Waiting on Fate
Do you believe in fate? Are we walking down some predestined path or do we have free will to do as we please and make our own decisions? Are they one in the same? (Is that even possible?)
Then what happens when we feel like we’ve lost our way? Do we wait for a sign to lead us in the right direction or do we go look for the path ourselves?
I do believe in fate and faith. I often find when one is on the right path, the doors open easily and welcome you through the threshold. The signs are there. Sometimes BIG, RED and NEON just in case you aren’t paying attention! They come in many forms. Sometimes as an unsolicited call speaking specifically to your strengths when you’ve been doubting yourself and spouting those same points as weaknesses. It’s finding A Call to Heart blog posting in your inbox that touches upon the very thing weighing on your mind and how to combat it. On other occasions it’s that perfect person presenting themselves in your life to help you make the necessary connection or to assist you along your way. (I love those!)
But solely relying on the signs can sometimes be a detriment. Especially if the signs aren’t presenting themselves loud and clear. Then what? Are we supposed to stand like a deer in the headlights waiting for that car to come crashing into us with that all knowing epiphany? Uh, NO!
I’d like to think that we are given our own special bag of tools, gifts if you will, that make us special and unique. Whether a scientist or an artist, we have a purpose. We are here to serve, to create, to help others, to build, to lead… So when the electricity fails on that neon sign, we have to make a choice as to which fork in the road to take and then start walking. It could be the right decision. It might be the wrong. And sometimes you have to jump from A to B before you can make it to C. Or even D for that matter. (I would much rather take the long way home than sit in stand still traffic any day of the week.) But I suppose that like a child, we sometimes have to learn the hard way, or make the best educated guess as to what is the right way with our own bag of tools.
That’s where faith comes in.
That’s where free will shines.
And fate is what we make of it.
So you say you’re waiting on fate, but I believe fate is now…waiting on us.
This image was captured at the Brooke Shaden Workshop in Salernes, France.
Somewhere a Clock is Ticking
There is a thief amongst us. But she is no ordinary swindler.
She confiscates quite easily, almost magically, as if it’s as simple as breathing.
How easily we turn our backs to her, forsaking what is precious. And just like that…it’s gone. Taken. Never to be seen from again. Rich in gold, she is, from our indifference and detachment.
So how does she manage to smuggle what’s right under our noses?
We let her. Willingly. In so many different ways.
By…Succumbing to what is easy by way of lethargy and/or apathy. Worrying unnecessarily about things we cannot control. By allowing those people in our lives, that I call energy vampires, to infiltrate and suck us dry! Finding meaningless tasks to appear busy only to ignore what is crucial. And yes, binging on Netflix.
Guilty am I to all of the above. On more than one occasion. And what do I have to show for it? Really, that’s a rhetorical question, but all one has to do is blink and then it’s the middle of July. Hurricane season. Mother Nature’s leveling field. Two more family members have already passed away. I stop to look in the mirror and don’t recognize that 25 year old staring out from behind the eyes of this soon-to-be 36 year old.
Where did it all go?
I know that age is just a number. I’m old to a teenager but young in the eyes of my parent’s generation. But the truth lies in the fact that we all have our own hourglass. Some contain more sand than others. None of us know the quantity, but we all seem to live like there’s an overabundance. And because of this misconception we become so very wasteful. Then it’s gone. Poof!
Traveling to France, the entire experience from sight-seeing to the workshop, and then again to Texas to visit family reminded me that somewhere a clock is ticking.
The mental debate is ongoing in my head.
Is the grass greener on the other side or are we genetically engineered to want something we don’t/can’t have?
Or are we really content with the way our world keeps skipping along until those life choices, you know the ones we thought were always there for the picking, are no longer available?
I don’t really know what I want. I know I’m being painfully vague, but that’s ok. I’ve thought about it, at length. I’ve tried to ascertain the true nature for these feelings and keep coming up with a bizarre juggling act of considerations. This circus is old and tired, yet it requires frequent visits because the final outcome could be regret.
Regret for a missed opportunity of something extraordinary. For unconditional love like no other. For years of a roller coaster ride of emotions with massive highs and so very deep lows.
Many would say yes! Hands down, the most rewarding ride in the world. It’s one they jump on one, two….or sometimes ten (oh god!) times in their lifetime, willingly! Others just don’t think. Truly. And while I don’t think there’s ever a right time to jump on this ride, I do believe there is a right reason.
And only I (or perhaps I should say we) can figure that out. So we’ll visit the circus again and again until we do.
