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Archive for the ‘reflection’ Category

When I tell people that I have an art studio in my house, I invariably get comments like..oh you’re an artist, what do you do? Do you sell your stuff? One question was even do you have a patron?

These questions somehow make me feel like I have to justify my art. Well, I paint, I draw, I make cards. What do you paint? I kind of do inspirational stuff. Noo…I don’t sell anything. I don’t really have a style, I don’t really do a lot of “formal” stuff with proper subjects/perspective/technique. And somehow, it makes me feel like I’m not a “real” artist. I don’t sell it, I don’t “do” anything with it.

The real answers sound sort of lame outside of my head.

I love to play with paint. I love to play with color. I love putting colors to a page. I love making inspirational collages for myself. I love mixing colors. I find art to be a kind of meditation. I like trying to capture the images I see in my head. I like seeing what comes out when I start playing.

I’m not sure why that makes me feel like less of an artist. Just because I do it for me, and because I find joy in it, doesn’t make me less of an artist. Isn’t joy supposed to be at the heart of art? Just because it might not be professionally “good” doesn’t mean I enjoy it any less, or that I don’t love what I make (most of the time).

And yet, I don’t feel like this about photography. People ask me, oh, you’re a photographer? And I can easily reply Yes I am! What do you shoot? Anything really, but I love looking for beauty in small and unexpected places.

Just some morning ramblings that were going around my head today 🙂 Do you feel this way about your art, your creative stuff? Do you feel you have to justify why you do it? Or feel like you aren’t a “real” artist if you don’t do certain things?

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2008 started out innocently enough, but I was questioning the relationship I was in at the time and feeling as though it wasn’t the relationship I was to spend the rest of my life in.

Then I got the call at work. My mom had had another grand mal seizure and was in the hospital, maybe a day or two before I was scheduled to fly up for a slightly post-Christmas Christmas with my family. I felt as far away and helpless as I did when I got a similar call in Portland. But this time, it appeared even worse, as my mom was even in greater pain this time and we learned she had fractured more vertebrae in her spine. All of a sudden, our Christmas plans flew out the window and I scrambled at work to make arrangements. All I knew was that I had to be home to help my mom, and I didn’t know how long I would be out of the office. My boss and everyone at work were great and helpful. When I arrived in Massachusetts, seeing my mom in the hospital bed, in pain, was heart-wrenching and frightening. Daughter had to become Mother and I had to take care of my mom, as she couldn’t do much on her own when she came home from the hospital and my dad couldn’t take that much time off of work. I will always be grateful to my boss for making it possible for me to be there, through some creative figuring of my vacation and sick time.

But despite the fear and my new role as temporary caretaker, the time up north also presented me with a gift. While I was up there, I had a chance to go to New Hampshire on a day my dad had taken off work to take my  mom to see her neurologist. The trip to NH was to see B, for the first time in almost a decade. He had e-mailed me back in November and our friendship immediately began again with that first e-mail. I drove up north to see him on Jan. 8, nervous and excited and even more. When I first saw him, when he first picked me up in a mighty bear hug and swung me around, I knew. My heart knew.

When I left Massachusetts to return to North Carolina, I was nervous to leave my mom, even though she had made significant improvements just in the two weeks I was home with her, and I knew that I had to end things with Tim. It was hard, but very amicable, Tim wanted me happy, and he knew things with us weren’t working. We are still close friends.

Ending one relationship, I walked into another, one that felt like coming home, but B was still living in New Hampshire. We spent a lot of the first half of the year on planes and airports, and I cried more in those months than I had probably in the year or two previous. Every time we left each other again, my heart ripped out of my chest, and missing him was my constant companion.

Not long after I came back to NC, Mik moved down from Massachusetts, and she and Loki moved in here with me and MyraWonderPup. I had never really had a roommate — I lived with two of my past boyfriends, and I had a roommate briefly before I moved in with Tim, so we both had some learning and adjustments to make.

B finally moved down here, home with me, in August. Since then, I have started rock climbing with him, and found a new love and passion.

Through it all, I’ve  fallen more in love with photography, got back into painting, began to explore more with cooking, and started dancing with the stories in my head again.

2009 looks like it will be a busy, adventurous first half of the year — buying a house, moving, planning for our May wedding, honeymoon in Belize. But I really want to find and take more time for me this year, to pursue and focus on the things that get my heart stirring and send my spirits flying – photography, writing, playing with color, climbing, being outdoors, and of course…loving B, and adventuring side by side from now on.

Welcome, 2009.

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This is Domo. He is Japanese, and according to his tag, his monster-like features conceal a gentle soul with a body of pure fluff. He likes to watch television, and is messy, and his daydreams often lead to disasters.

He is also the crabby monster who has taken up residence on my chest, sitting on my heart, making it so that my emotions seem raw, open, and very close to the surface lately. For a monster of fluff, him sitting on my heart makes me feel weighted down, heavy, not light and bubbly.

