Bubble wrap. I never thought I would use it in a photo, let alone stare at it myself to do a self portrait. This was not my intention as I began today. But the nudge came upon me again and it had other things in mind.
This became a lesson in how we protect ourselves, package ourselves so that the world out there sees us only on our terms. We try to show ourselves to others in ways that we think we need to be, behaving how we think others want us to. We isolate our real feelings and thoughts, keeping them hidden, protecting that soft underbelly …and we wonder why we are miserable. There is that fear that “The Committee” might disapprove and speak up louder in our minds.
Perhaps the greatest display of courage is shown when we are just being ourselves. Standing in life with what we have within us, no pretense, no anxiety over what The Committee thinks. Standing tall, chin up. Smiling from deep within where the love resides and shines.
There is a reason this blog is called Learning As I Go. Each day brings me more to see and understand. I learn from your comments shared here and those sent privately. And in reality it’s helping me remove all that packaging.
Once upon a time I wanted to make an airplane out of stuff I had at home; things like a toilet tissue cardboard thing, toothpicks, plastic wrap for the windows, scotch tape. Needless to say this did not go well. After several minutes at it and lots of frustration I quit, threw the stuff away.
A few months ago I decided to give it another try. Aluminum foil, masking tape, and plaster strips from the hobby store. A much more successful endeavor, and here is that finished product. Crude in shape, lumpy, a little fragile…but it’s my airplane. Finally.
I had to give myself permission to play, to create, to get in touch with that little girl and her inner artist, to make a nice mess and just have fun. Now I find that many of my art projects have become the focus of my viewfinder.
Meanwhile I sense that opening this door inside me is taking me to new places, opening my heart to new ideas, new ways of living and being. It is all about the journey, not the end product or result.
What do you do to get in touch with your inner artist?
There was some beautiful sunlight pouring through a window this morning, so I took advantage of that and used that warm glow to light what I was working on. These old tea towels are ragged and worn, but I love the colors in them. And I have been fascinated with old Ball canning jars as long as I can remember. The colors in the towels and the jar really work together.
Clicking away with the camera, trying different angles and exposures, suddenly I am being observed by a cat. A cat who was feeling neglected at the time. Notice the feet in the middle of the photo. That is how I knew he was there. Into my viewfinder he came. So the camera kept on clicking.
Yeller was not about to move. He is so subtle. ….Not!
There was much tail action (somehow tail wagging seems only appropriate for dogs) and simply moving right in my face, looking out the window, enjoying the sun, being right in the middle of it all.
So here he is. His beautiful fur creates a nice contrast to the blue tones, don’t you think?
This was a nice distraction. It brought a smile to my heart and some joy to the day. Not all distractions are like that, though. I’m not telling you anything new. So many things can grab our attention away from what we really want to be doing, from completing a simple task, or trying to change our life style. The challenge is to stay focused, and I’m not talking about cameras here.
Have you begun a new chapter in your life, or started a new habit that you want to incorporate into your life style? Has the proverbial cat come into your viewfinder and distracted you? How did you handle it, did you keep on focusing, or did you regroup and start over?
In our front yard are a couple of bushes we planted that are a member of the dogwood family. Their branches are this wonderful deep red color, a striking shade against the white snow.
The colors of winter have always, always amazed me. It may all look like black and white, snow and ice, or gray and rainy, but I know that if you look carefully in everything around you the color is there. Then you have to move ‘beyond the chill’ as our instructions were in Picture Winter…in other words get out of the house with the camera and find the color.
Whether you like to take pictures or not, I hope that you can find a moment to step outside, bundled up as needed, and find the colors of winter that maybe you never noticed before.
For more inspiration you may want to go here to see some of the photos from the Picture Winter Class. Enjoy!