It’s a gray day today. The thunder and lightning and hard rain of last night gave way to a dreary gray day but blue skies can’t be far behind/ After all, this is March and all my life I’ve heard the expression, “in like a lion, out like a lamb” to describe March weather and I am so hoping it behaves in just such a manner since my birthday is at the end of this month and after a long, hard and cold winter, I am ready for the warm,soft breezes of spring ,along with the beautiful spring flowers. The tender green leaves of the dogwood outside my front window have poked their way out and the air outside is filled with birdsong. I even have a fat squirrel who scolds me for not feeding him sunflower seeds like I did last year. My fingers itch to be off to the garden center and be knuckle deep in potting soil but I’m trying to wait till the danger time has been passed. Spring just fills up my winter weary spirit and allows my soul to expand and strengthen.
And I know someone will ,given my title, feel compelled to point out the obvious fact that the flowers pictured are summer flowers and not spring,trust me, I know but I am trying to only use pictures that I personally have taken and have both the original negatives and prints . The point I am laboring to bring forth, is that after a long, tedious and somewhat painful winter, the newness and rebirth of Spring is upon us. The red breasted robins are busy building a nest at the top of my window and the squirrel, I’ll call him “Chipper”, has taken to coming as close as he can get to the window and giving me the “So, where are my nuts,female human?!!” and I am working on that . My daughter exclaimed over the bird clinging to the window screen as being so cute til I pointed out that the avian visitor was basically showing us its posterior which, in my eyes, nullified the cuteness factor. My absolute favorite thing about the beginning of spring is the soft ,new greens of the emerging leaves. The weeping willow in particular ,always catches my eye with its fragile new green leaves and graceful flowing movements in the spring breezes. As I grow older, with each passing year, spring becomes more and more important to me for each successive winter takes more and more from my spirit which then needs more and more renewal from the promised spring. This will be my 51st spring and I mean to enjoy each and every day of it in one way or another and to those who would denigrate and deride my love of spring,may your winter never cease until you can understand just why my soul needs the blessed renewal of spring!
I am a writer, perhaps, according to some, not very good but a writer none the less. I also dabble in photography and art and have been known to sing and crochet the odd blanket or two.I do not profess myself to be expert in any of these disciplines but I feel the creative urge from time to time and these are ways to indulge without ,usually upsetting someone. Well, you would think so, but ,silly me, I forgot about critics. Now, I am not published so why should I be dealing with critics? Amazing isn’t it that the critics who can be so cruel sometimes are one’s fellow artists and writers? After all when someone who doesn’t begin to know how to write a poem or short story or pick up a camera and take a photograph that makes one want to walk into the scene and spend some time, criticizes the work, one can toss that off as possible jealousy or not truly appreciating artistic vision but when it is a friend who derides and denigrates the work,even when it has been stated that it’s not your “Mona Lisa” work by any means but is being used to make a point and indeed,said criticism even cast aspersions on that,well,that, this writer just can’t let go of yet. As the character “Yoda” might say, ” Venting, am I!” By the way, I took the above photo with my camera and I rather like it. It does make me want to step into a boat and explore further up the stream to see what else is there just like the first chapter or first page of a really good book should make one want to read further to find out the rest of the story and that’s how I feel. perhaps now, that I have gotten this last little bit of “rant” out of my system, I can get back in the woods and see what my twin owls and that stubborn rabbit and the irrepressible possum have been up to and maybe see if anybody else has decided to join this plucky bunch. If not ,there is always ,in my WIP files, something to work on while I struggle through.
