In the Beginning

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 I thought about taking it down— deleting the old pages—because it feels outdated to me, and I fear it’s value has expired.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

Better Together — Out of the Ashes

It is DAY ONE here at Out of the Ashes, a brand new collaboration in it’s infancy stage, and we welcome you to come and follow us along. Life is full of “new beginnings,” and many of our contributors have been there—oftentimes more than once. With our combined talent, creativity, knowledge and experience we hope […]

Better Together — Out of the Ashes

The new site is up! Thank you to all of you who have offered to collaborate—I will be in touch to coordinate your contributions very soon! It’s not as quick and easy as I would like, but that is life, eh?!

I hope that my followers will check out the new site, and follow it as well. It’s still a baby, but I hope to see it grow to maturity. I won’t make a habit of sharing every post, just enough to get things rolling.

Rising Up in the Dark

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

CARL JUNG

This is one of the most exciting posts I’ve written in a while. Since face masks make me feel sick, and they’re still required everywhere you go here in Los Angeles, we’re four months in and I’m still spending most of my time at home. I’ve been feeling trapped! I was talking to a friend recently and I mentioned to her that what was really getting me (mentally) down, was feeling that I can’t really make plans. The future is so uncertain!

Now, I’m well aware that I make a lot of big plans, and that many of them don’t work out—or simply fall through the cracks—but I’ve always been OK with that. I think there’s something about knowing that we actually HAVE the choice and the opportunity to make plans that keeps us feeling content—even if those choices or plans don’t come to fruition. Maybe it just allows us to feel “free.”

Anyway, I don’t want to get into all the ways that my “big” plan has twisted and changed courses over the past three years, but I WILL say that what started out as an idea for a “Creative Center,” for people in recovery, has morphed into a non-profit organization; a center that will offer people assistance and guidance as they begin a new life.

I’ve realized that new beginnings aren’t just for people in recovery, they’re for anyone who has gone through a major life shift; be it divorce, retirement, kids moving out (or any of the other side effects of aging), job loss, and—of course—those who are recovering from addictions of any kind. Today, with COVID-19 disrupting the lives of so many, the number of people “starting over” will continue to grow. All of that being said, I decided it’s time for me to set sail. I’m going to start building this organization, virtually, with the hope that—in time—it will grow to be brick and mortar as well.

One of the things about non-profit organizations is that many of them work off of donations. What I’m wanting to do instead, is to join forces with other people (both inside and outside of the organization) to create wares that can be sold, the first being a website/blog that will (hopefully) grow into a book of compilations. The whole premise here is collaboration, not competition.

Although he had no idea what my plans were, my first collaboration offering came from Samuel Guevara at Photear. I’ve had my eye on this black and white photograph for quite a while now, and he was kind enough to let me feature it. I love how the man’s face is hidden in blackness… and it spoke to me about rising up in the dark—a perfect image for this post!

If you’re interested in joining the collaboration, please let me know in the comment section below or via my new contact form HERE. I’ll be doing most of the work, so please don’t be shy! All I need at this time is authorization to use specific photographs, articles, art, poems, etc. Anything featured on the new site (which will be coming soon) will have credits and links, and anything that makes its way to the book will have credits, contact info, and short bios (if you so choose). What I’m looking for here is a win-win for everyone.

I look forward to hearing from you! No pressure, no hassles, no rush, and no obligation.

It’s all about choice.

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

RYUNOSUKE SATORO
Plum Blossom

In its Infancy

Stars and blossoming fruit trees: Utter permanence and extreme fragility give an equal sense of eternity. —Simone Weil


What a beautiful quote. I thought it paired well with the plum tree blossoms. I saw them all over our baby tree this afternoon, when the sun was shining bright, and I just knew that I had to get out there and do some shooting.

Thank goodness, too.

Social distancing is pretty much a part of my life these days thanks (or no thanks) to online classes—but the RAIN we were having did a number on the members of my household. We’ve been a little loopy.

Anyway, I liked the idea of blossoms signifying infancy, because infancy is synonymous with beginnings. Yesterday and today I realized I needed to start fresh on some of my goals. I need to go back to the beginning.

I’m afraid I failed to take my OWN advice when jumping into the New Lifestyle program… it was supposed to be about baby steps. Tiny, barely noticeable changes that would become habits—habits that would slowly build on the next; like a snowball effect.

It worked like a dream in week one, then the next thing you know I’m professing my confidence in “the step counter,” and setting the bar high… at 10,000 steps per day. Well… as it turns out, that was a bit of a stretch. Going from borderline couch potato to fitness guru does not a small step make!

Enough crying and blubbering. I’ve looked it all over and have restructured the plan. My goal for the next two weeks is 5,500 steps per day. That’s 1000 over my daily average and it’s small enough to actually DO.

So… my new beginning starts tomorrow; New Lifestyle, New Me in its infancy. I like that.


Thank you for reading! I hope you found something useful or entertaining here, and I hope you enjoyed the image. Those plum blossoms are macro for sure—they’re barely the size of a dime. It was difficult to get them all into focus, hence the dramatic effects.

Magic in the Air

And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. Meister Eckhart