Friday, August 15, 2014

SoulArtPhotography

Four years ago, while I was on a trip to Rome, Italy with my mom, I fell in love with photography. With my little Polaroid digital camera and our Kodak Easy Share Z980 Camera, I managed to take some truly incredible photos...4 years later I still can't believe some of them, especially since it was the first time using the Kodak camera. Since then I have taken photographed everything from flowers in our garden and snow falling in our neighborhood to a 40th high school class reunion, acted as the unofficial photographer for two weddings - meaning I took my own pictures while the professional photographers did their thing - and took pregnancy photos for my amazing cousin, who is one of the bravest, most inspiring people in my life.

Over the last four years photography has become my creative outlet.  It is therapeutic for me.  If I have a terrible day at work, or in life, I have always been able to come home, grab my camera and create something beautiful...soul art, if you will.  I call it soul art because I truly feel like my soul is in the finished product.  With that, SoulArtPhotography was born!  I have set up a shop on Etsy.com to (hopefully) sell some of my photos.  So far I have some of the best flower shots up, but more are being added.  So if you have a minute, check out SoulArtPhotography and if you feel so inclined buy a print.  If you would like to buy a print, and you live in a country other than the United States, please message me via the SoulArtPhotography store and I will let you know about the shipping costs. Whether you buy a print, or just take a peek, I hope you find happiness, peace and beauty in the photos, as well as the view you get into my soul, and tell your friends.

Thanks!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams Remembered

I have been trying to wrap my mind and heart around the passing of Robin Williams. Even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, I feel like I lost a friend. His movies and comedic work have meant so much to me, not to mention helped get me through some very dark days. The Fisher King, one of my all time favorite movies and performances of his.  I saw this movie when I had been in one of the darkest places of my life and felt like trash.  It was this movie, this performance that made me realize, "you can find the most beautiful things in the trash."

It breaks my heart to know that he took his own life.  Surrounded by family and friends who loved and supported him, but still the darkness was too strong to fight off.  Depression can be a battle on good days and a full blown war on bad days. Heaven is too full of the angels we have lost to this war.  For me and all of us who are left to fight the battle each day, let us never forget how much love surrounds us.  Let us always remember that the tide can turn our thoughts in an instant, letting us drive out the darkness if only long enough to break the thought process that makes suicide seem like a good idea. We are all in this together, even if our battle lines may look decidedly different.

If you are in the grips of this darkness and suicide seems like the best option, I implore you to take a deep breath, stand up and move from the physical position you are in, and pick up the phone to call someone.  Call anyone.  Call a wrong number.  Just do something to break that thought pattern.  If you live in the United States, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Please make that call.  Your life is far too precious, and your light is far too bright to be taken away.

Here is the story of the Fisher King as told by Parry, Robin Williams' character in the movie, The Fisher King:
It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he can become king. Now while he is spending the night alone he's visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the holy grail, symbol of God's divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, "You shall be keeper of the grail so that it may heal the hearts of men." But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible, like God, so he reached into the fire to take the grail, and the grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the fire to be terribly wounded. Now as this boy grew older, his wound grew deeper. Until one day, life for him lost its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself. He couldn't love or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die. One day a fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. And being a fool, he was simple minded, he didn't see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain. And he asked the king, "What ails you friend?" The king replied, "I'm thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat". So the fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink, he realized his wound was healed. He looked in his hands and there was the holy grail, that which he sought all of his life. And he turned to the fool and said with amazement, "How can you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?" And the fool replied, "I don't know. I only knew that you were thirsty."

Rest in peace now, Robin.  Thank you for the making us laugh, cry and most of all for letting us know that everything would be OK.  You will be sorely missed.