Driving My Perspective

“Grab your camera; let’s go for a drive!”

Ric knows how to pull me out of my doldrums. Despite the cold wind, the day is not without merit. We drive to another small town, just thirty minutes away. Here, wetlands and a wooded trail attract a multitude of birds.

I snap a few pics of the small wading birds near the shore, but my heart is not in it. The sky is catching my attention today.

Heavy Autumn clouds hover, mirroring my sense of doom at Winter’s arrival. I know I have to fight this darkness. I wander down the trail, lost in my inner battle. A woodpecker drums nearby, but I haven’t the energy to look for him. I gaze upwards, a silent prayer for strength.

Despite the heavy cloud cover, the sun breaks through casting a shimmer across the water. I raise my lens capturing the moment. Even in its moodiness, Autumn has a special allure. I need to stay focused in the now – finding something to be grateful for each day.

Clouds reflected remind me that how we experience life is guided by how we set our lens.

I must remember, each day, to set my lens on miracles, no matter how small.

(Photos taken in Mitchell, Ontario, at the West Perth Wetlands.)

Only If I Knew…

“I wish I was a boy, Grandma.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Boys don’t get their monthly thing and they don’t have to birth babies.”

I remember thinking the same thing. I also remember how unfair the world seemed, growing up in the era of Women’s Lib, recognizing the broad stroke of inequality.

I didn’t have any pat answer in the moment. After she left, I wished I’d said the things no one ever said to me:

Life is about choices. You don’t have to do anything.

All experience is valid.

We cannot know why we are born a certain way, but if we are patient and trusting, we will come to find purpose.

Everyone struggles; it is the nature of life. What we do with the struggle is what makes a difference.

Not all pain is physical. Enduring pain gives us strength.

The joy you will experience will far outweigh the pain.

It is easy to fear what we don’t understand; in time, your perspective will change.

Give life a chance.

(For Reena’s Exploration Challenge: If Only I Knew…)

Frames

I’m trying to frame my life with gratitude, adding structure to the chaos I’m experiencing within.

So much of life is a gift, and the troubles, minuscule by comparison.

Life changes, and along with it, so do our perceptions, our abilities, and our dreams. Sometimes it is a hard pill to swallow, and then; other times, we are able to grasp the miracle in it all:

For Lens-Artists photo challenge: Framing the Shot

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #11: Point of View

We recently attended a dramatic version of To Kill a Mockingbird in Stratford, Ontario.  Written by Harper Lee in the late 1950’s, this has been one of my all time favourite reads. Although some of the language is antiquated and no longer acceptable, the themes of the novel are timeless.  Atticus Finch, the patriarch extraordinaire of the story, is a man directed by his moral compass, and his willingness to put compassion for others above the social dictates.

This week’s challenge is inspired by the spirit of Atticus Finch:  point of view.

to-kill-a-mockingbird-quotes-1

At the end of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jean-Louise  stands on the Radley porch and views her neighbourhood from Boo’s point of view – a moment of revelation for the young Scout.

“I turned to go home. Street lights winked down the street all the way to town.  I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle.”

This week, let’s focus on point of view, challenging ourselves to “walk in (someone else’s) skin” or at the very least, to see something from a new perspective.

Ideas include, but are not limited to:

*  Photographing a scene from a new viewpoint, i.e. from a child’s sight line, or that of a     pet.

*  Re-writing a piece from a different point of view.  For example, if a piece is written in first person narrative, try switching it to third person, or better yet, switch narrators.

*  Take a character from a dream, and write re-tell the dream story through their point of view.

*  Heard something interesting in the news – try writing about it from the victim (or perpetrator’s) point of view.

Be creative, have fun, and as always, I look forward to your responses.

To participate:

  1.  Publish a post on your own blog.
  2. Create a link back to this post, or leave a link in the comments.
  3. Be sure to visit other participant’s contributions and comment to keep the community growing.

 

Stretching: It’s Good for the Soul

Illness is not solely suffering; it is also much like the Hangman of Tarot – a forced change of perspective.  There is a certain smugness that accompanies health:  an attitude, reckless really, that says “I’ve got it all together.  Look at me.”

Those of us, having fallen from health, recognize the fallacy.  Life is uncertainty.  And change.  And loss.  There is no promised land, and that is not all bad.

mysteryHaving studied dream work for over thirty years now, I am able to say with confidence that nightmares are gifts from the self – cracking open the shell of complacency and inciting transformation.  Life events, like bad dreams, offer us the same opportunity.

It is comforting, and rewarding to settle into society’s expectations:  graduating, securing a job, buying a house, starting a family.  While these may be markers of success, they are also limited in their capacity to fulfill us.  The soul desires more.

While it is difficult to articulate what that ‘more’ might be for any given individual, think of self as the iceberg – what is displayed above the surface is only a portion of what lies beneath.  There are depths that merit exploration.

My disease (M.E.) attacked every part of me, including that which I took for granted:  my ability to walk, talk, think, and even breathe.  It was difficult, in the beginning years, to recognize the gift in such a debilitating experience, however; blessings have ensued.  From a place of immobilization, I am learning to stretch.  Stretching, I am discovering, is the secret to accessing the inner depths.

For the month of April, I reached beyond what I perceived as my limitations, and signed on for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Write Month), which challenges the participants to write a poem a day, based on prompts.  In addition to the prompts (which are more like exercises than one word motivators) the site offers readings and links to other poet’s work in order to inspire growth.  Although I try to write everyday, I do so within my own comfort level:  I like to write my posts in advance, ensuring that if I have a bad day, I am covered.  I also follow set protocols for writing – more superstitious than efficient.  So to heed someone else’s bidding and begin each day without a clue as to what will transpire felt far too stressful on first consideration.  I did it anyway.  I stretched my creative muscles.

shadowplay2.pngBoy, does it feel good.  Not only am I learning a lot about writing; I am expanding my craft, and taking risks I might not have taken before.

No matter where we are in life, no matter how old, poor, or incapacitated, there is more to explore.

Have you stretched yourself lately?  What did you uncover in the process?  I’d love to hear about it.

To see the results of my stretching, visit me at One Woman’s Quest, and read April’s entries.