Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Joie De-Vivre

It was February during last winters brutal longness, I found myself beach strolling Florida’s Atlantic Palm Beach. I am blessed!

The coastal sun wrapped my bone chilled weary soul and body with southern warmth. Breezes floated, flitting across skin like a masseuse’s gossamer touch brings relief from physical and emotional stiffness.
Waves rolled constant, east to west, moulding sand as potter forms then reforms moistened clay. Foam swirled like key lime meringue, teasing shorebirds in Latino salsa’s sensuous dance, circling one step forward, spinning sharp in crisp retreat two steps back.

Breakers roared thunder and then retreated in silent intermission brief. Piccolo calls cried high, raucous gulls in symphonic rise rolled adagio to agile, crescendo to calando’s quiet cadence of momentary interlude when toes intersect golden sand.

A trio of distant verticals suddenly broke stages horizons line. Surrounded by tall grasses this cadre of perpendicular perplexity brought me pause. My recently reduced far sightedness raised a mysterious air of disbelief.

I slowly strolled close to clarify the obscure. A small huddle of standing Pelicans rested quiet in intermission. They seemed awkwardly out of place just off stage with the moving  dance of oceans dance floor just behind. Their beaks hung elephant trunk heavy and reminded me of my oft stiff neck. Flat foot webs seemed to hold them horizontal in hesitation. Head feathers poked upward in hopeless disarray like mornings mirrored reflection often mocks. 

Sometimes in mornings immobility, everything seems out of focus and thoughts pass that homely seems a kind descriptor and moving from that horizontal thinking seems irrational at best.

This was a time to stop and join their intermission and look beyond the obvious single initial dimension. As I spent time with them they seemed in no rush. They were contented in their stillness, satiated in just being. They were not in the least concerned that their next meal would be provided. They knew no inhibition as I crept close to capture the comic relief of their offbeat outlandish design.

They understood intuitively the value of restoration. To be onstage in constant acrobatic performance is the door to Dante’s personal inferno, or in our century the curse of infernal burnout!

They also knew the truth about personal acceptance! They knew who they were far more than the insipid shallowness of first impressions mocking glances. They were far more than one dimensional. In human terms they would often be seen to be socially marginalized and even bullied as not fitting into the norm of those who belonged to the club of the ‘beautiful people.’

As I watched, an almost imperceptible incremental movement...wings moved slightly out and forward...a bending tower of Pisa moment, leaning toward what would seem to be a sure awkward crashing topple and then, majestic transformation took flight. They broke free, rising with floating magnificence. Not just any flight, but a rapturous glide circling high on helium like drafts and then swooping low circumventing shifting troughs skimming just above the turquoise rollers.

Ungainly in one form became grand fluidity of grace in flight. The wings spread to massive support. The elephant beak now fully proportional to the rest of the bird both in functionality and form. At first glance this seeming comic looking creature judged in preconceived reproach opened the curtain to purpose and pleasure. Pleasure for itself and pleasure to watch it transform, rise and glide.

We are often much more than what is first preconceived by ourselves and others. Sometimes, not aware we can fly at all, we sit in our stately stoic vertical station and think of ourselves as misfits. Often we look at others and ourselves through eyes of jaundiced filters thick with the years of grime that have told us we are worthless, valueless and flightless.

Let me encourage you today that you were fashioned as one among billions. I am now finally becoming aware that I am!

You, that one very particularly beautifully created person, presents both the statuesque and flight that no other else can ever fly in the same manner.

So, rest in your intermissions and dance in flight in an act of joie de-vivre that only you can give as your gift to all human kind.

Choose both rest and flight today!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Beauty Surrounding Brokenness...

This morning on my wanderings I came across this broken down old house. I've always been prone to slam on the brakes for dead trees or dilapidated structures. To me they tell stories of dreams held long ago or memories forgotten long. They speak of effort, endurance, perseverance and yet the reality of loss and disappointment. 

Today as I rounded the corner, I was struck by the powerful juxtaposition of beauty wild, and forlorn brokenness. In the eye of, at least this artist, there is great beauty in both images that some don't necessarily see. For me they were well worth the 5 minute vacation to briefly ponder and also maybe bring awareness. This set of images is also personal as it reminds me that if I'd passed this way during the long winter, it would have been completely numb, barren, cold, lifeless and seemingly hopeless. 

There was, however, deep under the ice and snow the seeds of life ready to be restored! 

Spring has arrived and with it the framing of light, colour, joy with hopes gratitude. There were times often in the midst of a lifetime struggling with the blue black dog called depression that I believed flowers or leaves would never ever come back. I was always 'very' surprised by the new life that arrived each spring. This series describes through these photos and winter words where I was and now shows that when dilapidation is surrounded by life saving beauty, patient grace and unconditional love it can bring reason to rebuild and repaint a life. 

One, however, still has to choose!

I bring you these little anecdotes from time to time as to the reason why I paint, write or take photos. It is to  'Awaken Awareness, Encourage Endurance and Bless Beauty with Wild Creativity which is by the way, my last quarter mantra. Each of us faces the challenges of life. Some are affected by some of these realities far more deeply than others! 

I'm hopeful that maybe this little series today will encourage someone that there is hope and it is worth taking a small incremental step toward savouring the scent and colour of life!