composite art, Life from A to Z

Untethered

“Walk outside on a clear night and just look up into the sky. You are sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere.”

Michael A. Singer

Life: From A to Z

I’m back for my series Life: From A to Z and I’m nearing the end now… with the useful letter “U.” I’ve decided to combine the letters X, Y, and Z, so I have just three more posts to go and then I’ll be moving on to something totally new and different. Hip Hip Hooray! I love new things.

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Faith, Life from A to Z

Endurance with Ease

In thinking about the letter “E,” the words energy and endurance came to mind. As I started working on my image, I wasn’t sure which one I was going to talk about, or what I would even say, so I created something that might tie the two words together. Obviously, this woman has energy, and it’s possible she’s trying to build her endurance. Still, I was drawing a blank.

And then I found my inspiration (thank you Google). This incredible quote by William Barclay…

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”

As a recovering alcoholic who is now joyously sober (going on 5 years next month), and an agnostic turned believer, this quote really resonated with me. When you’re living a life of transformation, and sharing that story with others… it can be terrifying at first. Self-doubt loves to rear it’s ugly head and whisper things like “What if you fail? What if you screw it all up? What will your story say about you then?!?

It’s a weird place to be. You want to tell EVERYONE the story of how God changed your life, with the innocence and excitement of a child, but you also sense that you’ll have to bear the weight of this HUGE adult responsibility… you have to STAY that way. You have to STAY sober. Otherwise, your story will be like so many other stories out there. “Yeah, God changed me alright. But then I turned around and changed myself back.”

If there is anything good at all that comes from the dark times that so many of us experience—no matter what those dark times might be—it’s that these trials, hardships and adversities make us stronger. They build our endurance. We have to get to the other side of them first, of course, but once we do… we are different.

The way I see it now is that if I was able to live through the hell that I put myself through when I was in my disease, I sure as hell can live out my sobriety. And with a daily surrender, there’s really nothing for me to bear. I turn it over to Him and then it’s in His hands. I get to live in His grace… and He gets all the glory.

Amen… and End of Story!

Thanks for joining me in my series Life: From A to Z. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the letter “E,” and I’ll see you around soon for the letter “F!”


Some of you may have noticed that I’ve changed image styles again. I was recently inspired by an interesting abstract piece that I saw and so I’ve been experimenting with these motion blur backgrounds. When I added the woman (who I photographed at the beach some time ago), I noticed that the colors of her clothes and skin were blending with the water… almost perfectly. How cool is that?!

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Let’s start anew!

After 3 years and 10 months of being on this blog, and while suffering from COVID-itis (also known as having extra time and trying to make good use of it), I’ve decided… WHAT THE HECK, let’s go back to the beginning.

Something I’ve realized is that our stories get old. They become stale. When looking back from a new perspective, we see and feel things differently than we did in the past. Maybe we’ve learned more about our lives and our experiences and we need to expand on our old ideas. Or perhaps we find that some of the chapters we’ve lived are no longer relevant to our story; they’re history, and they no longer serve a purpose. Either way, each person’s story is their own, and it’s up to them to make use of it.

I’ve hemmed and hawed about what to do with my 4 year old story. I thought about taking it down— deleting the old pages—because it feels outdated to me, and I fear it’s value has expired. But, after much deliberation and consideration, I’ve decided that it would be more interesting and worthwhile to change it up, or “RE-write” the story—from a totally new perspective. 

In the Beginning was first shared on October 2, 2016. It was my very first post, and the very first chapter of my ongoing “real life” story. That’s a lot of firsts. This particular chapter focused on when my problems all started; adolescence. What I’ve learned since writing it, is that fear, loneliness, and confusion are common at that age, and there are many people who had the same exact thoughts, feelings and/or experiences during these young years (and beyond).

I think the key take-away here is that we are never as alone as we think we are, we just can’t find that out unless we are willing to open up and share. That being said, I’ve turned this old chapter into a poem about teenage angst, and the crucial thing that I was lacking in those days… faith.

Choose wisely

Innocence flutters away, 

As self-awareness blooms,

Philosophy fills the mind, 

With questions that consume.

Who am I? Why am I here?

What will I become?

What’s the reason for living?

And where did life come from?

Something inside of us shifts,

At this “coming of age,”

We begin to wear our masks,

And the world becomes our stage.

It’s a crossroads we all face,

Never sure which way to turn,

The directions seem unclear, and…

There are lessons we will learn.

Be strong, and choose wisely my child,

For so many will deceive,

But One will always guide you right,

And all those who ask… 

Receive. 


I created a new featured image as well… a little pink to represent the wonders of my innocence and youth.

Life is good, and God is great! 


