I couldn’t take it anymore, I needed a break. I just couldn’t solve one more problem, listen to one more argument between my sons, or do one more load of laundry. I got a chance to go away for a few days, by myself, and I was packed and in the car in 40 minutes. Not rushing exactly, but there was a hustle in my step. This was no time to dawdle.
Getting away allowed me to hear my inner voice, listen to silence, (which of course is never really silent, but you get my drift), and chill out. I just sat, with no guilt, no plan, no direction and I felt myself exhale as the breeze washed over my face.
I got a chance to sit on the beach, ride a bike, read 3 books cover to cover, eat, laugh, walk, write, take pictures, see a movie, talk with friends, watch the water, swim, and rest. It was wonderful and just what I needed to get myself back on the creative track.
Sometimes when I am out running errands, (and usually when I am late), I stumble across a place so magical it looks like it belongs in a fairy tale or in one of the books from my childhood, and I am compelled to take a picture.
This shot made me want to move into the barn and stare out over the verdant hills watching as it changed from one season to the next, while taking a thousand pictures of the sunrise and sunset over this grand and magnificent, little pond.
Even though my to-do list beckoned, I sat a few minutes longer and marveled at this place called Earth and then I was off. Looking at this picture now I am reminded of the sense of peace I felt when I was there and the proof that if I slow down, I can be continually surprised by what’s around the corner.
Nature decrees that we do not exceed the speed of light. All other impossibilities are optional. ~Robert Brault
It’s hard to follow the light when you haven’t even realized you are in the dark. So many self-help books begin when you finally wake up from the dazed and glazed space of “barely living and hardly present.” How to wake up if you don’t know you are asleep?
I think the hardest part is even recognizing that you are sleep-walking and not living your life to the fullest. Instead of looking for the road map to your dreams, you have shifted to autopilot to get through the day. You can hardly take the time to be grateful for your blessings when you have forgotten what they are and worse, how to find them? Each day passes like a blur, a photo just out of focus, but we seem helpless to change course, or are we?
It is said that we are spirits on earth having a human experience, so what does it take to make us wake up to the wonder and beauty that surrounds us everyday? Some people say it takes a calamity, or something tragic, to wake us up or maybe like me, it’s just this insistent, relentless nagging voice in my head that kept telling me that there is more to life than “just getting through.”
I finally got tired of listening to that malevolent voice warning me that I might fail or that this new idea is scary, or hard, maybe I shouldn’t even try. Just to shut that voice up, I had to enter the Arena and be willing to fail, to make a mistake, and to listen to my intuition instead of the voices of others. While the negative voice in my head lives on, it has been reduced to a hoarse whisperer
of doubt. The loudest voice in my head says, “Yes, let’s give this a try and see what happens? So what if you fail!!” It’s funny but things have been a lot brighter since I started saying, Yes! It seems, Yes, is the antidote to forcing fear to recede back into the shadows for another day.
Can happiness really be just a matter of choice?
As I sit here writing there is a running to do list insidiously slithering through my mind, indeed it seems to hum constantly. I try to make a conscious decision to block out all other distractions while I focus on the three plates I am juggling always, even more if my boys are home. I’m sure I am not alone in this predicament, everyone I know seems to be moving faster than they wish to be.
I started thinking about why I started writing and sharing my photographs in the first place and though I love the process it’s the time-consuming organizing and categorizing of the photos and the writing that takes time and can sometimes tax my creativity for doing the things I love; writing and taking photographs. Sometimes that can be overwhelming and throws my artistic sensibilities into a tailspin.
I don’t know how this works for other people who are trying to live their lives pursuing their passions, but for me, I feel a need to recharge and get back to noticing the small things I have overlooked in my haste to “get the work done.” It’s not like having writer’s block but I suspect that it can lead to blocking the creativity necessary for me to see the beauty around me and be inspired to take a photograph to share later. Only sometimes that ugly thought comes creeping back in, reminding me that I will have to organize and process all those photos too, it can be daunting.
I guess it’s a reminder to me that just because I am getting to do what I love in life, I’m not always going to love the demanding work that clutters up my brain and blocks my creativity. For the most part, it’s an even exchange but there are times when I look at my computer and think of tossing it across the room. Then my senses return and I am back at my computer, organizing, cataloguing, and processing all of my photos and writing and I think of how blessed I am.