Month: January 2019

Into the Unknown

Haiku #5 Enigmatic Path, Shadows and light intertwine, Past and present merge. I found several old road trip photographs while (still) sifting through my archives. I believe this one was taken in Utah. My boyfriend (at the time) wasn’t one to make pit stops, so my head was hanging out of the window most of the time—taking pictures—when we traveled together. I thought this was a good candidate for the Which Way photo challenge today. The fact that you can’t see where we’re going; only where we are and where we’ve been was the inspiration for the Haiku. Maybe road trips really ARE a bit like life. And relationships. The rain did, indeed, arrive today and we had some exciting lightning and thunder earlier this afternoon. That being said, I’ve put off my errands for now, and hope to get to some of the word challenges soon. Which Way Photo Challenge: January 31

Balance

Rain taps the window, Inviting us out to play, Childlike dreams return, Cares melt away in each drop, Balance is being restored. —Janet Written for Your Daily Word Prompt: Inviting, & RDP Tuesday: Balance Rain is like macaroni & cheese to me. It’s my comfort weather. The fire goes on, blankets get piled high, and I have an excuse to stay in bed with a good book (guilt free!). A day like that is a great way to restore balance. I wanted to share some exciting news about school. After working as an unpaid graphic design intern for two semesters, I’m going to be official this semester. I will actually get paid for my work!

Helter-Skelter

The midnight oil is burning. Scribbled words on shreds of notepaper litter the floor beneath my seat. I let out a yelp as the computer warns of pending doom: “Online storage approaching maximum capacity; purchase upgrade for more space!” Perhaps I shouldn’t write tonight. Shuffling through images from my past, I contemplate long and hard about which ones to retain, and which ones to throw out. Some of the photos seem so sad, so grainy. I look beyond the flaws, and into the memories that they bring. Perhaps I should save them all, it’s so hard to let go. Attempting to consolidate only creates more commotion, more chaos… I’ll finish tomorrow. Weekend Writing Prompt #91: Helter-SkelterWord Count: 111 Word of the Day Challenge: Yelp I don’t know if it’s cheating the 111 word count to go on like this, but I’m a rebel anyway so who cares. 🙂 I wanted to say something about my collage. I actually thought about writing a Haiku for this, because it reminded me of how little boys dream… usually …

Pull up a Seat

This photo challenge seemed like an opportunity to make some art out of an image I’ve had around for a while. These seats are/were located in the small (and beautiful) town of Buena Vista, in Colorado. We were lucky to have three months ‘without‘ snow when we lived high in the Rocky Mountains, so taking the 35 mile drive was like going to heaven for a day. As we made our way down, the sun would start to shine, the air would warm up… and the snow along the highway would dissolve. It was a pleasant surprise to spot this outdoor seating arrangement, and sit for a rest just above the Arkansas River. Pull up a Seat Challenge 2019: Week 4 TGIF!

In the Distance

I think this photo was made for color, but I thought the lake and mountains in the distance were perfect for Cee’s Black & White challenge today. Also… I found an interesting quote that I’m going to keep in mind when I go back to school… The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it. Ansel Adams

Go With the Flow

Late last night, as I pondered what to write about in my next post, the question “what are you trying to accomplish here?” came to mind. I thought about how my blog started—how I wanted to share the story of my recovery, and offer words of “hope” to other people who were still suffering—and then I thought about how the subject matter has twisted, turned, and evolved over time.   I wondered if certain words that I’ve written were (or were not) necessary; whether or not they conveyed anything “positive or uplifting” to the person they might reach, or if they were just “filler.” The bottom line is that I want to write words that matter, and I critique my words harshly… reprimanding myself at times for being hasty; not thinking things through carefully, or failing to do my very best. I think it boils down to two things: impatience and perfectionism. I always feel rushed—like there’s some ‘imaginary’ deadline I have to meet—so I zig zag around to get things done at warp speed …

Dating Disasters

Over at Harry’s Beach Bar, The music plays all night. My date and I stopped in there, To have a quick little bite. Regrettably I’d told a tale, About my rock star vocals, How shocked I was, To read the sign: Karaoke TONIGHT for Locals! No doubt, I was in a pickle, For my singing he’d abhor, So I excused myself… To the ladies room, And left through the back door. Three Things Challenge: Rock Star, Beach, Pickle

