Thursday, February 26, 2015

The secret to great pictures...and life!

It was a restless night.

I tossed and turned, going over and over in my mind why the blog I had spent all day writing was just not working.

It was dead. Lifeless. Gray. Like what would greet me when I finally got up and parted my bedroom curtains.

Slipping from my bed, I debated...leave the lace curtains closed and keep hope alive, or part them and look upon another dreary winter's day.

And the brush pile. A product of last summer's cleanup,  we had never taken the time to burn it and rid our yard of its eyesore.

It sat there. Day after day. Mocking me every morning. Ugly. Unfinished. Unnecessary.

Like me.

And my blog.

As I parted the curtains, I prayed...Oh Lord, don't let me slip. I need life, your Life. All I hunger and thirst for on the outside, is only what I desperately need on the inside-- You.

And then I saw it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

For Heaven's a whale!

Yes. A whale. Not a cat. Or a dog. A whale.

I see those eyes rolling. That finger hovering over the Delete button.

Bear with me.

So, I've committed myself to learning photography. Got the camera. Lens. And all sorts of other goodies that make you a photographer.

Except for the skill. For that I've been watching a course by National Geographic called "Fundamentals of Photography". Gotta start somewhere.

I love the guy teaching the course, Joel Sartore. Not only is he talented, he's real. And encouraging. And makes me feel like I can do it. And best of all, he's honest.

Okay, this is where the "petting the whale" thing comes in.

During one of his lectures, he puts up a photo of a Gray Whale off the Baja, on its back, having its tummy rubbed by a small group of spectators. Joel was there on assignment to photograph the whales, and this one, never having been hunted or shot at, was super friendly. Amazing!

But what was even more amazing in that photo, was that behind the spectators and the whale there was another boat, overflowing with photographers, standing, leaning, crouching, faces hidden behind their cameras and long lenses. Sadly, they missed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pet a real, live, whale. All they were after was the perfect shot. Chances are they got it. But at what price? Will they ever have another opportunity to pet a whale?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Are you an Innie or an Outie?

Come on. Confess. Your secret is safe with me.

You know which one you are. Or maybe not.

Innie...Introvert? Outie...Extrovert? That is the question.

No, really, I'm not jesting...I'm going somewhere with this, so bear with me.

For years I thought I was an extrovert. I saw how the world valued strong people, people who walked tall and carried a big stick. Spoke loudly. Banged on their pulpit with force. People who knew what they wanted and got things done.

I tried my best to be like those people...the ones who have an "E" as the first letter of their Meyers Briggs Test. "E" as in Effervescent. Enterprising. Energetic. Extrovert.

I spent a lot of time and energy trying to live the life of an extrovert...throwing parties, running a business, getting involved in causes. Directing what energy I had into doing what I thought was necessary to be successful.

But all the while I found myself seeking solitude. I devoured books on the hidden life, the quiet life, the monastic life. Books on meditation and prayer. My soul would utter a sigh of contentment each time I finished one.

I loved walks and talks and book reads with my children. One-on-one conversations. Gardening. Hiking. Writing. Creating beauty. These are the things that made my heart sing.

So why did it take me so long to figure out the obvious? That I was not an extrovert, nor would I ever be one?