Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.
I love a good storm. There’s something about it that makes you feel alive. It engages all of your senses in a way that never happens on a sunny, clear day.
Clouds scud across the sky and if you’re lucky some of the more unusual cloud formations appear. These mammatus clouds appeared ever so briefly, perhaps 4 minutes, but it was amazing to watch them develop and slip away into a swirl of gray.
So excited to add them to my ever growing collection of clouds.
I planted my self in the middle of a great many Glasses full of Dew, tied fast about me, upon which the Sun so violently darted his Rays, that the Heat, which attracted them, as it does the thickest Clouds, carried me up so high, that at length I found my self above the middle Region of the Air.
Cyrano de Bergerac
It’s been a great week and today I’m just feeling really content. Good news abounded and nature threw in some beauties as well. This image of crepuscular rays was also an EarthSky “Today’s Image”, always an honor for me and a good reminder of why it’s important to carry your camera with you.
Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain.
What a beautiful sight to see. These giant birds soaring high up in the thermals.
Photographs so often trigger memories and I was reminded of a summer day in Miami training with my Search and Rescue team. I was “dogless” as I was still waiting for my bloodhound to be shipped down from Washington state so my assignment was to join a member of the ultralight team that we had partnered with to fly in an ultralight.
We had staged a missing person scenario and I would be spotting from the air and reporting back to our dog teams.
It turned out to be an amazing experience and as I watched the pelicans high above me I had just the slightest sense of their freedom.
This weekend is a special one and I’ll take this as a sign!
Strange things blow in through my window on the wings of the night wind and I don’t worry about my destiny.
Fate or destiny…
I suppose that it’s all just a matter of beliefs. A comparison of thoughts and actions.
First there’s fate; the normal expected outcome.
But what if you set that aside and strive towards fulfilling your potential, your destiny?
What if you decide to be positive, stay present, and confidently move forward forsaking everything that tells you that you can’t, that you aren’t, that you won’t?
Can you change your destiny?
We came across these pelicans, one of my favorite birds to photograph, purely by chance in the early morning hours. Migratory birds that the winds of chance blew our way for a brief time, this one morning. Good things happen when you open up to the possibility.
My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.
What if you could live a quiet life? How much of the stuff around you do you really need? How much of it actually brings you joy?
I’ve been on a mission for the past couple of years to simplify and move towards living quietly. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stuff and to form attachments to things that have long ceased to enrich your life in any meaningful way.
Another component of this way of living is being mindful of time. How do you spend your free time? Who do you spend it with? Are you stretched thin accepting every invitation that comes your way whether or not it’s something that you really want to be doing?While it is important to not be closed off to human interaction, to get out and to interact with people socially, it’s also okay to say no to doing everything.
How does this relate to photography? I make conscious choices when heading out the door to shoot. I don’t need to carry every lens in my arsenal and just that very act jump starts the creative process, sets the tone for the images.
We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.
I came across this quote today and it deeply resonated. It got me thinking about luck and karma, and how important the choices that we make on a daily basis are.
Starting with who we surround ourselves with. I can’t begin to emphasize how important this is to over-all happiness. As humans we are not at our best being solitary but neither is it good to be around people who dwell in negativity. I think we do a great job beating ourselves up over past criticisms or life events that did not go well so it does become vitally important who you do allow into your inner circle.
Call it luck or karma but once you make the critical decision to be in a supportive environment, obstacles do begin to drift away. It takes time, commitment, and a lot of introspection but the benefits of living this way cannot be quantified.
And the good thing? Today would be a perfect day to start!
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.
This week one of my blog followers lost a man very dear to her heart. As is often the case when I sat down this morning to write, one image seemed to fit. I know that she appreciated every day that she had and that is the message that keeps repeating itself. Louder each time so as not to be overlooked.
Live in the moment. Appreciate what you have right now. Don’t leave words unspoken and never wait for a better time to be happy.
The sky is one whole, the water another; and between those two infinities the soul of man is in loneliness.
Loneliness is an interesting paradox that doesn’t always look like we imagine it would look when observing it from the outside.
It’s an all too common experience that isn’t alleviated by merely living with someone. Findings by neuroscientist John T Cacioppo in Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection indicate that long term loneliness can be as harmful to your health as smoking and obesity. Some of the side effects? Impairment of thinking, willpower, and perseverance which only serve to reinforce the feelings of rejection and isolation.
Not to be confused with solitude, something that I personally value as a time for reflection and recharging, loneliness can often feel worse when it occurs with-in a relationship.
The complexity of this subject begs for more exploration but until then, if you’re feeling lonely, please reach out to someone and let them know.
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
On a recent flight my seatmate was a woman slightly older than myself but as you do in close quarters, we began to chat. Summing up your life history in a few short sentences is somewhat freeing. Each time you share your story, even if it’s with someone you’re likely never to see again, it opens the door to healing scars that may not be visible from the outside.
Gazing out over the mountains below she spoke with regret of the place where she had gotten married, a place that I have been to on several occasions and each time have been seduced by its beauty.
You see it burned in the fall of 2017, 19,303 hectares in the park itself. She said it was now ugly, it would never be the same, and she likely would not return. I was surprised by that reaction, so at odds with my own. I shared some images with her that I had taken over the last two years but where I saw signs of strength and survival she saw only haunting scars.
She’s a breast cancer survivor and I couldn’t help but wonder what she feels about herself when she confronts a mirror. When I see scars, especially devastating ones, I always think of the strength that it must have taken to push beyond that and to survive.
Change is a good thing. It gives us the opportunity to create a new narrative and to perhaps do a better job when we tell the next story.
“First you must have the images, then come the words.”
Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County
I photograph first and then I write, for it’s the images that speak to me.
I rarely go out with expectations of what I’m going to photograph. It’s far more interesting to look around and see what’s there, which was how I ended up under this bridge. I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of travel this bridge sees as it leads to one of the most picturesque mountain sites in the country.
Great movie, by the way, the Bridges of Madison County. Written in eleven days after the author spent some time photographing bridges proving once again that inspiration can come from the most simple of events.