Monthly Archives: February 2012

My Dad

Standard

I said that Inspiration was my word for the year.  There are many people who inspire me to live a better life.  One of those people is not surprisingly my father.  My Dad is almost 92 years old.  He was born in 1920.  He lived through the depression and World War II.  He is one of the few WWII vets still alive.  He amazes me with his gusto for life.  Even now he still gets out into the world, goes out for lunch with friends, is an active member of various clubs in his community and in general is not only maintaining his quality of life but also contributing to the quality of life of others.  My Dad has been an inspiration to me in many ways but probably one of the greatest gifts he gave me is my love of photography.  My Dad gave me my first camera when I was 13 years old.  An old range finder camera he had from earlier days.  My Dad loved photography all of his life and practiced his passion during WWII on the island of Okinawa.  He had a darkroom there under very precarious circumstances and provided his fellow soldiers with snapshots of themselves that they were able to send home to family members in order to let them know and see that they were alive and o.k.  The story behind those darkroom images is unbelievable.  Anyone that know s about developing film and printing can imagine how difficult it must have been to pull that task off.  But my Dad has always been a ” get it done” kind of guy, something that has followed him even to these late years of his life. 

As I was saying, he gave me my first camera when I was 13.  As a result taking pictures has been a part of my life ever since.  I would say that it is one of the things that has defined me.  My life has been full of movement.  I have seen many places in the world.  Wanting to hold onto those places has caused me to record them with my camera.  Looking though the viewfinder has taught me from an early age to look at the world from many perspectives.  To focus on the details of life and to live that one moment, that one place or that one person in an up-close and personal way.  I would have to say that living life with a camera attached to my hand has also taught me a lot about letting go.  With all the moving around that I have done, it is hard to have lots of personal possessions.  Sure I see things in the world that I wish I could have forever but I began taking pictures of those things, places, people and learned that I didn’t really need the things themselves, I just needed to be able to record them so that in the future I could go back to them and re-live the original pleasure they gave me.  Fewer possessions in life means more freedom.  Looking through the lens has taught me to see events and people from all angles.  Above, below, from the side, straight on.  I like to think that this aspect of viewing things from many angles has allowed me to become a more tolerant and compassionate person.

Recently my father has been going through his things and in some way preparing for the inevitable.  I assume that when a person reaches the ripe old age of 92, they in some way realize that their time is limited.  My father, among many other pursuits in life, was a clock collector.  He had an amazing collection of antique clocks.  All kinds, wall clocks, mantle clocks, grandfather clocks, Coo coo  clocks, statuary clocks, pocket watches, etc…   My mother had used them as the central decorating theme in our home and when they were both younger and able to keep the clocks wound, mid-night or noon hour at my home was a thing to behold.  Clocks would be chiming, chirping and bonging from every corner of the house.  Well, recently my father and mother came to the conclusion that it was time to let the clocks go.  They didn’t want us, their children, to have to struggle to know the value and sell each of the clocks.  While my father was preparing the clocks for auction he came across something he had forgotten about….an old photographer’s light meter.  “Wynne’s Infallable Photographic Exposure Meter ”  from 1904.  He set it aside.  It would not be going to auction.  He gave it to me.    In recent years I have had to let go of many things.  Possessions, old life styles, my home and even some friendships.   But my Father has seen me through it all.  Stood by me.  Now as a last gesture he has given me something to remember that it was he who first put a camera in my hand and taught me to see the world.   So many lessons I have learned as a result of that passion passed down from father to daughter.  Last night my father asked me if I believed in the power of prayer.  He said he had been praying for God to let him live just a little longer.  He wants to see me through my challenges and difficulties.  I told him that I most definitely believed in the power of prayer.  But I also believe in all that he has already given me.  I know that no matter what, his lessons will see me through whatever comes my way.

Advertisements

Inspiration: My Word For The Year

Standard

I have been absent from my blog for a while.  I guess I hit a creative and emotional block and just needed some time to work through the kinks.  Halloween came and went as did Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  Now with 2012 up and running full steam, I will try to get myself back on track.  In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I have given this year a word to live by, that word is Inspiration.  After a prolonged period of sadness, mourning and learning to let go, I have determined that this is the next step, the way I want this year to be for me and all who are a part of my life.

I began this year crocheting a prayer shawl for myself.  Usually I make these for other people but this shawl is for me, a rainbow of inspiration full of vivid & lively colors.  As I work on it I think of all the things that inspire me;  the dreams I have that still need to be realized, the people who support me in those dreams & all my hopes and desires for living a meaningful life.  I remind myself that fear, anger and hurt are depleting emotions.  They paralyze you and keep you from truly living.  Inspiration is just the opposite, no one who feels inspired can be paralyzed, it simply isn’t possible.  Inspired people are people in motion.  Their excitement for what they are doing drives them forward as they make their heart’s desires happen.  This is my year to attempt to live in this way.  My shawl will help me remember this when and if the paralyzing emotions try to take hold of me.

As it happens serendipity crossed my path recently with the sole intention of reaffirming this plan of action of mine.  This past weekend I was visiting a dear friend from college who I had lost with the passage of time.  She and I have found that we have just as much common ground now, if not more, than what we had way back in college.  She lives in Chicago and we decided to go to the city for a day of art, photography and food.  we happened upon a store that sold beautiful creations from rocks, geodes, fossils and semi-precious stones.  I just had to go into that shop !  The colors and the pieces displayed in the windows called to me.  As we were looking around we both asked questions about different pieces displayed.  We were just about to leave when a necklace caught my eye.  It was transparent but within it held wisps of color…some of my favorites…Purple/amethyst and  turquoise green/blue.   These colors swam in the transparency of the stone like water plants swaying with the tide.  I had to ask about this piece and of course as all stones do, this one too had its meaning, its significance.  The shop keeper explained that this stone represented spirituality, health and Inspiration.    SOLD !!!!

I had just been telling my friend about my shawl and in fact had promised to teach her and her daughter to crochet.  I was feeling inspired just reconnecting with my dear friend.  I had to have this necklace not only because it represented the particular journey I want to follow this year but also to symbolize friendship and the incredible inspiration that a friend can be.  Thank You Marita.  http://maritapollimages.com/

I would have to say that with this one small step, I have begun my New Year.