it’s an ephemeral life

into the fog

“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open.”

~ Pema Chödrön

When I discovered that Friday’s WordPress photo challenge was the word ephemeral, I knew I wanted to post some cool photos I took one foggy day. Then I started to think about fleeting moments. Then impermanence. Which led to the pondering of Buddhist concepts. And finally, my head burst into flames.

(My head is always doing strange and unpredictable things, like the time it fell off and rolled around on the ground. Well, I don’t need my head to write this post. Truth be told, I was barely using it for my previous posts anyways.)

I don’t consider myself a Buddhist. I believe and don’t believe in a lot of things. I simply decide what feels right and then try to apply it to my life. Intellectually, I get the ideas within Buddhism, but they can be difficult to practice for someone who likes permanence. When Joy enters the room, I want her to stay awhile. I ply her with wine and chocolate and the gyoza she likes from Trader Joe’s. But she always has somewhere else to be. She has a very busy schedule, that Joy.

i heart fog

Enter, Gratitude.

Photography is a wonderful way to practice gratitude. If you’re like me (oh, lucky you! the sweet realization!), you capture these moments in time and then – everything changes. You feel gratitude because what you saw and experienced will likely never happen the same way again. And if you’re like me (oh, dear. poor you.), you get secretly giddy over the fact that while you were living in the moment, you captured it and made it permanent. Take that, Buddhism!

In case you’re wondering, Buddhism can take this kind of ironic taunting.

Joy, pain, gratitude, disappointment…they flow in and out, in constant motion, and sometimes they are tangled up together. I suppose that’s what happens when you stay open – you allow more of everything to enter. It definitely helps to keep your sense of humor and perspective intact. So that’s why I’m going to end with the photo below, because photography also causes you to notice things in a different way, which is, like, totally awesome, Dude.

If you’re like me – twisted, easy (…careful…), head falling off all of the time but knowing how to play it off, and willing to laugh at yourself, then…Joy!! I proclaim that we can be friends!! Because honestly, this has all been a test of our potential friendship. Okay, okay…here’s the photo:

when trees photobomb each other

when trees photobomb each other

 

re(fresh)ed


wisteria

Spring is springing.

My WordPress friend Lola Jane encouraged me to participate in this week’s WP photo challenge for the word fresh. I haven’t taken part in a WP weekly photo challenge in a while, using the excuse of “I’m still settling from my move (whine, whine).” My poor boyfriend, Camera, is a little peeved at me because I haven’t taken him out. Instead, I’ve been using my iPhone to capture the amazing flowers I’ve come across in the past few weeks.

The warm weather in Sonoma County has caused an explosion of flowers and colors. I’m mesmerized. Beauty is everywhere.

nature's bouquet

Because I’m new to all of these different pollens, I’m crossing my fingers that my allergies won’t be too bad this spring. Or summer. I might as well throw fall in there, too. More than anything else, I’d like to spare others from my incredibly loud sneezes. I sooo wish I could be one of those people who sneezes like a cat. So delicate! So dainty!: choo.

Instead, this is me: WA-WA-WAAAATCHOOOOO!!!!

jasmine

But it would be worth it, you know? I want to have fresh flowers in my place all of the time. I decided to buy/find them for myself since I don’t have a thoughtful boyfriend that picks wildflowers for me (whine, whine). Camera’s excuse is that he doesn’t have legs, arms or hands. Whatever.

Everyone deserves to surround themselves with whatever they find beautiful to them. Unless you have a tooth collection. I’m very open-minded, but ew.

Spring is a beautiful time of year. I hope that you get fresh with it any way you see fit.

peace out

To experience more serenity, go to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge here.

I live in a stunningly beautiful part of the country. So it only makes sense that I leave that beauty and replace it with new beauty. I’m insatiable! Nothing is ever good enough for me!! I always want more!!!

breathe…calm yo’self…serenity…

I never get up and drive to watch the sun rise. But I’m on a little birthday getaway, and these are the gifts I received for stepping outside my door yesterday morning:

Canvas Ranch sunrisesheep

As I get older, I realize how important it is for me to have the peaceful silence of nature around me. It softens the hard edges, sheds light on dark corners, and clears some of the static in my brain.

It fills, energizes, and it is the answer to a lot of my questions.

It gives me joy.

And that is the best present, really, that I could ever ask for.

re(new)

 

you can always find a new path to take

don’t like the path you’re taking? you can always find a new one (or make your own)

*The first word for 2015?: new. For more WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge entries, click here! 

I have been in a writing rut.

I implored AAA to come and rescue me, to charge up my draining battery, but they refused. Something about “we only respond to calls about automobiles, ma’am.”

So be it. I was on my own.

Enter 2015.

Like many people, I feel a renewed energy at the beginning of a new year. It’s a marker that shouts: “Get your fresh start! Fresh starts here!!”

I have a new plan, a new camera, a determination to keep strengthening my core (literally and psychologically), but my creative energy to write has waned. There is an ebb and flow in this life, and right now my words are out to sea. I can see them floating aimlessly, bobbing up and down. I have to trust that they’ll come back to me, even though that whole bobbing up and down thing is really annoying.

Luckily, my creative energy for taking photos is holding steady.

looking inward and looking outward at Shark Fin Cove, Davenport CA

looking inward and looking outward at Shark Fin Cove, Davenport CA

My mantra for 2015?: See new things. See old things in a new way. See Jane get older but always find ways to be new.

 

what’s your angle?

This week’s WordPress photo challengeAngular – was just that: challenging.

I thought to myself, Angles? I don’t have no stinkin’ angles! I’m so busy looking at nature, I’m clueless about angles. I know, I know, nature is full of them. But I wanted to post a photo of something made by human hands.

I’m usually not drawn to buildings and lines and such, so I had to comb through my archive to see what I could find…

the disappearance of the golden gate bridge

Well. You beautiful thing, you.

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most stunning bridges in the world. Granted, I haven’t seen very many bridges in my life, but this particular bridge is boldly romantic, sweepingly picturesque, and that FOG! It so deserves ALL CAPS. TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS FUN. Okay, focus. Back to the bridge.

That mysterious, seductive coastal fog adds a whole other dimension to its beauty. I love me some sun, but I also love how weather lends different emotions to a landscape, no matter if you’re taking photos of trees, skyscrapers or people.

So, in the end, I liked this challenge. Yes, I called angles stinky, but the ones that make up this manmade structure completely changed my mind.

That’s the power of the Golden Gate Bridge.