Behind my Veil

Do I deceive myself? Does this thin veil protect me, From your copious attempts, To whisk me away into the night, Penetrate my covering, Steal my heart, And leave me vulnerable? Or do I deceive you? Hoping that you’ll instigate the affair, So that I can watch, As you search hopelessly, Allowing you to believe, That my heart is actually hidden here? —Janet Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: Copious Word of the Day Challenge: Instigate This isn’t really my style, but I had some revealing thoughts recently, about the roles that I’ve played in some of my ‘tragic’ love stories. I guess it’s true what they say… it really DOES take two to tango. It’s not always beautiful to see the truth about ourselves, but we’ll never be able to change what’s wrong until we do. Anyway, I thought the poem went well with my art. This was an accidental piece, and it lit a fire in me to try some new techniques… so I hope to do some more experimenting today. That’s about all for now—Peace …

New Perspectives

Oftentimes I tell the people I meet about my transformation; how much I’ve changed since entering recovery and coming to believe. The way I usually describe it is that all of these changes are internal… they can’t be seen. Well, aside from the fact that you won’t “see” me drinking anymore. Sometimes I refer to it as a “new attitude,” and other times I say that a lot of it has do with “gratitude.” Even so, I still find myself complaining or whining at times (especially when I play softball), but I’m able to recognize my behavior, pull out my tools, and work on fixing the problem. While pondering the word angle—I realized that looking at life, myself, and others from different perspectives is probably one of the KEY factors behind my transformation. My new attitude stems from seeing things from new angles, and the ability to do so keeps me grateful. One of the greatest things I learned in recovery was that I need to look at my own reflection when something is bothering …

My Mind’s Eye

From where I was standing, I saw beauty everywhere. The gulls appeared to know me, As if they recognized my stare. My mind’s eye scanned the horizon, Rousing dull shades into vibrant hues, Melancholy grays, Into sapphire blues. Moving quickly, I traversed the mud and the trash. I saw snowflakes and crystals, As I watched the waves crash. The storm the eve before, Left puddles, wind, and freezing air… But on the coast that morning, Not a surfer, Nor I, Had a single care. —Janet Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge: Dream

Inquisitive

When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. Walt Disney This was one of those unique moments, when you see something that you just don’t see every day. Word of the Day Challenge: Unique

Tell the Story

—Everything Changed Everything changed on that warm autumn eve, Darkness hid behind a billion stars. Iridescent streams pirouetted past, The wind hummed like a thousand guitars. Leaves tussled to mask their fragility, Exposed by the penetrating beams, Then consented with grace, and surrendered, Nothing is quite as it seems. The mystic haze whispered a warning cry, To the hearts that would soon be converged, Unaware of the loss that would be mourned, When the beautiful woman emerged. A part of my soul was lost on that night, My sweet vixen, she had tears in her eyes, In human form, she would forget us soon, So in silence, we said our goodbyes. —Janet While I was off camping, msjadeli at Tao Talk tagged me to “Tell The Story” (or write a poem) about the image below. Everything Changed was my story.

Dreams in the Mist

I don’t know if anyone else ever falls into this trap, but I constantly find myself trying to turn my dreams—or the things I love—into some kind of product, as if they’re things I need to own. It’s like the person who loves to swim, who’ll never be satisfied until their backyard has a pool… or the occasional fisherman who believes he’ll find ultimate happiness ONLY after he buys a boat. And you know what they say: “The happiest days of a boat owner’s life are the day they buy a boat—and the day they sell the boat.” Well, all of my hemming and hawing over my college major came to a wonderful close recently when I considered these analogies. I realized that I’ve been too fixated on the road… or the tangible outcomes (degrees)… and somewhere in the interim I lost sight of my dreams; the things I actually LOVE to do—just for the sake of doing them. I made a decision to venture off the pathway this spring; I’ve enrolled in Creative Writing …

Wings to Fly

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings. Gustave Flaubert I’m back from my mini vacation… and I feel like I’m ready to fly! I’ve got a ton of catching up to do, and a plethora of images to sort through… but I wanted to share one of my favorite photographs thus far. I shot this the first day of my trip, at a park near the beach. I love capturing birds on the move (as many of you already know), so I was thrilled when this duck struck a pose and I was able to catch it. I just love it when that happens! Until later…Peace & Love Everyone!—Janet

