Something really funny happened in Illinois while on vacation. It’s been happening more and more lately and I can’t explain it. I was walking up a set of stairs that ascended into (what looked like total Utopia) a plateau; it looked like Eden it was so beautiful. I took a step, inhaled deeply, looked up, smiled and as I took my next step (snapping pics along the way) a rainbow formed right in front of me. There was no rainbow there previously or afterwards. It lasted less than two seconds and in the blink of an eye it was gone. I’ve been a photographer for close to a decade. I’ve taken hundreds of thousands of pictures and most of them have been in all manual. I know lighting and exposure better than my own skin and can explain away lens flares and apparition-like smudges with a sound, technological explanation. The rainbows? They’re very real. This has happened to me at least five times over the past few months and it’s always been when I’m out somewhere communing with God. It’s like He’s giving me a hug and it’s the most amazing thing ever because it’s so candid and unexpected. I know what my eyes see in every scene and I can manipulate my scenes to look any way I want via the aperture and shutter speed, ISO, etc. But I can’t insert rainbows into the frame with the flip of the wrist or camera-trickery. It’s a very special thing lately!
I took a quick selfie earlier because the light in the kitchen was so bright and I knew it would make a good high keyed shot where my facial features would fade out into the light and appear minimal. (I don’t consider this “good photography” by any means but experimental.) I didn’t alter the hues of my eyes at all- just kicked up the sat. a bit; the colours are real though. I’ve never noticed that I have rainbow coloured eyes- every colour of the spectrum can be seen in them. This too is a new thing as my eyes have always been “just green”. But lately, there’s a deep, red fire burning right in the center of them…
I am so very grateful today, for amazing friends (and foes alike) who have dropped me to my knees in prayer in gratitude (and agony), breathing encouraging words into me through emails, chats, and such. I can’t express my gratitude properly, but I feel new life and new love springing out of my heart today, and I can’t believe how fast it’s happened.
To everyone who’s walked me through the broken glass in the past few days, and whispered truth and love (and shared your own stories of betrayal, heartache, and ultimately, forgiveness and love- regardless), please accept my collective THANK YOU. I love you guys, and although I’ve been emotionally devastated recently, every email and talk has been another stitch in my bloody heart. I’ve made it through the storm, and I can see the shine on the horizon. :0)
I know it’s not much, but I often say “thank you” and “I love you” with photos and art. I saw this peculiar string tied around a tree in the forest the other day. I don’t know the story behind it, but it made me smile, and strangely, filled me up with joy.
Thanks again, everyone.
I love you guys.
There is a heck of a lot of chaos going on behind the scenes in my family right now, and I don’t mean my immediate family (altogether), but outside of my four walls. I live an interesting life for sure. Because of my walk that I’ve walked, there are those few family members that will always want to dig up bones in my graveyard.
I say go dig your own graveyard and leave my bones alone. I’ve made peace with much of what’s happened to me in my life. Some things, caused by my own stupidity- others, caused by those who cannot let go of their pasts. Sadly, I know many people who live in their pasts. It’s true that I rarely visit mine. I have memories, sure. Good ones, and lots of them. But I don’t hang on to the things that hurt me, and I certainly don’t invite others to a bitter banquet so they can feast on my rags. I’ve given all my rags away, to people who are much worse off than me.
I really do not understand how people can think they’ve got it so bad. And if you think I haven’t lived through some wicked stuff, you can read my Bio. We all go through trauma, disease, famine, humiliation, and other facts of life, but to grovel in a pool of your own vomit, and to stay in it by choice, so that others can pity you?
Moving on. I’ve sadly had to block several of my family members (again) because they simply cannot stop hating. Hate! Hate! Hate! It blows my mind.
I blocked them because I believe you have to put the negativity out of your life. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. But you don’t have to sit down and have tea with it either. I take my cue from Jesus, yet again. He was asked to come to the house of distraught parents. Their daughter had died. When He came to them, He told them that she was only sleeping. (I love that part.) They laughed him to scorn, the Bible says. Can you imagine? People wailing and grieving and seriously hurting, and then there are those who take pleasure to mock and laugh at such a time.
