Monday, November 23, 2009

Paris in a day

When I traveled to England over the summer and then on to Paris for a last minute one-day trip, I had hopes of taking some really great pictures. It was the chance of a lifetime for me to be so close to Paris, and so I decided to opt for the train under the ocean for the day trip. I knew it would be hectic, but to see the Eiffel Tower, The Arch de Triumph, The Louvre Museum, The Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, and The Sacre Couer Basilica were all just too amazing to pass up.

However, what I found was that when you happen to be someone that really likes to take pictures, it is best to go it alone. I found myself being forced to conform to what others wanted to do, and sadly I missed some of the picture opportunities that I had really wanted to get. It was a lesson learned, and one that I won't repeat again. I did get a few which I am really proud of, and I did get to see some incredible things along the way, so all was not lost.

I only had a day in Paris, but it would have been so easy to have stayed a entire month just at the Louvre Museum alone. My eyes wandered every where I looked, and I found it hard to take it all in. I was so close to so many amazing things, but did not get to closely examine things because of such limited time restraints.
I had even tried to freshen up on what little French that I knew, however, the first time someone spoke to me in fluent French, I completely fell to pieces. Slow simple French, no problem, but a fast fluent Frenchman...impossible !

I happened to be in Paris the day of a National Rugby championship which meant that the streets were field with thousands of Rugby fans in Paris for the day. The streets were filled with vibrant colors, like the one below which made for some fabulous pictures. They were chanting in the streets, and it made it a very festive day. I had brought my large Canon camera, (which made me look like paparazzi), so every time I raised my camera, the rugby fans would pose without effort. I recall one group who stopped me and started speaking fluid French to me. All I could do was look at them and say, "I am sorry, I am American, I speak English !" they looked at each other and said "Oui, Oui...I LOVE YOU !" it was quite fun. American phrase that transcends any language, and obviously something definitley in English !

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Just for fun.....

This evening I found myself reading through some famous love letters written ages ago. What I found so interesting was that the majority of ones that are published, were written by men. I do hope that there are still men in the world that do write such beautiful things to the women that they love and that this passionate act is not sadly just a thing of the past. I hope that you will find this as charming as I do.

Here's a short one that I thought I would share;

To Anne Boleyn

My Mistress and Friend, I and my heart put ourselves in your hands, begging you to recommend us to your good grace and not to let absence lessen your affection...or myself the pang of absence is already to great, and when I think of the increase of what I must needs suffer it would be well nigh intolerable but for my firm hope of your unchangeable affection...

Henry VIII (1528)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Profound Events - Part I

I have been asked if the photos on my site are those which I have taken, and the answer is yes, these are photos I have taken. Each of them do represent a moment in time that I will always cherish and are treasures of days which I feel fortunate to have had.

I do appreciate the comment regarding my profound statement (even if I really don't find it very profound). Over the past few years, I have struggled with the balances of life where the things we must do out of necessity tend to overshadow the things we do for own self fulfillment or development.

Being a mother, as many of you are, I have become painstakingly aware that my life has been defined by the actions I have taken as a parent, being both mother and father to my two children. Although this is not an uncommon thing, it has been challenging to stay focused on the wonders of life and not be distracted by the responsibilities that abound us. My children are wonderful blessings and I may not have been motivated to accomplish certain things in my life had I not done so out of the single necessity to provide for them. I will always owe them for my enduring perseverance and problem solving nature. However, out of that great determination and movement through life's many obstacles, I have realized that I may have lost a part of who I am in the process.

Turning 40 this year was a point in time where I looked around and said "who is this person ?" And no, I would never describe this as a mid-life event, but maybe as an awakening just at a time when my children are becoming more independent. I am a hard working professional by day and a mother by night (really 24 hours a day), but who am I really without those things ? Although my commitment as a mother will be forever, I do not wish to look back upon my life and have any regrets that I did not accomplish something more or failed to have certain experiences at an age when I was young enough to appreciate them.

