catching my breath

“I love this life. I feel like I am always catching my breath and saying, ‘Oh! Will you look at that?’ Photography has been my way of bearing witness to the joy I find in seeing the extraordinary in ordinary life. You don’t look for pictures. Your pictures are looking for you.”
– Harold Feinstein

i spend time this week thinking about intentions
and in the process become curious about what the opposite might be
aimless, neglect and avoidance come to mind, and
i think of the old Crosby Stills Nash and Young song;
Helplessly Hoping, and yet that is not quite right either

“Photography is a love affair with life.”
– Burk Uzzle

i sort through last years photos, for a post on ViewFinders, and am not surprised
when a tiny vase of flowers, or a photo of something on the side of the road
carries me right back to the time and place it was shot

“No place is boring if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and a pocket full of unexposed film.”
– Robert Adams

(or a fully charged battery and an empty photo card)
will next year be the year i pull out my old film camera
if even just for one role??

i think about what it is that draws me into this medium
and while i can’t pinpoint it exactly, i know it makes me excited,
sometimes makes my heart skip a beat,
and makes time fly. . . i learn to pay attention,
over and over again

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.”
– Robert Frank

some might say it takes away from the walk with the dog
or the family gathering,
but i would ask then. . .
does a good meal take away from an evening with good friends?
it only enhances it, intensifying the experience

“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”
– Diane Arbus

the rains come in earnest and i will need to seek pockets of light
here and there, and make friends with artificial light
and grainy photos. . . which in itself
sets the mood, and marks the day

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
– Dorothea Lange

yes, you do!

We spent some time with our favorite photos of the year over on ViewFinders this week. I would love for you to pop over and take a look. It was no small task for each of us to narrow our favorites of 2018 down to just one!


have a beautiful weekend. . .
Xo. Cathy

silly dog

“People shouldn't be embarrassed just because they get caught acting a little silly.”
― Charles Schulz

the week is full of beautiful sunshine, frost and Christmas.
for the first time in years, i feel the urge to celebrate the
whole of the season, doing something Christmas-like each day.
for years my job was to create Christmas, but this year
i set out to do the things that make the season
special for me:
he and i go to the Botanical Gardens to see the lights
i bake new cookies that sound good to me
we go to dinner with close friends
i listen to cheesy Christmas music on Spotify (and sing)
i watch Elf for the the umpteenth time
i cut back on the decorations in favor of just sitting in front of the tree,
and i think hard about where i might make donations that really count.

i am working on teaching the dog how to catch a Frisbee,
which might work out better if i could throw it right, but we
still enjoy the process. one afternoon we are out practicing and he losses
interest and wanders off, only to return with what i think is some kind of rope
in his mouth. upon further inspection i come to the conclusion it is
simply the long tail of a rat, a real, once-alive rat. i reach into my pocket
and offer him a treat for the exchange, and grab it with a poo bag.
i should write a book titled, Things I Have Pulled from Baker’s Mouth.

at seven months he is about the same height that Basil was,
but longer. he is lanky and deer like as he prances and leaps,
with such grace, around the yard. he has a few bad habits, that are my fault
because i could not resist his puppy face, but we are working on them
now and he is learning. he makes us laugh and keeps us from reading
or watching TV all day long!

one night one of the boys call to tell me he and his brother (and their wives) have planned Christmas this year,
all on their own. i am dumfounded and ecstatic as he fills me in on the details. it feels so good to let it go,
to ask what i can bring or do, and not have to plan it all. i wonder why as mothers, we often feel
we have to keep up with old traditions. the smart thing is to let them evolve and grow, like our families.
the important thing is to take all the goodness in and open our hearts to every possibility.

“...freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin - inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night...”
― John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

have a wonderful week,
Xo. Cathy

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mindscape

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
― Albert Camus

cathysly_20181205_0124-Edit.jpg

The first days of December are full of sunshine, blue sky and frosty mornings. I wash the bird-feeders, cleaning them of the wet leftover autumn seeds, getting them ready for winter gatherings. I stand one day and watch the geese fly overhead as they leave the ponds behind our home, for the season. It seems nature knows what to do during these winter months, and while things might appear dead, it is all part of the renewal plan for next spring, already in the works.

I observe the landscape of the world around me as it changes and am spellbound by all her beauty. I take nothing for granted. I pull over for sunsets, walk with my camera in the early morning, and notice shadows dancing through light. I pay attention.

One morning, while still in bed, I consider the landscape of my mind; the jagged mountains of what I think and feel. I see how I have left much of it to evolve on its own, often believing I have little or no controle over the “weather” inside my head. It does not need to be this way and I do not have to suffer. The decisions I make are my own and I am in charge of my thoughts. So much of my spirit, my mood, and my emotions are a products of how I perceive events, and how I might transform and judge them within my own “mindscape”. I am learning to ask myself ~ Is this really true?

While the frost will weaken the leaves allowing them to flow back into the earth, it first illuminates and sharpens every ornate detail. I practice illuminating the authenticity of my mindscape each day now. Paying closer attention to how I reflect upon this world and tend to the energy within it. I find I am becoming more aware of honoring what I truly love and saying no to what does not nourish me.

have a beautiful weekend,
Xo. Cathy