change or help someone, some things are not fixable. I used to take pride not in the quality of my marriage, but in its length. Ending a long marriage is an invasive, unpredictable, expensive, and highly stressful event. Know that getting out will be one of the hardest things that you do but that it will be so worth it.

Fire has long been a method of purification and for me there is something deeply satisfying about watching flames dance and reduce an object to ash. As a photographer it’s important for me to have visual images: it’s how I process things.
Stepping back a few decades, I would never have envisioned that object would be my wedding gown.
Looking at my wedding photos I find it difficult connecting with the girl in that gown with the monstrous train. It’s not me and even as I try to reconcile myself with my wedding day it still feels like an event that I got caught up in.
The dress looked like something that could be replicated to top a wedding cake. The bridesmaid’s dresses were not the color that I wanted for my December wedding. The song sung by the groom’s sister at my wedding was not one that I had chosen. I spent the afternoon ignoring the voice that said  you broke up five years into this relationship for a reason and marriage won’t change what hasn’t changed after getting back together. You know that right?

What occurs to me as I look at my wedding pictures now is that I don’t see the moments that I would capture today as a photographer who specializes in moments.

I write this not from the viewpoint of that young girl in the photos but from the viewpoint of a woman who finally got the courage to leave a dysfunctional marriage. That girl believed that with enough nurture the nature would change.
That girl had no idea that without the sacrifice of her own values and principles her marriage could never be a true partnership. That girl would never have imagined that she would one day read words that would chill her to the bone. Words describing how she would die because she dared to choose to move forward and live a life of love, honesty,  and simplicity.

This girl after 31 years of marriage finally walked away and on a dark, snowy, December night, set fire to the dress that lingered at the bottom of her closet.
As the flames moved up the dress I exhaled and felt the beginning of closure.
There are many things that should be recycled and passed forward for someone else to make use of but for me it was important that the symbols of my marriage be laid to rest alongside my marriage.

A good friend once said to let go and that the universe will provide.  Turns out it will and it has and today finds me in a relationship based on an old friendship and shared values and that has been the biggest surprise of all!

If there’s a young person in your life that may be struggling with a relationship or if you know someone who thinks that there is no way out…please share this post.

Life doesn’t always…

go the way that you planned but if you stay open to opportunities…they WILL come!

Colors answer feeling in man; shapes answer thought; and motion answers will.

John Sterling

It’s a joy to be back behind the lens after a life induced hiatus.

The week-end was one of inspiration filled with photography from both air and ground level.

The company was perfection, the subject matter thrilling, and it put me right back in my zone.

Thank you for the support and patience…each and every one of you who take the time to check in and read, comment, or share my blog post.

A quiet moment…

in unquiet times.

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I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

Frida Kahlo

There’s a beauty in moving forward that cannot be achieved by taking the path of least resistance.

Often the things that you fear the most never come to pass and the unimaginable becomes the reality.

For me photography is a meditation that both calms and inspires me.

This intimate landscape reminded me so much of a painting done by my father. So much so that it felt like I was seeing it through his eyes and once again my camera became the brush with which I paint.

Breathe in, breathe out.