Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

Double rainbow on my wedding day.

double-rainbow

Picture of double rainbow that my husband took.

I’ll share more details at a later point; for now, I’ll begin with this:

It started to sprinkle just as we were finishing up our wedding reception. It was raining as we drove across the city to the bed and breakfast, where we were staying the night.

As we were approaching the B&B, we saw a vivid rainbow, and another faintly above it. The clearer one seemed to expand in the sky across the valley, across the greater part of the city.

It was the beautiful ending to a wonderful event. It was also a beautiful beginning to the next chapter in our lives. I turned my love – my new husband – and smiled.

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Everyday magic

A family friend, who has known me since age 8, tells me about how he befriended foxes in the neighborhood:  they cautiously watched each other, and gradually the foxes allowed him to get closer.  He tells me how they showed him their routine paths around the city (Zurich, Switzerland).  He saw one recently and it greeted him with a look like, “I know you,” and then would run away quickly if anyone else walked by.  He tells me how he read about hummingbird hawk moths, and saw one the next day, hovering outside his apartment building as though it was waiting for him.  It led him to a place where there were other moths.  Before this, he had thought they could only be found in the surrounding mountains, but they showed him they had a place in the city, where bright flowers grew.  He refers to his connection with animals as part of his madness.  I’d call it a kind of a magic.

I feel my intuition grow again, like whiskers or antenna putting out feelers.  I find instances where I knew beforehand, even if I doubted the sense.  Sometimes when I dance, I can feel the energy between my fingers, and if I soften my gaze and get out of my thoughts, I can move it.

I watch the transition between seasons, the cool mornings and the warmer days.  I see a tree: blossoms on one side, bare and budding on the other. Recently, in the mountains, I laid down on the ground and looked up at the tops of the Ponderosa pine trees.  The only sound I could hear was the wind whispering through the trees.  I took off my shoes and socks momentarily, long enough to ground and center myself.  In these moments, I’m reminded of the earth’s beauty.

pines

My birthday in pictures

My 33rd birthday: a beautiful and full day that included quality time with myself, time with people, and great food.

image

First, I had a vision therapy session with my occupational therapist. This is part of an art piece hanging in the bathroom at my OT’s temporary office.

After my session, I headed towards the mountains, to the open space park in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.

view from venue

View from the edge of the parking lot of my future wedding venue, looking west towards Albuquerque.

mountains framed

A short walk away, looking through a viewing window structure at the mountains and pond.

I then took myself to lunch and didn’t take any pictures. I can tell you that it was delicious.

ice cream sundae
Once I was less full from lunch, I had a hot fudge sundae for dessert (small, so I wouldn’t over-dessert myself before dinner).

I went home to rest for awhile. Then, I want to dinner with my dad and friends at a restaurant that serves local organic food.

ravioli

Squash ravioli. Yum!

dessert

Dessert: dark chocolate pudding with raspberry preserves and whipped cream. It was so good, I scrapped the glass clean. Also, they put a candle in it!

Card from friends in my Nia class. On Wednesday, they threw me a birthday class with many of my favorite songs. Afterward, we had a small breakfast picnic (with a blanket on the dance floor).


More cards, from a variety of people in my life. Sweet messages and great images. I feel very loved, and blessed to have such wonderful connections.

moon

The waning moon, bright in the sky as we drove home from dinner.

I talked to my love on FaceTime, then went to bed.

So grateful for my life.

Pictures from holiday trip to Arizona

Photos from my holiday trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, December 24-28.

I went with my dad and my fiancé.  It was cold and breathtakingly beautiful.  I am so grateful we went.

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.

The beauty of synchronicity

Last night's sunset clouds

                Last night’s sunset clouds

Yesterday, I was sitting at a table in the public library reading a fiction book.  The characters were discussing images they saw in the clouds.

I paused between chapters to check the time, and looked out the the window.

An older man, who was sitting two seats away from me, spoke up.  “Do you ever see images in clouds?”

I paused, blinked, and laughed.  “Yes.”

Reclaiming scars

I have a surgical scar that measures just over 5 vertical inches on my abdomen. I remember looking at my stomach in the mirror a few days before surgery, thinking that it would be the last time I would see it scar-free. In the months after, I look at my scar as if it were alien.

I told a friend recently that I didn’t know if I would ever wear a bikini or an item of clothing that reveals my stomach again. She told me she knew someone who had abdominal surgery and got a tattoo near or on her scar. This woman was a dancer who often wore crop tops that showed off her tattoo.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do something like that. Still, I love the concept of reclaiming scars, of shedding shame and self-consciousness around them. What would happen if more people reclaimed their scars, physical or emotional? I interpret this woman’s tattoo as a reclamation and celebration, a refusal to hide her body and its story.

Now, I lightly trace along the incision line of my scar. Over the past year and a half, I have become more familiar with it.  It is now part of my body’s story, part of me.