Sunday, August 31, 2008

obstacles be gone, so said the jolly elephant

this particular elephant/human/deity sits by the cash register at the only indian restaurant in town. once I finish my kheer and chai, I can never resist touching the bottom of his foot while waiting to pay. every single time, my hand is drawn to the flower etched on the sole of his foot. the brass is sturdy, cool and smooth and the touch is oddly comforting. my fingers can't help but trace the design and I feel a blush when others notice how I fondle the gentle foot.

yesterday, I snapped his photo. which led me to do some quick research on him. ganesha: hindu lord of beginnings, remover of obstacles.

I knew I loved him for a reason.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

ready for take-off?

artist and all-around beautiful girl kelly rae has just birthed her first book, taking flight. it arrived yesterday in my post box, addressed to: creative soul lisa parks. just the greeting I needed after a week existing within the confines of my job.

I've been reading kelly's blog for a few months now. she captures perfectly the brilliance and uncertainty of becoming an artist. her words have meant more to me than she will ever know. she writes about feeling less than an artist, when doubts flood your brain and attempt to drown out the creative spark. she calls it the "impostor syndrome". I can so relate. recently, I firmed up plans to hold my first photo show at the beloved starlight cafe in october. I keep thinking, "really? me? a photo show? with real mats and frames and endless possibilities for criticism?" yikes! I easily fall into thinking that I'm not a "real" photographer and that my photographs are not real art. I label it Fauxtography. I am pensive.

strangely and despite the doubt, I just keep moving forward one step at a time, like some little artistic alter-ego is taking over and taking charge. let's call her lola, the real artist. she knows all about photo shows and hanging art and publicity and planning an opening reception with aplomb even if it is only ten pieces. she is telling lisa, "sit back and be a scaredy cat, I've got this."

I am looking forward to the three-day weekend and time to devour kelly's art and words.

"sooner or later, you just need to take a deep breath and spread your wings."

thanks kelly.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

sensory shift

yesterday's rain cleaned the air of summer dust and grime, leaving a feeling of crispness. the heaviness is lifting.

the sun pushed through the white filter that dimmed its shine for so many days. the light is bright and pure.
the cicadas have hushed their late afternoon screeching to a soft whisper. sprinklers still whir and sputter, their song punctuated by the lumbering sound of the school bus letting off after-school program students.
a few leaves have turned and fallen. I think I smell smoke from a distant fireplace (most likely an olfactory hallucination, since it is still august).

oh autumn, how I love you. you are my favorite. thank you for this momentary preview.

Monday, August 25, 2008

sweet day

here's to a day of sweetness. first days of school, subtle turns of the season, an ordinary monday: this day holds sweetness and color and memories for you and for me. there is no other day like this day. only one opportunity to live and play and love on august 25, 2008. begin...

Sunday, August 24, 2008


two-thirds of my first photo and design project are completed. I photographed and designed the poster for randolph college's first theatrical production of the season, splendora. then I worked on quick designs for the other two productions of the 08-09 season for publicity and postcards (these designs may or may not morph into the final posters for the plays).

I don't even know where to begin to evaluate this work; all objectivity has left the building. because this process came so very easy and quick for me, I have a tendency to think the final product may look like beginner's work. I want it to look professional, stylish and do it's job. can something of beauty and purpose be created so naturally and without tension, doubt or humility? if so, I think it's so very different from my "real work". the process left me feeling proud, accomplished, artistic, but as I look at the final product, I worry that my beaming pride is clouding my objectivity. can it really be this easy and delightful? my husband was so supportive and encouraging to give me this opportunity, I hope he doesn't settle for less-than-spectacular because it's me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I ♥ dish

little lynchburg is really making big strides downtown. new shops and cafes are opening at a slow pace, but showing more and more that a sleepy southern town wants and needs variety and style.

dish is a beautiful restaurant specializing in small plates. the food is brilliant and the atmosphere is colourful and calm.

dish is a nice walk from my office, so I have lunch here once or twice a week. the small plates (the mediterranean dish and green curry shrimp especially) and salads are great. but the burger. oh goodness. grass-fed beef, maytag bleu cheese, heirloom tomato and arugula. and the fries. the fries. yum.

each tabletop is greeted with homemade bread and olive oil mixed with roasted garlic, parmesan and cracked black pepper.

