Sunday, October 31, 2010


last november, i did a "gratitude week" the week of thanksgiving.  focusing on things i was thankful for really kept me in a good place.  my heart and eyes were open for those things, big and small, that make my life easier, fuller, brighter, richer. 

this year i feel like going bigger in my recognition.  like the whole month bigger.  i'm going to shoot for a post a day during november acknowledging the good. 

care to join me?

ALSO:  let me know if you want me to link to a website, blog or facebook if you want to play along (and provide the link so i can find you).

Friday, October 29, 2010

five senses friday* {the squam edition}

  • four perfect sunrises
  • a pink moon ascending above a blue horizon
  • a woman dancing with fire
  • a mother's pure love in action
  • the art we made
  • the briny scent of the sea
  • mingling with campfire smoke
  • i put a handful of sand, some found shells and a tiny chunk of the charred wood in a jar to take home; when i open it the scent takes me back
  • brilliant fish tacos
  • margaritas
  • rice krispies treats
  • unabashed handholding
  • the sand beneath my bare feet
  • fingers.  paint.  canvas.
  • jen lee's voice
  • jinny's soft south african accent
  • spoken stories of accomplishment, fears, ideas, joy, sadness, hope
  • with a steady background song of waves and random bursts of distant laughter
*fsf inspired by abby

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

every time the high begins to fade

i think of the beautiful, talented, singing-while-painting, authentic, hula-hooping, margarita-sharing, downdogging, moongazing, amazingly creative women at squam-by-the-sea i am lucky to call friends. 

and my heart fills with love.

thank you mindy, sarah, tracey, kelly, michelle, jenica, ada, sally, melissa, mccabe, stef, jen, jennifer, jessica, elizabeth, michelle, mira, bella, samantha, arabella, the fabulous beach divas and every other amazing artist who left their footprint on the sand at nags head and their soulprint on my life.

(wow, i used the word soulprint.  i am high.)

Monday, October 25, 2010


the real world feels somewhat harsh.  i'm going to sit here today with my photos and figure out a way to hold on to who i am at squam.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

tiny b + me

are roadtripping to a tiny strip of sand in the sea.  fingers are crossed that these things await our safe arrival:  old friends, new friends, artartart and more art, sparkly bits, mermaids, sunsets, that happy place where peace and excitement coexist, messiness, the full moon, the crunch of sand beneath our feet, shell gathering, sand castle creating and general merrymaking.

Friday, October 15, 2010

five senses friday

taking a different path today beyond see, smell, hear, taste and touch:
  • a sense of sadness for things that end before i am ready.
  • a sense of anticipation for the sea.
  • a sense of cocooning and patience like fall bulbs planted months in advance of their potential fabulousness
  • a sense of gentle acceptance of the way things are
  • a sense of gratitude for this beautiful life and the beautiful, tragic, loving, difficult, ridiculous, complicated, authentic, hilarious, forgiving people that keep me company

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

expressing needs {part deux}

lucky for me, squam-by-the-sea is just around the corner.

if you have a need or needs you'd like to express, join graciel today in your own public proclamation.  just saying it out loud somehow brings it closer to being fulfilled.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

one hundred things i love {21-30}

21.  dancing with wild abandon, with a group of girlfriends, a lover or by myself
22.  the process of learning something new
23.  lemon cupcakes
24.  bossy little girls (because i secretly wish it was still cute to be bossy at my age)
25.  naps
26.  personality and self-awareness tests (i just discovered the enneagram and it's the most accurate and practical so far)
27.  bono's voice, no matter the song
28.  photo sun flares (these are magical to me, almost like i captured an otherwise invisible spirit)
29.  planning a trip
30.  every single thing about autumn

(friends, comments posted the week before last disappeared and i can't retrieve them.  i just wanted to let you know that i published them all, they just aren't showing up for some mysterious reason.)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

what i learned at my first wedding shoot

  • there are lots of good reasons some photographers charge thousands of dollars to do a wedding (it's hard work!).
  • i was right not to wear a dress and heels.
  • when it's unseasonably hot for a late september evening, you can't run around for four hours without drinking any water and expect not to get sick.
  • love lights up an image.
  • every single time.
  • i do much better photographing children, which validates my instinctual desire to use my art to capture happiness in children which in turn balances out the sadness and stress from my day job.  i am certain, however, that the bride did not really want 200 images of her hilarious pixie flower girl.
  • i am happy happy happy behind a camera.
  • any photograph with jamie in it is absolutely beautiful.
  • because she is absolutely beautiful.

autumn colours: brown

a day late.  brown was challenging.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

autumn colours: red

the honeycrisp apple:  in my top 10 joys of autumn.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

autumn colours: orange

well this makes me happy. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

today i need

(blackberry please.)

if you have a need you feel like expressing, join beautiful graciel today in putting it out there.  i feel better already.

(okay, i totally just realized this was supposed to be next tuesday!)

autumn colours: yellow

Monday, October 4, 2010

autumn colours: green

this was my view most of the weekend as i'm trying to work my way through this cold.  it's a good view from one of my favorite places in the world.

happy monday lovelies.

(monday=green in poppytalk's autumn colour week.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

hey there!

what's one sure way to have a drama-free, beautiful week?  make it a color week!  poppytalk is hosting autumn colours week!  let's do it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

not again

i realize that drama plays out in each of our lives from time to time.  for most of us, sometime in our mid twenties, we make a developmentally appropriate choice to reduce the noise and the chaos and seek peace and stability.  all the theatrics just aren't worth the emotional investment.

lately it seems that drama keeps trying to make itself front and center in my life.   where i have control (in my personal life), i can choose who to be around.  but at work and on other stages where i am merely a player and not the casting director, certain characters keep reappearing to bait me and make my life miserable. 

let's start with the faux victim.

i work in a field with bonafide victims (children) and people who have received the true short end of the stick in life, so i have little tolerance for the oh-woe-is-me segment of privileged society.  you know who i'm talking about, don't you?  there is always some unfair circumstance or person or tribunal persecuting the poor innocent baby.  a new prescription drug ad appears during oprah and suddenly this person is overcome with the malady du jour.   the rest of us are simply required to indulge the helplessness, whining and attention-seeking and give endless amounts of sympathy and assistance. 

the faux victim intentionally limits the response options we have; the choice is to take care of them (sympathize) or (in their minds) victimize them.  when this happens, i politely disconnect and hope that my neutrality sends the message to grow up and move on.  because i choose not to join the pity party and become a caretaker, this casts me as uncaring and ruthless.  a victimizer by default.

enter, the rescuer.

oh my god:  the rescuer.  in my book, way worse than the faux victim.  this person swoops in (you can actually hear the rush of air) with good deeds and caretaking and baskets of muffins to save the poor victim from the uncaring black heart of evil me.  she lives to be needed.  she basks in the glory of her superheroness.  (insert finger in throat.)

i do my best to disengage and stay neutral, but these two characters can really get under my skin.  i've tried to conjure up some compassion, but honestly, there is none to give.  my empathy is there for the real thing but i just can't seem to rustle any up for these players.  any advice on how to deal?

i hope your days are drama-free.