Sunday, December 29, 2013

Beautiful Noise

The evening grows long and my home is full. Noise echoes off every wall, the sounds of teenage girls being teenage girls. I don't attempt to calm them even though I must wake early tomorrow for work. The laughter and giggles they make are sounds of joy, they can't be squelched, can't be bottled, and can't be denied. This noise, this disruption, this laughter must be breathed in, deeply. Embraced for what it is...this moment. Right now they are life!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Snow in a Flash

The exhilaration of deeply breathing crisp, clean, cold air on a winter evening is only made better by catching snow flakes in the camera flash. I use simple adventure and discovery as a mechanism to change my attitude and outlook...on the spot. We are snowflakes.

Photo: January 2, 2012. Included in It's Beautiful Here. A year in the eye of hurricane. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I needed to stay positive, I needed a project.

I was exposed to a 'picture a day' project by a friend from Florida. I don't particularly recall following her daily posts, which I believe she did on facebook, but I do recall thinking 'that's an intriguing exercise.'

Shortly after Mary died, I realized that I needed an exercise. I needed daily reinforcement to keep me focused on the most important work going on my life, raising my children. I also understood that while I was going to struggle with her loss in many ways, for a long time, I recognized at the same time that I was very lucky man.

Every journey begins with a single step. On January 1, 2012, I took a picture of a wind chime singing on my patio. I honestly had no plan or idea where this one picture would take me.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Welcome to the eye of my hurricane.

Welcome to my hurricane. It’s beautiful here.

I became the widowed father of four children late in October 2011; one in college, one in high school, one in middle school and one in elementary school. Mary's death was not a surprise, she'd been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer for three years, yet I was unprepared to deal with the reality of her passing, in too many ways to count. I don't believe I was alone in this lack of preparedness. In general, our culture is not good with death and there are many reasons why. But, I have and continue to focus on staying as positive as possible.

We are presented many choices to make each a day, and the way we choose has a profound effect on shaping our world and the opportunities in it. I try to start every day by making my first choice a positive one. I choose to greet each morning with the promise to celebrate the wonderful, magical, and incredible life I am living. I choose to smile every day because I'm blessed. To be clear, I don't live in a fairytale, but close, even when considering the periodic heartbreak found on the front step.

As Andy Dufrane so eloquently stated in the movie Shawshank Redemption: "It comes down to a simple choice, get busy living, or get busy dying." Life is fleeting and fragile.

Life is also unpredictable; one minute it's good, the next confusing, and then boom – you're completely lost! Navigating life without joy in your heart can be a lonely journey, and it will rob us of the only reason we exist – to be happy.

So, I stood then and stand now in a great confluence: I’m surrounded and blessed with so much beauty, yet I catch myself looking for something else, while at the same time I feel as though I’ve lost everything.

As I see it; this place and time, this convergence of circumstances, emotions and choices make for quite the storm.  Yet, it's beautiful here, in the eye of a hurricane.

I plan to use this space to share the simple beauty in my life, that it may help frame the beauty surrounding you in new light. My situation is both, common and unique. We all face challenging, unfortunate, or regrettable circumstances in our lives every day, and yet my situation is unique because it’s all mine…just as your life and circumstances belong to you.

I hope you seek, find, and enjoy the beauty in your life every day…in the eye of your hurricane.