the light streams in from the front windows, making it bright and cozy at the same time. local art sprinkles the deep teal walls and jazz softly plays in the background. the wait staff are very sweet and look like they were hired directly from the ballet theatre a few blocks down as they gracefully float through the space balancing plates and coffee.

dish is located at 1120 main street in lynchburg, virginia.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the learning journey

hula's post about the breathtaking beauty of books has inspired me this week. her lust for learning and reading and synthesizing words and knowledge into brave new ventures is contagious.

my mom, a teacher, always told me that you can learn to do anything by reading about it. I truly believe this. currently, I'm learning about change and risk and fear and courage. sure, I'm reading up. but also gathering stories and wisdom from friends and my own history. all of these words, written and spoken and lived and known, swirl around me in their sparkly goodness until they join and form into the next big step.

Monday, August 18, 2008

mosaic monday

dc is not really known for being colorful and funky. but if you step away from the black and white monument starkness for a moment, you can find some offbeat beauty in the district. this weekend, I got to spend a few hours with krista, shop the eastern market and georgetown, and spend a lovely sunday afternoon in dupont circle.

and check out those $4 vintage earrings I scored.

to see photo slideshow, click here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

the fall line-up

buckles and t-straps and points galore! tired of flip-flops. so tired of flip-flops. so very tired of flip-flops.

off to d.c. for the weekend. here's hoping for more glorious fall shoes for us all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I am a good wife

a few posts back, I declared my gratitude for a tv sports-free home. I guess every spouse has to endure some sort of interest that they themselves aren't that enthusiastic about. case in point: I spent a lovely saturday driving the virginia countryside in search of foamhenge. yes, that's right: foamhenge. ken had seen an obscure article about this full-size replica of stonehenge a few months back and we set out to find it. there it was, perched on a hill in all its glory. it was actually pretty cool. points scored.

Monday, August 11, 2008

permission to shine

"and as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

-marianne williamson

shine #3, august self portrait challenge shines on

Saturday, August 9, 2008

so feeling the love

from flickr. the amazing colour, talent and inspiration of flickr photographers never fails to cheer.

no meds required.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I think I'm tired of summer

I am craving the coziness of autumn (and unlimited funds to dress the part).

maryjanes at piperlime.
foley + corinna bag at revolve clothing.
awesome coat at revolve clothing.
burning leaves at lucky scent.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

shiny on the inside

I absolutely love this month's self portrait challenge. just focusing on the concept of "get your shine on" has guided me to identify things in my life that are sparkly, shiny, clean and light.

in an effort to be more balanced, I recently returned to yoga and meditation. nothing cleanses the inside self (physically, mentally and emotionally), like these practices. twisting, reaching, focusing, visioning, exhaling, quieting, accepting, releasing, being....these all make for a super shiny spirit.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

you have to pay to ride

oh sunday night, you came quicker than I would have imagined.

bright and early tomorrow I resume normal life. I have enjoyed my two weeks away from work, but I'm not horribly freaked out about returning. I'm pretty dispassionate about it and regard it solely as a necessity of my life. all of these things that I find beautiful and enrich my world, these dogs, cameras, yoga class, photoshop, handbags, art, books, new kitchen cabinets, vintage coats, mid-century modern furniture; they all come at a price that I am willing to pay.

so be it. back on the pony.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

love me do

currently inspired by all things fab four:
  1. sgt. pepper tee, revolve clothing
  2. girlie beatle boots, zappos
  3. on canvas, z gallerie
  4. abbey road handbag, atom retro
  5. you may say necklace, etsy

Friday, August 1, 2008

bright + shiny

the self portrait challenge for august is "get your shine on".

it was so fun playing with the giant mirror ball in different locations around the city on a sunny day. I caused quite a commotion standing in the middle of a field with the ball and my camera. see more self portraits with the mirror ball here and here. later, I thought of the whole sun-reflection-blinding-drivers-and-causing-huge-traffic-pile-up thing or igniting a forest fire. um, oops.

I love this photo because of its colorful, whimsical vibe. at the end of a two-week staycation, I have a super shiny feeling I hope to carry through the month and expand on. I want to do a self portrait every week to see if I can pull it off.

now that's shiny.