Tag Archives: vermont

The Edge of Forever

31 Jul
The Edge of Forever

The Edge of Forever

 

“We need, ourselves, to go to those edges, and peer over them, if not to see what lies beyond, then to see what lies within.”

I recently picked up a book called A Beautiful Anarchy by David duChemin…and I’ve been following along on his inspiring blog, same title.  One of his posts was about changing our perceptions, facing our fears and embracing each day with a sense of adventure.

In his words, “What would our art, our businesses, our relationships, look like if we embraced and nurtured a spirit of adventure in our daily lives? If we willingly went to new places, opened new doors, and explored new ideas? What would we discover there, about possibility, about others, and likely most of all about ourselves? How much more interesting would our lives be, free from the need to be surrounded by the familiar, the known, the certain, and the too-comforting illusion of safety? What kind of stories would we find ourselves living and telling? How would our audience for these stories, and for the art that emerges from them, grow, and how would our engagement with them change?”

Those are all very good questions.  Talk about an instant perception shift.

I’ve said for a long time that it’s very easy to get caught up in our own little box.  To get trapped in the day to day, to go to work, to bed, to eat the same foods, to let our souls wither on a bland diet of sameness.  We are biologically engineered to desensitize ourselves…its a survival mechanism that keeps our bodies alive.  But what does it do to our spirit?

The above photo was created as an homage to this idea of embracing the unknown.  Last weekend we took a road trip to Vermont, just to get a way for a day and to see some family.  I got up early on Sunday to catch the sunrise, which turned into an overcast morning and a sky full of texture.  It was nice to spend a little time in the peace and quiet, watching the world wake up.  As I sat on the edge of the dock, enjoying the moment, I started thinking about how important those little road trips and adventures are to my life.  As my cousin said, I’m a traveler.  But truly, what better way to develop an emotional connection with people and places than to experience them?  And how much better would the world be if we could all embrace things that were new and different, rather than demonizing and judging without true knowledge of…whatever it is…to draw on?

So, today, I encourage you to embrace adventure.  Try something new.  Eat something different.  Cook a new recipe.  Learn a new skill.  See the world.  Travel to a place that you’ve never been.  Take a leap of faith into the unknown and revel in the experience.

Life is a beautiful gift and it is meant to be messy, joyful and most importantly, full.  Don’t wait until tomorrow.  Today, you stand at the edge of your forever.  Now is the time to embrace your future. 🙂

A little housekeeping…

This shot is a manual blend, Canon 7D, Induro tripod adventure series

Also, I’m looking for your help on an art project!  Pretty please with a cherry on top.  I’ll be giving out a free print to the person who’s quote gets chosen, and to one of the people who helped spread the word about it in the first place.  So please, check out the post, share it, and tell me what quote the image reminds you of. 🙂 

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The Natural Metaphor

25 Jun
Our Rain Song

Our Rain Song

This is the springtime of my loving – the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing – so little warmth I’ve felt before.

I recently read an interesting article about appreciating your life’s journey.  Attaining a goal is great… the accolades, the rewards, the what-have-yous…are all a nice way to recognize your efforts, but ultimately, it’s the experiences that led us to that goal that we remember.  It is the struggles and the obstacles that shape us.  The meaning of life is found on the path, not at the destination.

As I edited and titled…or rather, tried to title this and ultimately asked Sean for help (an homage to Zepplin, for those of you wondering)…this image, I thought about the day that it was captured.

This beautiful pond is 2.2 miles up a mountain trail in Vermont.  The hike is moderately difficult, with enough sweating and straining to make me tired at the end of it.  As if the terrain wasn’t enough of a challenge, we also faced some bad weather…about 0.1 miles from the pond, the sky opened up on us.  It was a strange mixture of rain and hail, and it sent most of my hiking group scrambling for cover.

As we stood there in the rain/hail, I pulled out my camera and tried to make the most of the moment photographically.  There were some great foreground elements, and a beautiful scene before me…but the light was flat, the clouds all boiled into one undefined mass and my lens was covered in magical, un-wipe-off-able water drops. haha  Even as the rain/hail passed, I couldn’t seem to get a good shot.  The compositions seemed off, the light still wasn’t dynamic and my group wanted to finish the last little bit of the hike to the summit…  In short, a lot of struggle for not much payoff.

I packed in my camera and followed the group, trying not to let myself worry too much about the photos I hadn’t taken.  After all, it wasn’t about the images.  It was about spending the day with Sean and my friends, about conquering the trail, getting in shape, enjoying my time in nature and relaxing.

By the time we finished enjoying the view at the top, I felt better.  I had let go the photo-anxiety of a missed shot and let myself live in the moment.

