Category Archives: excitement

I feel …

good.

I feel good.

Yes, I said it and yes I mean it.

I feel good.

It has been an incredibly difficult week with incredibly difficult patients and incredibly difficult news from friends, and yet, through it all …

I feel good.

I’m not manic.

As strange as it may seem, I am totally even.  Completely sane.  Absurdly normal.

I think to myself that I should be manic and irrational and standing in left field waiting for a right field hit, and yet, here I am.

Feeling like a normal human isn’t something that I am readily accustomed to.  It takes me by surprise when I find myself being like everyone else.

I don’t know whether to be elated or dejected, so, for the moment, I will choose elated.

While I am an optimist, elation is not my dearest friend.

But for tonight, for this moment, for this space in time, I will embrace it, cherish it and relish the feeling of elation.

Some things are to be taken at face value.

This is one of them.

Life comes as it comes and while there are valleys, there are also mountains and being on the mountain makes all the valleys worth the sacrifice.

I am, for now, standing on the mountain and I am reminded just how blessed I was to have the valleys so I could enjoy the view from the mountain.

I. Feel. Good.

Praise the Lord.

if it were easy, there wouldn't be any reward in it.  Be adventurous

if it were easy, there wouldn’t be any reward in it. Be adventurous

When the wheel never stops turning …

life can become more of a trial than a joy.

The thought process becomes so discombobulated with the inundation of information and images that simply focusing on what is relevant becomes a near impossibility.

My family and friends know that some of my blogs are about them.  They are about life as I live it, so how could they not be?

This particular blog is about photographs that aren’t my own; photographs I want to take.

It is about images I want to see with my own eyes, not through someone else’s.

It is about the words that surround the images.

It is about the music I play that enhances the images and the words that describe them.

It is about the the things I dream of.

These statements alone make me sound like some kind of fanatic, but I’m not a fanatic.

I am a photographer.

I am a writer.

I am (somewhere in my soul) a musician.

I want to see, write and hear for myself.

Experience the heat, the cold, the adrenaline, the magic, the music, the inspiration, the awe.

I work for a living so that I can traipse around to places I want to see, photograph them and then write about them.

It may sound as though I am putting down the importance of nursing, something I have done for 25 years.

I’m not.

Just today, a patient made me cry when he told me that I was a bright spot in his day and he looked forward to my visits more than he did meal-time.

If you have ever been in the hospital, you know that meal-time is one of the highlights, and so I felt very moved.

But I wanted, more than to speak with him and encourage him, to photograph him.

I have been on a photographic journey, teaching myself, learning from others, finding God in the creation He so beautifully paints, for more than 30 years.

It is my center.  My sense of self.

My life is made up of images.  They rotate through my head like a never-ending carousel .

Image after image after image after image.

And the words.

Mrs. Campbell in eleventh grade gave me the courage to have  confidence in my words.

She was my favorite teacher and the one, above all, that I remember the most.

And yet, I digress. (But thanks, Mrs. C)

I can’t even begin to explain, with all of my words, what the words, when coupled with the images, does to me.

It shatters me on a level that is the most perfect shattering a person could ever hope for.

I wonder sometimes if I am vain.  I certainly don’t think much of myself, so that kind of vanity is out, but the images … I like them.  I want others to like them.  I desire, not to be famous, or even rich, but to simply be able to live out my life doing what I love.

I don’t think that is too much to ask, but therein lies the vanity.

I look at myself and see nothing special … I look at the images I see through the eyes God gave me and I see great things.

I don’t mind, particularly, sleeping in my car.  I don’t need much more than toast-chee crackers and an occasional diet Dr. Pepper.

But I need to see.

To experience.

To feel.

I want to know what a North Dakota winter looks like, what a New Orleans Summer smells like, what driving along the coast road from California to Washington State feels like.

I want to see the beauty, to feel the air, to see the endless flat road of Kansas extending out in front of me.

I want to taste the fog of San Francisco and breathe the vastness of a Montana sky.

I used to think that I wanted too much, but a wise woman (my mamaw Daphne) told me “some people want the simple and others want the extravagant  … wanting is wanting whatever the dream may be”.

