We took a small trip to the desert this weekend. Worth the trip don’t you think? All along the ride there were small desert flowers at the side of the road, and the cactus with the vibrant pink flowers were ready to explode. While these bushes filled with yellow flowers were scattered about. The birds were singing and the desert was blooming. I was glad to visit. A long time ago I didn’t like the desert. I was naive. I just thought it was dry, dirt and had little to offer. Thank goodness as I have added years I realize it’s gorgeous. Many of the plants remind me of under the sea. It’s really quote beautiful the brown and the blue. I’m so happy we get wiser as we age. It’s an upside.
I have been doing a lot of reading and researching. I think its part of mid-life. Questioning, where I am, how I got here and what’s in the future for me, for our family. I have been reading Dr. Phil’s book, “Self Matters” I’m in the chapter where he has one thinking about the defining events in your life. We can’t possibly remember every single day but there have been some events in our lives that stand out. I thought of a handful of personal and violating things that have happened in my life. I’m not going to share in this space but I will share the few things that came forward that are good. These events are times in my life where someone believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself and turns out…they were right about me.
When I was in the first grade I was very shy, a lot like I’m still shy today. I had this teacher that really, really believed in me. She was going to have her class put on a play for their parents and she had to pick a part for all her kids. She chose me, the shyest girl in the class to play the starring roll. I had lines to memorize that my mom helped me with and when the big day came, I shined. I don’t think anyone would ever know I was the most shy, most quiet girl in the class. I don’t even remember being nervous that day. I know I was very young…but I remember. My teacher had full confidence in me.
When I was in high school I took art class. I had the same teacher for art as I had for yearbook staff. I thought it strange but when I was in her art class she would tell me I could do whatever I wanted and I didn’t have to do the class assignments. She said she believed in what I had in my head and what I could do with it. I just thought it was because she liked me. I didn’t pursue my talent in art. I stopped drawing and painting by the time I was 19. But she saw something in me. I will never forget that.
When I was a young married women I went back to college for a time and took a writing class. I love to write. I remember a few weeks in we had a writing assignment. I wrote about Vietnam and I used my father-n-law as my inspiration. My paper was picked and read aloud to the class. She asked the class who they thought wrote the piece. Nobody guessed it was the shy girl with red hair that sat in the back. They all seemed pleasantly surprised and I was noticed that night and received a handful of really nice compliments.
Looking back on some of my inspiring memories, I realize all 3 were TEACHERS who had faith in me. Do we give our teachers the credit they deserve? They shape our lives. Not all teachers are good but some are really great. I’m thankful for these teachers who had faith in me. Now to bottle their faith and make it my own. This is my challenge.
I’m inspired in many different ways and I think my top inspiration is through nature but a very close second are people. People inspire me. I’m very shy. I’m an introvert but that being said. I love people and I especially love group projects. Currently I’m in a year-long video time capsule making course. I like to brag about my teacher Xanthe because she is really great and yes, inspiring but on top of that, my creative classmates are co-inspirers. I love to watch the video’s my class mates make and most recently I watched one made by Julia and she shared a day with her friend via video time capsule and her friend was beach combing and found bits of trash and interesting things and made art out of it. Then via her video and in the comments another classmate who equally inspires me had an entire Pinterest page dedicated to her street combing finds. Tara does quite a bit of street combing and has the most interesting and beautiful displays of what she finds. Goodness, I can for sure admit that I too am a street comber and for sure a sea comber. I find peace and comfort in collecting sea shells, sea glass and bits of goodness I find here or there. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, that’s what soap and water are for!
Aside from finding street treasures and making art out of it, I also have a past of wrapping gifts inexpensively but this (big confession) is mostly due to the cheap skate in me. Yeah, I really have a hard time buying pretty ribbons and papers for wrapping, although I admire them very much. Very, very much. My mama in fact is the best wrapper of gifts I have ever been exposed to. She wraps up gifts so beautiful they are hard to open because you know, I don’t want to ruin her master piece.
My new creative friends have inspired me to start street combing and bring in more than my feathers, so watch out. Below is what I collected in about five minutes just by walking across the street from my house this afternoon. I’m thrilled that even that crumpled piece of yellow paper resembles a heart without any of my manipulation.
At the stroke of midnight…the new year started right with a kiss from motorcycle man.
We went to bed shortly after we entered our new year and slept in really, really late. I couldn’t believe I woke up at 11:00 a.m. but with no big plans or anyplace to be. It was more than okay. Sometimes one just needs rest.
I got in the shower and couldn’t help but notice our Southern California light beaming through the showers window. I had to grab my camera after the steamy shower. The light was calling to me so I got dressed and motorcycle man and I went for a drive. Not much was open but it didn’t stop us from taking a walk around the lake were I found a few feathers.
We came home, I did a little bunny yoga and made my black-eyed peas and greens. It’s not so much for the luck and money but more out of tradition. They just taste good and I only really eat them once a year. My mom introduced me to black-eyed peas when I was a kid and I liked them immediately. They are just so cute for one thing.
That’s about all for my first day in the new year. I didn’t eat perfect, I didn’t do much of anything perfect but I got out and I’m focusing on the good I did rather than beating myself up over the not so good I did.
Last year I was invited to a shared blog called the hours the whole purpose of the blog was to bring a group of ladies together from all around the world and each of us would post one photo a month beginning at 7 a.m. in January and ending at 6 p.m. in December. If you were to ask me if I had a favorite hour or month I will tell you it was December at 6 p.m. this group of collective photos was pure magic! I don’t like to shoot after dark without a flash, I just don’t feel very good about it and especially being indoors but then it ends up being my favorite hour. My favorite month. It had a quality of magic as I mentioned and also qualities of joy and peace amongst a little hustle and bustle that the season can bring and some spirits too, in the form of some cocktails.
The hours is going for another round in 2015. I have decided to stick with it. Why? Because is pushes me to try new things, it has me learning too. Many of the women and now a few men even are always open to share their knowledge. I will miss some of the gals who decided not to give it another year but I understand and respect their reasons. On the flip side I’m excited to meet a few new photographers, rub elbows with some familiar old friends and also be in the presence of some mind-blowing talent. I sort of wonder how a hacker like me even ended up there, however variety is the spice of life and I do bring variety and I’m going to be content and comfortable in my own way of contributing to this year-long project. Again honored and feeling blessed to be there. I hope you might follow us this year, see who is new and what we all come up in the hours of our days from month to month. I used to tag all my pictures Los Angeles because I live less than 20 miles from our City of Angels and I do live in Los Angeles County but I decided this year to keep it completely accurate and state that I’m from a little tiny city in L.A. County called La Mirada because that’s where most likely I will be shooting my hours….unless I get adventurous and leave my little city, then I will note otherwise.
What projects will you be doing in 2015? Do you have a word? My word is Balance, let’s hope I can balance my hours, it’s quite manageable really and also balance the year-long video time capsule class I’m being taught by Xanthe Berkeley who…..is also in the hours this year! I’m also going to continue a shared blog with my friend Christina at 22limes and our friend from the UK Debs where we will be “shooting with soul” We haven’t quite figured out our kinks on that one but we will be going through this book by Alessandra Cave for the entire year of 2015. It’s always good to keep learning, to keep stretching and to stay creative if that is where you heart is. I will begin my first 8 weeks of 2015 in a more spiritual way with class made available by Jeanne Oliver called Becoming, it’s an 8 week study that’s absolutely free if you might also be interested.
Wishing you a healthy 2015 in body, mind and spirit