As we made our way back down the mountain, I realized I had dropped my hiking stick (a must with my knees) when I originally stopped at the shore, so I took the short side trail back to the pond to recover it.  As I came around the curve of the trail, I felt it.  That serendipitous moment.  The sky, the light, the reflection on the pool of water in front of the pond…  Everything was perfect.  I knew this photo would be something special.

We struggle, we cope, we mature emotionally, we learn to appreciate the journey… and in that moment… everything comes together for us.  Quite the metaphor for life.

Well done, Mama Nature…well done.

Drink The Wild Air

28 May
Drink the Wild Air

Drink the Wild Air

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last Saturday, we spent the day hiking around upper Vermont.  Sometimes, you just need to spend some time in nature to recharge the internal batteries, to let go of the stress of our everyday lives and to appreciate something bigger than our daily routines and worries.

If you haven’t made time for Mama Nature lately…well…what are you waiting for?  Get outside!  Trees need love too.

This is a photo from Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont.

13 mm, f/5, 1/50th sec, ISO 100 – edited with a combination of light painting and HDR.

 

Finding Our Way

1 Jul
Smugglers Notch Trail

Smugglers Notch Trail

I wondered, just now, how people come up with titles for their images and posts and such.  I mean, occasionally, I dream up a title to something that just feels right.  Same way with the rare poem that comes to mind, or the every-now-and-again piece of writing I turn out.  Those words are easy.  They just flow from my brain to my pen (or in this case, keyboard) without effort, already formed into a cohesive and succinct thought.  In those cases, I dare say, they were just born eloquent.  No struggling, no writer’s block, no searching for hidden meanings or words that do an image justice…  Just an outpouring of creativity.

Those are wonderful moments in any creative’s life.  You have an itch.  A desire.  A need to produce…something.  And it happens, until you’ve satisfied your craving (may I use the word obssession?  Because it seems accurate.) and can move on to the next thing in your day.

But then there is the rest of the time.  You feel an urge to create, but it is more of a vague, somewhat frustrating itch that you can neither reach nor scratch.  You know you WANT to draw from the well of your imagination, but for whatever reason, it eludes you.

I had one of those moments the other day, when I was posting this photo on 500px.  I believe the title I came up with (after 3 tries) was “Mountain Path”.  That’s like naming your black and white cat Oreo (no offense to all of the Oreo’s out there!  And as a side note, while I’ve dropped my filters and let my fingers run wild on the keyboard…what about naming a black and white cat “Monochrome”?  Huh, photo-fans?  Super-genius, right?)

Where was I?  Oh…yeah…Mountain Path.  Definitely does not do the photo any justice, however true the words may be.  My inner poet was sleeping that day, to be sure.  Something inside of me wanted to give it a name that was inspiring, and transferred the sense of peace I felt in the woods that day to the viewer.

“The Path to Enlightenment”? Nah.  It was the path to a very cold, beautiful pond at the top of a New England mountain…but enlightenment would be over-stating.

“A Walk in the Woods”? True…but not very inspiring.  A title is like Twitter…only so many characters available to convey our feelings.

“Dang, 4 Miles of Hiking Is Tiring”? As honest as it gets…but an obvious latch ditch effort. haha

So, I thought a bit more about the day, the hike, my life and what the memories meant to me.  2013 has been, simply put, the year of change for me.  I’m not the sort to generally spill a whole lot of personal details about my life, but suffice it to say, there has been a lot of self-reflection, a lot of accepting things I cannot change and resolving to improve the things I can.  One of those changes involved transitioning out of a 13 year relationship where we were both unhappy towards the end.

Since growing enough courage to make an amicable break, and finding a place of peace about the decision, I have been blessed with a fresh start.  I’ve promised myself that in this new relationship, I will try not to make the same mistakes, and to hold tight to the lessons I’ve learned.  I’m more honest, a better communicator, and more inclined to put my energy into something positive, less inclined to bury my head in the sand.

(A good course of action not just for our interactions with others, but for life in general, no?)

This day…this photo…was a great hike I took with the new guy, a day full of smiles and laughs.  It was easy, and full of promise.  To me, this photo was representative of my journey, of me finding my own way through life.  Sure, its full of twists and turns, its full of steps that made my ruined knee ache (ohh…I mean some pain) but it’s life and as long as I stay on the (blue marker) trail, I know I’ll make it.  My journey, my path, my life with all of its mistakes and lessons.  My photo.

Hey…guess I found that creative well after all.  This image is called “Finding Our Way”.

A quick technical note:  This is a pano stitch taken with my nifty-50 lens for a project being hosted by my friend Will.  This scene was suggested as a photo by the new guy, Sean.  Gotta give credit where credit is due. 🙂