I sat up in bed sipping my morning cuppa joe, as I glanced up and noticed a ribbon of broken light on the closet doors. I could tell by its shape that it was reflecting from the morning sun hitting the blinds on the bedroom window and I marveled at how a tiny sliver of light could make such a pretty reflection from something as nasty as the old mini blinds in my apartment building. My mind went back to my morning inspiration when I glanced up again and noticed the ribbon was narrowing and within minutes had completely disappeared from the door. It appeared to go into the crack between the double doors on the closet and it reminded me of how life, like light, is fleeting. I actually thought I could see the light moving and then, in an instant, it was gone.
I have always been a "marveler" of light. As a photographer, I know only too well how important light is in capturing a beautiful image. That's why photographers have a plethora of light-manipulating paraphernalia such as meters, reflectors, flashes, and my favorite of all -- good ol' natural light which is truly what the photographer is trying to imitate anyway. I have planned many photo shoots late in the day when the light is low in the sky, giving me that dreamy late day glow that I love so much. But if you don't time it just right, that beautiful glow is lost, as the light moves and changes quickly, just like the ribbon on my closet door. On the flip side, too much light can wreak havoc on an image, causing the final product to be blown out with no color or clarity. Plus, bright sunlight causes the photography suspect to squint and squirm as the water fills their eyes and their faces take on crazy contortions to say the least! It's been a challenge for me finding the best ways to capture the perfect light needed for the perfect outcome.
Light in life is not quite as much of a challenge. We have many tools with which we collaborate to find the perfect balance of light in our lives. We have books, videos, podcasts and an endless supply of life coaches at the ready to remind us that light is all around us (literally and figuratively) and how to take advantage of it. We don't want to be so much of a light bearer that we irritate others with an annoying attitude of always being on top of everything and being able to easily conquer anything that comes our way simply by speaking it into existence. That is not very realistic and most human beings acknowledge that, so someone who tries to reflect perfection is always stirring the pot. I used to have a boss that, every time you asked "How are you today?" he'd say, "Oh, I'm great and I'm getting better by the minute!" That always rubbed my fur the wrong way and I eventually tried to avoid him because I didn't like what I perceived as a false sense of positivity. I consider myself a very positive person, but even to me that was not real. But we also don't want to be the bearer of doom and gloom, always carrying the scythe and dressed in a dark attitude like the dreaded grim reaper, ready to cut down anything or anyone in our path because of our cynicism and the bit of darkness that, if we'll admit it, everyone bears inside. Let's face it, life is full of ups and downs, and we all struggle to find the balance between those two sources...light and darkness. We also have all manner of ways to make sure we get enough of the real thing (as in sunlight) as well. I've heard of light therapy but have never known anyone who has actually had light therapy administered by a professional. In my opinion, there's nothing better than windows -- and the biggest windows possible, -- a day at the beach, or just going outside and putting your face to the sun. I could never live in Alaska where I've read there are times of the year where light is very minimal. I would go stark-raving mad!!
We all (if we're honest) go through periods of darkness. Whether it's the death of a friend or loved one, the loss of something else in our life like a job or something we were looking forward to but were then denied for whatever reason, or a misunderstanding with someone, there's a million things that can set off our "dark side." For a season we mourn, we weep, we pout, we complain, we walk around refusing or unable to allow the light all around us to bring us up out of our lowly pit. But then, hopefully, we wake up one day and something miraculous has happened, the light has returned and we feel like our old self again. That is such a good feeling and I am thankful for those days, where everything seems right in my life, and even the darkness that may still be there is no longer the rule, but once again the exception. Walking in the light far outweighs walking in the darkness, don't you think? Sitting in bed for a bit with the first cup of coffee is one of the little pleasures of life. I definitely don't get to do that every morning, but some mornings it just feels right and it is the inspiration I need to get on with my day. And it helps tremendously to see that bright January light filtering through the window as if it's calling me to get up, press on, get on with my day and spread the light around!
I happened to glance up at the closet doors once more and saw something that felt almost magical. The light which I thought had receded into the crack between the double closet doors had reappeared on the opposite door to the right of the crack. I sat there and watched for a moment and I was sure I could see the light moving, literally at a snail's pace but until the exact same ribbon of light I had seen earlier repeated itself on the adjacent door. Nature's light show, and I marveled at it just a little bit more.
I know you're probably thinking this gal needs to get back to work because she is far too pensive in this, the first month of January 2018! But writing is my way of expressing my deepest thoughts about life, love, and sometimes even a tad bit of darkness.
Back to the renovation progress soon...
Thanks for listening!
Photography has been described as "painting with light." I think indeed that is true!
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
- Edith Wharton
I love Hobby Lobby.
When in search of that one special thing just right for a staging job, I go to Hobby Lobby.
When I need something to complete a crafting project, I go to Hobby Lobby.
