Dangerous to dream, I know. Foolish to fly in a bubble! Either could burst without notice, drop you fast in a plummet to the hard reality surface.
But what if…
the trajectory was directed by angels’ breaths and the bubble made impenetrable, a shield only able to be forged from the past, and you were gently lowered precisely as intended by the benevolence of your higher power assisting you in the navigation toward your heart’s deepest and purest desire? What if the bubble met passion’s fire? And in the ashes two phoenixes rose and began new life and left behind all the rainbows found in bubbles?
When it comes to my photography, editing to me is not perfecting, so I suppose I should call it altering; it is transforming creatively the tone, literarily, though that often comes from color changes, cooling or warming, fading or imbuing, really a canvas with my technology as the brush, though you would be surprised with the media I use, an old iPhone about to give out and whatever standard editing app it came with.
My lab is my mind’s eye in reverse, creating what my soul wishes to express, I but a medium myself. I play until the aha moment, always knowing that is exactly what I was looking for. Each starting photo, a message itself I collect from nature. Sometimes it speaks as is, especially when it is lit. Sometimes it lends itself, whispers, “Do with me what you may, May Child; my metamorphism is in your trusted hands. Make me the more you believe I am.”
Sometimes I feel the nature challenges me in this way to keep going beyond and beyond, rebirthing new ways, not godlike, but godchildlike, spending my days attune to the spirit in the petals and breezes, in the rays and the blades, in the insect and the web. I create with images I creatively capture, crouched down and over the barely noticed, shrinking further than Alice into the macroworld, still infused with wonder, perhaps even more so. With each alteration, a new message, perhaps divinely inspired.
I do my duties in the world so I can retreat––into the yard, into myself, into the absence of voices except my inner one and the whispers from butterflies and the birdsong, and I listen and listen for The One as I visit my many companions of the natural realm. Often, I bring heaven down. To earth. Though I find enough evidence that it is already here. All about us. And as much as I avoid the humans, I know the greatest purpose here is to love one another. My purpose the same but from afar. Bringing light and hope to you is how I try to do my part.
The things we edit…
Often, in relation, we edit by removing blemishes, by cropping out all the real, showcasing our best fake versions of ourselves and our lives, for behind the cameras lie the whole truths. We compete. We turn the cameras around onto the shells of our selves, lose the nature and others, snapshots of ourselves as the universe’s center, lenses in reverse yet outward, for our inner selves are not the focus.
There are pieces of heaven in each of us. Because we were each made the way He intended. What we make of ourselves from what we were given: that is the welcomed art of continued collaborative creation. Excavate the light within. Keep painting with your truest inner discovered colors. We should never settle for being done when we are each and all continued masterpieces in progress. May we never fade permanently to sepia or still life; though both of these are essential to the process.
I still believe we can beautifully alter all of this…
The holidays are always toughest for me. I hit my latest low the minute they “ended,” when I let it all out. Just too many inner truths surface and get ripped open that I like to keep neatly wrapped the rest of the year and stashed away in the closet… but I made it back. And I came back stronger than ever. Funny how it seems it needs to work that way; the lowest lows, not survived but surmounted, climbed, seem to bring us to the highest heights, reward us with the wings even, to fly. Without the lows, we can never truly experience, let alone appreciate, the highs, and I sure do love the highs. Would you give up both for a forever flatness?… I don’t think I could.
I did more than survive that last round, though the sirens lured me in again. This time, I remembered I was part mermaid and eventually high-tide-tailed it out of there. Boy, were those sirens ever surprised! I swam away; I want to naturally say back to the light, as I, like many, have fallen into favor with the analogy of darkness and light. One of my favorite song lines is, “If I could turn back the clock, I’d make sure the light defeated the dark” (Calum Scott). I can’t even type it without getting goosebumps. I am one who can put a song on repeat indefinitely and just stay forever in that powerful moment and zone. It does bring to mind how powerful that zone can be, and how we really do need to pay attention to what we have on repeat and also make sure that if we are playing a broken record, we don’t lose sight of the needle; my whole life was that metaphor for so long…
I would also like to defend darkness; not all darkness is bad. I strive to start every day in darkness; I simply must be up long before dawn. It’s my me time, my writing time. I keep the lights off, and my fingers gravitate like moths to the laptop light to begin their beautiful dance ritual, witnessed by the waning moonlight. The pup continues dozing beside me.
When it comes to natural darkness, let us also never forget, we are lovingly gifted the stars and moon, to guide us, to talk to, to dream upon, to comfort those scared of the dark. And like the lows, how can we appreciate the magnificent beauty of the waking morning colors if not for that contrasting black backdrop canvas? I feel I am always first in line to witness the sun rise, and I never take for granted that it does. To know the light will always faithfully and unconditionally return!…
People’s weather out there though… Sheesh! Work morale is sooooo low. All year this year. We are normally the undefeated champs when it comes to good vibes. The students too…they are zombies I cannot wake up. The other day, a gray and rainy one, I crossed paths with a former student in the grocery store parking lot. He exclaimed, “No way!!!” repeatedly at seeing me, face lit up like a thousand suns, as he got out of his car, as giddy as a toddler on Christmas morning, to hug me in the rain. That’s what I’m used to. Requited love, relationships, connections, making a difference, making memories to last a lifetime…all at my paying day job, my calling, my passion, my joy. We reminisced in the rain for a bit, no umbrellas. I felt every drop and soaked it up like a thirsty leaf in a drought. He said this encounter made his day (he was on his work break in his car). It made my year.
I refuse to succumb to the bug. We can blame the virus, that year before this one, sit around and complain and focus on the negative and keep injecting ourselves with daily self- and collective-pity, or we can just not. Masks cannot hide smiling eyes nor fully muffle the sounds of laughter. If we chose smiling and laughter. Just choose it. For a moment. An hour. A day. A week. No matter what. Stay in the light. Better yet, be the light. Ignite yourself first. You can use the blue within, the pilot light.
Part choice, part determination it seems to be to avoid the extermination while still living caused by the loss of feeling when we fall into that state of complacency, the dangerous hibernation of our dreams, the steps we take turning our back on the way it could be, should be…
It’s not easy to keep the gray from taking our colors. We fade, part victim, part converter; we don’t sell our souls, we give them now away in exchange for tickets to nowhere but in that gray for longer, forever, to remain.
I feel the pull of the evolution of the devil, the camouflaged minions, the demons no longer with arms now casting spells.
I feel the brush, the tickle of tentacle; to kick it off takes more than will. Too many sleepers not getting taken but tricked into nonthinking by the sweet song of sirens.
I climb the mountain and expectedly find the gray shadow spreading like turpentine.
I wrap my limbs protectively around my colors and flee to find my favorite awake other.
Together, we embrace, not in fear but as survivors thankful for our non-superpowers.
We will not succumb to the non-fate of the others who gave freely away one by one each of their colors.
We will keep painting on life’s canvas to preserve hope and beauty with each brush of our breath,
not with fire, but signaling with bright hues to the others who may be out there still imbued.
Ultimately, this poem originated from reading a dear WP friend’s poem and listening to a song he posted (which I shared above). (If you are not connected with Ivor Steven, then your life is not as bright as it could be because the light of his soul shines like none other.) Ivor’s poem captures, despite the melancholy mood from the song, a wonderful moment––a pastry, a poem reading, a friendly unmasked smile. Simple. Yet everything really.