I realize that many moms may take offense to this and may see this as a selfish thing, since we do indeed make a choice to bring children into the world. I know of many women who look at motherhood as self-sacrifice and I will always have the utmost respect and admiration for them. However, it is also that same selfishness which drives us to procreate and allows us to continue the circle of life that we do find so fulfilling and wonderful because selfishly it makes US happy. Being a mother is very rewarding along with the great blessings that children and grandchildren can bring into our lives. But trying to find the perfect balance in life that allows us to keep a sense of who we are as individuals and also continue to be Superwoman to our children, is a very high mountain to climb. (for me anyway)

Until recently, I never realized just how important it was to make those moments that are truly for me alone, no matter how small. I have a great desire to allow myself the opportunity to recapture the person that I envision being and the goals that I long ago wished to accomplish for myself as an individual. The happiness and contentment of that accomplishment will indeed bring a more self-assured and happy mother to my children. My wish is that they not only learn from my mistakes, but that they will also learn from my example to be independent and self-aware. I want them to know that it is okay to enjoy life from many different angles and elevations. I do believe that the only limitations that we have, are the ones that we place upon ourselves.

I welcome your comments, as I am sure someone else may have faced similar events. I would love to hear your stories.

More to follow....

Friday, April 3, 2009

I will admit that finding those incredible moments which some how become a wonderful part of our history is quite mesmerizing to me. These moments may be little ones, the ones when you simply see something that catches your eye and it makes you smile, or you meet a person whom captures your heart. Moments....those incredible ones which define us then become a part of how we each move forward in our lives. These are the moments that we seek to share.

Seeking incredible moments is like a clock ticking away until it hits a specific time like striking midnight, which we have waited so patiently for. A very special moment can sometimes become a single great event that we carry with us like a trophy. Sometimes in silence we revel in these moments keeping them to ourselves, like a divine secret destined to be revealed at a later date and only to be told to those worthy of keeping our treasure hidden. Other times, we shout them to the world with great joy and want them recorded for posterity.

Finding incredible moments in our life is essential, it is the nature of our happiness. It is not about thrill seeking or finding enduring everlasting love which is a plus, but it is about the culmination of moments that fulfill us and make us whole. The lessons learned by each and every moment are the rewards that define us as individuals... creating our compass and show us the way forward.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Aged through unknown years

This photo was one of many taken at Lake Tahoe in the Mountains for an album that I fondly refer to as my "dead tree" collection. For some strange reason, I was drawn to take photo after photo of these massive trees which have quietly watched the world go by for an unknown number of years. They still stand with such grandeur, but have withered to their current state of aged beauty. I find them ironic and a symbol our own divine journey on this earth.

This is my entry into Carmi's Thematic Photography blog

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fast Forward to NOW

If we could fast forward and see into our future, what would we see ? From time to time, we find ourselves daydreaming and wondering where we may be in the future, lets say five or ten years down the road. While imagining that what lies ahead for us may bring us some comfort and it may also motivate us in some way, it can also be a little intimidating as well. If we envision our future and what we want that to look like along with how we plan to get there, what exactly does that mean ? Does it mean that we are great planners, eternal optimists, or maybe we we just aren't so content to be in our present-tense ?

The future looks great....but what about today ? Everything we are programmed to do from the time we are very young is about planning for our "future". We are taught to prepare for school, college, a job, maybe marriage, save for a home, and possibly children....yes, it is all right there in the "this is how you plan for your future book" that we are each given ! Well, I do agree that you can probably find books on all of those topics and it is very important to plan for your future, however we may simply miss the biggest fundamental in my opinion, which is that while you are planning and figuring out your distinctive path into the unknown future, you should also focus on the "NOW".
Living for the future is what we are taught, learn, and work very hard for, but it takes an even greater determination to focus on today and find those things which make traveling into the great unknown future worthwhile. After all, it's all about the journey that we are on, the one which is happening right now !

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Things I must do this year...

My to do list for 2009 :

  1. Learn to Scuba Dive
  2. Meet someone really incredible
  3. Make money on my Internet ventures
  4. Tell someone thank you for something they did for me years ago
  5. Apologize to someone that I hurt
  6. Travel to Europe (well maybe just plan for it)
  7. Organize my closet
  8. Slow Dance
  9. Read a few really good books
  10. Finish writing my book
  11. Focus on Photography
  12. Create a new website
  13. Give more to charity
  14. Forgive someone
  15. Let go of the past
  16. Share a sunset
  17. Tell a really good story
  18. Visit an old friend
  19. Move
  20. Save some money
  21. Stop worrying
  22. Treat someone really special
  23. Buy a new computer
  24. Create a business plan for a new LLC
  25. Give away things I don't need
  26. Take a really good bio pic
  27. Learn more
  28. Drink only really good coffee
  29. Spend less money on frivolous things
  30. Take my family on a vacation
  31. Learn to ski
  32. Go back to Lake Tahoe
  33. Make new friends
  34. Make someone else happy
  35. Laugh at myself
  36. Smile everyday
  37. Surround myself with good people
  38. Work a little harder than I did the day before
  39. Don't judge a book by it's cover
  40. Spend more time with my family

