on becoming who you're meant to be

 

I've just come home from a two-hour speech given by my friend Brené on the topic of becoming who we're meant to be.  My head is reeling from all of the amazing things she said, and I'd love to give you a well thought-out synopsis of her words; however, it's very late, and I think I need to digest everything first.  But I took notes, and I thought I'd share some of my favourite things she said.  I think it's pretty obvious why I'm such a fan:

"There is a myth that says that if we squander our gifts, then it's no big deal, it's just too bad, but that's life.  But I believe there's a penalty -- a price you pay -- for not using your gifts."

"Perfectionism is a destructive, addictive condition that says if you are perfect, you'll never struggle with shame, judgment or blame."

"The most common question we hear in life is 'what do you do?'  I say, refuse to choose.  My answer to that question is now, 'how much time do you have?'"

"Be creative.  There's no such thing as Creative People and Not Creative People -- there are only People Who Choose to Use Their Creative Gifts and People Who Don't.  Remember this:  the only unique things you will ever do in this world will be things which are creative."

And some fabulous quotes she shared:

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

~Maya Angelou

"Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

~Howard Thurman

I also, finally, bought her book.  I can't wait to sink into it.

 

 Song: Rebirth of slick (cool like dat) by Digable Planets

balance

 

Over the last couple of days, I've been wrestling with the news that a good friend has very recently received an unexpected diagnosis of a life-threatening condition.  He learned of his illness almost by accident, and while he seems to be in surprisingly good spirits (despite the legions of tests, treatments and sobering prognoses he is facing), the news has me pretty shaken.

I balance this with the news from my 5-year-old, given to me on our morning walks to school, that the many mushrooms that litter the lawns in our neighbourhood lately are actually meeting places for fairies, who congregate at night and sit on them, as they conduct their fairy business.  Afterwards, of course, they dance their fairy dances.  I'm told both Tinkerbell and her tooth fairy are often in attendance.

So.

Life is a complex thing, isn't it?

 

Song: Better way by Ben Harper


Image: photographed with Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens

random thought: golden hour

 

Yesterday evening, I went outside with my camera at the golden hour -- that time when the sun is starting its descent into the horizon, and the light turns all gold and beautiful, and things start to feel wonderfully peaceful.  I started thinking about my favourite places where I've enjoyed the golden hour, and the two which immediately came to mind were Tobago and Grand Cayman:  it's that moment when seabathers and sunworshippers start packing up their towels and bags to head back home, and the beach slowly becomes quiet for the night, with only the sound of the ocean lapping against the jetty, rocks and coral reef.  I remember one particular weekend when we were in Tobago with our good friend Dan, when Alex and I were snuggling on a beach chair as Marcus and Dan were skipping rocks along the water during the golden hour. 

I remember feeling so very happy.

Do you have a favourite golden hour place?

 

SongSunset by Kate Bush


Image: Just outside our home, photographed with Nikon D300 and Lensbaby Composer

prints and cards now available for sale on the site!

 

Because of a recent change in policies with my printer, I spent much of this weekend looking into alternate ways that I could make my prints available to you.  I eventually stumbed on Fotomoto, an online service that allows readers to actually purchase prints directly from my site, rather than going to an offline store.  I'm intrigued by this because:

1.  they handle the ordering and shipping directly, which means that you won't have to wait for me to order the prints;

2.  it greatly reduces the time it takes for me to maintain the online store (and therefore allows me to make more images available for sale); and

3.  they make postcards and flat cards available for prints as well (in case you're not in the market for a larger print).

The beauty of this is that for you, it means that you still get high quality prints made from my high resolution files, but the delivery time should be far shorter, and you get more variety, with no increase in print cost  (the 8x10s which were available in the previous online shop are still $35 -- except they're now 8x12s -- and even larger sizes are now available).

How it works:  below every image that I have available for purchase, near the bottom right hand corner, you'll see two links, "available prints" and "available cards" -- just like the two links you see above.  Simply click on the appropriate link to purchase.  Paypal, as well as major credit cards, are accepted; also, international shipping is available.

I hope this works out as well for you as I think it will for me.  Thanks for your patience, everyone.  And as always, thank you so much for supporting my little site.