She taught me to not be ashamed to want the things I want and dream for the things of which I dream.

If I can see the things I want to see, I won’t need others to show them to me and if I can play the piano myself, I won’t long for someone else to play for me.

So my dreams are this … to see my country and then see Ireland, to play the piano and to have a jeep, preferably red .

That is the extent of the the dreams I have for myself …

I have much deeper and greater dreams for those I love and cherish, but myself?  It is the simple things that stir my heart.

I have hope.

I have faith.

Nothing else is required.

It will happen when it happens.

And it will happen.  Of that, I am certain.

Until next time, be well, my friends … be well.

And don’t forget to dream.

flowersfornini

It has been a long few days …

or has it been weeks?

I haven’t posted anything new.

No blog posts.

No photographs.

Nothing.

I have been in a holding pattern of sleepwalking, nightmares and erotic dreams that leave me confused, wondering and bewildered …

and all the while, trying my very best to make it, without losing my cool, through the seemingly endless days and eventful nights.

I have had patients cry on me, their families strike me, people pulling at my heartstrings which are linked directly to my tear ducts and during all of this, trying to find out if I am to blame for something I had no control over.

I wonder if I have severed a crucial friendship and have already began to mourn the loss of it.

I have a way of ruining beautiful things because I rarely feel worthy of them.

I have slept outside, sent messages I wasn’t aware of and tried desperately to hold it together.

A difficult few days, indeed.

But tonight changed all that.

It came a storm.

A big one, with lots of lightning and torrential rain.

Normally, during such an event, I would be set up on the porch with my tripod and camera, but this time was different.

This one wasn’t to be documented and photographed.

It was to set my spirit free.

And it did.

I stood on the porch with my jeans and t-shirt, getting soaked.

But as time passed, I wanted no earthly barriers between me and the blessing that God was giving me.

A cleansing.

A fresh beginning.

Letting the past be past and bygones be bygones and memories no more than a blip on my radar.

One piece of clothing after another was discarded until I found myself standing nude and vulnerable under the rain, with the lightning flashing, the thunder bellowing, echoing between the mountains and valleys …

tears running down my face.

I prayed to a God that I had decided had forgotten me.

He hadn’t.

I think He was just waiting for me to remember Him.

It was frightening.

It was freeing.

I was liberated from the hold this world had on me.

I was, for that span of time, one with nature and the God who created it.

I still struggle with the emotions and thoughts in my head, but He designed my brain and is well acquainted with my mindless and sometimes senseless ramblings.

He doesn’t hold them against me and so I won’t hold them against myself.

Not everyone believes in my God.  I don’t find fault with them.  I know what I know, they know what they know.

I can only be who I am and, despite all my faults, and they are many, I feel at peace.

And despite that, my friends who don’t believe in my God like me anyway.

I am humbled by that.

Just  as I accept them, they accept me.

With our differences of opinions and thoughts.

It is irrelevant.

Isn’t that what it was supposed to be like?

Love one another?

Are my thoughts still burning through my head? Yes.

Do I still sometimes feel out of control? Yes.

Do I have someone to share the thoughts and emotions with? Yes, and I am thankful for them.

Do I wonder if I am making the right choices? Yes.

Following Christ doesn’t mean that everything is just peachy.  In all honesty, it is the opposite.

I don’t do it right, I never have, but I hope to at least encourage somebody along the way.

And selfishly, I hope to be encouraged.

I wonder sometimes if I am nothing more than the punching bag of the universe.  I don’t mind it if it keeps someone else from suffering, but every now and then, it wears on the soul.

And then, an incredible storm comes, I stand in the rain, and all is right again.

The circle of life.

It is what it is what it is what it is.

It is what we make of it that counts.

So make it count.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

People who drive convertibles …

learn some things that the average Joe may not consider.

Now, Jeep owners (which I dearly hope to become one day), consider what they drive a Jeep, but it is, without room for argument, at the end of the day, a convertible.

I’m not talking about the Jeeps that aren’t really Jeeps but call themselves one.  Those don’t count and will never count.  Sorry if your toes are stepped on, but really?