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Karma Thieves

The old saying we hear from time to time, 'what goes around comes around', just may very well be true. I have pondered about this a great deal. Over the years, there have been perplexing things which have happened to myself along with others, and I have searched to find a label to place on it.

I have watched people that have manipulated, cheated, and basically achieved success by stomping on other people in their paths, only to leave them as bread crumbs beneath their shoes. Some of those stompers eventually make it to the top, some are still there, but over time that bad "Karma" seems to eventually come back around and those very people whom inflicted that dark shadow are put back in their place somehow. In some way, they eventually face a brick wall which forces them to have a moment to reflect upon their mis-stepped deeds upon others.

Bad "Karma"...if there is such a thing, would of course be the opposite of good "Karma". Most definitions say that "Karma" is the effects of all deeds in the past, present, and future that make us responsible for our own lives, along with the pain or happiness we bring to ourselves and others along our path (well that and other religious definitions). In some religions, they even believe that Karma may extend through a present life, or from past or future lives.
I have often joked in my own life when things went wrong, and have said, "Well, I must have done something really wrong in a past life!", while I jokingly blamed that my crashed car, failed relationships, loss of money, spoiled kids, and pure rotten bad luck, were all due to just common bad "Karma".

However, my own recent self-loathing and condescending tone (some terms used to describe an incident of my own behavior), made me realize that "Karma" probably does have a great deal to do with it. My own bad "Karma", which I somehow create when things didn't quite go right or at least not the way I had originally envisioned, may very well be part of the boomerang effect . This effect, which is referred to as 'coming back around', may be just because of how I handled a particular situation.

Okay, so I realize that self-loathing and being condesending are definitely not very attractive traits, but there is always a reason for someone to get to this 'bottom of the barrell' kind of place. Although there is no good reason at all for it, for me, it came from a place that I could not quite pin down. I knew it was not just one specific thing, but a multitude of many. However, that one comment hurt me enough, that I have struggled to figure out why I indeed had acted that way.

I have come to terms with the fact that it was probably due to the infinite number of people that have circled around me like vampires from time to time, those people whom we will refer to as the "Karma Thieves" (or life sucking leeches). These are the people who slowly and in a sometimes a surprisingly charismatic way, pick away at our kindness, generosity, softness, passion, our innocent naivity, love (yes, of course love), along with the sheer beauty that we find in most things, then take what they want before they move on to the next victim, leaving us reeling in their dust. They are the "Karma Thieves", and yes they do exist.

These are the people that take advantage of all of those wonderful things about you as a person, and manage to use it to their advantage in some way, and then treat you like some of those little breadcrumbs beneath their shoes. These pieces which they take from you, are slowly stripped away and pushed down to some forgotten place inside. This is only because you believe that if you continue to allow it to happen, that it will be stolen again, and eventually there will be nothing left. So in turn, we lose our good Karma because other people take it from us, but we also begin to inflict bad Karma ourselves upon others because of what we have misplaced in our own hearts.... My thought anyway.

So recently it hit me like a ton of bricks, hey, this still means that we we make our own Karma, good or bad. Even if we have been unfortunate enough to allow others to take the good things away from us, those things are really still there. Maybe they are just buried away, down deep, until we can finally trust enough to allow it to resurface again.

So essentially, we really do make our own Karma. It's been described in multiple definitions that karma is the effect that our deeds have upon others and I never really understood that before....that this was the definition of karma. So, when we find ourselves facing some very bad "Karma" situations inflicted upon us in some way, we would be wise to remember that we always have a choice. A choice to also inflict some good, by how we react to others. A choice to simply remember that those things we say and do, have a profound impact upon others. This makes us responsible not only for ourselves, but for the karma and the well being of those in our path. What goes around comes around, as the saying goes.