When I need a boost of creative energy, I go to Hobby Lobby.
When I need inspiration, I go to Hobby Lobby.
When I'm just feeling down, I go to Hobby Lobby.
A trip to Hobby Lobby is good for just about anything that ails me.
Let me begin by saying that this is not a promotion for Hobby Lobby. But if it turns out that way and one person is inspired to go to Hobby Lobby, then I'm all the better for it. It's a great place to be! Next to home and some pretty obvious places like churches and synagogues, and other places of spiritual significance, I do believe Hobby Lobby might be the closest thing to Heaven we will ever know on this earth!
Just trying to keep it real.
I must admit, I've been quite annoyed by all the wishes for a Happy New Year and New Year's resolutions that you see in abundance beginning January 1st. By mid-January it's begun to drop off a bit and I suppose that most folks have gotten on with their lives, letting their hopeful resolutions fall by the wayside, if they even made one. I, for one, haven't made any, other than to maybe work on making each day productive and, believe me, it's been a challenge! The beginning of this year for me has dragged along with a good dose of disappointment and a huge lack of creative juice. I have been challenged with everything from failed attempts at various endeavors to the winter blues -- mostly the winter blues. Things are dragging along at the job site, and it looks as if it'll be at least another month before I can get in there and do what I do. The temperature has hovered in the 20's and 30's for most of the Atlanta area for awhile now and I thought surely we would have a January Indian Summer like we've been known to have in the past, but no such thing. Well, at least hopefully all the mosquitoes have been killed off. There is a silver lining to every dark cloud, right?
We all know Social Media can be deceiving because people tend to post when they're feeling pretty good about themselves or accepting new challenges they're excited about or they're traveling to some exotic place or something great is going on in their lives ...or they just want folks to think something great is going on in their lives. And even though I'm no advocate of posting doom and gloom, sometimes it helps to know you're not the only one struggling and a less-than-perfect post might be just what someone needs to hear. But if you'll check my Instagram feed and my Facebook page, you'll see that I've been virtually absent from participation the first couple of weeks of this, the new year. I've just kept my woes to myself and tried not to balk at those whose amazing starts to their year have truly irritated me at times (just sayin').
So as in the aforementioned opening verse, when I'm having a bad day, I just change from my worn-for-the-third-day p.j.'s into my clothes, jump into my little car, and I go to Hobby Lobby! I cannot tell you the times I've gone there and been inspired with the encouraging music and all the beautiful things lining literally every aisle in the store. You want a touch of spring even though it's 25 degrees outside? Go to the floral department. If you can't feel spring in the middle of a bounty of colorful flowers (even if they are silk), you might not have any hope. If you want to feel creative, take a trip down the crafting aisles, and be inspired to create something -- anything -- even if it's just paper Valentines. If you are really needing a wintertime boost, redecorate the entire house. You can do it at Hobby Lobby! There have been countless times I've walked through Hobby Lobby and decorated every room in my home -- well, in my head, but still... I am so grateful to have a place I can go that inspires my inner self to push towards something creative and worthy of pursuit.
During these low-key days of winter (bah!) I hope that you will take care of yourself and do something that will bring you inner satisfaction. That is different for every person, but you know what inspires you and gives you that kick in the creative booty all the way into spring and beyond. Sometimes we as women (and men too) feel that self-care is nothing more than selfishness, but that cannot be further from the truth. Since I've struggled the first few weeks of this year, I would venture to believe that some of you have as well. So you know what I do when I am taking a long hard ride on the struggle bus? I take care of me! I go to my favorite places to feed myself, whether it's in a quiet spot to read and reflect, a long walk in the great outdoors (albeit with layers of clothing), a movie date with me and my M&M's & popcorn, a total binge party of one of my favorite shows on Hulu, or my favorite restaurant to literally feed myself! Hobby Lobby might not be your thing, but I know there's a place that fills your heart and mind with inspiration and only you know what that is.
Oh, and babies. Babies can definitely cheer you up. I am so blessed to have my two youngest nearby and I see them at least two or three times a week to get my baby fix. I just sit there, watching and learning about baby growth, wondering what makes these little angels tick and then, when I least expect it, I am literally tackled with hugs and kisses and wallowing and it has a magical way of making everything just right. Better to wallow in babies than wallow in despair, right? If you don't have any little ones in your life right now, borrow one! I'm sure you know of a mom out there who is frazzled and would be glad to loan out her little one for awhile!
And if you do enjoy pretty things, creative pursuits, crafting, or just dreaming of these things, visit your local Hobby Lobby today. It's a magical place.
A five-year-old tying her shoe can be a day-maker!
Here's a couple of quotes that have really helped me in my season of struggle...
"Every day of my life is valuable."
- author unknown
"You can't take care of others if your own cup is empty."
- author unknown
Posted by CC
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