What did he do? He didn’t tolerate it one bit. That’s what. He tossed them out of the house, and he “shut the door”. I know when to shut my door. It may seem that I’m angry, but don’t mistake my strong stand in life for anger- I am grounded, completely, and pretty unshakable in my faith.
I have to regroup quickly when people are gnashing on me so viciously. I’m only human. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I don’t have anger and all of those other things. If you punch me in my face, I may punch you back and just say I’ll repent later. I’m still working on that “turning the other cheek” thing.
But on that note, I do know when to walk away from people who claim this or that, but cannot stop devouring you. I do know how to shut my door- Jesus taught me that one.
When I feel these things in my life, I choose to do things that are constructive. It does no good to sit around and stew in it, and really, you have to act quickly, because rage is like a cancer. It will eat away at every cell of your soul, and it feels so good to pay them back, but you’re only hurting yourself in the end. Every arrow that flies out returns to you. Make sure you send good arrows.
I choose photography. When I go out into a scene, I compose my surroundings. Photography forces me to change the way I see the world. I have to choose a focal point. (That takes your mind off of the wrong focal point.) No matter what you’re feeling, you can go out and capture a view of the world that is altogether different than the way you feel.
Bitter people chewing on my back has been my catalyst for change many times, to do good for others. It gets me out of that dark place, and pushes me toward my art- singing, writing songs, playing my guitar/keyboard and, photography- all of which allow me to see and feel beauty. I can choose to be happy, no matter what.
And so I am. 🙂
I’m not one to toss around rose petals (like Joel Osteen, no offense to him, love him truly, but he’s happy like…….10000% of the time. Sorry Joe, my car breaks down routinely and we’re scrimping for toilet paper half the time- it’s REAL up in this household if ya know what I mean…).
And so, I take pictures. Not in spite of, but because of all of the family chaos lately, I went out and shot this sunset. I’ve never been a landscape photographer and I’ve never been fond of “sunset shots”. It’s not that they’re not beautiful, I’ve never had the necessary growth as an artist to appreciate them, that’s all. I do now.
Who knew that the cruelty of my enemies would be the very thing to help me see beauty?
Thank you enemies.
And that is how I turn things around.
Brianna, J, and I headed out to Spring Mill Park today. The place was completely abandoned (which was perfect) so we had it to ourselves. I have to say, I wasn’t missing the cheesy period costumes (women churning butter, old men at the apothecary, etc. etc.).
It was an excellent opportunity to get reacquainted with shooting in monochrome using the 50 MM + all manual controls (focus, exposure, etc.) I’m a stickler for manual focus.
That’s right. Real men carry their womens’…necessary things.
The heart of Pioneer Village.
An interesting growth atop the entrance to the garden.
Josh composes a shot using the trusty “road warrior”, also known as the Canon G3.
A quick self port. in the ladies restroom. Yes, those are pajamas…
Josh carries Chance in his jacket. All together now…”Awww….”
And this is why I’ve fallen in love all over again with the 50 MM. This bench shot is straight out of the camera. (Had to lay on my back in the snow to get the shot- but I got it.)
So my school had penalized me for dropping my two classes (College Algebra and Public Speaking) due to the car accident that I was involved in on October the 1st. Although it wasn’t my fault, they put $1,380 back onto my balance (meaning that’s what I now owe them) as well as a transcript and registration hold. Without help, I could practically kiss college goodbye.
But I’m a fighter and I simply refuse to go down like that. I wrote a compelling letter simultaneously to the Dean, the bursar, and the director of financial aid, begging them to help me, and asking them to not allow me to fall through the cracks of society and become a statistic of “what could have been”. Two days later I received a letter from my adviser stating that the balance would remain, but they lifted the registration hold, allowing me to return for the spring semester. (!) I know a handful of people who have had to drop out altogether for similar holds and situations- this is nothing short of a miracle.
So, I’ll get to return in several weeks to finish up my degree. I’m ecstatic. 🙂
I’m not crazy about math, but I’m going to give it my best shot. This will be my fourth semester of college algebra; the first three were developmental and I didn’t receive credit, so this will be somewhat gratifying.
I have three weeks to play in the snow before the madness begins!
Let it snow…
[Taken today, on my snow walk.]
School is out.
Autumn is dead.
Winter is here.
This is when I come alive. 🙂