Keep Dreaming

My dreams are vivid, they’re bold and alive. The colors run deep, as they spin and they jive. Often they fade, to black, and to white— Others appear in magnificent light. Sometimes in shadows, or a dark silhouette— They wait as I cling to the fear of regret. One dream can splinter, into two, even three— I’ll never stop dreaming of all I can be. —Janet— Weekend Writing Prompt #89: Silhouette Word of the Day Challenge: Splinter Well… in spite of the predicted rain, I’m heading to the beach tomorrow for a four day stay. I’m so excited! I’m taking along my camera, and dreaming of some great shots… but even a few mediocre ones will do! Speaking of photographs, I have to mention something about my featured image. My son and I went to the Phoenix Art Museum years ago, and I’ve had this photograph of him for years. When I saw the word silhouette today, I decided it was time to get creative with it. Not everyone wants to see “family photos,” but …

The Shack

Far beneath the jagged cliff … Where men are seldom seen, A dilapidated shack … Lies in the dark ravine. Beaten by the fog and mist … Its coverings worn thin, Things were said to go awry… When Enmity moved in. —Janet— Three Things Challenge: Mist, Shack, Cliff Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: Enmity I’m really enjoying these word challenges. Seems like a great way to motivate and inspire, and it’s really helping me ‘stick to my guns’ and write something every day. I have more words to conquer—that brought about uplifting thoughts—and some updates to share, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting again later. TGIF

Weapons

Lips, rest firmly on the trigger- Blistered by thoughts, simmering there. Frustration, igniting the fuse- Fires words as bullets, through the air. Like a dagger, tearing through flesh- Words thrust, with malevolent force. Echoed cries, of hollowed anger- Later to bleed, with great remorse. —Janet

The Blues

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Anything Related to Music I thought it would be fun to take part in another photo challenge, and ‘anything related to music’ sounded like a great theme for an old Memphis road trip photo. I’ll get back to writing soon. I needed a little breather! Peace & Love…—Janet

Raw Beauty

I had a revelation the other day, when I was pondering what breathtaking means to me. I realized that my relationship with photo programs began when I was shooting nature in Colorado. There’s just something that you feel—when you see nature with your own eyes—that can’t be reproduced when you look at a photograph. At least that’s how I see it. Post-processing started as my way of trying to recapture that feeling somehow. Of course, now my images often morph into wild or wacky art—and end up looking quite different in the end. The first photo above literally became last night’s Circle of Life. Feeling playful and rebellious, I shaped it into something abstract. Anyway, all of these images were taken from our apartment, when we lived in Colorado, and I’ve done as little as possible to them. We had the best view in the complex, and Mother Nature… with all of her raw beauty… never failed to put on an amazing show.

The Monsoon

—Photo Memories This photograph was taken when I lived in a mobile home for a few short months, in a town called Catalina… in Arizona. It’s about 20 miles or so from Tucson, and those are the Santa Catalina Mountains in the distance. My best guess is that I took it a little over ten years ago, and probably with a cellphone. There were actually a handful of old images that I found, that would probably qualify for the Word of the Day Challenge—breathtaking, but I wanted to use this one because of what breathtaking means to me. One of the things I remember the most about Catalina is being outside in the middle of a sunny afternoon, blue skies above, and hearing the thunder start to build in the distance. It was faint at first, and if you followed its echo you could see the dark and ominous cloud billowing in the distance. The sky would begin to darken, ever so slightly, and gusts of wind would send whirls of dust through the air. …

Metamorphosis

Sometimes I look back at my life, and I laugh about my dreams. When I was young, I wanted to be a cheetah. That dream led me to depression though, because cheetahs run so fast and no matter how hard I tried… it seemed as though it took me forever just to get from here to there. As I got a little older, I realized that I needed to be something else. I decided that I’d be much better off if I could be a lion. Lions are so courageous, and they have such strong muscles! I dreamed about being a lion for quite a long time, but it seemed to me that I didn’t have a single bone in my body. How could I wander bravely through the jungle if I didn’t have any bones? I envied lions for that. Eventually reality sunk in, and I just knew that I’d never be a lion. Maybe I was just being immature, wanting to be fast and strong like those animals that I admired. I was …

Magical Makeovers

—A Page in My Journal My best friend went to cosmetology school when she was eighteen, and I was the brave subject of her very first “perm.” It looked pretty BAD, but eventually my hair grew out. Over the years that followed (or decades I should say), she became the extremely talented hairdresser that she is today. For many of those years, although she did exactly what I had asked her to do, I’d come away from her shop feeling slightly disappointed. Sometimes I wondered if it was just MY hair that never seemed to come out “just like” the pictures that I would bring her. I don’t know why it took her so many years to say it; but finally one day when we were discussing my dissatisfaction, she said that sometimes people come in believing that their new color or cut will make them look just like “the woman” in the photographs that they bring in, but that just isn’t the case. And it certainly isn’t a reality. All I can say is …

