Cultivate positive emotions…

“So it makes sense that we should concentrate…on consciously cultivating heartfelt, positive emotions, such as gratitude, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, fascination, awe, inspiration, wonder, trust, appreciation, kindness, compassion, and empowerment, to give us every advantage in maximizing our health.”

Dr. Joe Dispenza, You Are the Placebo: making your mind matter

Photo Project: Step One

Well, I’ve continued to consider the photo project I wrote about in my previous post: Museum-worthy Inspiration.

First, I needed to decide what scene, what piece of open space, what part of my world I would DSC_0638subject to daily photographic scrutiny. And I found it.

I was standing at my kitchen sink, as I do several times a day, every day, doing dishes. I love the view from that kitchen window. It’s peaceful: trees, birds, squirrels, fallen limbs, floor, and sky.

There was just one problem with my choice. You know how the mind sees what it wants and ignores what it doesn’t? Well, the back porch railing cut right across the bottom of the scene. Normally, I ignore it. But it looked downright disruptive in the few test photos I took. So, I moved upstairs to the bathroom window directly above. Problem solved.

The photo at right is my chosen scene. Taken at three o’clock in the afternoon on the day of an approaching blizzard, it looks a bit flat. But hopefully it’ll be enhanced by the rising sun in subsequent shots. I think I’ll call my project “Kitchen Window.” (Sounds better than bathroom window!) After all, the kitchen was the real scene of my inspiration. And I can call it anything I want, really… So, “Kitchen Window” it is.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

Museum-worthy Inspiration…

Just the other day, I visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. When I was a lot younger, my mother and the woman down the street (along with some of that woman’s ten children) would take us on outings to the PEM. I have some vague recollections of viewing miniature ship replicas. Anyway, I’d only been there once as an adult, until this week. That first time, I had gone to see an amazing origami exhibit. It was fascinating! This time, it was a couple of their current exhibits that piqued my interest.

One of the exhibits was called “6:30 a.m.” Photographer Robert Weingarten had chosen a scene close to his home and photographed it every day for a year at…guess what time? 6:30 a.m.! The variations of light and color were incredible! Purples, oranges, blues… Only five of his photographs hung in this exhibit. The rest were available for viewing in much smaller dimensions in a hard-bound book. I would’ve loved to see more of them up close and enlarged.

But, I’ve been inspired. I’d like to try something similar, although I do have a few questions first. Did he ever go on vacation? Was he ever sick? Did he really take all 365 photographs himself? Did he stand outdoors in the changing weather or capture the scene safely from behind a window?

With these questions in mind, I think I’ll choose a scene soon and make up my own rules– call it “artistic license.” I’m tempted to try my experiment from a window, but my views are a bit limited. So, I’ll probably end up outdoors. And I’d also like a couple of vacations…away from home. So, I may not do it EVERY day. I don’t know that I’ll post every photo here either, but I’ll let you know…

OK, now I’m excited!

Who I Am & Why I’m Here…

I’ve been blogging on and off for over three years, but I still feel like a newbie. So, I’m taking the Blogging101 course and this is my first assignment. I do have an “About” page that sort of answers the questions of who and why, but they’re worth thinking through again…

I’ve been a writer, a poet, and a photographer since I first learned to spell and to hold a camera. But that hasn’t made me an expert. It just means that now they’re in my blood or my skin or my bones or however you’d like to imagine it. Sort of like a tree that incorporates an object leaning against it as it grows. They’re part of me. And the subjects of my essays, poems, and photographs reveal a lot about who I am: woman, wife, mother, adult child with aging parents, nature-lover, gardener, birdwatcher, musician, mathematician, spiritual and curious human being.

Why a blog? Well, I’ve had a few things published locally, but I don’t write consistently enough to keep my skills sharp or to improve much. I wanted to change that, so I started a blog. It helps to have an instant audience – one that’s willing to give some feedback or to relate to what I’m posting. I expect to grow and learn as a writer and a photographer in direct proportion to how much time and effort I put into my blogging.

With this in mind, I’m excited to participate in Blogging101. I see it as a personal challenge and a great opportunity. Thanks, WordPress!


DSC_0487This year, I thought I would resolve to learn something new every day…until I thought how difficult that might actually be to accomplish. Then, I thought some more. Often, learning something new involves acquiring a new skill, assimilating unfamiliar information, or experiencing an event for the first time. But just as often, it can mean getting one single onionskin closer to a truth that one already knows. Newness comes in the subtle approach to a deeper truth. And with that understanding, I hope to learn something new every day…for the rest of my life.

Happier Newer Year!

Two-thousand fourteen was a roller-coaster of a year for me. I saw one daughter married and another moved three thousand miles away, after nursing her through hip-surgery recuperation first. On top of that, I had to deal with an aging cat who had evidently forgotten what a litter box is for. We welcomed two new babies to the extended family, lost some close friends, and came to grips with one aging parent’s cancer diagnosis. And I had the opportunity to fly clear across the country for the first time in my life! In the midst of it all, I lost confidence as a blogger after inadvertently hurting some feelings with one of my posts and I practically dismantled this site in my deflated state.

Here, at the beginning of 2015, I begin again. Here’s to a happier, newer year…