Looking At Life From Behind The Lens

Orange Truck, puddles and clouds

Today is Day 8. I am so glad you are here. No really. Because practicing the art of noticing is exponentially better when you are here. If you would like to read in reverse, days 1-7, just click here to play catch up. It is safe to say I am a bit smitten by the art of noticing. And with all art forms comes practice. Diving into our craft, our art, no matter what form it takes and working at improving, fine-tuning. It goes on for all of our days.  And this noticing, it involves all our senses and some additional tools too. My camera is my third eye, my second brain, my backup band-width for my memory. It is my journal. Would you like to pull up a seat for Day 8? It is chilly today and Autumn is sneaking into my life, changing the colors of the sky. Bringing with her sweaters and the beginning of a crunchy sound under my feet and in my food. Grains and apples. The bite of a cold morning.

If we were having coffee, mine would be pumpkin something. Welcome to 31 Days of Noticing.

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There is a tension in my life. One of trying to record moments without any tools. My husband, I call him The Patient One, constantly encourages me to put my camera down. I simply cannot. I love the art form of photography. I am constantly stretching myself to see the world in new ways…..from behind the camera lens. As  writer I rely on my camera as an important tool. When I  sit down to write my poetry  I often  use a photograph as a prompt to trigger memory, to fire the neurons in my brain, to recall details and images. Is it a crutch. If so, it is an exquisite crutch. Though I am a novice, I love taking photographs.

But my husband believes that translates to my being “less present”. He sees it as a distraction. He reminds me of the importance of being in the moment, fully present. Maybe he is encouraging me to put down the visual aid and to enlist only my God given parts and pieces of myself.

So we dance, when we are together. Around this. I pull out my camera and start snapping, clicking, finger trigger-happy on my camera which is my phone, which is my camera.

Maybe I don’t trust my memory. Perhaps because Dementia runs in our family. Perhaps I feel less and less capable of recalling and remembering the scope of detail, the infinite amount of beauty in the people and landscape of my day. Perhaps I see myself as an archivist. The family historian. And honestly, I love the art form that is photography. It reminds me of where I have been and what I have seen.

And my photographs help me to focus on gratitude, love, and a “right” perspective.

Time stops for the camera but not for me. Beauty freezes in the click of my camera, but not for me. My poetry and my writing rely often of long periods of time spent reviewing my life through my lens. The lens of my photography.

I am a visual being. I know that about myself.

So as long as I have this extension to my other senses, I will take hundreds and hundreds of photographs. And I will share them with you. Are they perfect? No. Are they blurry? Sometimes yes. Are they technically perfect? Well, no.

But they help my noticing, my writing, my poetry. And they bring me so much joy.

It is my privilege and joy to be on this journey with you. This time of exploring the art of seeing our world, really noticing it. Here are a few images I’d like to share with you. Will I see you on Day 9? Oh I hope so.

OLD OLD trees as sculpture & IVY

Ready, set, go notice.

Close Up Cross Labyrinth

Little White Shed And dirt road

Taking Note Of The Ordinary

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Some days the tail really does seem to wag the dog. That is to say a small thing has power over, even drives the greater, larger whole. When I notice this tail wagging condition, I want to reboot and set things right. Get on top of my circumstances. Take control. Take charge. Right a wrong. Because in my world, when I am pushed through by the tyrannical urgent, I miss the ordinary.

Welcome to day four. To read the days of noticing leading up to today, click here. I am joining the nester for her 31 Day Challenge. This is 31 days of noticing.

Taking Note of the Ordinary

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Many days I start with the words of Oswald Chambers. For years I have read “My Utmost For His Highest”. Rarely do I recognize a daily reading that I have already read. Sometimes the familiar rings. But the context in my day is always fresh. And I find myself sitting still, steadying  my gaze on the page,  letting his words drift into the folds of my soul.

Enjoy your weekend friends. Thanks for being here on this journey. Your presence is a fragrant offering. I, a writer, have a bit of difficulty expressing what your comments add to this journey. Let’s say they sing to me during my day. The notes swirl around the busy or the mundane and offer me blessing and encouragement. And when you read here, that alone is an offering. Your presence, it is noticed.

Listen to the words of Oswald Chambers as you prepare your hearts for your journey into noticing this weekend.

We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.

The New Testament notices things which from our standards do not seem to count. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ literally – Blessed are the paupers – an exceedingly commonplace thing! The preaching of to-day is apt to emphasize strength of will, beauty of charachter – the things that are easily noticed.

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I walked into Publix this week and spotted these delightful little pumpkins in a beautiful pile of autumnal glory. I starred. As if I were in a gallery. I studied, as if I were in a library. And I glazed over, into the moment of  intentional choosing.  Which ones would I  joyfully bring home. Small moments light me up. I can hold them for forever. The remembering intensifies the pleasure. These three little pumpkins have taken me into small moments, ordinary, transformed though into artful extraordinary. Where is the God-beauty waiting in your day? What small poetic discovery is waiting for you? Ready, set, go notice.

“We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring. — Oswald Chambers