Posted in Air, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Listening, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Wonder, Woods, Word/Theme for the Year

Rain and sun and in-between

Dancing with the moon, a double exposure.

He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.

~ Gabriel García Márquez

First of all, although men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his own personal salvation for himself in fear and trembling. We can help one another to find the meaning of life no doubt. But in the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for “finding himself.” If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence. You cannot tell me who I am and I cannot tell you who you are. If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you?

~ Thomas Merton

Light in the morning, flowing through the kitchen and into the hallway.

We missed the supermoon on Wednesday night.  Clouds, first in wisps and then in great thick sheets, slowly moved in throughout the day.  By moonrise, we were under heavy cloud cover and rain moved in.  A coastal low developed somewhere around off the coast (obviously, or why else call it a “coastal low?”) and the bulk of it twirled around us on Thursday, bringing lots of rain and wind.  Because of the full moon, the high tide has been especially high.  The wind has helped push the water higher.  There were gale warnings issued.  I’m not sure if those are still in effect or not.  It’s still somewhat windy today, but bright, clear, and quite sunny.  It’s also a bit chilly after a cold front moved through yesterday evening, bringing even more rain.  Our cup runneth over with rain.

Light and shadows playing on the floor.

What’s the difference between a coastal low and a nor’easter?  I looked it up and there doesn’t seem to be one, but maybe someone more knowledgeable about meteorology would know.  They both bring lots of rain and wind (or snow and wind), and both originate off the east coast somewhere and spin their way up.

An apple in the morning. (Filter used to give it a painting-like effect.)

I have been taking a lot of walks lately, but I don’t carry the big camera with me most of the time.  I’m not sure why other than I just don’t feel like it.  It could be the weight of it, as well.  It becomes somewhat burdensome around the neck after a while.  I believe the reason the camera feels heavy and burdensome is because I’ve lost the desire to be out and about with it.  Instead, I just want to be out and about in the moment, free of the desire to do anything other than be in the moment.  If I take too long to think about that last sentence/thought, I get a little antsy, uncomfortable.  I have been defining myself, in a sense, by my photography for, oh, at least the last decade or so.  What am I without it?  Who am I without it?

The periwinkles in the cemetery are in full bloom, carpeting the ground as they always do in spring.

I have been pondering what it might be like to set aside the big camera for a year.  Would my brain and eyes stop composing photographs, stop looking at the light and angles?  Stop envisioning that best shot?  Would I begin to see things in a different way?  Or would I stop looking as closely and as mindfully as I do when I am carrying the camera (either physically or in my head)?  Because, you see, even without the camera, I do tend to look at things as if I am viewing them through the lens of the camera.

Leaves in a puddle on the forest floor.

I think the answer to that, based on current experience, is that I would stop looking as closely.  I still snap photos when I’m on my walks, but I do so with my phone camera and without a lot of thought.  I avoid close-ups because the phone camera doesn’t handle them well.  (I can work with that weakness by editing and cropping, if I wish.)  My phone is an older one and the camera not as good as some of those on the newer phones.  Mine offers little in the way of control (exposure, depth of field, etc., are pretty much determined by the camera).  Any tweaking has to be done via the editing process.  Most of the time, I don’t bother.  The images from my phone camera are a good practice is accepting things as they are rather than as I think I see them.

A walk in the woods on a sunny and blustery day.

Thomas Merton wrote, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”  One of the things I love most about photography is that it has been a way, continues to be a way, of finding myself and losing myself.  I find myself in the images.  I am there, in the “voice” of the image, even when I’m not there.  I lose myself in the moments, or the flow, of the process.  In the looking, the “I” is lost.  At the risk of sounding woo-woo or cliche, I am one with what I am photographing.

I don’t have any real plans to give up the big camera, not even for a year.  It’s a thought exercise, for now.  When the mood strikes again, I’ll start carrying it with me again.  And then, probably, put it down for a while again.

As above.

I find it rather funny that after picking my word for the year — Listening — that I started leaving the camera behind when I go out on my walks.  Maybe it isn’t funny or surprising at all.  I am listening more.  I am listening deeply.  I may not know the language of the birds or the wind or the trees or any of nature, and I may never learn it, but I am listening to the many sounds and voices of nature and of humans. I am listening, for the most part, deeply and without expectations.

Perhaps the listening has deepened as a result of not seeing, or not obsessing on seeing, when I walk without the big camera.

At high tide yesterday.

The 11-week Art of Self Care yoga course I enrolled in came to an end last week.  Maybe “end” isn’t exactly correct.  I learned so much throughout the course that I am sure it will take months, if not longer, for me to process everything.  The teachings, I suspect, will be changing and evolving with time and practice and experience.  I hope to carry forward so much of what we learned, to continue the practices and experimentations, to dive deeper into the edgier stuff (the things that are uncomfortable but powerful).

An end of winter sunset as seen through the old oak tree.

So much of what I learned about can’t yet be put into words.  Perhaps I’ll never be able to put it into words.  One of the most important things, from the very beginning of the course, relates to connections, to speaking the good words, to relationships and maybe, to how we truly are all connected to each other in ways we don’t (won’t/can’t) see.

A winter sunset at the Point.

I reckon that’s enough from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I always appreciate your visits, your comments, and your thoughts.  Let’s go out to the Point and see what nature has to offer in the way of a sunset today.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:18 PM.  Although the temperature has been in the lower 50’s today, it has also been windy (20-30 mph winds) and the water is cold (which means, the wind off the water will be cold).  I’d suggest dressing in layers.  That way, you can always take something off if it turns out to be warmer.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

(Quick note:  All of the images in today’s post were taken with my phone camera.)

