Category: Just My Thoughts

What’s on my mind?

Finding JOY at the end of a rainbow

There’s something about a rainy day that slows me down.  If I don’t have to go out, I usualy won’t.  I enJOY watching the rain fall from the inside.  There’s somehing so serene about knowing that the water will wash some things away and at the same time quench the thirst of others.  Today’s rain was just enough that I didn’t mind going out.  And I must say having non chemically treated hair has allowed me to enJOY the rain a bit more.  Should a few drops fall upon my twists or curls, I don’t panic.

As a child, whenever the rain would stop, the first thing I’d do was look for a rainbow.  If I saw one in the sky I’d say a silent prayer and if I saw one on the ground I’d jump on it and make a wish.  This long standing tradition remains.  When the rain stopped, I looked as far as my eyes could see for a rainbow.  With skies still overcast, there were no rainbows to see.  As I walked, I searched the ground for a rainbow.  What I found, were several rainbows.  Today, instead of jumping upon any of them, I reached for my 3rd eye to capture the visions of beauty.  Today, I thought about what I’d wish for standing on top of the rainbow.  I decided I’d leave the rainbow unwished upon by me.  Instead I would allow someone else to make a wish.  Today, I didn’t need the wish.  For I’m feeling so much JOY at the end of my own personal rainbow.

Happy 7th day of the New Year

With the holiday season behind me, I have allowed myself some time to reflect on the past year and prepare myself for the current year.  This Christmas, I allowed myself to do something I don’t believe I’ve done EVER as an adult.  I did exactly what I wanted to do for the holiday and even though my idea of the perfect Christmas didn’t suit everyone, I had no regrets.  I laughed, I played board games, I invited a neighbor for a cocktail (well, he kinda invited himself), I woke up when I wanted.  There wasn’t anyone ready to open gifts.  I exchanged all my gifts before Christmas. 

When everyone was discussing New Year’s Eve plans, I had one desire.  A quiet evening in front of a fireplace.  Not alone quiet, but peaceful.  I turned my phone on silent and allowed tranquility to move with me into 2012.

As you move forward in 2012, I wish you MORE!  More love.  More JOY.  More fun.  More peace.  More money.  More time with family. MORE!

The art of letting go

A good friend of mine has been telling me for over a year that I couldn’t get what I wanted in my life because my hands were too full.  I carried past pain (my mother’s death, my brother’s death, my father’s death).  I carried past failures (not doing as well in school as I could have, not living where I thought I wanted to live, not pursuing a military career, not having children).  I carried relationships that didn’t work or weren’t good for me. 

I gave so much of myself; my love, my time and my money to people who didn’t appreciate, who abused privileges and who didn’t deserve or didn’t know how to fully receive what I had to offer.

I busied myself with all the things that I enJOYed.  I worked six/seven day work weeks.  I participated in more events than I really had time for.  I joined this group and that.  I was physically everywhere and mentally hardly anywhere.  I found time to breathe and rest only when I was asleep.

For years I held on to so much.  Some of what I carried, I held on to just so my load was so high it covered some other things.  So high and managed that on the outside, people could only see what I allowed them to see.  Being honest with myself, some of these things I still carry.  But today, I have discovered “The art of letting go”.  I’ve cried, I’ve prayed, I’ve surrendered.  Today, “I Give Myself Away”.  And it feels so good!

The best gift I’ve ever given

The best gift I’ve ever given is me, I can’t lie

Something about seeing the tears begin to water in a grown man’s eyes

It was Christmas and my family knew, gifts that year ween’t coming through

That year I was giving – one gift only.  Couldn’t be purchased in the store.  The gift was me

Airport bound I wore a smile

Eight hours of travel and accrual of frequent flier miles

As I arrived at the gate in ATL

I remember thinking, “What the hell?”

Are all these people doing here, when time for my departure was drawing near

On the overhead I heard begs and pleas

For passengers to give up seats

The previous flight out had been delayed

And hundreds would be forced to sit in an airport for hours on Christmas day

Five hundred travel dollars sounded really great

But I had to pass. 

I was on my way to a surprise daddy date

My flight was on time, luggage in tow

Walked out the door, daddy didn’t know

That when I said his gift would be late that his gift would be me.

 

That was the last Christmas I spent with my dad.  2011 will be the third year I won’t get to call and squeal, “Merry Christmas, Old Man.”  I will cherish that Christmas forever.  RIP LA Wilson

The Ornament

It’s the holiday season and I’ve already put up my Christmas tree.  I’ve gotten feedback from many people saying it’s too soon to begin my celebration.  I think I’m right on time.  During the holiday season when family and friends are beginning to spend more time together, I see less of the people I care the most about.  Behind the camera, I’m already capturing holiday memories.  Working 6 and 7 day work weeks make it difficult and not so much fun to put up a tree Thanksgiving weekend when I’m already worn out.

