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Entries in landscape (35)


Path through the Woods

In the just-over-a-year that I've been writing this blog it seems to have evolved from a photography study into personal journal with pictures.  It seems to be getting more personal by the day, which leaves me wondering exactly what is appropriate to put here.  Is it the job of this space to be pretty and cheerful?  (I have that in me.)  Inspiring?  (Erm, some days, maybe.)  Real?  (Well this seems like the obvious choice.  But down this path lies danger.)

So I was scared yesterday to publish a catalogue of my failures.  There's a part of me that feels like it's so immodest to make all of this public.  Dirty laundry should be private!  And then there's the part of me that has discovered this space feels like a release valve... my life gets so full, and pressure builds, and publish and a measure of relief. I guess I'm not sure what the exact right function of this space is yet, but I'm feeling my way through the dark by instinct.  Soon I will get some light bulbs, and then we'll have a real party!

Amy Z left this in a comment yesterday, which I love: Revel in living life outside the crop. It's where the REAL stuff happens that makes up the rich fabric of your life, dog puke and all. Those struggles - be they laundry or light bulbs - are what connect us all as imperfect humans.

Thank you so much for letting me be imperfect here.  Pretty and cheerful feels like an awful lot to live up to.  Thank you so much for telling me your houses are messy too.  Maybe real people do live this way.  Thank you so much for letting me be real.  (Unless you are my mother-in-law, in which case it was all an exaggeration for comedic effect.  We're great.  Really.) 


Under The Colorado Sky

I arrived at night on my first trip to Colorado as a quasi-adult, spring break of my senior year in college.  In the morning I shook off the beer-y cobwebs and stepped onto the porch of my host's Boulder apartment. 

The sky.

I couldn't believe how big the sky was.  You can't even take it in all at once.  A vast light, under which I could take root.  Room to be, even if, at that formative time, I wasn't quite sure who I was.   Space to breathe.  A sense the of appropriate scale of things, the world so big and me so small.  But in a comforting way.

I was hooked.

I'm not saying it was the only reason I moved here, all those years ago.  But it's as good a reason as almost any.  The sky here still stops me in my tracks at least once a week.  It is a muse, a constant source of inspiration and frustration, because it is impossible to do it justice.


Like A Prayer

I feel like I am having this religious experience, I told my bestie on the phone yesterday morning, knowing this language would be provocative.  She grew up in a highly religious home and (mostly) shed the trappings of that belief system as a young adult.

I, on the other hand, was raised by parents of two different religions in a region with a third, pervasive religion (well, four, if you count basketball).  In the stew of all that I failed to find any semblance of faith at all.  I have always been perfectly satisfied with that.

This new religion of mine, it’s about opening up and really being authentic and I have this clarity all of a sudden that it will draw to me the right things.

Yeah, she confirmed, with no scorn or judgment.  It seems like you’re having a religious experience.

And I just keep saying what I want, and saying thank you for all these amazing things in my life.

You mean like praying, she said.

Like praying.

Ummmm, yeah, like praying.  Except I never knew how to do that.


So I learned how to pray on a random Thursday morning commute, at age 38. 

To be honest, praying has always seemed like a vaguely silly endeavor to me.  And yet here I am, apparently praying half my days away with thank yous and what I really intends.  And I’m so damn happy.

If all this talk of religious experiences and prayer seems a bit immodest, I’m sorry.  It does to me, too.  Mostly it feels head-scratchingly weird and unlikely.  But full of love.


Winter, Suddenly

Monday it was 80° and Denver was bathed in the bright yellow sunlight of autumn.

Tuesday night it started to snow.

Yesterday morning on the way to work it looked like this:

If it seems a little jarring, well, it is.  But this whipsaw of weather is also one of Colorado's great charms in my opinion, that you can have snow on red leaves, or conversely, short-sleeves weather in February.  It gives us a communal experience of nature, something to talk about, something to look forward to.  It means we never bury our cute winter hats too deep in the basement because we wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to look like this:


An Incomplete List of What Happened

Here are some things that happened while I was in California:

• I watched the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge with a friend I don't get to see enough.

• I went on an adventure by myself, for the first time in a long time.

• I noticed myself feeling anxious about not being a good enough photographer.  I sat with that.

• I got included exactly when I needed it.

• I was asked to say what I want out loud and I did, even though it made me feel nauseous.  Then something magic happened that made me believe I could actually get what I want.  It was weird.

• I met some people in real life who I have admired from afar.  They were as amazing as I had hoped.

• I connected deeply with some new people.  We were a gift to each other.

• I was safe.

Also as it turns out, I alienated my three-year-old.  Last night he told me, You're not my friend anymore.  Daddy's my friend.

So I'm going to go work on that.  I'll be back with more photos and reflections soon.