oh what fleeting moments I should capture, oh what memories I should still possess

Being Human

Comfort Food

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Sometimes you just need to sit down

and eat a bowl of ice cream

as big as your face. 


the shadows we cast

What I see is my big shadow entirely covering my little niece as she sits in the grass. What I hope is that I can be a good enough example for her, that my deeds might cast half as great a shadow on her life as that literal one. What I fear is I'll fall far, far short of even half.

What I see is my giant shadow engulfing my little niece as she sits in the grass. What I hope is that I have enough goodness in me that my example will cast half as great a shadow on her life as that literal one. What I fear is I’m falling far, far short of even half.

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You can preach

a better sermon

with your life

than with your lips.

– Oliver Goldsmith 


Old Souls

What I see is the remnants of an old factory or something.

What I see are the remnants of an old factory or something – I don’t even know what this was. What I think is “I want to go in there!” I can’t pass by any kind of old run-down, boarded-up, falling-down structure without a burning desire to explore it.

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Buildings have souls too.


Holding On and Letting Go

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What I see is my niece holding on to her cat. What I remember is that cat did not want to be held on to! What I know is I do the same thing all too often – hold on tight to things that want to be let go. And sometimes I don’t hold tight enough to the things I should. But it’s a brand new year, and a good time to evaluate what I hold dear, what I need to put more time and energy into, and what I need to just let go.

Cheers to a new year

and another chance

for us to get it right.

Oprah Winfrey    


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all the ages we’ve been

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What I see is my niece playing tea pots. What I think is, “I used to have hair like that. Golden and shiny and beautiful. (sigh) And now I don’t.” What I feel is old. What I hope is I’m not nearly as old as I’ll get.

The great thing

about getting older

is that you don’t lose all

the other ages you have been.

Madeleine L’Engle   

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Don’t Fall

vacation extra photo

Yes, these are my niece’s feet; yes, they’re hanging over the balcony. BUT: my arm’s around her AND there is a metal railing across her chest. And no, she couldn’t have slipped underneath. Now that that’s out of the way… 🙂

I’m a Fall person. I love it! I love the cooler air and the changing colors of the leaves. There’s an excitement of returning tv shows, football and back to school (even though I don’t have a tv signal or kids).  It’s a season of holidays, with the back to back of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fall is just great!

But…

I’m just not feeling it this year. It’s all going by so fast, and time just seems to be slipping out from under me.
Where did August go? Where did September disappear to? October is already a week gone.

This year I’m not ready for fall.

This year, right now, I’d love to jump off this picture and right into those inviting waters. I’d love a couple more days in the middle of that summer vacation.


Conflicting Desires

 

What I see is my niece looking at her dad and her sister. What I know is that she was perfectly content to be where she was in the shallows but this picture fills me with a sense of longing, as though she is looking at them and wishing that's where she was too. What I think is how often I am filled with conflicting desires. I want to be living on my own terms and doing exactly what makes me happy in the moment, but when I turn around and see what other people are doing, I also want to be with them. I don't want to be left behind.

What I see is my niece looking at her dad and her sister. What I know is she was perfectly content to keep playing where she was in the shallows. But this picture fills me with a sense of longing, as though she is looking at them and wishing that’s where she was too. What I think is how often I am filled with conflicting desires. I want to live on my own terms and do exactly what makes me happy in the moment. But when I look around and see what other people are doing, I also want to be with them; I don’t want to be left behind.

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If neurotic is wanting

two mutually exclusive things

at one and the same time,

then I’m neurotic as hell.

~ Sylvia Plath   

 


walking in the wreckage

We spent a lot of time in this old wreck of a house.

What I see is my friend standing on the sloping upper floor of a collapsing farm house. We loved to walk around in that old house, and though we felt very safe, I know we’re lucky none of us ever got hurt. What I think is a lot of the things I’ve built in my life are kind of like that old wreck of a place we spent so much time exploring. What I wonder is if it’s better to hold on to the old dream as long as I can, or is it safer to walk away when things start to fall apart.

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It ain’t over

till it’s over.

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Some more pictures:

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shell shocked

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What I see is Louis checking out a turtle that’s nearly as big as he is. What I think is some of us are less sociable than others.

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Society is no comfort to one not sociable.

– William Shakespeare  


Something Borrowed

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What I see is a woman being photographed before her wedding. What I feel is happy and hopeful. What I think is that, for just a moment, I’ve borrowed something from her life.

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We keep passing unseen

through little moments

of other people’s lives.

– Robert M. Pirsig


Depth

hidden treasure

What I see is a fish and its reflection. What I think is if you look below the surface, you will find a treasure.

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People say I make strange choices,

but they’re not strange for me.

My sickness is that I’m fascinated by human behavior,

by what’s underneath the surface,

by the worlds inside people.

– Johnny Depp


different all at once

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This picture made me think of my life right now. I’m trying to do all of these things, trying to grow and improve myself. Somehow I convince myself that I can grow in lots of different directions at once, and for a while it seems to work. But then I realize that even though they are growing from the same stem, the fruit is all different. They’re shaped different and colored different. They grow and ripen and shrivel and fall away at different rates. No matter how I try to make them grow together, to nurture them all at the same time, it just doesn’t work that way.  I’ve crushed so much fruit beneath my feet on the way to understanding it’s okay to take it in turns. It’s okay to let one shrivel up and fall off because I’ve put my energies somewhere else. I have time to come back to it; another chance will grow in its place.

