There are so many things I am grateful for: being surrounded by family and friends; having finally settled into a job that I love; a yoga practice that enriches and strengthens me; books that let me slip away; and little things like coffee and chocolate… But when I started thinking about what I would photograph to show gratitude this week, what I realized is that right now, I am most grateful for being home again.
This is the early morning sunrise through my back window.
I had no idea how I was going to start.
I’d created this list of themes to help me be more mindful in 2017. Deliberately abstract, I’d begun to wonder if I’d be able to even come up with a subject for my first photo: Focus.
It had been on my mind for a few days.
Then, yesterday while shortening curtains for my newly painted master bath, I was focused on stitching a straight seam. I guided the fabric, and I was literally focused on the moment: listening to the whirr of the machine, watching the tiny stitches draw a row of tiny dashes along the edge.
It occurred to me that this would be a perfect photo the first week of my mindfulness challenge. It is focus in the moment, focus in photography.
This, then, begins 52 weeks of #createmindfulness2017.
And this is the photo I did take of the flowers…
It’s a brightly beautiful bouquet: fuchsia, turquoise, tangerine and lavender. Cheerful colours in a muted season.
When I take out my camera, I look closer, see softer. Instead of a bouquet, each flower is a picture possibility.
The fog is thick during my afternoon walk. It mutes the world and softens details. Distracting backgrounds disappear.
Because of this, I was able to focus more closely on what I passed by.
The apples below this tree, scarlet and scattered, were so pretty that I just had to capture this image before I moved on.
There is something very poetic and dreamy about shallow depth of field. Many of my photos are taken at f/2.8 for this reason.
This is my submission for this week’s challenge: “Focus” (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/weekly-photo-challenge-focus/). This photo is all about focus – the camera, the lens, the focal point, and the depth of field.
It is also symbolic of my obsession with photography… Not only do I use my camera to focus on a subject, and manipulate f/stops to get the effect I’m looking for, but my camera helps me focus on the moment, too.
Yoga changed my life.
I used to carry this tension with me everywhere, all the time. I’d worry about the most trivial things. Then, the stress would cause more tension and I’d worry about the tension. It was crazy.
Until I learned how to breathe properly.
I’d done yoga a few times, but one instructor really taught it well. Now, when I feel any tension coming on, I focus on my breath. Now, I have control over it.
Now, I breathe.
It’s messy, time-consuming, and hard on the back, knees, and wrist, but I love to paint.
I’ve been working on staining all the decking, pergolas, and screen house in our yard this summer. Seeing the progress makes it such a satisfying job. Not to mention anticipating how great everything will look when I’m done.
Best of all, though, is the quiet time to think. I’ve always loved solitary work. Not that I don’t also enjoy being around other people, but it really doesn’t bother me to be alone. Painting is something I can do that gives me focus and puts me in the moment.
Do you have an activity that helps you be in the moment?