Tag Archives: photography

Muses

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What inspires us…

My friend David shared an insight with me years ago that I have never forgotten.  He said that all creative/artistic types have more than one outlet for expression.  That one bit of wisdom has held true for me, even before he said the words to me and, in fact, since long before I ever met him.

I read somewhere that famed fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy cited Audrey Hepburn as being the inspiration for much of his design work…she was his muse.  Over the years I have found my own inspiration in many places, things and people.  A conversation with a valued friend can spark an idea for a blog post, or for a different way to interpret a phrase in a song I am working on; seasonal change and the beauty of nature often urge me to snap photographs, capturing a moment of color, texture, light and shadow; a sound, scent or memory can prompt me to write a poem, haiku or brief passage which might eventually find its way into a larger work.

Inspiration does not always come from things that are traditionally considered beautiful.  Sometimes an inspiring image is one depicting pain, brokenness, sickness or even death.  For me, if a thing evokes a strong emotion, it can serve as a muse.  I want to explore it further, document how it makes me feel…to wonder about, or create, its story.

In future posts, I hope to write more about my various muses, their stories, the reasons I find them so meaningful and inspiring.  You may find yourself mentioned here, or pictured here.  You may see a photo that evokes an emotional response.  I hope you do!

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God Grant Me…

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All that stuff in that prayer, and then some…

A few people recently have asked me about my New Year’s resolutions, if I make them and what, if any, they are.  My answer has been, I’m not resolving to do anything special that I don’t already do anyway.  And that’s sort of the truth.

The fact is that there are so many resolutions I’d like to make, I hardly know where to start, and the sheer number of things I’d like to accomplish makes my head swim.  Of course, as a weight loss patient, I deal with the daily ongoing battle of me versus the scale (one I feel like I am losing right now, by the way), me versus my nutrient levels, me versus the urge to comfort myself with poor food choices.  Me versus me.

A lot of my wish-list-to-do items are small and seemingly random.  Reed gave me a gift certificate so I could go and get some of my rings sized down.  That needs to happen soon…and I’ll get to it.

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My solution of using Band-Aids to snug them up (what I call my Redneck Ring Sizing Kit) is kind of pathetic, and I need to get them properly sized.  Several watches need new batteries as well.  One trip to the jeweler will take care of a number of items.

I did some baking for Christmas, and I’d forgotten how much pleasure I take from making something delicious to share with people.  I’d like to bake more in the coming year.  To SHARE.  I don’t need to be baking a bunch of tasty stuff and eating it all (refer back to paragraph 2).  But sharing is good.  I believe it pleases God when we share.

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Very slowly, I’ve been photographing some local signs and landmarks and adding those pictures to a Facebook album. There are lots more places I want to capture, especially the ones that are not going to  be around much longer, at least, not in the form I’ve grown up with.  So spending some time just out and about with my camera is one of my wish-list-to-do things.  And sooner rather than later.

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All those are concrete, measurable goals.  The real challenge I face is trying to find peace.  Life is complicated sometimes, and relationships aren’t always easy.  I’ve struggled lately with hurt feelings and a broken heart because things change.  Traditions aren’t what they used to be; family is not what it used to be.  Mama and the others who always held our family together are gone, and there’s no “glue” anymore.  As I was told, “It is what it is,”.  And that’s true.

It is my job to balance loving the challenging people in my life with protecting myself from the pain they sometimes bring me.  I need to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. I have a feeling I’m not the only person who struggles with these issues.  So in the coming year, I will pray and work to seek serenity, courage and wisdom.  And peace.

God, grant me.

 

 

Restored…And Re-Storied

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Old things new…

A few years ago I started a family heritage scrapbook thinking it would be a nice way to spend a little free time and organize some of the old pictures I had gathered over the years.  Little did I know what a consuming project it would become!  I am convinced now that it will never be finished in my lifetime because I keep finding or thinking of things I want to add to it.  Some younger cousin will likely inherit this book and all the stuff in it.

My scrapbook contains lots of pictures, of course.  But there is also a lot of journaling (scrapbook-ese for little blocks of writing that explain the photographs, tell stories, provide captions, etc.).  It probably breaks lots of rules for me to add as much journaling as I do, but it’s my book, at least for as long as I live, so I can make it how I want it!  Plus, this book is becoming a sort of archive for family moments and memories.

Every picture tells a story.  But over the years, the pictures begin to fade, and memories become dim.  It is so important to document events while we have the chance.

Mama was wonderful about always writing the dates on the backs of pictures.  I wish I had picked up that habit long ago, because now I find myself wondering, “When did we take this?”  and “What was the occasion?”.  More frustrating is the fact that many of the really, REALLY old pictures have no writing on them to tell when they were made or who the people were.  (At least with digital photography, there is usually a date and time stamp on the pictures we take now, along with other information like the camera model used.)  It’s no wonder services that trace family genealogies are becoming so popular.  I think we all want to know the stories of where we came from.

I have also been able, through the wonders of modern technology, to clean up and restore some of the older photographs.  Computers and picture editing software can sometimes produce near-miraculous results in making pictures look better.  Lots more old pictures are waiting to have the magic wand of restoration waved over them so they can be viewed and enjoyed by future generations.

But for me, the pictures are only half of the equation.  The stories are what make the pictures come to life.  And usually, one story sparks a memory and another story, and then another…and before we know it, a loved one long gone lives again through the telling, and a young person gets to know someone they never had the chance to meet.

This is part of the legacy I hope to leave behind.  The pictures restored, and the stories…re-storied.

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(This may be the first picture of our family together after I was born in May of 1964.  The date stamp on the side reads Jul-64.  This is outside South Knoxville Baptist Church, where my parents were members.  I was able to restore it using photo editing software and I have to admit, I was pleased with the results.)