Remember my comment recently about how "some people show up well-dressed, five minutes early, and cheerful"?
I've envied her for years. I admit it.
A few weeks ago I was shopping when she bumped into me.
She literally fell into my arms.
She cried hard, telling me how out of control life was...how desperate and hopeless she was. She said she'd lost herself 22 years ago. Twenty two years.
I just held on. And then I cried a few tears of conviction, for being judgmental and jealous, assuming that her life was perfect, when she was in such incredible pain. It really did look perfect from the outside. Seriously.
But as I walked away, I felt so...convicted. You know? When a life-lesson hits you right in the face? STOP ENVYING OTHERS.
It steals my gratitude and turns it into dissatisfaction.
It creates intense, dangerous discontent.
And it's a LIE.
some folks just work a lot harder at hiding it.
and that in itself is a form of suffering, I suppose.
Let's say that you have a chronic condition, or struggle, or burden. (Think medical, psychological, mental, emotional, financial, etc.) If you could pass it off to another person, anonymously, would you? By this, I mean that you cannot choose who receives your condition. It may be your best friend, a total stranger, or your worst enemy. (If you have a lot of enemies, let's talk about that later.)
if i'm in an adventurous mood, willing to deal with it's harsh contrasts.
but when i'm tired
and out of ideas
and the people i love
don't love themselves
it's not fun
i feel like a new parent
when every situation is a first
and my stomach is nervous
when it hits me
just how little control i have
so i bought this new paper, and i keep buying film. and i don't even know why. i guess it's because i find it fun. and it's not hurting me or anyone else. and maybe that's the best we can hope for in life. find a hobby or group of people that bring you closer to peace, and stick with it. you can't change other people or control them. it's enough to take care of yourself.
i'm trying to make sense without telling other people's stories.
i think that the wise thing to do is: take care of myself DAILY. show how i feel and be honest. show up. i'm here. i'm praying.
is it possible that things really ARE this complicated, and i just don't want to admit it? or is it a matter of perception? (yes)
i've lost a few friendships in the past 2 years. mostly because i don't have the patience anymore to hear about minutia. "i hate my job" THEN QUIT. "i miss my ex" GET OVER IT. HE LEFT YOU. "i need therapy" THEN GO. you know? i have no patience for inaction. DO SOMETHING. weed them out. make new friends. get some perspective. and then...i don't feel free to talk about my life. because...i get silence in return. i know i'm not exceptional in any way. (or we all are...whichever). but who cares about the rising cost of insulin and how dangerously low she went last night when we could spend an hour complaining about your sex life. (hint: nobody cares) oh, and i think that those all-too-often moments of terror are cumulative. they do something to a person. (i don't want to be so jaded. maybe i needed a little jadedness but not this much.)
the thing about isolation is ...it begets isolation.
my prayer is for a right perspective. i know i'm off at this point.
This is 4x5 ortho film, which is very contrasty. next time I'll pre-flash it. (Oh, and my scanner died this weekend...so I got creative. Opened a white screen on the Kindle, placed film on top, shot a pic of the negative with my phone, the inverted it with in camera editing software. Hey, it works...kinda.)
This lady was so fun. She didn't speak English, but when I approached her, she immediately started posing. I couldn't help but laugh just a little at how happy and uninhibited she was. That's a breath of fresh air around here.
I also spent a lot of time experimenting with Harmon Direct Positive paper this weekend. 1. contrasty 2. slow 3. very fun
July was miserably hot in Texas. It gets to a point where nobody wants to go outside. It's even hot inside. The a/c is running non-stop. And it gets old. That's when your typical Texan heads to New Mexico! (I think that most New Mexicans and Coloradans cringe when they see Texas license plates. Oh well.) It's the fastest way to get some relief from the summer heat.
We drove through Roswell on our way to Cloudcroft. Have you ever been to Roswell, NM?
If you're going that way anyway, you should stop and check out the alien museum. It's hilarious. And a little bit creepy if you've been watching The X Files on Netflix. Just sayin'.
Anyway, we stayed for a few days in Cloudcroft, and I was there just long enough to decide that I could live in a blue state if I could have a sweet little cabin in the woods. Seventy degrees in August? I'm in.
We took several long walks and had staring contests with the Aspen trees.
I taught my daughter about depth of field...
And we stayed outside most of the time.
On our last full day, we visited White Sands National Park in Alamogordo. It's a magical place, and something that we should all experience at least once.
We met a really sweet couple from Baltimore, going on a cross-country road trip. I love meeting people while traveling. It gives the trip more of a purpose and pleasure.
So, what have you been up to this summer? Traveled any? New experiences to share? Tell us.
: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)
: to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)
: to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)
Forgiveness has always been an interesting topic to me. When I was younger, I saw forgiveness as a characteristic of highly "spiritual" people. I saw it as a choice that one made because they could. Now I see forgiveness as a necessity. When the pain of holding a grudge becomes harder to bear than the humility it takes to forgive, then I must forgive. Humility isn't the right word. What word describes the ability to forgive? Actually, humility might be the right word. Because....who am I to NOT forgive?
I miss you, my Friends, I really do.
I think of things all the time to tell you, then I think, "No, that's petty and melodramatic...it's self-absorbed".
We have conversations all the time, we do.
You've taught me more about myself than I ever imagined possible.
You live in me. Do I live in you?
But I was floating on a pink cloud of happiness after getting home from a road trip. Amazing how getting outside of your comfort (or discomfort?) zone can change everything.
I took a photo trip to Big Bend National Park in deep south Texas. This state that I live in has such diverse landscapes, so I'll just start there.
The wildflowers in much of Texas were part of a beautification program started by Lady Bird Johnson, wife of LBJ. Everyone makes such a big deal a out the bluebonnets, but the yellow, red, and orange flowers were more beautiful, in my opinion.
One of our first stops was near Austin at a place called Enchanted Rock. It was full of succulents.
Indian Paintbrush was one of my grandmother's favorite flowers.
This was actually on the way home, between Sanderson and Fredericksburg.
This, my friends, is a glimpse of Big Bend. This place is special to me for so many reasons. I spent much time in prayer and just quiet meditation here. Much good happened in my soul.
I'll be sharing more photos soon. These were all taken on my phone, but I have hundreds more to upload and develop. This trip was big for me. I didn't even realize how badly I needed it.