 

Image: photographed with Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens.

for your weekend viewing pleasure

Thought I'd pop in to share two things:

1.  I spent some time with my friend Beth this morning, and it was, as always, lovely.  I shot the image above of her eucalyptus tree, and I thought that it was so calming, it would be a good image to leave up for the weekend; and

2.  I'm not a huge Beyonce fan, but her latest effort, "Single Ladies," is sort of catchy.  However, I love the way Pomplamoose Music puts it together below (hat tip Maggie):

 

NOW have a great weekend.

 

Photograph of eucalyptus taken with Nikon D300, ancient 50mm manual lens.

love thursday: the many 40-year-old faces of marcus

Photographed on the eve of his 40th birthday.  All images completely unretouched, straight out of the camera. Nikon D300, ancient 50mm manual lens.


Today is Marcus' 40th birthday.  Happy Birthday, beautiful man.  I love all your faces.

 

* * * * * * *

 

Happy Love Thursday, everyone.  Feel free to leave your stories or links to your words or images of love in the comments, below.

And may you take some time to really appreciate the faces of the people you love today.

SongBirthday by The Beatles

after the storm

 

Yesterday morning, the skies opened up, and it poured.  But after it stopped, it left cooler temperatures and lots of lovely raindrops all around my neighbourhood.

 

 

 

 

These images sort of remind me of that little pang of euphoria you get when you realize, after having just been through a tough time, that things are about to get a whole lot better. 

Because, of course, they always do.

 

Song: Storm by Lenny Kravitz, featuring Jay-Z

 

All photographs taken with Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens.

whim and tonic

The Houston Arboretum.  Photographed with Nikon D300, 35mm lens.

Yesterday morning I spent decidedly too much time trying to figure out what I was feeling.  I wasn't sad, or depressed, or even melancholy.  I wasn't happy ... and I wasn't content, either.  It wasn't so much a mood as a feeling, if that makes any sense.  I felt sort of like I had a hangover, if you took away the alcohol, the headache and the general malaise.  Or like jetlag, except without the sleep deprivation or the fabulous travel.

Sort of.  In a way.

(An aside:  my friend Irene tells me that the Korean language has far more words than the English language.  I did some research:  it appears that English has around 250,000 words; however, when I tried to find out how many words there are in the Korean language, the closest answer I could find was something like, "as many as they want to have."  How lucky.  Because when you think about it, doesn't 250,000 words for an entire language seem a little, I don't know, limiting?  I'm thinking maybe the time has come for me to start making up some words.  After all, Alex came up with the brilliant phrase "having the sleepywobbles" to describe that state of being when you walk around right after you get out of bed, and you're still half asleep.  If my five-year-old can do it, then by gum, so can I.)

So anyway, yesterday morning I was feeling a bit quietheavy (see what I did there?), and it was affecting my ability to concentrate on work.  So even though I really didn't have the time to do it, I grabbed my camera, and decided to go find some place beautiful to get some fresh air. 

I ended up at the Houston Arboretum.

It was really lovely to be alone in the woods for a while -- it's sort of amazing how a change of scenery can totally clear your head, isn't it?  After about 20 minutes, I felt immensely better, and decided to return home.  But before I did, I stopped by a small cafe to grab a chai tea latte to go.  Sitting on the counter was a small spiralbound book, and each page had a small quotation for each day of the year.  Which is how, as I gave the guy behind the counter a few dollars, I saw the following staring up at me:

September 21

No matter what your lot in life might be, build something on it.

Now if that wasn't a swift kick in the pants to get over myself, I don't know what is.

 

SongChange by KT Tunstall

random thoughts

 On Friday, an old friend -- a former boss, actually -- called to catch up.  We spoke for about 45 minutes.  He was amazingly supportive, and then he also gave me some strong advice -- advice which made me realize that it might be time for me to take another leap of faith. 

Something to think about.  Sometimes it's just so hard to see the line between brave and crazy, you know?

This weekend, my five-year-old correctly used the word "peace" to mean "see you later."  I am both immensely proud and incredibly frightened by this fact.

Guilty admission:  It appears I may be inappropriately in love with Justin Timberlake.  Yes, I know I'm far too old for him.  Yes, Marcus is aware (but in my defense, Marcus looks forward to his Saturday Night Live appearances, too).  Yes, I'm mildly ashamed of this fact.  But it is the truth, and so there you have it.

 

SongEcho and bounce by the Propellerheads