Ghost Town

Facades and foundations are all that remain, Of the city from which her spirit once came. Underneath the dust, and the rubble there lay, Narrow streets lined with gold… least that’s what they say. During one summer, when the moon shone just right, A man’s said to have seen her, There dancing at night. It’s believed that their hearts were at once set on fire, On top of that mountain, beyond the old mire. Now legend it goes… that once every June, Some see their shadows, up in the full moon. — by JanetWord Count: 91 Weekend Writing Prompt #88: Foundations Today’s Accomplishment: Write an Acrostic Poem (and I just learned what that was yesterday, so this was a challenge indeed!) Peace & Love Everyone!

Which Way?

Today’s Accomplishment: Post an Image for a Photo Challenge ( I do find that very challenging) Which Way Photo Challenge There are so many awesome photographers that I follow, and each time they post their beautiful black and white photographs (and color too) I get inspired… so for that I want to say “thank you!” Your images brighten my day. Anyway, I thought this photograph from my days in Colorado was perfect for this particular challenge. The sign is obviously confusing once the snow has finished thawing (Snuck the Word of the Day challenge in there too). That’s about all for now. I’m going to work on the weekend writing prompt: Foundations, and that’s a great word so I’m going to take my time on that one. Happy Saturday!!

Blind Ambition

Lessons learned the hard way The signs are ever there Red flag warnings flashing Read “ENTER IF YOU DARE” Passions blind our senses We fail to heed the call Refusing to acknowledge The writing on the wall Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: Wall

Introspection

Fear, like a giant boulder…Stays weighted at my feet.—Afraid I’ll miss the curtain call, I stay paralyzed…Gazing at the stage to find my cue. Impatience, like a cold wind…Sends me sailing into a flurry.—I shatter into pieces, chasing a million things…Until all that’s left are tiny shards. Reason, like a brilliant scientist…Wants to put me back together.—Like a puzzle to be solved, I inspect the fragments…But many of the pieces have been lost. Acceptance, like a soft embrace…Whispers I am enough.—The mystery becomes magical, and I feel love. But, Gratitude… Sweet, sweet Gratitude—Like a burning flame…She warms my soul. … Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge: Gratitude Today’s Accomplishment: Write a poem without a rhyme Dr. Seuss likes to whistle tunes to me when I even ‘think’ about poetry, so this was extremely hard for me. Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. —African Proverb

Madness

Everything is spinning, And things are upside down. Do my eyes deceive me? Or are crazies running ’round? They like to taunt and tease me, They’ll never leave, I dread… No one else can see them, Here hiding in my head. … Inspired by Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: Madness I got excited when I saw today’s word because I knew it was the perfect opportunity to put one of my ‘zoo light’ photographs to use. A little spin here, a little blur there… and voila! It’s madness! Peace & Love!—Janet

Playing the Game

Well, I never made it outside yesterday (Boooo). Honestly… it is freaking COLD here! Not as cold as so many places, but in California these recent “extremes” are quite shocking to some of us natives. Anyway, even though I made a silent vow to stay away from my archived photographs, this morning I remembered some images I took at the park some time ago, and this one seemed perfect for today’s thoughts. Par for the course, I played around in Photoshop to make it appear a little “dreamy.” I couldn’t help but wonder if this young boy was dreaming a little himself at that moment; feeling hopeful about his future in baseball. I don’t know if I mentioned it before… but this past summer I played coed slow-pitch softball. I’ve now joined a winter league, and this weekend is our first practice game. A friend of mine—who has never played before—has also signed up, and this past Sunday the two of us went to the batting cages. After showing her how to hold the bat, …

The Enigma

This photograph has been in my folder for a while now, and I didn’t know if I would ever use it until I saw the One Word Challenge: Enigma. It’s definitely an odd little piece. I could tell you what it is… but then the mystery would be gone. On another note, the long anticipated day is here… a fresh start to a brand new year. No matter what everyone says, and no matter how hard those resolutions are to keep, I’m still making my mental list—and even writing some of them down. One of the things I’ve been avoiding—probably due to fear—is buckling down and learning more about photography. That is probably at the top of my list. It’s fun to use Photoshop, but sometimes I wish I could just go out, shoot a marvelous image, download it to the PC and post it. That’s something I’m really shooting for this year. Anyway, I won’t go on and on about my list… it’s a new day, the wind is really howling here, and I …