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-Skelter
Word 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 about what they will be or do when they grow up, and how—once they reach a certain age—they tend to dream about being young again.

Anyway, my grandson and son are actually a part of this creation and I’ve shared both images in different forms. That’s what got me thinking. I worked on it for hours last night, and again this morning, and finally decided it was time to move on to the next order of business.

That’s all for now. Today is softball Sunday, so off I go……

Peace & Love Everyone!
—Janet

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

Turquoise Lake, Colorado

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 and then, sometime later, I look back to question everything and point out the imperfections.

Needless to say, the only thing that emerged from all of my overthinking was a bunch of unnecessary stress.

As I laid down to rest, I did what comes naturally now…

I surrendered.

I listened to my music, turned everything over to God… and I allowed my body to relax… as the tears rolled down my cheeks. They weren’t tears of sadness or frustration, mind you; they were tears of peace, tears of joy, and tears of love. Surrender will do that.

For today’s Which Way Challenge, I decided to use this photo because it reminded me that striving too hard, or failing to surrender, is like trying to force your way through rush hour traffic. You can push and prod, change lanes frequently, honk your horn… and even shout obscenities, but the fact of the matter is you won’t really get too far. Plus you’ll suffer from self-inflicted stress, and probably piss off other drivers in the process.

Surrender, on the other hand, reminds me of my road trips. I know it will be a long journey, I know I’ll run into traffic, and I welcome the unexpected detours. I relax, play my music, go with the flow… and soak in the scenery.

And if anyone asks me which way I’m going, I answer “hmmm… I don’t know… wherever the road takes me…”

Peace & Love—
—Janet

Which Way Challenge: January 24th

The strongest position you can be in is complete surrender.

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.

This was a fun prompt, and a great time to share another image from my trip. This late night photo was sort of messy, so I doctored it up and added ‘shooting stars’ to give it new life.

The funniest part is that I think they actually DID have Karaoke going on when we went by. Needless to say, we didn’t go inside… we were busy walking around and taking photographs.

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 & Love Everyone!

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 me, because… as they say: No matter where I go, there I am.

It’s easy to feel discouraged, hopeless, irritated or angry when you believe that everything ‘outside of yourself’ is the cause of your condition. When you learn that YOU hold they key, and that you have the ability to change how YOU feel or react to these things… well… suddenly the world looks totally different!

—Janet

RDP Tuesday: Angle

Life is good and God is GREAT!

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

Tell the Story

While I was off camping, msjadeli at Tao Talk tagged me to “Tell The Story” (or write a poem) about the image below.

It wasn’t easy, but here goes…

—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

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 and Photography. I’m not changing my major—or adding a second major—and I really have no destination in sight.

For now I’m just going to listen to my heart, do what I love… and enjoy my dreams in the mist.

—Janet

Nova’s Daily Random Word #39: Dream

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 I’ve always loved this image so I wanted to experiment and transform him into a silhouette. With Sneakers. Ha! Today I am grateful for Photoshop, that’s all I have to say.

Have a beautiful week everyone—
Peace & Love!