Life is never truly still.
Slight movements surround us, always. There are interruptions to our meditations, sounds and distractions. Breath means movement.
While practicing using my neutral density filter, I left my camera focused on the pool for a few minutes to go help my son clean the car. I had just tripped the shutter on a 30-second exposure when he called for me.
My daughter, thinking she’d be funny, attempted to capture a selfie on my camera while I was gone.
The stillness of the shot captured her movement in front of the camera, a faint purple haze in front of the pool.
When I was choosing a photo for this entry, my initial thought was to use this first image, as I felt it showed stillness well:
However, it occurred to me that the challenge of being still is to accept the constant movement surrounding us. Instead of ruining the image, my daughter inadvertently created a metaphor.
Nothing – not even stillness – is perfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There is no calm like the silence of a hot summer night.
One of the things I love best about photography is that it forces me to pay attention to the details: the way the light casts shadows; the contrast created by differing backgrounds; or the flowers that have fallen from the plant.
While photographing a brilliant red Canada 150 planter (Happy Canada Day!) on my parents’ back patio, I looked beyond the flowers to the table and spotted these dropped blossoms. Instantly, I was drawn to the mix of textures and colour created by this composition. I much prefer it to the photos I made of the flowers themselves.
Testing my Patience
April is the ultimate test of patience:
Shivering in spring jackets, because we can no longer stand to layer ourselves in winter wear; fingers icy because we refuse to wear gloves for even one more day; wiping snow off the car with our sleeves because, frankly, we are fed up.
Watching the snow melt, only to wake up to earth covered – once again – in snow; waiting for the ice to break up in the bay; driving deliberately through puddles so the spray scatters onto snowbanks in the hopes they will melt just a little bit more.
Patience brings rewards, too:
That first glimpse of salty water under the bridge and rivers beginning to flow once more.
An edge of lawn; a blade of green grass.
Sand and waves and a single piece of sea glass.
April can be a cruel month, but the rewards are worth the wait.
I’m a little behind on my photo challenge… Quite apt for this theme: Imperfection.
This little beach find is perfect for my imperfect theme. It is slightly cracked, softened by the sea, speckled by the sand, and faded by the sun. Yet it remains intact, traces of vitality evident in its lines and shape.
Once a vibrant protector of life, it is now vacant. But the story of life resides in its curves, the scent and sound of the sea still alive within it.
It is imperfect, but it is still beautiful.
The Things We Touch
Every day we put on clothes, we pick things up, we cook, we slide our fingers across our keyboards and our phones – mindlessly. And yet, in each of these is a touch, a texture, a temperature. The fabric we wear is stretchy, silky, or soft; the dishes are cool and hard. Food has endless textures: bumpy, crumbly, or even slimy.
How often do we notice?
What if we paid as much attention to the water running over our bodies in the shower as we did the pillow we lay our heads down on each night? What if we were as mindful of the softness of the scarf we wrap around our neck as we are the tag that scratches at our back?
Here is what I do notice:
- A new book, its pages crisp and clean
- The warmth from my children when we curl up on the couch
- The weight and softness of the throw I cover my legs with while I relax
- The heat of a fresh cup of coffee
- A pair of fuzzy reading socks
- A hot bath
- The almost-spring sun as it heats the inside of the car
- Ice-cold water during hot yoga (and the grip of my mat during asanas)
- The smooth keys of the keyboard while I type
- The curved edges and ridged buttons on my camera
This mindfulness challenge began to help create more awareness in my photography; it is helping to create more awareness in my life.
New yarn, craft supplies, patterns…
These are the materials that become the projects that become the process that become the product.
This is possibility.
Possibility is creativity and potential. It is a motivator and a series of choices. Possibility is positive thinking, expectation, and hope. It propels us forward.
Possibility is inspiration.
This is Simplicity
This photo was taken a number of years ago. Rather than making a new one, I chose to use this one as it represents simplicity to me on many levels.
I’ve always taken pictures, but this is one of the first photos I took with my DSLR. Even though the camera became more complicated, my style did not. Photography for me has always been focusing on a few simple details, cutting out anything that does not add to the subject matter.
A daisy is that most common flower, found growing wild, picked by children who pull the petals off, and gathered by women in wedding bouquets. They are grown without fertilizer or fanfare. Daisies represent purity, innocence, cleanliness – perfect for the theme of simplicity.
In art as well as photography, a palette of black and white is also simplicity itself.
This photo is a reminder to pare down the elements in a composition; a reminder that sometimes, simple is best.
In honour of Valentine’s Day, I decided to switch this week’s theme with one I had planned to do in a few weeks: Love.
Love is a Pink Door
We recently redecorated our master bedroom: new bedding, new lighting, and new paint. The walls are now a soft grey, the quilt a quiet cream. I chose a neutral palette for its serene appeal as well as to appeal to my husband, whose style is about as far from flowery as you can get.
The door to the balcony was dark brown, so it needed to be changed as well. I had the idea to paint it pink, but figured it would end up being white. When my husband asked me what colour I wanted to paint the door, I threw out the pink idea, expecting it to be shot down instantly. To my surprise, he said, “Try it.”
To my even greater surprise, he didn’t mind it.
(Although he did suggest the room needed a Metallica poster to put some of him back into it!)
I was so happy with this pink door, this little bit of pretty pastel.
Then, my dear husband surprised me again: He came home with a pink orchid to go with my pink door.
Love it generosity and comprises. Love is romance and little surprises.
Love is a pink door (and an orchid to match).
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I am a High School English Teacher
There are many things I could have chosen for this week’s theme, so many things that make me happy. But what stands out for me right now is that after many years of being in not-quite-right jobs, I am in the right job for me. This is the most content I’ve been in a job, ever.