Monday, January 31, 2011


it’s a chicken or egg situation – not sure which came first.  my interest in photography in turn fueling the passion to look for things which are visually interesting.  or the other way around – noticing things that are visually interesting and then wanting to document them.  in any case, the 2 have become completely intertwined in my life and there is no turning back.  not sure i could stop if i wanted to!

when i started blogging 15 months ago, i (like so many others i have read about) had a fear that i would run out of things to say and images to post.  that i would get stuck and it would feel like a burden to keep it going.  the only way i had the confidence to begin was knowing i had stock-piled thousands of images from interesting places we had visited.  i figured i would be sorting through those and sharing them little by little.

and i have shared many of those images.  but not nearly as many as i would have thought.  because my brain and my eyes have been “sharpened” by doing this and i am always on the lookout for new material.  and somehow i seem to find it.   it’s not a burden – it’s a thrill!  when i go somewhere i truly have no idea what sorts of images i will end up with, which is what makes it so much fun.  i keep an open mind and shoot whatever calls to me.  lots of times it is just the way the light plays on something…. or a pattern….or some kind of contrast…. or a reflection!  you just never know.

i could say the same about the writing part.  i often have no idea what my next post will be about but, things happen and truly, almost anything can end up becoming blog material.  it took me a while to get this, but i have read posts about almost every subject imaginable and as long as it can be told and illustrated interestingly,  and is something others can relate to, bingo!

so, yes, blogging has been a really enriching addition to my life.  i love that i can go back and see how i have documented so many pieces of my experience this last year-plus.  and each time i have done it, there is a little conversation with my friends which follows.  and it’s there for keeps.  i love that!  

i don’t think it’s for everyone, but if you are thinking of blogging and hesitating,  you really can’t tell until you try it.  the great thing is that it is yours and yours alone and does not need to be like anyone else’s.  what’s the worst that can happen??

P.S.  Update regarding the March retreat here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tide Pools

we have a phenomenon here in southern ca called santa ana conditions.  i don't know all the technicalities, but basically when this happens, the wind patterns shift, so instead of coming in from the ocean, they come from the desert, bringing heat and dryness to the coast, along with windy conditions.

sometimes, as was the case yesterday, it's actually hotter at the beach than it is in the desert.  it's these exact conditions that often fuel our infamous fire-storms, especially when it happens in the fall, after months of no rainfall, when the brush is tinder-dry.  scary stuff.

anyway, i decided to take advantage of the warm temperatures we have been having and head down to the beach.  i visited the tidepools at the south end of cardiff beach.  how fun to see all the little treasures there!

truly nature
at her finest. 
so full of life!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Great Equalizer

death, you are the ultimate equalizer
patiently biding your time
while we fill our little days
with one thing and another

we strive to be strong
we strive to be rich
we strive to be pretty
we grasp what we have
because we're fooled into thinking
that gives our life meaning

you laugh at our striving
at its hollowness and vanity

we hide you in a big dark closet
we lock the door with a chain,
throw away the key
we pretend you are not there
and rarely even mention your name

 until you start knocking
or until you bust the door down
and stand in our presence
we still don't want to see you
we turn our backs on you
ignore you
pretend you are invisible

it's likely that we'll never
embrace you as a friend
and that's as it should be

but if we let you out of
your dark closet
once in a while
acknowledged your existence
and the fact that
no matter how hard we try
to make you invisible
you're never going to go away

i know we could learn from you
and i'm pretty sure
that what we would learn
is that you're not quite as scary
as we make you out to be

i apologize for crossing back over to the dark side here.  the hospice patient i have been visiting just passed away.  I had written this while i was doing the training last year and wanted to share.  just keepin it real.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Flower Power

they are just so flippin amazing aren't they??

what a gift to have them blooming all year round.  if you don't have access to this particular gift, give it to yourself in the form of indoor flowers.  they are relatively cheap, easy to come by and can be  powerful mood-alterers!