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There’s a certain kind of beauty

in the chaos

of wildly growing fruits.


missed focus

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Too many times,

when great things happened,

I’ve had my focus on something else.


They Meet


crab claws as a metaphor for life

I spent last weekend at the river and had the opportunity to photograph the crabs that my dad let go (guess what was for dinner?). What I see is the claw of a female crab, ready for action. What I immediately thought when I looked through the viewfinder was, “the teeth on that claw look just like my dog’s teeth”.

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People are pretty much alike.

It’s only that our differences

are more susceptible to definition

than our similarities.

– Linda Ellerbee


Dress-up

My niece, who just turned a year old last month. What I see is Allison practically swallowed up in her sister’s dress up clothes. What I think is she’ll grow into them faster than I’d like.

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Making the decision to have a child

is momentous.

It is to decide forever to have your heart

go walking around outside your body.

– Elizabeth Stone


In Between

What I see is Amanda, standing between the two doors at her house. On May 5th. What I think is she picks out her own clothes.

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I asked her to do this,

just so I could take a picture of it.

Does that make me a bad aunt,

a bigger kid than she is,

or just creative?

(By the way, that’s a rhetorical question.)


A Helping Hand

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Sometimes we need other people

to save us from ourselves.

Whether we’re aware of it or not.


bare feet

I was recently at National Harbor with my family, and I just had to take this picture. What I see is a pair of shoes, pretty, dressy and oh-so-tall. What I think is how wonderful it must have been to step out of those shoes and get her bare toes into the sand. What I feel is joy, anticipation, excitement, and a return to my heart of all things youthful.

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No one thing can define

who we are.


low tide

Nearly everything watery feels romantic to me, inspiring the dreamer, the artist, the adventurer within. A wooden post sunk into the ground is ordinary and mundane. Somehow that same post, raising its weathered head out of the water, becomes a metaphor for life. What I see here are many such posts, basking in the sun at low tide. What I immediately thought when I saw them is that life leaves its mark on us all.

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The people we meet, the things that we do –

the experiences of our life –

leave a permanent mark upon us.

Sometimes it’s just more visible.


On Display

I took this picture last year while walking downtown with my sister. What I see is a man neatly arranging his wares, to create a pretty picture for the passersby. He seemed surprised to discover that he was being observed, which I found interesting, since he was working in a glass box. What I think is that some people line their lives up ever so carefully, creating the picture they wish to display. And some are so wrapped up in themselves, they forget how much the rest of us can see.

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We are all on display,

in one way or another.


New

My dad took us for a ride on his new boat last Saturday, and this caught my attention right away. What I saw was a pristine new rope laying on a pristine new deck. What I thought was that it didn't matter how many times I'd been on a boat before; this was a new trip. It was a new boat, a new day, a new experience.

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Never let familiarity

blind you to worth.


See how she flies!

This is the picture that sparked my photo blog creativity once again - albeit almost 3 weeks after I took it. What I see is Amanda swinging wildly out over the body of water that she calls Swan Lake. What I think is that will never be me. What I wonder is when did I get too scared to fly?

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I don’t believe for one moment

that youth is wasted on the young.


Hello, Stranger!

Every now and then I’ll find a blog that I really like, I’ll click that follow button, and then…  

And then…

And then that’s it; they never write another post.  Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

I never thought I would be the one to disappear.

If you’re like me, when you saw If My Eyes Were Cameras, you said something like, “Oh, yeah…I forgot all about her.”  But I do hope you’re glad to see me again.

So what happened?  

To be perfectly honest, my photo blog was a victim of its own theme.  I love my theme, but I had become too rigid about what I would and would not allow myself to do here.  My great friend Patricia even gave me a Versatile Blogger Award months ago, and I didn’t do anything about it because I couldn’t incorporate it into my theme.

Have you ever done that to yourself – been so wrapped up in how you wanted something to look or be, that you cut yourself off from all the other great possibilities?  

Then in February, I reached a point where my creativity went a bit dry.  I wasn’t taking many new photos, and though I had plenty of old photographs that I would have liked to share, they didn’t fit into this theme that I had locked myself into.  Or at least I couldn’t muster the words to make them fit.  I would look at a photo and simply be blank.  

So I thought I would just take a week off.  But one week stretched into two, and then to three.  I would tell myself I needed to sit down and update my photo blog, but I never did it.  I was busy with my resolutions, and barely keeping up with my other blog, and every post-free week would pass quicker than the last.  Eventually, I forgot to even remember.

But I’m feeling my creative juices flowing again now, I’ve started a basic photography class, and I’ve been taking pictures like crazy.  And I’ve missed this blog!  Tomorrow is back to If My Eyes Were Cameras like you’re used to seeing – but I’m not going to hold myself to that theme if my “I see, I think” well runs dry again.

I almost promise.