Thursday, November 10, 2011

Photostory Friday: Now

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Have you ever taken a picture that taught you a lesson?

A few weeks back, I was driving through an unbelievably beautiful scene. Before me, thousands of aspens, just changing from green to gold in the early autumn, stretched away to the horizon. Behind me, the same scene extended back beyond the bend in the road I had come around. Ferns carpeted the meadows on both sides of the road. The beauty and intensity of the moment was overpowering. I jumped out of the car, and tromped through the trees, shooting close shots and long shots. I shot up into the blue sky, and down into the golden meadows. Every picture was full of October beauty, but none was capturing what I was feeling.

What I was experiencing was the unique sensation of being present in the moment.

Sometimes we get caught looking one way or the other, along the path of our lives. We look to where we've come from for reassurance and wisdom. Or we look ahead, searching for hopes and promises.  One is a memory, the other is a dream. There's nothing wrong with either of these -- every journey needs a beginning and an end.

But the most important moment of every day, is the moment you're living in right now.

It's a cliche. It's also true.

Every experience that you have ever had, happened to you in the present. That moment helped to determine what you would be in the future, and what you would remember, when you looked back. But sometimes -- often, in my case -- it seems I'm so focused on what lay ahead or behind me, that I lose track of the beauty I'm passing through.

When I got back in my car and snapped this picture, I thought of the stunning scene that lay before me, and the magnificent beauty I had left behind, and realized how lucky I was to be there, present in the moment.

Between our memories and our dreams, is our life.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Photostory Friday: Thirty-Nine

I turned thirty-nine a month ago.

And all of my dreams have not come true.

The day after my thirty-ninth birthday, Steve Jobs died. I've spent the last month thinking about this man, who revolutionized the world, in a few short years -- and then passed away at the age of fifty-six.  What makes him different from me? What took him to the height of success, and would he define success differently than I do? I suspect that answer might be yes.

I've always been comfortable with my age, but thirty-nine feels like a wake up call. Barring anything catastrophic, I figure I'm about half way there. Or almost half...but not quite.

So, I ask myself, have I ever come close to being the person I am supposed to be? The person I can be? I'm not sure, but I know I've spent a lot of life preparing to live my life and, truthfully, you're never quite ready.

I know I want change -- I want TO change -- but I ask myself what...

See...I don't want to be a better father or a better husband or a better son or a better friend or a better employee or a better neighbor or a better writer or a better photographer...

I want to be a better father AND a better husband AND a better son AND a better friend AND a better employee AND a better neighbor AND a better writer AND a better photographer...

It's time to learn to live. I think it's time to do a few things differently.

It's time to walk the beautiful paths, beyond where the roads bend, and to see where they lead.  

It's time to find the source of life. 

It's time for perspective. When you have perspective you can find beauty in the highest peaks AND the lowest valleys. 

It's time to learn to put reflection to good use.

It's time to look at things from a different angle...

...and maybe find the light, hidden in the darkness...

It's time to let the colors of life run together.

It's time to see what lies across these bridges that I've been standing at, for most of my life.  

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli