Posts Tagged ‘ Picturing the Extra in the Ordinary

picturing MELTING INTO SPRING

Hello friends. I have good news. Winter is melting into spring.

The days are getting longer, the temperature is getting higher, and it is raining more than it is snowing.

But spring hasn’t decided whether she’s sticking around for good. She’s a bit of a tease…peppering in gray, cold, snowy days amongst the sunny, mild (not really warm yet) days.

Yet, people are out wearing shorts and sandals, even though it is only 50 degrees.

There is something wonderful about this time of year. As the season transitions from winter into spring — the darkness turns into light and the warmth replaces the cold — we are reminded that everything, good and bad, passes. In fact, I sometimes wonder whether the bad serves the purpose of making us appreciate the good.

The winter helps us appreciate the first glimpses of spring.

A bad job makes us grateful and humble once the perfect job comes along.

The sweet touch of a loved one feels so welcoming after a long absence.

What bad in your life is making you appreciate the good?

Also, stay tuned for Re-Picturing Women Wednesday! If you didn’t get a chance, be sure to weigh in on the post from last week…re-picturing OGLING…it is a complicated issue that affects both women and men, can elicit mixed feelings, and is difficult to resist.

picturing PERSPECTIVE

As I flew back from my research conference in Miami yesterday, I noticed something peculiar as I gazed out the window. As I looked over the wing onto the clouds below, I literally could change my perspective depending on what I focused on.

Objectively it was the exact same scene, but similarly to my camera lens, I could focus on the small details with a shallow depth of field or take a broader perspective seeing the entire scene. I could focus on the dust that caked the window. I could focus on the strength of the steel wing cutting through the air. Or I could focus on the glow of the sun-soaked, cotton-like clouds below.

This is not the first perceptual perspective change that I’ve noticed. Since taking up photography, I my senses have been heightened. When I watch movies, I notice the camera shifting focus between different people and objects. Similarly, I notice how color—perhaps very bold colors or dreamy black and whites—set the tones for films. I think this has helped me to also picture the extra in the ordinary. When I form impressions of scenes in my everyday life – perhaps the sun glistening on the water or fallen leaves laying in piles on the lawn—I see the potential for beautiful bokeh backgrounds – those dreamy circles of confusion that come from out of focus points of light.

I think photography has also changed my life perspective. It reminds me that I have choices in each moment of life, much in the same way the photographer makes creative choices when developing a shot – what mood do I want to use to color my day? What do I include and exclude from the frame? Should I focus on the big picture or the small details?

In the same way that we can create a meaningful and interesting photograph (or painting, or manuscript, or whatever), we can adopt the intentional perspective to live a creative and purposeful life.

Where could you use a change of perspective?

picturing SWIRLING SECRETS

Things seem to keep swirling faster and faster. Although I’ve purposefully added more balance to my life by focusing on other activities besides work, adding those other things that help me to have a semblance of balance sometimes contributes to the swirling.

Can I tell you a little secret? If I’m honest with myself, in some ways I really LOVE all that swirling. It makes me feel alive. I like having challenging work that sometimes takes all of my mental and physical energy. I like having my blog and photography classes to stretch me and keep me accountable to some of my deepest dreams. I like making new connections and being part of a community, even if it sometimes gets a bit hectic.

This is not the case for everyone, but it is certainly the case for me. So instead of trying to change this about myself and my life (that never seem to stop swirling anyway), I’m trying to accept it and lean into it.

A little acceptance goes a long way. There is something ironic about stressing out because I do not have enough time to chill out. Just accepting that things are going to be swirling and that I will continue to carve out quiet moments of rest for myself makes me feel more sane.

However, I also tend to be an all-or-nothing person. I go between complete swirling to complete stillness. I feel crazy or bored. The key for me is to find that point on the continuum when I go from feeling still in the swirling to giving myself up to the swirling and feeling crazy. There tends to be a moment when the swirling goes from being energizing and life-giving to draining and life-taking.

Is there a part of you that likes the swirling? When does the swirling make you feel alive?

picturing MORE WINE

Thank you for all of your wonderful support with the first Re-Picturing Women Wednesday –we will have an exciting guest post next Wednesday. Tune in!

It is energizing to have a few new projects in the works :)

I’m still working on my wine project for Photo 4. Most of the “obvious” shots are done, so I tried to dig a little deeper into my creative pocket and experiment more as I took pictures this past week. Here are a few shots that caught my attention.They are with white wine and the glass is the focus.

picturing BACK SPACER

back_spacer

I shot this picture because my heart is longing for a little back spacer for my life. Sometimes I wish I could go back in life, give myself some space, and say “no” rather than “yes.”

I’ve always been a “yes” girl. I’m a firm believer that we will regret the things in life that we don’t do much more so than the things in life that we do. I pride myself on being open to new possibilities that present themselves on this path of life. And, yet…

My life just feels too crowded lately. This is not a good thing. It makes me feel irritable, anxious, and impatient. Don’t get me wrong — I want to live a full life, but I don’t want my life to feel full of obligations — things that I feel like I need to get through for the sake of getting through them. I find myself focusing on making it through the day, rather than the moments that make up each day.

Do you ever find yourself pleasantly saying yes to a request, while your heart vehemently screams no, NO, NO! Or maybe your yeses are a little more implicit. You’re running on autopilot and the switch is turned to yes when it perhaps should be turned to no or I’ll think about it.

I think we might feel more comfortable and less guilt when we say no if we remember that every “yes” is a “no” in disguise. When we say yes to one thing, we limit the time, energy, and money that we can spend on another thing. This isn’t a problem if we are saying yes to things that are in line with our core values and desires. This isn’t a problem if we are saying yes to things that energize and delight us. However, if the switch is automatically turned to yes, we are often unconsciously saying no to our deepest dreams and desires simply because we don’t allow ourselves the time and space to pursue them.

Give yourself permission to say “no” or “I’ll think about it” to something that comes up in your life today. And then step back and give yourself space to consider whether this activity will just fill up the moments in your life or will help you to live a full life.

picturing WINE: Day 10

picturing WINE: Day 9

picturing WINE: Day 8

picturing WINE: Day 7

picturing VINO: Day 6