Category Archives: pencil

Five years later …

or nearly so, I am still sorting through my late husband’s things.

I should be past overpowering sadness by now.

I suppose I am, mostly.

But being a writer and photographer hinders that absolution.

Just when I begin to ascertain peace in my life, words intervene; I write about him and tear those nearly closed wounds open again.

It is as though he died this day, this moment, this hour.

Sadness seeps through the crevices the words carve.

Normal humans move forward, live their lives, make something of themselves from the shattered remains.

I want that, too.

But I’m a writer.

I’m a photographer.

I keep tearing those wounds, just as they’re healing, open.

I love writing about everything and photographing God’s perfect beauty; but it has a price.

I pay dearly through my words for they rip open wounds I’ve desperately attempted to close.

I bleed, painfully, and use photography to heal me.

Each image I capture stitches the brokenness and, simultaneously, pours remembrance on not quite yet healed hurts.

If one is not an artist of some kind, time will ease your pain.

For the rest of us, those with creative pieces in our soul, time simply laughs.

When the words, melodies and images are in our head and heart, there is little time can do.

What it can do is soon undone by what we are.

Sadness is my destiny, peace my hope.

And yet I write.

I photograph.

My hope is great.

My healing never really comes.

I have to ask myself if I would be willing to sacrifice my writing and photography for peace.

No, I answer.

I can live without peace.

To live without words and images would truly and altruistically destroy me.

That which brings me sadness will fuel my hope.

I am a writer and photographer.

Therein lies my hope.

image

image

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Tears …

have their place.

For the most part, they are useless and do little more than induce a headache.  They can quickly escalate from simple tears to uncontrollable sobbing.

While sobbing uncontrollably  can be purging and purifying, it is one of those things that lands you in the back of a police car in the wee hours of the morning for a personal escort to the nuthouse.

I’m not guessing here, I’m telling it straight.

Tears sometimes come unbidden, unexpected and inexplicable.

No reason.

No provocation.

They come as they like because tears have that kind of power.

The power to overwhelm, discombobulate and wreak havok.   They lie and pretend and make merry of themselves without any indication to their derivation.

I have plenty of things I could, were I so inclined, to cry over, but I choose not to because crying doesn’t change anything.    And yet tonight, I find tears that I cannot define and have no understanding of running down my face.

I cry over many things, that is true, and sometimes, I cry just to be crying.  But I know when I’m crying that it is for a specific reason or, as is sometimes the case, just to be crying.

I am not, as I am tonight, stymied by the origin of the tears or their purpose.

So I came up with the only explanation I could think of …

these tears aren’t mine.

I don’t know who they belong to, but I am rejecting ownership.

I cry when I need to cry; when the wind is right, when the clouds are perfect, when lightning finds its way into the lens of my camera, when someone close to me is gone, when my friends are hurting, when I miss someone, when I realize that I am an idiot, when leaves change in Autumn, when I’m mad (mad tears being the ones that get everyone in trouble), when I’m happy … well, this could go on for days, so lets just say, I know when I cry even if I don’t know precisely why I cry.

I’m not the one crying.

Not this time.

These are not my tears, but because someone is crying them, I will endure them for their sake and hope that the morning brings them solace.

I like to imagine that I live in a world where the few people close to me  know me unconditionally.  I realize that while they  know me, they, in every likelihood, will never really understand me.

That is a constant that I have learned to live with over the years.

I can’t keep up with my own madness so how, pray tell, could anyone else.

There is no fault, no blame, no accusations.

Just the smack in the face of reality and reality, make no mistake, can pack a serious punch.

My drummer plays a tune that is out of sync with the real world.  That’s how it is and I live with it.

But … since these are not my tears, I simply say wth, wipe them away and move on.

Or try to.

They are persistent, these tears that are not my own.

I have a life to live, photographs to take, places to see, dreams to dream, music to learn, piano to play and I don’t have time to play emotional games with players that apparently, since they can sic their tears on me, outrank me by a considerable margin.

It would be more conducive to rational behavior were the tear-sharer to make themselves known to me.

If I sound nuts, then all is right with the world at this moment, because I am, even on a good day, teetering precariously on that fine line between reality and insanity.

I don’t deny that.

But dammit, I know when I’m crying tears that belong to me.

I am what you see, what you see is what you get, what you get is what you see and there aren’t any games.

So … somebody claim these damn tears and face your own demons because my schedule is already full.

my depiction of an eye ... a pencil sketch.

my depiction of an eye … a pencil sketch.

I’m learning to see with my eyes …

and it is so very cool.  I suppose, coming from a photographer, that sounds a bit odd, but it is true.  When taking photographs, my eyes pick up beauty, my mind recognizes the beauty of light and my camera captures the image.

While it takes a bit of skill, it isn’t obstinately complicated.

Art class, however, has taken me to places I never knew existed, realms that before that first day, I hadn’t had the insight to imagine.  I find that my eyes want to see things that aren’t there, almost like a camera.  I see dark shadows and try to put into place what exists there.

I’m learning that nothing exists there other than the dark shadows.

I know about shadow and light.  I know about aperture and lens speed.  I am quite adept at depth of field and have macro down to a science.

What I don’t know, however, but am learning, is about shadow and shading.  It is a different world, one that I find I love.  More than photography?  I don’t know.  The jury is still out on that, but I know this; I love watching a pencil sketch become something recognizable.

Knowing that it came my eyes and my hands and my mind.

Knowing that I have the ability to breathe it, with some effort, practice and determination to learn the craft, as well as encouragement from a stellar teacher, onto the paper.

It is mind-boggling and it makes me feel powerful in a way that I never thought possible.

It makes me feel closer to God knowing that, through my eyes and by the movement of my hand, I can create something out of nothing.

Without sunsets or full moons or mountain vistas.

Me.

Creating something beautiful.

I am awestruck at the joy I feel when I have a pencil in my hand and blank piece of paper before me.

I find, though, that the old habits of little faith and lack of self-confidence butt up head-to-head with my new-found joy;  I am also learning , however,to tell that voice that tells me I can’t to shut up.

I can.  And I will.

As a matter of fact, I already am.

So for those who feel inadequate, that they don’t quite measure up, that they are inferior … think again.

I am finding that when I don’t compare myself to others, when I believe in myself, when I have faith in the gifts that my Father God has given me, I measure up just fine.

Sam … beautiful Sam … facebook_1290742365(1)

An eye for which to see with … IMAG0284_1