Watching the sunset from the platform in the backyard yesterday.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,021)  Blustery days that energize and invigorate.  1,022)  The beautiful blue of the sky this morning.  1,023)  The return of the “milky way” in the kitchen.  (The morning sunlight, in the spring, bounces off the sconces on the pendulum lights and creates a star-like pattern on the ceiling.  It’s a signal that spring has arrived.)  1,024)  Trails to walk and hiking boots to protect my feet and ankles.  1,025)  This body I’ve been given to experience this life I’ve been given.

Storm clouds moving out at sunset yesterday.

A good read (especially in light of my last post asking, “What are we to do?”):  The Religious Value of the Unknown

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

22 thoughts on “Rain and sun and in-between

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Happy Spring to you too!
      Yes, it’s time to clean up and start over. I’m heading to the nursery this weekend for seeds and plants (and probably a new pair of gardening gloves since all of mine seem to have acquired holes in them). I’m thinking about trying bee balm out in the flower garden this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love that ‘start over’ feeling we get in spring, when the season is all laid out in front of us. As you probably know, bee balm, being of the mint family, will spread aggressively, so give it ample room or contain it in a pot in the ground. They look so innocent in a 4″ pot, but after a few years it becomes a monster in the perennial bed! Mine have been relegated to the field where they can run rampant. The hummers just love my red monarda!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t take my camera out often these days. I appreciate what you’re saying about maybe just wanting to be in the moment, an ongoing process, though I’m much better than I used to be. I see the world always in trying to understand who, what, where (my personality type), then it morphs into words (since I’m a writer). I don’t think I can ever stop that — it’s just how I process the world. Maybe it’s the same with how you see everything as if through a camera lens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do that, too, Tara. I’m always writing and photographing in my head. I am a living and walking blog post. Well, maybe not always that. I tend to write haiku and other poetry in my head. I think of it as ephemeral poetry. I almost never write it down so it’s lost before I can do anything with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hate when that happens! I have a small notebook and a pen in my pocket, always. Of course, writing down enough so I remember what I meant later is a different story. 🙂

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  2. Robin, you just articulated what I went through a few years ago. Suddenly it became impossible to carry the camera around anymore. It felt like it was suddenly a barrier between the naked raw moment and perception. It was as if I had morphed into an identity around the picture-taking instead of being free. Thank you for sharing your own journey. And what a journey it is, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your post forced me to create a new bookmarks folder. “Special Posts”. I want to return to it again and again.

    Another thing, the thought occurred to me you have a knack for insightfuly discussing nearly any issue — even politics — without leaving your audience feeling heavy and weighted. I think the way you weave them into a discussion of nature might have a lot to do with that. But there seem to be other things too.

    I agree with the quote that opens this excellent post. Humans are the metamorphic animal that turns to stone if not frequently reborn. The Merton quotes seem spot on, too. As do your reflections about the role of art in self-discovery.

    I’m not familiar with photography other than as an audience for it. So don’t feel I know much about how to use it for self-discovery. If you can help with that, I’d appreciate it.

    For me, it’s poetry and the essay. I paint, but not to discover myself. The key so far as I can see is to dig down until I reach something I cannot doubt is true. Maybe it is true, maybe it isn’t, but it’s the truth that I myself cannot personally doubt. I think when I stop too far short of that, I can be lying to myself about what I really believe.

    Art is not the only means I have for self-discovery. I think the other means is to observe myself as dispassionately as I can in relationship to others (and even to things). “Why did I snap at the store clerk?” “Why did I chat up the panhandler?” When I look as dispassionately, honestly, and open-mindedly as possible into my actions and reactions in relationship, I seem to discover me looking back.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so very much, Paul. I think it’s just a matter of finding some kind of flow, whether it’s poetry or photography. Something you do so often that you almost go on autopilot, but not in the way of, say, brushing your teeth. And now that I’ve written that, I’m thinking that “flow” comes from knowing the technicalities (the craft) of the art (writing, photography, painting, etc.) well enough to be able to let go and join the flow of creativity.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love all your photos, but most especially the second – the one of the table in front of the window. It calls me – I want to sit there with a cup of coffee or tea (depending on time of day) and just enjoy looking out, feeling the warmth of the sun. Camera or phone? I have never wanted to “mess” with a big camera – I think of myself more as a picture taker than a photographer, and I take a photo when something hits me just so and I want a permanent memory of it, one I can share. So when I dropped my little big camera with the long zoom and it went on strike, I decided the phone works for me. I find myself not taking many photos these days, but the pendulum always swings and I’m good with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carol. 🙂 It’s a good place to sit. So much goes on outside of that window. I’ve seen deer, osprey, eagles, bluebirds, flickers, red fox, the neighbor’s cats and dogs, trees in bloom or lit up with autumn colors, rainbows, sunrises, and so many other critters and events. I think you’d like it.

      Yes, the pendulum does always swing, doesn’t it? After writing about how I didn’t feel like carrying the camera, I was out and about with it yesterday. I keep wondering if that’s habit or a true desire to use it. I tend to take photos of the same things over and over. In spring, the blossoming trees. At the beach, the waves and the horses. Although I see things differently every time, I am not sure that comes through in my photos. Ah well. No matter. I do it when I do it because I like to. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I abandoned a camera for quite a few years because I found I was too busy taking photos to appreciate living the moment. I’ve been using a camera again for a few years now, but I think balance is the key – sometimes I take a camera with me and sometimes I don’t so I can enjoy both ways of being in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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