~This image was also taken at Chateau de Moissac in Salernes during the Brooke Shaden Workshop…at the bottom of a very long spiral stone staircase. I’m certain there were spiders down there. French spiders. Surprises in every corner. Art is never without sacrifice.
Pick Out Your Cloud
Where do I even begin?
A whirlwind swept through my soul and I was transported to France for 10 glorious days. It must have been a dream because here I sit, back at my desk, blazing away at my computer as if nothing has changed.
But everything has changed.
I wish I could pinpoint the exactitude of this transformation or eloquently describe the resulting effect, but that would be selling the whole experience short. Perhaps what I’ve come to recognize is that like seeks out like. (Magnets really have it wrong, in my opinion!) That when a person exudes such a positive presence others naturally gravitate towards him or her. Then you add a spoonful of creativity and the same media output, and voila, a recipe for magic.
I believe Brooke is that kind of soul. Inspirational, positive, sincere and above all else, genuine. These traits, also unmistakeable in everyone else I met on this adventure. The journey to Never Never Land led by Brooke Shaden herself. Only we were in the South of France at this beautiful chateau. Somebody pinch me quick! Despite the fact that we’d traveled from all over the globe, everyone got along. Easily. Like old friends who hadn’t seen each other in years but picked up so effortlessly right where they’d left off.
The Chateau Moissac
. Oh the chateau! My God, they just don’t create beauty like this anymore. We all walked in, eyes wide, marveling at the grandeur. The stone, the staircases, the ceilings that reached toward the heavens, the towering windows scattering natural light, the claw-footed bathtubs, rich fabrics…and the smell of fine French cuisine wafting from the over-sized kitchen.
This must be what Heaven looks like. It was SO beautiful. I cried. No shame, the tears fell uncontrollably no matter how hard I tried to wipe them away. It was overwhelming. Fastened with disbelief. Followed by gratitude. And then tied off with love. As corny as that may sound, I can describe it no other way. Emotions are never wrong. They just exist.
We spent half of that day dining outdoors on delicious food, learning how to visualize through fun and bewildering blindfold exercises and then exploring/photographing this giant structure, with surprises lurking around every corner.
I will tell more stories and experiences in the coming days, as there are too many for any one blog posting to hold. I find myself constantly revisiting this place in my thoughts. While wandering through my catalog or even just sitting quietly with my morning coffee. Again, traveling through some secret portal in my mind, remembering events, days, specifics, jokes, tears and happiness.
Just picking out clouds.
I Can Drink You Down
For days I wanted to go out and photograph the changing winds of spring. We had just arrived to our new stomping grounds in Virginia and those gorgeous pops of pink flowers sprinkling the trees beckoned to me. (And I don’t even like pink!) So after getting our place in check, we agreed to venture out, Capt. Awesome and me, camera in hand, props, the whole nine yards…we were ready. One step off the train and we were immediately immersed in a sea of people. Police officers directed foot traffic as, what appeared to be, millions of tourists waddled out of the station and onto the streets of the DC Mall.
Yes, we had arrived. Right. Smack. Dab. In the Middle of the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Oh, it was beautiful. Those pink powder puffs packed every possible point of view. But so did the people. Feeling deflated, I chalked it all up to bad timing and swore I would come back on a weekday when the crowds were at a minimum.
The very next day I set out again. Camera, tripod, props. It’s a Monday…a work day! The kids are back at school!
Oh, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Driving this time, provided even more avenues for frustration with long lines of traffic and no place to park.
Pedestrians EVERYWHERE! Why aren’t you kids in school?!?!
At this point, feeling extremely defeated and annoyed, having the wind sucked out of my creative sails, not once but twice(!), I decided to just go home.
Sometimes there’s an invisible force that places, what I would consider, massive restrictions on one’s ability to push forward. To finish what you started. It’s disguised as many things…in this case, a seasonal festival. Or perhaps, people telling you it is impossible and can’t be done. It’s mother nature deciding to pour buckets of rain on your sunny day. Other times it’s the landscapers that happen to mow down the field of wild flowers and dandelions the day before you make plans to go out and photograph them. (This happened yesterday.) And sadly often, it’s your own psyche parading around in your head a string of what seem like perfectly legitimate reasons why your efforts are futile.
Then I tell myself – we would never get anywhere if we listened and let a single one of these factors keep us from doing what we love.
In an effort to regain some of that control and to not feel like I wasted a day, I planted myself outside the front door. New props in hand. The wind blew strong and hard in repeated gusts, mimicking that invisible hand attempting to stop me in my tracks.
I leaned into it singing, “Come on baby, I can drink you down.”