When I was seven or eight,  my Sunday School teacher gave us all an angel ornament with our name in gold.  I was excited to put my angel on the tree.   Each year when Christmas was over, my angel would be wrapped for protection until the next year.  Every time, I unwrapped my ornament, I was excited to put it on the tree.  As I graduated high school, I would still go home to look for my angel.  Some years, she was easy to find.  Others, it was a scavenger hunt.  Over 20 years have passed and on the rare occaision that I am able to go home, the first thing I do when I see the tree is look for my angel.  

Now that I’m an adult who happens to be a photographer, my ow tree is adorned with portraits of loved ones.  This year, my nephew’s squeal as he found his picture on the tree instantly took me back to the first appearance of my angel on the tree.

Chasing the Moon

As the highway took me closer to my destination, it also made the moon appear bigger and brighter.

I knew that I needed to capture the memory of the moon that had me in awe.

As the lights of the city began to fade and be replaced with the darkness of the suburbs, I knew my chance at capturing the memory was just a few short miles away.

Safely, I pulled my car to the side of the road.

Armed with my camera, the memory would soon be mine…to cherish…forever!

Just as I raised my 3rd eye to the sky, it was gone.  The moon that I had chased for 14 miles began to hide behind the clouds of the night sky.

Saddened because I knew this memory would go on in my mind for hours, yet I felt a bit of urgency to have this vision of beauty archived long after my mind had moved on to something else.

As my disappointment reached its pique, it was replaced with excitement.  The clouds had moved on and the moon reappeared.

I looked upward; to point, shoot and finally stop chasing the moon.  With the touch of a button, my chase had ended.  I captured my moon.

Who’s in your network?

I used to hate talking to people I didn’t know.  Moving to a city where I didn’t know anyone, wasn’t sure where the nearest anything was, didn’t know what was going on that would keep me entertained.  So I started with the simple salutation of hello.  Being the new girl also helped.  People were curious about the person who wasn’t there yesterday but reappeared for days to follow.

My network began to expand out of curiosity of my new city and the new people that surrounded me.  I gave most the opportunity to allow me in their network even if I decided I didn’t want them in mine.

As a photographer and writer, my network grows every day.  Every person I meet is a potential face at the end of my lens or someone who will enjoy my story.  During my exchange of information and services, the thing I enjoy most about the exchange is the aha moments when one or both parties realize they have not just given but received valuable information.

What mattered most on 9/11

Everyone remembers what they were doing when they heard that the towers had been hit.
 
I was doing the same thing I did every work day.  I was talking to Tera on the phone.  We both had our tvs on as whatever we were watching turned to the breaking news.  In our moment of shock, then silence; we said our “I love you girl” to sadly go about our day.  As I drove to work listening to the radio, my heart dropped to hear that the second tower was under attack.
 
I pulled up to work, numb.  The mood was very solemn that day as I encountered my first appointment who came in with her daughter smiling.  I remember wondering how this woman could be so happy amongst all the devastation.  I did the best I could to get through the portrait session when all I could think about was my family and friends in New York and the people whose lives I knew would be changed forever.  I was surprised when the session ended and the lady asked why everyone seemed so sad.  When I told her what happened before we crossed paths, she said that she had been listening to a children’s cd.  Her face and mood instantly changed.
 
As she said her goodbye, i went to the phone to call everyone I knew with a 718 area code only to hear what lots heard that day, “All circuits are busy.  Please try your later.”  By early afternoon, I had contacted the people that mattered the most to me that day.
 
When I decided to close the studio, I knew I wanted to go home to hug my family, continue to call my friends who had family in New York and who worked at the Pentagon. 
 
As I drove, I noticed that store owners didn’t care about the money as they closed shop early.  what mattered most that day was people.  On that day people had a genuine concern for others.

Reason, Season, Lifetime

It is said that people enter your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When someone exits stage left and you think the reason has been fulfilled, is it possible for that same person to reenter for anther reason?  And when someone is around for a while but leave, do you think their season has come to an end?  Seasons change, but they come and go.  Is it possible that the person’s season has ended….for now?

Can reasons turn to seasons that turn into a lifetime?

The Long Way Home

Today I decided against cars that fly by, decided against guard rails and garbage by choosing a different route. My twenty minute drive took thirty five. But that was fine. I wasn’t in any particular hurry. Cars moved slowly and I was stopped by almost every traffic light. This allowed me the opportunity to roll down the windows and enjoy the fresh air, enjoy the flowers and take my time. As I call, text and Facebook my friends and family in Virginia and North Carolina, I realize that I am only one of two people who still has power after Irene came to visit. Looking at pictures and seeing the devastation and loss, I had to spend a few minutes to take my time and allow myself to take in the beauty by taking the long way home.