composite art, Life from A to Z

Simplicity

Simplicity boils down to two steps:
Identify the essential.
Eliminate the rest.

LEO BABAUTA

Welcome back to my series Life: From A to Z and the word Simplicity for the letter “S.” And just for the record, you have no idea how excited I am that there are only SEVEN letters left! Don’t think for a second that I’m finding it easy to write through the alphabet. But, I’m proud of myself for sticking to it. The last thing I need on the blog is another unfinished series.

Anyway, I love simplicity. I wish I was able to live simply, but I have a little too much craziness in my blood. A perfect example is my featured image. I had the word simplicity in mind today and then I took my mom to Hobby Lobby. I found a simple piece that made me think “yes… that is perfect! It is nice and simple.”

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Life from A to Z, Photography

Observations

The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.

Bertrand Russell

Life: From A to Z

After working on the featured image—which is a section of a tall yucca flower that I photographed on my recent hike—I thought about the letter “O” and the word Observant.

I enjoy macro photography and working with close-ups because I love the little details in things. Most of the time, I have to get into Photoshop and “zoom and crop” in an effort to find those precious details. That’s why the word observant got me to thinking. If I could just slow down and observe those details to begin with, I’d save myself a lot of time and work. And I’d have more joy.

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Life from A to Z

Faceless

“You have to look beyond the face,

To see the person true,

Deep down within my inner space,

I am the same as you.”

“I’ve seen compassion from the blind,

Who think with open eyes.

It’s those that judge me quick you’ll find,

Are those that are unwise.”

Two excerpts from the poem Faceless, by Benjamin Zephaniah

THOUGHTS ON THE WORD FACELESS

I think we all feel faceless at times. Sometimes it’s a good thing—like when our introversion kicks into overdrive and we want to hide from the world—and we choose to converse behind the anonymity of our computer screen as opposed to getting out for some face to face interactions (GUILTY AS CHARGED!).

Getting out is hard to do right now anyway, thanks to the pandemic, which is another story for another day. But even still, we wear those masks when we leave the house so we’re faceless—to a certain degree—even when we go out!

Which brings me to my next thought on the word faceless. Sometimes feeling faceless is not a good thing, which I tried to portray in my image. It’s like being out in the big city or amongst a crowd, and feeling like you are invisible—or faceless. No one looks at you, or talks to you… nor do they care to. It’s as if they don’t even see you.

My favorite thing to do, as far as socializing, is to sit down and have a one on one conversation with someone. It’s almost impossible to feel faceless when there are only two of you and neither one can ignore the other (except for those annoying cellphones!). Even when I was young I felt like that. If there was a third wheel, or a fourth, or a fifth… it was like I started to fade… and eventually, I was not really there. Even my mind would drift away.

Maybe it’s because people can be loud, fast-talking, and aggressive, and I was never really one to talk loud or interrupt (not while I was sober anyway). So, I’d just start to disappear. I thought there was something wrong with me for years. Then I read about introversion and I was like “OHH… THAT’S WHAT I AM!” So now I know. One on one is good—more than that is exhausting and I’ll just end up fading away and being faceless.

On another note, I don’t think that Zephaniah’s poem has anything to do with either one of the things that I mentioned. His words are more about the inner person vs. the outward appearance, which is extremely important and pertinent these days. It applies to all kinds of things including racism, ageism, and plain old shallowness and ignorance.

Nevertheless, faces are pretty important. We lift our faces to the sky and feel the glorious rays of the sun as they hit our skin, and—best of all—we use our faces to offer smiles to our friends, our family, and to strangers in need.


A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.

William Arthur Wood


I hope you enjoyed the image and my thoughts on the letter “F!” On another note, when I started this series I was going to do alphabet illustrations for every post, like I did for the letter “A,” and I realized last night that I had forgotten all about that. So… we’ll see what happens for the letter G.

Keep smiling!!

Life: From A to Z.

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Abstract, Life from A to Z

YOUR OWN DRUM

At the risk of sounding cliché, the letter “D” made me think of “dancing to the beat of your own drum.” I’ve noticed that my thoughts, views, and ideas about things seem to evolve with time, and I’ve looked at this particular phrase from different perspectives—in different eras.

When I was young, dancing to the beat of my own drum meant being wild and free, breaking the rules, and questioning authority. What can I say? I grew up alongside the 60’s and 70’s counterculture!

In my recovery, I learned about some of the character traits that many addict / alcoholics have in common, and these include selfishness, a desire to run the show (or play God), and a lack of care of concern for others (which goes hand in hand with the selfishness, obviously).

The meaning from this perspective was different because it could also be seen as a “red flag.” It’s good to do what feels right to YOU, or what makes YOU happy, but if you kick the notch up TOO high it’s possible you’re being selfish, trying to run the show, and lacking concern for those around you. I guess it’s a lot like being over-ambitious, and another one of those double edged meanings.

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