The Joy of Discovery

Coming In For A Landing

Coming In For A Landing

Recently I was searching my photo archives for a particular dahlia shot, a daunting task when you have as many images as I do–rather like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack. I eventually found the shot I was looking for but along the way, I got sidetracked into an album of morning glory photos from 2008, finding one that had originally escaped my notice.

I’m always delighted to find an undiscovered element in a photo, in this case, a bee on the edge of a morning glory, on its way to gather pollen, its wings a blur of motion. I have other shots where the insects are crisp and clear but there’s a charm in the suggested, as well.

Color doesn’t always shoot true, and that’s certainly the case here–these morning glories are a deep, rich blue. I used an application I call “color wash,” darkening them to a dusky purple. Brilliant color doesn’t always print well, either.

I’ll conclude with an example of crisp detailing, an Oriental Poppy with Japanese Beetles in the center.

Poppy Surprise

Poppy Surprise

This week, I challenge you to look at your surroundings with new eyes, to see beyond what is immediately visible. Small treasures are all around us, waiting to be discovered (although I wouldn’t call a Japanese Beetle a treasure). Be present in your life, every day. Learn to focus on the details, rather than the canvas as a whole. What you discover may surprise you.

Friday….

I awoke this morning to sunshine and blue skies, the lush spread of grass in vibrant, saturated green. To birdsong, to tulips poking their sealed heads skyward, to leaf buds unfurling. After yesterday’s rain, the world is washed clean and all its creatures rejoice.

Spring is a time of renewal and I feel it, head to soul, as if I, too, have been washed clean and filled with light. The vase of daffodils on the counter is a cheerful reminder that color has returned to the landscape, after a long, weary Winter with its limited palette. And for that, I am grateful.

Daffodils

Forgiveness Is Easy….

Forgive Yourself
For some of you reading this, I suspect your initial reaction might be, “Sure it is.” (Where’s the sarcasm font when you need it?) Some people say “I’m sorry” as easily as they say “I love you,” without any meaning or emotion behind the words. In fact, both are examples of automatic responses which, like some over-used words, have lost their impact and/or their sincerity.

Forgiveness is an essential element to wholeness. We humans can be callously uncaring of others’ feelings–or, if not uncaring, at least oblivious. A careless comment, a petty act of unkindness, violating someone’s privacy: we’ve all been guilty of these at times. And we’ve all experienced both, as giver and receiver. When we’re on the receiving end, we become less willing to trust. In the worst case scenario, we withdraw, cherishing our wounds and grievances, walling up our heart and spirit. The poison spreads…

Bitter Heart
Forgiveness, like love, begins in our own heart. If we are unable to forgive ourselves, how much more difficult will it be to forgive others? If we find ourselves unlovable, how then will we love others?

Forgiveness has two distinct parts: the first one, the act of forgiving, is relatively painless. The other half, forgetting, is more difficult. That’s where the work comes in. Holding on to old grievances is like dragging around a large heavy suitcase; it saps your strength and drains your spirit. Only you can decide when you’re ready to put it down, to leave it behind and begin to heal–and only when you do will you be completely free.
Floating Gardenia, E114, Crop; Watermark II, Serenity Caption

Fear

Treasure where you're most afraid to go

Images in grey
shifting, changing,
elusive as tattered smoke
fragmented by the wind.

Afraid of what?

Of unknown, unseen things,
dark places
where cold hands reach out
to clutch and pull me down
into the icy pool
of loneliness and despair…

Of growing old–
time swiftly passing,
nothing accomplished,
nothing left behind to say to the world
I lived,
I was here…

Of having nothing to say
that anyone wants to hear…

I’m afraid.

What are your fears? Today, I challenge you to look at them honestly. To name them, out loud. To see that they’re nothing more than a prison of your own making. Whatever it is that’s holding you back, keeping you from reaching your full, joyous potential, name it and break its hold over you. It will take courage, but I promise you–you’re stronger than you know. Open the door to your prison…and walk away from it, free and strong.

Claim your treasure–it’s waiting for you.