and keep the faith... one month of winter has already passed.  spring will be here before you know it!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dark Zone


my body has taken me hostage
it’s crossed over into some kind of zone
and it’s threatening to take ME with it
it’s a somber zone
still and dark and joyless
like the underbelly of a piece of granite
pressed against the cold damp earth

things that normally thrill and delight
hold no fascination here
energy and appetite do not exist
absolutely everything is an effort
absolutely nothing is fun
time has shifted down into first gear
and i’m stuck...

waiting for a patch of light
to creep into the darkness

a nagging thought penetrates
the mush that is my brain
cycling in and out
what if this is it
what if there is no going back….


a new day has dawned
the dark zone has evaporated
leaving only translucent wisps
of its ominous presence in my memory,
and reassigning me to a happier place
a place called NORMAL

and i know that i have had a glimpse
through a tiny, cloudy window
into life as millions know it
on a daily basis

i guess that’s the silver lining here
....getting that…
on a very personal level

NORMAL, I love you!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Laying Low

i very rarely spend the day in bed.  seriously, i think i could count the times on the fingers of one hand.  although i tried to ignore it, i could tell on saturday that my body was trying to tell me something.  i mean we have pretty much been going nonstop with getting this house back in order.  and maybe it was my body’s way of saying enough already.  stop.  chill.  kick back.  and spend some time enjoying that brand new bed.

so that’s where sunday found me.  for most of the day i felt like there was nowhere else that i wanted to be.  i had absolutely no interest in doing anything at all.  i don’t have a tv in my bedroom (i know, weird!) but even if i did, i had no interest.  no ipod, no laptop, no food.  i wasn’t sneezing, coughing, sniffling or throwing up.  just kind of achy and zero energy.  talk about “justbe-ing” – that’s pretty much where i was at.  zombieland.

i still don’t have my full energy back.  i envision little soldiers inside my body fighting off the alien invaders with swords and shields.  i have to let them do their job and wouldn’t want to infringe on their ability to fight!  but i hope to be out of zombieland very soon.

i knew things were starting to turn around a bit yesterday when i got up for some juice and ended up grabbing my camera and doing a little photo-shoot from my bed.  you just never know!

another gorgeous sunset to top off the day!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Silver Linings

do you believe in them?  believe that even when “bad”, difficult,  unhappy and uncomfortable things happen to us, there is always some good to be found??  i do believe that.  in fact, the more of life i see, the more strongly i believe it.  and while i am not always successful and some days are better than others, i do make an attempt to live my life based on this idea.  no, i wouldn’t wish this whole flood experience on anyone and while the upheaval, inconvenience and expense are still very real, i’m now at the point where i want to focus on the good parts and the lessons…. you know, the silver linings. 

going through some sort of difficulty seems to have a way of reminding us just how good we have it.  what we went through is a mere blip on the radar screen compared to what so many others are dealing with.  in australia and brazil for instance.  and in many other places.  this kind of thing and much worse happens to lots of folks that have no money.  or available resources for help.  or time to deal with it.   or friends.  we are soooo incredibly grateful for all of those things.  we are healthy.  we are together.  we (still!) live in a house that we love.  and we are stronger.

although we never would have done it now, it was probably time to consider new carpeting.  why carpet, you ask?  well, several reasons, but the biggest one?  call me old-fashioned, but i still like the feel of carpet under my toes.  it’s COZY and boy, did i miss it while walking around on ugly cement on the coldest winter days.  the old carpet was here when we moved in.   now it’s all new and clean and pretty.  oh, and we also have new baseboards, lots of new paint and a new bed!

 it’s a great (and totally backward!) way to get the house cleaned and organized.  when everything has to be moved, you tend to think twice about if you really need it.  i got rid of tons of stuff.  had great success with selling on craigslist and i’m pretty sure our local goodwill store thinks they have hit the jackpot!  i’m now in the process of putting things back and making sure they are clean and in the right places.  love being organized - it’s a good feeling.

oh, it’s great way to lose weight!  no, i wasn’t trying, but all that bending, lifting, carrying and dragging gave me a pretty good excuse not to go to the gym.  feel like i’m in pretty good shape!

our next challenge is re-working the backyard so something like this can never happen again.  after we unpack.  yup -always something!  that's what makes life interesting. 

so here's to silver linings - may we all be able to find them.  always.