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.
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.
I’ve fallen away from my photography a little lately, so I’ve been looking for something to spark my creativity in 2017. There are so many 365 challenges (too ambitious for this teacher), and 52-week themes available, but none were quite what I was looking for.
This past summer I began practicing yoga regularly and absolutely love it – and want to benefit even more from the practice to be more mindful.
It’s nearly 2017, so a little late, but I wanted to share what I came up with today: “Mindfulness Challenge: 52 weeks of mindful themes for photography, poetry, journaling, and creating”.
Please feel free to print/try/share. If you’d like a PDF version ($1) – and an editable PowerPoint version, please click on the image below and you will be taken to the link:
Enjoy, good luck, and Happy New Year! Wishing you and yours health and happiness for 2017.
My submission for this week’s photography challenge: Nighttime. (Taken with my Lensbaby, for an abstract, surreal composition.)
There are signs of endurance throughout nature: Leaves that hang on despite wind and rain and passing seasons; the bark on a tree that flakes and curls yet continues to protect; or the flower, long dried and faded, but still clinging to the branch that bore it.
These are my submissions for this week’s photography challenge: Endurance.
I wasn’t quite sure what photo I would submit for the challenge this week. Then, I was at my parents’ place and noticed this metal garden decoration in their backyard.
Here is the silhouette photo that I made yesterday:
The timing of this challenge is perfect: We recently picked up these two containers at a yard sale. I had no idea what I would use them for, but I loved one for its scratched and paint-splattered surface, the other for its rusted edges and polka-dot like holes. To their previous owners, their usefulness had passed; to me, they were artful pieces to add to my home.
(I’ve since turned the large pot upside down to use as a table for my laundry basket while I hang out clothes. The other holds the dogs’ balls for outdoor play.)
Spring is buds on the trees, new life springing from branches.
It is blades of green grass.
It is melted snow (not melting snow, as we have now) and clearing fields.
Spring is open water and clothes on the line.
It is chirping birds and buzzing insects.
It says spring on the calendar, but it is not here, yet.
We are waiting (impatiently) for spring to begin.
Street life might be drivers heading to work, families out for a walk… or these flowers peeking through the fence along the sidewalk.
There is life on this street.