Months of missing B have taken a toll on me, and it seems like every time we see each other, it’s even harder when we are apart again. And even knowing this is the tail end, that he will be here soon permanently, it is not easier, in fact it seems harder, because I just want the separation to be done and over with. It wearies me.

And then there have been the months of financial worry, of always being on the edge with no safety net, of always having to juggle money around to cover what I have needed to cover, and juuuuust barely somehow having enough to cover everything (which obviously I am grateful for) but feeling like there is no breathing room. That too sits heavy on me. And then there is the fact that my life is about to change again, once B is here. It will be changing for the positive, and I can’t wait until he is here, until we aren’t apart, and I am excited to start doing all the things big and small that we have wanted to do together. But it is still a life change and an adjustment, and living with B and SheHangsBrightly will have challenging moments while we all settle into a new normal, and even knowing things will turn out fine and we will have lots of fun and laughter as well as inevitable challenges, that weighs on me too.

All of this have left me feeling like a crabby monster, one who bears a striking resemblance to Domo. Teeth bared, ready to snap and bite, even when it is not called for (not that it is ever called for, but rather unprovoked snarly-ness on my part, I suppose). But I am still a gentle soul who isn’t used to so many heavy things swirling in and around me, and a Cancer girl whose crabby instinct is to scuttle to the side, and hide behind my tough shell. I don’t deal with these things well, and I feel I have shed my tough shell somewhere along the way, as Crabs do when they are growing, so I feel even more vulnerable than normal. Which makes the crabby monster on my heart even crabbier.

This is Domo trying to attack Myra.

But puppies have a good approach to dealing with crabby monsters. Check them out, see if they could be a friend, but just a crabby friend.

And if the crabby monster won’t stop being crabby, remedy the situation by putting the monster in its place — master the monster, so to speak.

And if that still doesn’t work, bite the monster on its crabby head and remind it to knock it off.

And that is what I am going to try to do as well and not let my crabby monster get so big and unmanageable. After all, he is only scary on the outside. Inside, he’s just fluff.

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I have a confession. I am a work drone. I very, very rarely take a lunch. I bring my lunch almost every day, eat at my desk, usually working. The rare times I leave it is to go to the bank, or maybe pick up lunch and then go right back to my desk. And then I wonder why it feels like I don’t have time for me, time for my photography, time for writing.

So the other day, when I was heading out the door, I grabbed my camera, grabbed my journal and planned to *gasp* leave the office building and go enjoy some time doing things I love.

I work at Duke University and on the far side of campus is Duke Gardens.

I found this to be so calming

I loved this little girl. I am always a little uncomfortable taking pictures of children, because I worry that their parents will think I am some kind of camera freak who takes pictures of strangers’ children.

If you look closely, there is a bird behind the boat.

When the world wearies and ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.

I returned to work calm and energized and feeling like I had had a mini vacation during the work day. I’m going to try to do something like this once a week.

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I heard a commercial for plastic surgery the other day that I found really offensive.

Now, let me clarify, it is not the mere idea of plastic surgery that is offensive to me. It’s not something I would  consider for myself under normal circumstances. But there are times when it is necessary. such as after a fire or car accident. And I know some people who are really self-conscious about something on their body, it makes them uncomfortable, it makes them feel bad about themselves and they choose to have plastic surgery. I’m not judging that. I’m sure I could have more thoughts about that, but that isn’t the point of this post.

But back to the commercial. The commercial was talking about how plastic surgery has become an affordable option and cost doesn’t have to stop you from having plastic surgery. Insert guy talking about how great his wife looks now and how much he loves her. And then insert announcer saying how now you can be the perfect you.

Excuse me? So according to this, your husband/partner will love you more if you look better (bigger boobs, less wrinkles, less fat…)? And you can never be perfect or good enough without surgical assistance?

That is just such a sad message to be putting out there. And even sadder that so many women see those as completely true statements.

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Walk in a green wood with me

Past a brook, tripping and racing through the trees, not caring where it is going, it trusts its path

Feel the earth grow and awaken beneath your feet

Birds watch from the trees, some singing with joy, others silent observers

Walk in a green wood

Where the scents are new and possibilities unfurl like the tender leaves reaching for their moment in the sun

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What kind of photographer are you?

Are you one who likes the technical parts of photography? The lighting, the shutter speed, etc?

Do you like to edit your photos a lot?

Do you like to do photo effects?

For me, I am realizing I like to keep to the “true” photo as much as possible.

I don’t do much editing. I might enhance the sharpness a little, increase or decrease the brightness a bit, but all very minor changes. I don’t usually crop all that much, I try to get just the info I want in the picture when I shoot. I might switch some photos to black and white or sepia, or add a little bit of a softer focus around the edges, but for the most part, I try to keep the photos true to what I saw, true to what I was trying to capture. And at the moment, I really don’t know much about the technical aspects of photography. I just know when I am walking down the street, and I see the photograph I want in my head. And I just know what is right for what I am looking for in my photography.

I don’t think one type of photographer is better than another, just different.

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