desert magic

Sometimes it just feels good to get away from the madness of the city and escape into nature for a while.  The desert is incredible for that.  I love going there, and definitely don’t go as much as I would like.  Once I am there I am always reminded just how much I love it.  It’s also really fun to have a partner in crime to go on adventures with.  This was mine & Jen’s second time going there just the two of us, and it’s an incredibly empowering feeling to be two women camping by ourselves in the desert.  I always come back feeling brave, confident, and strong.

Anyway how can you be scared sleeping under the splendor of the milky way?  As night started setting in, I felt, for a brief moment, the kind of anxiety that often accompanies the darkness.  But as I gazed up at the sky, I watched as it became an expanse of glittering brilliance.  Suddenly I remembered one of my favorite quotes by Galileo Galilai: “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” At that moment any inkling of fear vanished.  The quote ran through my mind like a mantra.  I was able to fully understand and appreciate what Galileo meant when he said that.  I lay on my back and fell into the stars.  Shivers of wonder ran up and down my spine.  The universe is so mysterious and wonderful!  And there I was—here I am!—floating in the infinite embrace of the galaxy, a part of it.  This is the magic of the desert and the gift of the night.

Needless to say, it was a wonderful trip.  We explored some slot canyons which was my favorite desert excursion so far.  They are so cool!  I took a lot of pictures but they really don’t do justice to the raw beauty we found there.  You might think of the desert as a desolate place, but it is quite the opposite.  It is full of life there, especially right now—springtime desert blooms everywhere!  So much color and texture under the expanse of big blue sky.  It’s intoxicating!

We weren’t gone for very long, but I returned feeling refreshed and invigorated.  I am recharged.  I feel like I can approach my life and my responsibilities with a renewed sense of energy and vitality.  I am grounded and centered, with the wild echoes of the desert wind reverberating through my soul.

fleeting moments

This morning I woke up to golden light dappling through my bedroom blinds onto my closet doors.  As I rubbed sleep from my eyes, I watched the light as it glimmered in front of me like a shimmering curtain into another world.  I lay entranced for a moment, then in a burst of inspiration ran to get my camera.  I wanted to capture this moment, this fleeting ethereal feeling.

It’s been a while since reaching for my camera has been my first response in moments like these.  Ever since starting a photography business with my dear friend last year, and subsequently quitting when I discovered that I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would, I have been left feeling uncertain of my place in the photography world.  I spent the year taking photos to make other people happy, and forgot what it felt like to make photos for myself—creating for pure enjoyment of it.  I didn’t know what I was looking for anymore.  It was almost like I kind of forgot how to see through a lens.

Not that I didn’t learn a lot of valuable lessons last year—I did!  I learned a whole lot on the technical side of photography, and I learned a lot about my camera.  I learned a lot of what-to-do’s and even more what-not-to-do’s!  I had a ton of fun with Nicole.  We got to travel together, (including going to Colorado to shoot a wedding!) laugh together, and be absolutely and completely terrified together.  It was a totally awesome experience and I don’t regret a moment of it.  But when all was said and done, I just knew that photography as a business was just not for me.

Still, the year was spent taking photos for others.  I didn’t take many photos for myself.  Most of my photos from last year that aren’t business related were taken on my iPhone.  So I lost this sort of sense of who I was as an artist—as a photographer.  It took me quite a while to want to pick up my camera again because I just wasn’t sure what I wanted from it.

Until the last couple months, anyway.  I started to really crave my camera, to really desire to start capturing the world as I see it again.  I thought, maybe I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I’m never going to find it if I don’t start picking up my camera again!  So I’ve been playing.  What do I want to see? I ask myself this question.  Not, what will everyone else like?  But, what will I like?  As I’ve been exploring photography again, I’m feeling increasingly inspired.  I just want to play; to create without any agenda except to express myself.

I feel like I am starting a whole new chapter as a photographer, as a visual artist.  This time I am starting from the inside out.  It feels good.

Also, Happy Spring Equinox! There’s something extra special about the light today. :)