...because the sound of that click.
It was right before I had to quit gymnastics, at almost 16, when I asked for a camera. My parents knew someone who owned a camera store, and they gave us ginormous discount on a Nikon FM, with two lenses, a case, a strap, a flash, and a couple of rolls of film. Whaaaah. What a gift!
I never became a very good photographer, but have slowly improved over time, especially gaining confidence when I went back to school to study architecture. All of those art classes--ceramics, drawing, drafting, design... they offered a new way for me to see light, to see through a lens, and to create a composition.
Anyway, my daughter started purchasing those throw away film cameras a few years ago. For a gift, I pulled out my old Nikon, had it refurbished, and handed it over with a few lessons. She fiddles, but often brings it home and signs me up for a photo shoot. Wow, the satisfaction of loading the film, winding it, and clicking that button. If you have an old camera lying about ????
Here's a taste of what we've been up to.
...because I wanted to challenge my brain..
I can now order barbecue ribs (bulgogi!), and tell a taxi driver that I'd like to go to the Incheon airport!
...because there is something holy about fixing a belonging that is broken, instead of throwing it away...
...because a couple of years ago my son and I spent a whole year dying napkins from plant material we found in our neighborhood. Do you remember? Orange, blue, pink, yellow, grey, green. Yarrow, eucalyptus, oak galls, ivy, indigo... And I wanted a linen tablecloth to match. To go with the napkins. And I couldn't find one that didn't cost a million dollars. And then a yarn store in our town went out of business, and there was all this natural linen--70% off! But not enough in one color.
I like stripes...
I've been working on this "tablecloth" for a year or more, and I've been frightenend of the project because I could only imagine it being very very very ugly once it was done. Too many stripes. Strange color combinations. But I'm stubborn, so I kept going.
But now that it's done. I kind of like it!
It feels like me.
...because I like always having a shell in my pocket. Just one, in case I meet a talkative (or shy) (or in between) four-year-old. They're fun to give away.
But then, there were so many on the beach. And they were all so different. So beautifully unique. Each one its own little universe.
So I took thirteen shells.
Was I being greedy,
The spring rain;
A little girl teaches
The cat to dance.
--Haiku by Issa
...because we have become a people who are overly dependent on technology, on food, on being entertained, on having things...
In 1804, when John James Audubon needed to get from Mill Grove, PA to New York, and didn't have the money for hired transport," he walked through the winter snows to the city--a distance of some 150 miles, which he covered in less than three days..."
150 miles. On foot!
Are there ways we can train ourselves to be more independent and not at the mercy of our circumstances? Even though we're grown ups, we can learn new things, start new habits, and teach our children to be problem solvers by being problem solvers ourselves.
Let's be brave. I just learned how to change the belt on my vacuum cleaner, and suddenly I am not dependent on Bob's Vacuum Service any longer!
...because when I say I'm going to Chicago, I'm really lying. I'm really saying that I'm going to Wisconsin; to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to a retreat center that has a lake right outside my window and so many birds chirping, and horses in the pasture, and geese. There are even geese. And chapels in the forest. And when I listen to the birds, and look out the window I am so thankful that it's not Chicago, even though Chicago has its moments--its very nice moments. But Kenosha, I love you, and I have already done three handstands in the loft when no one was looking. I'm soaking it up folks! This retreat comes just once a year--a needed break--a needed renovating of the heart and mind and soul, and good work stuff to accomplish. And in a few days I'll be in the real Chicago, and that will be good, too. Just a different kind of good.
Cheers, friends, there's a lake to stare at!
...because for Orthodox Christians it's still Lent, but for all my friends who are celebrating on March 27th,
...because we taught our dog all about Saint Nicholas, and now
Merry Christmas Eve to All!
...because sometimes it's worth it to get your feet wet, your nose sandy, and simply frolic in the waves...
...because there's got to be a lime-green, vespa-loving little someone out there who wants this, right?
Details of the giveaway are in the comments :)
...because I don't think most people understand that our ONE tree could make a million pine needle baskets
...because Zuko is now a Meyer :)
...because the jacaranda bloom in Santa Barbara is coming to a close...
The Jacaranda Tree:
Indigenous to Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil...
The species came to California in the early 1900's.
In Santa Barbara, there are typically two blooms. One heavy bloom in late May, early June, and another in November/December. This year, because of the drought and odd weather patterns, the spring bloom came more than a month early.
In Pasadena there are more than 3500 jacaranda trees!
The trees drop sticky flowers and some think the mess isn't worth it, but I heartily disagree!
...because I might have scolded my oldest however many years ago for getting his shoes all wet when we spontaneously decided to take a quick hike to the oak grove. Honestly, I can't remember--it's an awfully long time looking back--but it seems like something I may have done...
so poorly reflects what's growing
Oftentimes there are subplots...
Cheers, friends. Have a great weekend!
...because I wanted to hike alone, just this once, to think and explore, and enjoy the beauty of this place this time of year. But, I encountered the sign about the mountain lions at the trailhead, and how you should walk in pairs, and I looked down at my 100-pound body, and realized I might be tasty (in a happy-meal sort of way), and it's a drought, and mountain lions are most certainly extra hungry right now. For me.
Fact: I am a chicken.
I slunk back to the car, drove to a populated, paved road that snakes along the train tracks and the coast. I walked there instead, and tried super hard not to chide myself out of enjoying the view.
Happy weekend, everyone!
sometimes the right thing to do
is to cheer them on,
or say nothing at all...