Sunday, July 17, 2011
I haven't posted anything here since February. I was however, still visiting the lake, and taking photos and thinking about why some things attract my attention more than others. I'm posting my spring swan-nest photos from the woods by the lake even though the photos are from May and June. I'm going to go back there later today to see what the end of July has brought to that nest, but that will be another entry.
This nest intrigued me and I realized it was because there's so much going on, even though there's no movement. Spring is pretty naturally an inspiration for gestation. Literally, these swans are sitting on their eggs, but I related it to the creative process in my life and the world in general. I was also trying to work the concept of gestation or incubation into one of my recurring themes -- duality. I kept wondering over these months what the opposite of gestation was, what was its polar opposite? Was it birth? Hatching? And really it came to me that there isn't any. Some things aren't dualities, they don't have a polar opposite. Birth isn't really the opposite of gestation. Hatching isn't the opposite. Birth and hatching are the polar opposite of inception. Gestation comes in between.
And so while I was not posting for these months, I was just regrouping after a very busy winter. You can't really worry about whether you look still and unproductive to the world, that's what I took away from this. Sometimes you really just have to let yourself breathe and that's all.
My cousin recently had bypass surgery. Thankfully, he's doing very well. But right after the surgery, they let him sleep as long as he had to to recover. The doctors trusted him to wake himself when he was ready and he did. Gestation.
My lesson is that even under pressure to perform, keep your own pace. Stillness has its place in life.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I have been away from my blog for awhile. Busy, busy, busy. My daughter to school, my son on with life, work around the clock, holiday entertaining, business travel...all the stuff of life. However, taking the day off for our wedding anniversary (26 years) and reflecting on what life is really made of, I realized the universe has been gently but steadily slapping me with the message that this busy-ness is not all that life has to offer. A few hours of stillness reminded me that taking time to be still, planning to be present to the people you love, and making the space to be open to life as it flows and not as you wish to control it is the path to your best self.
And there's no better visual representation of the depth of stillness than winter snow on a frozen lake. So I took myself and my new camera out to our lake. If you've followed this blog, you know that I spent a year documenting lake-life on a log. That log had been there at least 10 years, but I caught the last year it was in that position, because a flood dislodged it and it's now gone.
Since there was no log, I went to the dog park to capture lake vistas. and the first photo above is from that point of view. Very Currier & Ives, and the sunlight was beautiful, but I found myself still attracted to my old spot, even though it was logless.
Once back in "my" place, the same scene that I've photographed so many times, still had a something new to offer. The familiar can offer intimacy and inspiration if approached with respect, an open frame of mind, and an awareness of attraction. And so taking the time to let thoughts flow on my anniversary brought that thought, which could just as well be describing marriage.
So my takeaway was that it is really a pleasure I've been missing to make time for my husband, my children, my family and my friendships. Not time that just fits between work and other obligations, or time that's multi-tasking with everything we need to accomplish, but committed time without distraction. And to discern what is distraction and what is me, I have to also spend time in stillness.
The third photo above represents the beauty, depth and wonder of leaving a space to be still.