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Entries in new year (3)

Tuesday
Jan032012

Weight Lifting

My job shut down for the week between Christmas and New Years and we had the unusual circumstance of no family around, so I had the gift of quiet space this holiday.  I had to acknowledge to myself during this time just how disconnected I've been from my camera lately.  I have felt and known this for some time, but it was really the first time I have allowed myself to say it out loud. 

My camera weighs five hundred pounds.

I can barely lift it.

This makes me feel panicky.

What happens if I don't shoot?  What if I can never pick it up again?  What if I forget how to shoot?  What if I forget how to see?

I considered committing myself to another 365 project just so I have to shoot, but then I thought of the long list of other photography-related projects I have half-conceived.  I realized that a 365, with its comfortable rhythms, might just be a distraction from pushing through the fear I have about starting some new and different things.

I went outside a lot.  I breathed in the cold air.  I stretched, warmed up my muscles and picked up the heavy camera, determined to make a few images.  I did some things I am comfortable doing, and I tried some things I have never done before. 

It is the new year, and I am a beginner again. 

Sunday
Jan012012

One Little Word

A small gift from Etsy's Angel Funk, which immediately seemed like the totem I need this year. How did she know?Is it true that one little word can change my life in the coming year?  I was introduced to the practice of choosing one word for the year through the creative community I found in 2011.  One word to point myself toward.  One word to meditate on, bounce off, spin around.  One word to be my Polaris, the intention around and through which I navigate 2012.  People I know or read have chosen words like inspire, create, witness, surrender, thrive.  I thought about what I want the theme of my next year to be, what feels vital, positive, and active.  I chose

cultivate

(by which I mean)

nurture the conditions for the emergence of transformative growth

I think my work for the year is about learning to value the practice and the process more than the product.  About nurturing relationships, carving out both physical and emotional space to be inspired and to work.  About preparing the soil and trusting that there will be a satisfying harvest in the correct season.

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I look forward to sharing this journey here this year and hearing about yours. Did you choose a word?  What is it?  Why?

I send the dear community that gathers here my best wishes for an inspired 2012, full of delight.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday
Dec282011

Cleave

This Christmas break contains nearly everything I have asked for: quiet, underscheduled, uncrowded.  I am trying to honor the simple rhythm of tasks that must get done.  Stove stoked.  Meditate.  Breakfast.  Dishes.  Play Dough.  Wood split.  Firewood loaded.  Sledding.  Snack.  Nap.  Etc.

It sounds more peaceful than I feel.

I am halfway through my 30-day meditation challenge.  I imagined claiming space for this would bathe me in a peaceful, dreamy light, but it hasn't really been like that.  It's been like watching my mind quiver and buzz and alight onto a million trivial things that I would like to care less about.  It's been observing that even when I give myself room to be alone, I bring with me a dozen real or perceived snipes, snubs and gripes that I know I need to let go.  I know.  But here we are, sitting in the dark and quiet together.  I notice that I feel alone, and not in the good way.

I am thinking a lot about 2012 in the quiet of this week.  Considering what to invite with me and what to leave behind.  What to cleave to, and what to be cleaved from.  More doing.  Less thinking.  More alone.  More together.  More dreams.  Less doubts.  More hope.  Less reason.  More movement.  More rhythm.  More joy.  Yes, please.