taking photos for fun

April is a wonderful month….The scent of the earth reawakening and the sight of Mother Nature’s brilliant display of color will rouse and remind you how wonderful it is simply to be alive.
Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

Since I have started taking photos again I am paying better attention to the world around me. Typically I go through life with blinders on, seeing only what is directly in front of me, never looking to the left or right, up or down. I had stopped taking pictures after my nephews grew up, thinking there was nothing left to photograph. I mean, really, how many photos of my cats can I have?

But with my blogging for a while now I started seeing other bloggers post their photos and I realized that there was a whole world out there to take pictures of if for no other reason than I liked it and wanted to. After all, with digital cameras these days there is practically no expense in taking tons of photos and then uploading them on the computer. I get to see them, play and manipulate them and then post them. The only expense is if I want to print them. It is really a win-win situation.

Of course I still hesitate in taking some photos I want to because I still have that “someone will see you and think you’re crazy” dragon breathing on my neck. Sometimes I am able to elbow it in the face and take the picture anyway; other times I give in to the taunts and don’t get the image captured.

Case in point, yesterday I was outside on my break and there was a seagull eating bits at pieces of a slice of bread. Cool pics. But the best part was when another bird flew down beside him and that seagull picked up that stale slice of bread and swallowed the thing whole. I could actually see the outline of the bread in his neck as he worked hard at swallowing it. Really cool pics. But did I take pictures of this scene? No, because people I didn’t even know and will never see again were sitting in a vehicle not far away. I felt stupid for even wanting to pull out the camera. That ol’ dragon won that battle. Maybe next time I will win.

In the meantime, I am enjoying spring in all its beauty and trying to capture as much of it as I can with my camera. Just for the fun of it!

I can never have too many photos of my cats!
I can never have too many photos of my cats!

we have to talk…

We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together
or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.
– Eleanor Roosevelt, The New York Times, October 15, 1960.
William O. Foss, First Ladies Quotations Book

It seems to me that one of the first things I lose in a relationship is talking to the other person. It doesn’t matter whether that person is family or a friend or significant other – the talking goes first.

Case in point, virtually every friendship I have ever had (and destroyed) has gone down the same path – we are the best of friends, do stuff together, talk on the phone often, sit around and talk, go to dinner and talk, talk, talk, talk. Then one day the other person does something or says something that hurts my feelings. Or, I say or do something that hurts the other person’s feelings. And instead of coming forward with the truth and tell the friend that I was hurt by what he or she said or to ask why that person is no longer talking to me, I, at first, ignore it – maybe it will go away. Sometimes the silence does and we go back to being besties.

But the silence between us that wasn’t explained never really goes away. It just gets buried under the desperate need to be loved regardless of the cost. And then one day, it happens all over again. Only this time the bitterness from the previous silence surfaces and we don’t come back together as friends so easily, if at all. Another relationship is thrown on the pyre and is sacrificed to self-preservation and silence.

But what would have happened if I had broken the silence with a question, “why are we not speaking?” What would have happened if I had been brave enough to confront my fear of rejection and ask my loved one what was the reason for the silence between us?

I can only ask the question for I have no answers. I can’t go back and fix what has been broken. I can make attempts to repair but do I want to? I was a different person then, so was my friend. Perhaps it was the cycle of our relationship and we simply grew apart. Perhaps it was the silence.

All I can do is take care with the relationships I have today – to not let silence intrude; to make sure the talking continues, no matter what. Have I grown enough, healed enough to risk being rejected? I hope so, but only time will tell.




Kodachrome fears

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.
-Les Brown

I recently started yet another blog (this is not an advertisement for it!) this one is about photography. I have long been fascinated by photography and attempted in my youth to be a “photographer” taking what I considered “stylish” photos, avant garde, modern, and so forth. Of course I was ridiculed for my attempts by an uncaring male parental unit and stopped taking them – at least until I could earn some money by babysitting and could purchase my own film and get them developed on my own.

Then when my nephews were born and all through their childhood I took literally thousands of photos of them – so much so they ended up hating their picture being taken and would turn from the camera or frown. I took the picture anyway. I scrapbooked most of those photos although there are a hundred or more that I have yet to do.

After they grew up I stopped taking pictures for a while. I would take a few at family gatherings or holidays but nothing like I really wanted to. I wanted to take photos like the ones I saw in magazines – black and white photos of interesting people, kodachrome color ones of landscapes and flowers, adorable portraits of pets doing cute things.

I’ve taken a ton of pictures of my cats. I went through a couple of years when I didn’t take anything at all – then LadyBird (a chihuahua) came into my house and her blog and she needs photos her posts so I have started taking them again. (I am going somewhere with all of this – don’t despair!) Lots of LadyBird pictures doing cute things.

Then I started seeing on the blogs I follow different photo challenges and that got my interest up and I started reading the photo blogs, longing to take pictures like the ones I saw. So after a great deal of thought and sleepless nights, I started a photo blog to help me fulfill that childhood dream of being a “photographer.”

And then it happened. The old dragon that has always stopped me from taking pictures of cool stuff before reared his ugly head. He stood behind me, his drool dripping onto my coat like acid and whispered, “Don’t take that picture. It’s stupid, no one will like it and besides, people are looking.” I have this phobia-sort of thing about people looking at me. You know, the stare that people do when they are trying to figure out who you are and what you are doing and why you are doing it.

It happened just today – when I was outside on my break taking pictures of the snow – a car drove by and that old dragon whispered his “people are looking” in my ear and I immediately stopped taking pictures and hid the camera. As I was walking back in the building my creative self asked, “Why? No one cares what you were doing and if they were why do you care that they care?” And I thought, hmm, that’s right. I really don’t care what they think.

So I can tell this old dragon is not going to go away quietly. I am going to have to figure out where he came from before I can banish him completely – I think I know, but I’m not quite sure yet. Anyway, when I got home this afternoon I went outside and took pictures of our snow – trying very hard not to care what the neighbors thought. The dragon did his “people are looking” thing in my ear and I didn’t stay outside very long.

Oh well, I’ll just keep trying and sooner or later the dragon will give up because I refuse to!

My new favorite model!
My new favorite model!