A personal story
Please allow me a few moments to share a story and to explain this photo.
I was living in New York when 911 occurred. Anyone who lived there at that time will remember the shock and numbness that descended on its residents. For months afterwards life in the city and surrounding counties was surreal. There was a choking heaviness, a mixture of fear and uncertainty.
As time passed, the holidays grew closer. I wondered how could I celebrate Christmas that year? Buying frivolous gifts seemed disrespectful and planning a sumptuous meal felt too extravagant. Even when it came down to a Christmas card I was stumped.
Through the years my go to Christmas card was a photo of my son and two Newfoundlands, however, this Christmas I thought the card needed to say something more. After much deliberation, I decided to make a macro image of my Newfie’s nose. Yes, just his nose. In all its glistening, wet glory, an image of a jet-black Newfoundland snout was my Christmas card. The message inside read: Enjoy the small things in life.
It didn’t take long for people to respond. The majority were, “Well, she’s finally lost it.”
In retrospect, it was in that moment that I finally found it.
The horror of 911 quickly put life into perspective. I realized in a flash what was important and what wasn’t. Suddenly my comfortable, suburban lifestyle felt unsettled. All the trappings of my provincial way of being left me hollow and unfulfilled.
Everyone experienced 911 in their own way. I experienced a shift. It was a shift inwards. My relentless outward search for happiness relaxed into an appreciation for what is right in front of me.
Now to the photo attached.
This morning I woke and followed my normal routine beginning by making coffee. Grind, measure, fill and flip on.
After breakfast, I cleaned up. I dumped the remainder of the coffee, opened the lid of the coffee maker to empty the grinds and there they were — a nest of coffee beans. Now I’m sure there is someone out there saying, “Big whoop”. But to me, it was a big whoop. How these four beans made it through the grinding process and how they settled, huddled together, in a seemingly safe and secure nest, put a huge smile on my face.
Each day unexpected visual gifts present themselves. These presents are everywhere, but only apparent to the perceptive observer. These visual surprises are life’s momentary expressions of its playful beauty and certain unpredictability.
Please allow this pithy post be a reminder that it is the little things that ensure a well-balanced, fragant and robust experience.
Live in color,
It happens every year about this time. March rolls in and I become constipated — creatively that is.
Living deep in the woods of Vermont, the solitude and beauty I find in the winter months is breathtaking. The fire and vitality of summer are silenced by a layer of fluffy frosting, revealing only stark contrasts. The March landscape in Vermont is brilliantly minimal.
That’s the good news. The bad news is, I’m a color gal. Just about this time every year my heart and creative pulse yearns for color.
I have enjoyed winter's living grayscale laying outside my window, exposing the whitest whites to the blackest blacks, however, I now pine for color. My monastic, midwinter, white-bread diet is yearning for a little spice. Color is that spice, the remedy I desperately need to stir my creative flow once again.
So until the first signs of spring appear, my eye wildly searches for color. Today’s color was found is a bouquet of orange roses on my kitchen counter.
I pulled one stem from the arrangement, brought it to my windowsill, gently placing it on its side, while admiring its beauty. I said to the rose, “Talk to me”.
Oh, what a conversation we had!
I inadvertently opened a flood gate of emotions for this single rose. Rose told me how misunderstood she was. She resented how she was looked upon as just a pretty little thing. Most never took the time to truly recognize her depth and sensitivity. She went on to explain she was so much more than a cluster of petals. She was life itself.
Rose then felt comfortable enough with me to expose her various sides. In an instant she became my model and muse, perched in front of me, the artist. Slowly she stripped away her layers, exposing her mystery, sensuality and her grandeur.
Just as an artist's brush attempts to capture the grace and emotion of that which lies before him, I tried to document the complexity of this rare beauty.
What would happen if you spent quality time, like this, with everything that crossed your path? How could you not feel the flush of awe and reverence for life itself.
Live in color,
An image alone sometimes feels insufficient, that’s where Musings come in. A space where words and images come together to tell the story.
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