To far off lands beyond the horizon
Exotic lands with mysteries to be solved
To feel the wind against my face and hear the seabirds
Smell the salt air and wonder about the stories beneath the waves
Time passes slowly at sea and memories flood the souls
Mother Ocean welcomes me as she has others in her own way
Renewing my spirit and challenging my resolve
Oh, if I could only have a ship to sail away in and leave my worries behind
I had to learn another lesson today which life has been trying to teach me for a long time but as always, I absorb the lesson and then go along my way, thinking I have learned not to make that particular mistake only to find that I have gone and done it again. What possible mistake could I have made that so upset me that I actually physically cried? I expected too much from my fellow man, I forgot that I wasn’t “allowed ” to ever make a single mistake in trying to attempt anything like making a point or publishing a photo which I might add, most,if not all of my blogs are published with pictures that I did indeed make on my camera. A couple may not be , I do believe the sailboat is borrowed and will most likely be replaced as it wasn’t the original inspiration for the poem which I wrote . That ship only sails in my imagination and as I am not an artist like some,will stay there.Those who leaped to criticize couldn’t understand why their written words so upset me,well, perhaps it was because they seemed to only zero in on my mistakes(I mislabeled a dragonfly as a butterfly,how dare I ,must mean I am stupid!) or criticized a picture that while not of the highest photographic talent or quality, was ,in fact, made by me and I was using it to make a point which ,flawed as it might seem to some, made sense to me. I stopped ,while on a trek to make pictures , to take a picture of a train track, because I like what I saw through my viewfinder and caught a dragonfly/damselfly alighting on a shiny silver rail. Yes ,it was a beautiful color and I did see that through my eyes but the original photo really wasn’t just about the bug, there were other colors and textures in the photo that I liked and wanted to capture. I was simply trying ,with my earlier blog and picture to point out how we all (and I did include myself!)sometimes overlook small and beautiful things right in front of our faces . I am a rank amateur when it comes to writing and photography but does that mean I shouldn’t even try? Perhaps the term professional will never be applied to me and if it doesn’t, oh well, I have succeeded at other things in my life .I have grown used to failure in a lot of things,failing to grow a really tough skin to protect against criticism is a biggie but the question begs to be asked ,”Would you really want to even know me if I did?” Trust me, you wouldn’t so I will go back to writing just for me and taking bad pictures simply because I liked what I saw through my camera lens and while I will continue having an opinion. I will try to be more careful to remember that some people don’t think I should be allowed that and will attempt to figuratively smack me down for expressing such opinion and ,perhaps, making errors or mistakes in doing so.The picture above ,yes I did take it and some ask why did I take a picture of a rock in a stream. If you can’t figure that out for yourself,if looking at the photo and thinking doesn’t reveal why I took it, I will not open myself up to destructive criticism by mistakenly trying to tell you
Yes, when you look at this particular picture, what do you see? I know what it is a picture of because I am the one who took the picture but some might look at it and only see the railroad ties and some look and only see the rail itself. Want to know what I see when I look at it? Look closely and slowly,do you see the dragonfly sitting there,resting on something before making its way to somewhere else? It’s a blue that unfortunately my camera and my level of photographic talent really failed to capture but I assure you it was eye catching and I had to have a picture of it to capture a momentary dot of beautiful blue color ,resting on a silver rail. I could have missed it that day, rushing to take pictures of bigger and what I thought were better things, I could have failed to look deeper into what was right before my eyes,only reacting to the most obvious things like the big silver top of the rails, the mottled brown of the ties, the light gray and rusty gravel rocks lining the inside and outside and underneath of the track but I took a moment or two and saw something more,something unexpected but quite exquisite and small. Life is like that sometimes and even the most “enlightened and educated” among us can fail to see something so small and precious sitting right there in front of us . I am just as guilty of this as are others for the most part but pictures like this give me hope ,that every once in a while, I do see beyond the obvious and I actually reap the benefit of seeing the smaller detail.
Not that I am an expert of how angels see, (my guardian angel’s eyes are all too frequently crossed in either fear or exasperation but take heart oh winged one,I have in on good authority, you’re due for a transfer… to D.C. hehehe!) but this particular picture taken by my extremely talented cousin Marc Terry, makes me think that my granddaughter Madelyn might just be looking at one. Regardless of one’s own religious beliefs or lack thereof, her face shows perfect peace and awe and she is looking past the face of my very much loved and missed Aunt Julia or Aunt Katherine as I called her and will till I pass from this current plane of existence to the next. She is looking at something in her newborn eyes that calms her and leaves her knowing that she is safe and very much loved just like the woman holding her, whose face reflects joy and love and a determination to take the best and most joyous things with her when she goes.Would that we could all take that view and smile in the face of great pain and certain knowledge that we would not pass this particular way again but most of us don’t and I am just as guilty as the rest of humankind of falling far short of being the best person I can be and looking with “the sight of angels”!