Deciding to Live Again: Recording Moments of Beauty

In the past year, I have started recording life through pictures, finding inspiration in all kinds of places – my neighborhood, the mountains, the sky.
Flower in my yard, Spring 2015

Flower in my yard, Spring 2015

In many ways, I think it’s similar to writing down gratitudes, but using a camera instead of a pen.  Instagram has also given me a tool to not only share my art work, but also share daily moments of beauty.

Two photos put together in an Instagram layout.  Santa Fe, NM July 2015

Two photos put together in an Instagram layout. Santa Fe, NM July 2015

There is something inherently encouraging and life-affirming about this practice.  It requires mindfulness to see the potential of a photograph in a scene.  It requires appreciation and awareness of the world around me.  When I was severely depressed, while I continued taking semi-regular walks, I cared less about what I saw.  Even so, being outside gave me a reprieve from shutting down.  As I began to emerge from my depression, I began to notice more.  I stopped to look at flowers close up.  I took off my shoes in a park and walked barefoot through the grass, soaking up each sensation.  It was as if I had been living for a time with my eyes closed and I was learning a new way to see, to sense, to feel.

Through my practice of photography, I capture images that make me smile.  I capture images of my life and bring more color and expression into my days.  I notice that my photographs are improving and developing, simply because of the amount of pictures I take.  Right now, I’m mainly using my phone and occasionally my digital camera; maybe I’ll try something else at some point, but right now, it’s less about the device and more about the experience.

A labyrinth I stumbled on in Santa Fe, July 2015

A labyrinth I stumbled on in Santa Fe, July 2015

When I was visiting my love in Las Vegas earlier this month, we went on a hike in the nearby mountains.  The colors, shapes, and lights spoke to both of us.  While in the past, I might have tapped my foot impatiently while waiting for him to take pictures, now I was actively stopping to point out the beautiful scenery.  As we both stopped to appreciate and record the beauty, I realized that this practice has also brought us closer together – we are able to share joy in a new way.
In the mountains to the northwest of Las Vegas, NV

In the mountains to the northwest of Las Vegas, NV, Labor Day 2015

I am truly grateful for these moments of beauty that touch my heart and soul.  They help me see how life is emerging around me, and realize how much I want to be part of it.

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