READ MORE POSTS IN THIS SERIES
In The Beginning
Rewriting Your Story

journaling, The Journey, Unteach Me, writing

In the Beginning

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Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

Rabindranath Tagore

Another recycled image today! I had forgotten about my “feather close-ups” that I wanted to dig into some months ago. When I saw the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Abstract in Black and White I went searching and found one that I had done, and I re-did it. I like it! Feathers are so beautiful.

Last night I had my new student orientation. I was SO glad it was on Zoom because I felt so bad. What are the odds of that!? Anyway, today I ordered my books, and Monday is my first day EVER attending a University. How exciting! I think I’m a little nervous. Even if it is virtual for now. Anyway, I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter, and I have faith that the journey will be fulfilling and rewarding.

That’s about all for now.
Peace & Love!!
—Janet

Abstract, Art

Faith to Fly

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Art, Faith, journaling, Lifestyle Change

Where am I going?


Is anyone else asking this question lately?

The featured image here is pretty significant, as it struck me in several ways. First, I took the photograph several years ago and—until yesterday—never even knew that the Santa Monica Pier is literally the end of the famous (or maybe not so famous) Route 66.

The historic route started in Illinois (Chicago), ran 2,400 miles westward (across 8 states), and ended in California, at the Pacific Ocean, right where I shot the image. Over time, the original route has been changed and rerouted, so the old Route 66 is no longer “official.” If you plan it right, you can still make the journey across a good portion of it—and there are many cool markers to be found. This is one of them… a sign delineating the End of the Trail

Which is ironic, because that’s actually another thing that struck me about the image… the end of the trail. Lately, there are a few things that I’ve thought about giving up, and blogging is one of them. “This image would be ideal for my farewell post,” I said to myself. The end of the road, so to speak. I know that sounds overdramatic, but I really did entertain the idea. 

Sometimes these waves come over me—however fleeting they may be—and I consider throwing in the towel. It feels as though I’m writing “much ado about nothing” and tossing empty words into an even emptier universe; the dark tunnel we call the internet. My words echo as they leave me… FADING… fading…… and then they disappear, never to return. 

For one thing, the things that I write about have morphed dramatically over time. The reason for coming aboard in the first place was to share my story of finding God and recovering from alcoholism. That story has been told. It’s preserved in time, WAY back in my archives, and there are many other bloggers out there—just like me—telling the same story. We’ve done it! We’re doing it… every day.

As for the present, I’m not an evangelist, or an apologist, and I have no education in theology, so I try to be VERY careful with my words about my faith. Someone was too quick to hint around about my errors, and I was deeply saddened by that. So… I’ve stuck to the philosophy that “living my life as I now live it” is continuous (and rather convincing) evidence of my walk of faith. And I am still sober and forever grateful for this new life.

And then I considered my New Lifestyle, New Me project. I LOVE the idea, and I’m very enthusiastic about it, but already it’s a struggle. Off to a rough start you might say. Who would have thought that the quarantine would alter our lives so drastically just as I set sail on my new adventure! Not to mention the fact that it’s embarrassing to share my thoughts along this journey, because my thoughts —like everything else in life—are ever changing. I can only imagine that trying to keep up with the wanderings of my mind is an exhausting task. 

So… Where AM I going? What am I to make of all of this? Today, writing about all of this feels good—because I’m actually getting somewhere.

No. 1 Look Outward

The first thing I see from my observations is that my lack of knowledge about the significance of that Route 66 marker is an analogy, of sorts, for my introversion. My tendency to look inward for insights and inspiration is a hindrance at times. I’m always missing out on things—things that are going on all around me—because I’m hyper focused on that odd little world that lives inside of me. Talk about a dark tunnel through an empty universe. Ha-Ha! 

I’m going to work on changing that. Rather than allowing this pandemic to bury me even deeper inside of myself… I’m going to reach out more. Less thinking and talking—more watching, looking, listening, and doing. 

No. 2 The Curse of the All or Nothing

The other thing—the really exciting thing—is the other analogy that I notice, that relates to my blogging experience, and my New Lifestyle, New Me project. If things aren’t working for me, my first inclination is always “walk away!” The changing and re-routing of the old Route 66 speaks volumes to me here. The journey is still possible, it just looks different. The road is not CLOSED, it’s just been altered.  

Having an “all or nothing” attitude toward everything has done nothing but get me into trouble—for the better part of my life. I want to DO IT BIG, or DO NOTHING. It’s so hard for me to find the middle of the road, that space in between—where perfect balance exists. But that’s exactly what is needed right now. Rather than shutting it all down, all I really need to do is some altering and re-routing, just like they did with old Route 66.

This is not the end of the trail. It’s the beginning!


Thank you for reading if you made it all the way down. I’m thrilled that these were not just empty words today—they were from my heart.

God Bless!
—Janet

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