That being cleared up …

We learn to watch the sky.

We know the difference between just plain clouds, rain filled clouds and clouds that are in the process of emptying themselves onto the earth.

We know the difference between a fog bank and a rain band.

We know, when driving in familiar places, all the little turnouts that serve as places to put the top up quickly when there are rain bands and cloud emptying ahead.

We know how hard it is raining just by looking and as such, whether we can get by with leaving the top down and letting the sprinkles simply fly right past us or take the next turnout we come to and put the top up moments before the typhoon hits.

All of this being said, I found myself caught by surprise tonight.

I was nearly home after attending an event my daughter had invited me to at her University.

Eight miles to go.  Only eight.

But I wasn’t paying attention to the sky.  No, I was blasting the Eurythmics at earsplitting and singing along with Annie and David.

I ran into the rain, in between turnouts, and it was, as people around these parts say, a frog strangler.

Before I could get to the next turnout, pull over and put the top up, I was soaked to the skin and so cold, my goosebumps had goosebumps.

I find it ironic that the song I was singing at the top of my lungs while driving much faster than the law allows was none other than “Here Comes the Rain Again”.

Coincidence?  I don’t believe in them.

Fate?  Hardly.  What would it have to prove?

Pure ecstasy at driving free and wild with the music loud and getting rained on?

Yep.

That made my night and smoothed over a minor “simply couldn’t be helped” disappointment.

Life.  It often isn’t easy, but if you can live through it, it’s a lot of fun.

rain is one of my favorite things ... it comes just after snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes ...

rain is one of my favorite things … it comes just after snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes …

I have been waiting all week …

for this day to come.

The day that tickets to The Eagles concert, which is coming near my hometown, would go on sale.  I have (most impatiently, mind you) waited for the moment when I could go online and then, with great jubilation and celebration, say that I have Eagles tickets.

When I first found out, earlier this week, that they were going to be performing nearby, I immediately started researching; I studied over the seating chart of the venue, mapped directions and even considered staying overnight just to be adventurous.

I had, after careful planning, decided exactly where I wanted to sit in order to be able to see them up close and personal.

I even went as far as to rationalize the justification to dip into my carefully squirreled away new-camera-lens fund in order to be a part of something  that I found to be so incredible that it literally took my breath away.

I had my seat picked out and was ready to go forward with what would be a crowning moment in my life.

I haven’t slept much all week due mostly to the anticipation of today.  I was ready.  I was prepared.  I was going to do it.

I was going to see The Eagles, performing live and I could barely keep any other thought in my head.

Then reality slapped me in the face.

When the magic time came and the tickets officially went on sale, the sticker shock nearly sent me into a coma.

The ticket prices I had researched earlier in the week, which were high, but, as I said, I had rationalized the justification,  had risen over a hundred dollars.

WTH??

I found that I could get a ticket in the nosebleed section for a right arm and four of my total of six pints of blood.

If I were to be invited to dine with them and then become their personal photographer, I wouldn’t have blinked an eye … but let’s be real here.  I would be paying to watch them on video (because they would be too far away to see in person) and I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I’m not about to shell out a bundle of money, sacrificing a new lens for my camera, to see a video of something I can watch for free from home.

I didn’t want to be there, in the netherworld, the bowels, the forgotten area of the arena.  I knew where I wanted to be and if I couldn’t be where I wanted to be, then I wasn’t interested in paying an exorbitant price.

It is times like this that being independently wealthy would come in extremely handy.

I took a moment and thought of the price of the ticket and how much it would now take from my new-camera-lens fund.  The decision took about as long as the thought did.

I won’t be seeing The Eagles in concert because I want, more than to see Don Henley, to have a new lens for my camera.

And I can’t, at these ridiculous ticket prices, have both.

So, I will pass, with a huge pang of regret, on seeing The Eagles on, which is rumored, to be their last tour.

Sorry, Don, but the camera lens takes priority.

I have all the albums (vinyl, of course), many of the eight-tracks (if you don’t know what that is, don’t ask because I’m already in a foul mood), all of the cassettes, because that was the latest trend, most of the CD’s because I simply had to have them and every song that is currently available for download on Spotify.

