Monday, October 03, 2011

On, In, and Around Mondays: The Long Way

Self Portrait

It is after my poetry session, at the Laity Lodge Writer's Retreat. I skip lunch, take the long way back to my room. I do not feel hungry, just tired and round-about.

The path is crushed red stone. The sun presses down.

Mindless, I walk slowly. Then something catches my eye. A yellow flower in the midst of otherwise dead vegetation. I photograph the flower, turn back to the path, then notice my shadow across the dryness. Or is it a dryness across my shadow?

I stand still and look, suddenly taken with the way something of me is captured in this scene. A slight breeze keeps tugging at my skirt. I watch it and the turn of my hand, in shadow. Then I begin to be more deliberate, embrace the moment. What would it look like if I turned this way, then that? I photograph myself in shadow, or perhaps the shadow in myself, for a long time.

And I feel alive.

***

Only under certain circumstances of constructive stress or in certain states—great love, for example, or religious ardor, or the courage of battle—do we begin to tap the depth and richness of our creative resources, or the tremendous reserves of life energy that lie sleeping within." (Ellen Langer, from Mindfulness)


Care to join us for a bookclub discussion of Mindfulness, by Ellen Langer?

________

On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button




This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...



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15 Comments:

Blogger Laura said...

I loved that quote from the book. So true. Such a gift to be with you this weekend. And all this photoplay went on right under my nose. Who knew?

10:58 AM  
Blogger Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...

I love how you noticed and then stayed to play with your shadow, to learn about you and light and dryness and capturing. Being truly present in moments like that is such a blessing--thanks for sharing it and for setting the example!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

Sighhh... I love that shot of your shadow. So playful. Of course you felt alive!

12:21 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Look at you, putting your picture on the internet!

I highlighted that quote as well. I thought it spoke to much of what happened for me at Laity this weekend.

12:25 PM  
Blogger violet said...

The quote you chose is wonderful. I need "...depth and richness of creative resources," and "reserves of life energy" in a life that suddenly finds itself whirling a frantic orbit around agenda and duty. I haven't even had time to read Rumors. Soon, I tell myself, soon.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Megan Willome said...

That photo--it looks like something from Peter Pan. Remember how his shadow had a life of its own? It looks like yours got away and will need some needle and thread to get reattached.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

i love the quote.. and it made me come alive to read this post! Blessings
Jenn Hand

3:10 PM  
Blogger Patricia said...

What a beautiful photograph! It reminds me of how precious God is to supply in the midst of shadows. How wonderful Laura.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

The shadows in my photos seldom seem to turn out "pixie-ish" or picturesque. I seem very talented at capturing the tips of my shoes, or the fluttering camera strap -- or else my shadow, complete with a shadow of my camera in hand, blots out the main object I meant to photograph.

May God bless and keep you, and may God always stitch your shadow back to you in times of trouble, and laugh with you and delight with you when your inside-shadow does delicious things!

8:09 PM  
Blogger TUC said...

You don't look alive in that shadow... ;-) Glad you are getting so much out of this retreat time.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

I love how you danced with your shadow. I love that I got to embrace moments with you. I love how a shadow of you followed me home.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa notes... said...

Why is it that I'm more mindful when I have a camera with me? I noticed that especially last winter/spring when I went through your "God in the Yard" exercises.

...which is particularly interesting to me because my post today circles back around to that season, prompted by pictures I took on Saturday of our sunflowers. Love when that happens.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Bob Gorinski said...

That picture is SO cool.

The stone heart (in the shadow), it's not spelled out for me, causing me to think...

Heavy heart?

It's kind of like poetry?

11:31 PM  
Blogger Karen Kyle Ericson said...

That's a great shot. Actually the New York Institute of Photography says to never miss a good shadow opportunity : ) I've never thought of posing my shadow. But I am beginning to break out of my "a photo must be perfect" life and into creativity. Thanks for the inspiration. I may just give it a try. And I agree when I'm creative I discover things I never dreamt possible.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Craig said...

see what I mean – you even have poetry in your shadow. I would jump in with on in and around Mondays – except Mondays are dedicated to my thank you list for Ann - and I'm loyal – and I heart what saying thank to God does for me. I'm not intimidated anymore – you have such a gift – I'll choose not to be intimidated – and just enjoy the gift. I know there's lots I can learn from you. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.

1:53 PM  

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