Today I'm off to Dallas to attend my photography workshop. While I'm gone, I thought I'd share some of the shots that I took with my Hasselblad at the beach last week, ones which are surprisingly in-focus -- "surprising," because I was 2/3 of the way through the roll of film before I realized that I hadn't focused the camera, not once (note to self: old, completely-manual film cameras tend not to have electronic auto-focus. D'oh!).
Also, and completely unrelated, I was going through my old archives, and I found some words that I wrote 7 years ago on September 11th, while we were still living in Trinidad. The sentiments that I expressed then are ones that I've been mulling over a lot recently, so they sort of resonated with me, 7 years later; I thought I'd reshare them with you (with updated links).
Late last week, I stumbled across the site of someone who had written a post about Chookooloonks and another blog she had recently discovered. She said really kind things about both Chookooloonks and the other blog, but then she mentioned that she felt that she could relate to the other blog more because, in essence, the other blogger blogs about bad things that happen in her life more than I do, and, basically, my life, as portrayed here, was too "idyllic" to inspire the same feelings of familiarity.
Well, I hate to leave a false impression, so let me correct this misconception right now:
My life is not perfect. And I mean that emphatically, sincerely, and without reservation.
That said, I do think it's pretty good -- and honestly, I say this not out any conceit, truly, but rather it's because I make a concerted effort to take stock of the good and beauty in my life every single day, even the bad ones. Writing Chookooloonks, for me, is a tool for doing this. It's a way to record the fact that even when life is frustrating, or current events are depressing, or the crime and inefficiency of my country are spiraling out of control, I still have a great husband, a funny kid, good family and friends, and in a place that, despite it all, is capable of great beauty. Sometimes I kvetch here, but I do try hard not to.
The other reason that I write Chookooloonks the way I do is because I hope that occasionally it brings a smile to the faces of people who come across it, and helps remind them that despite whatever's going on in their own lives, if they look hard enough, they will be able to find good and beauty around them as well, however small. Besides, I find that good and beauty, even in tiny doses, can do wonders. Furthermore, the blogs that I read and count as my favourites tend to be very uplifting, and I hope in my small way, I can pay forward the wonderful feelings these talented writers and artists inspire. There's enough ugly in the world -- you need only note today's date to be reminded of that. The way I figure it, there's no reason to put any more ugly out there.
Anyway, that's my story -- perhaps it seems a bit rose-coloured, but it's an honest depiction of how I try to view my life, just the same. Here's hoping that despite everything, you easily find the good and beauty in your life as well.