I will most likely, knowing how I am, once the day approaches, regret my decision to fore-go the price of admission to an iconic concert by what is likely my all-time favorite music group, but when I have the new wide-angle lens for my camera, Don will be little more than a blip on my high definition sensor.

Priorities, and all that jazz.

Beemer, a sweet Great Pyrenees, shows his Hollywood

Taking it easy, literally …

Hotel California ... ok, really just the view from my front porch, but still ...

Hotel California … ok, really just the view from my front porch, but still …

In my dreams and cherished fantasies …

I find myself where I am now; looking out at the Atlantic ocean as it bumps up against the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  When I see myself down the road, this is where I envision my reality to be.  I’ve been places; many places, but none of them call to me, in my soul like this little strip of land on the Ocean.

I find my heart soaring, my inner self singing and know that I have, in every sense of my being, come home.

Maybe in a past life, or with inherited memory, or some other cosmic force, I have been here before, living and breathing and soaring through the air.  I know it as I know my own home.  I feel a belonging that beckons me to stop and stay; for a while or forever.

I can see myself, years down the road, waking to the sunrise, driving to the lighthouses, watching the wild horses, singing a song that only one who lives by the sea can sing.

Tears threaten, but they are tears of peace and contentment.  Sorrow is as far from me as the depths of the ocean I gaze upon.

God has given me this space of time, the peace of mind, the joy in my heart.  He knows of that which I had need.

And He, as always, is faithful.

Papaw’s Girls …papawasgirls

Feeding the gulls (they enjoy Pringles)feedingthegulls

Pelicans and the Pierjeanettespier_OBX

After hours … in the presence of the LightBodieIslandLight

Warm weather means one thing to me …

convertible top down!  OK, maybe two things, at least once my sister’s pool is operational, that is.

There is nothing like driving along with the convertible top down and the music loud to ease every care from my mind.  A balm to my spirit, it is.  And I love it.  Every minute of it.

I don’t mind that I get crazy looks as I gaze toward the sky and clouds as I’m driving along.  They bring me comfort and ease and I feel as though I am one with them.  Who doesn’t, I ask, want to be one with the sky?

One with the clouds?  One with the birds?  One with the stars?  One with the moon?

The music varies widely and can go from Ozzy Osbourne one minute to Bach the next to Styx the next to Wagner the next.  There is no rhyme nor reason, only joy; pure unbridled, joy.

Today, the temperature reached 92° and I was in my own personal Heaven.  The sun beat down, warm on my skin and in my eyes.

I was sun-kissed and it was awesome.

I spend way too much of my time thinking of things, places and people that I aught not be thinking about and my convertible time empties my mind.  It sets me free in a way that I cannot explain.

I am myself.  My thoughts are my own and if the tears fall, they are my own as well.  I still think of things and of people, but they are are freer, more beautiful, somehow.

Open and wonderful, without guilt, without compromise.  Simply mine.

I am me.  I am a Sagittarius.  I wish, I want, I will things into being and then, when they don’t suit me, I may mourn for them, but ultimately, let them go.

On these occasions, I am nothing more than a petal spiraling in the wind, wishing wishes and floating, as though weightless, above the earth.

The hay grass dancing.

The lightning bugs flickering.

I am a part of nature and it is spectacular.

Life.

The ultimate roller coaster with the ups and downs, unexpected and exhilarating,with its realistic to the point of detriment, dreams.

And I, from this moment forward, plan to enjoy the ride.  And, when the dreams, sometimes plain, oft times erotic and breathtaking, filled with music, come, I plan to enjoy them, too.

I will embrace them and become part of them, immersing myself in them.

I will thrive in the dreams that I dream and know that I, after all, am still me, with my hopes, longing  and desires.

Human.

Still me, always me, and relishing that which comes int0 my mind.

I intend to waste none of this magnificent existence, whether real or imagined, dreams or reality.

I’ve wasted too much time, already.

Beemer, a sweet Great Pyrenees, shows his Hollywood