My writing is going really well these days, and I'm wondering if that might have something to do with the fact that I'm spending more time behind the camera lens. I'm not a proficient photographer by any means, but I'm making progress. I'm learning how to reframe certain objects, to allow more or less light for greater effect, to slow the shutter speed.
And I'm learning from my mistakes.
Without forcing the metaphor, I think these lessons hold true in a broader context. Things exist within and beyond our awareness, but we can only acknowledge (and grow to appreciate) those things we’re willing to see.
Perhaps your eyes were drawn to the splashes of sunlight on Caley’s body, her oversized ears and sleepy-eyed stare. Maybe your imagination led you toward the garden, instead, just beyond her countertop perch. Or, ha, maybe you zeroed in on the rain-spattered window. Camera or cleaning cloth: Which would you reach for first?
Here's another example, this one from the garden. Seeing my roses in bloom again…pure joy! I can almost forget the spindly, bareroot shapes they took in January, and the
thousand plagues diseased, insect-ridden foliage of a few weeks ago.
Almost. But I won’t forget the lessons. As my friend Susan said, “So much of gardening is about letting go.” Hovercraft
mother gardener that I am, I'm still working on that.
Widening the lens even further, I see parallels with Life Itself. Dark and light, death and rebirth….things shift in the blink of an eye, depending on (and regardless of) our focus.
This is not a random thought, inserted recklessly into my blog. It comes of grieving a friend of mine, recently murdered. It comes of being candid about things, good and bad, of trying to make sense of the unimaginable by exploring it from all angles.
A trusting soul, my friend didn’t recognize the stranger who came knocking on her door. As with this frilly purple flower, Death presented itself as harmless. Too late, she realized its true nature.
Am I more guarded now, after hearing the gruesome details? To some degree, I guess. Some people open their lives to strangers; others are more cautious. I fall into the first camp, but it’s a gamble, either way. And while I'm not one to dwell for long in shadow, I'll carry this experience like a flashlight, going forward.
In WISE HEART, Buddhist philosopher Jack Kornfield writes, “Pain is inevitable…suffering is not." My thoughts this morning are a contemplative nod to this "Noble Truth." They also come of seeing recent events in the context of Philippians 4:8, which is one of my favorite Bible verses. I’ve carried it in my heart for many years, and I'm finding comfort in it now:
Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.