It is the last days of January, and if you are one of the 40% of folks that made a resolution, I hope that you are working to keep it. You might instead, be more logical like my husband to be; seeing it more as superstition. Either way, there is history in retrospect and in setting goals for the year ahead.
New Year’s celebrations started as far back as Babylon, but were originally practiced in March. It was the Romans that chose January, and it was not without sound logic that the change was made. January is named after the god Janus; a two faced figure with one gaze directed to the past, while the second one faces forward, looking into the year ahead. This god is represented by doorways, arches and passage ways; also as the beginning and the end. As I struggled to pin point my resolution for 2012, I learned that the word for this god is duality, which brings me to the start of my year, and the seven resolutions that resulted.
Resolution one: Stay full. We spent the actual new year in Buffalo, Wyoming. I learned to ice skate for the second time. It had been nearly fifteen years and I admit that I was nervous, but it only took a few minutes and I was gliding along a large backyard pond, watching everyone around me smile in encouragement. In the four days that followed I watched the kids sled and squeal the entire length of a large hill, and the sunset looked different every evening.
We ate delicious home cooked meals every night, made cookies with molasses and I swear that I was full the entire time. Full of love and adventure; all the things that through out the year, we forget to savor. So I did, and I resolved to do so all year long.
Resolution two: Give thanks. My sister Michele and her husband Billy have been expecting a little girl, and sure as the new year will always come, Julia made an appearance on the first day of 2012. If you read the blog you already know that one of my favorite subjects is the glow of growing families. Julia Mavis was no exception, and when held by her dad, her eyes bloomed like wildflowers. What a perfect reason to give thanks for blessings received.
Resolution three: Use visual cue’s
. I do not care for pencils. I enjoy both the consistency of good ink, and the permanency of it. Pencils, despite leaving lovely silver stains on my fingers, are of no real use to me. But a few days ago, while waiting in line at the bank, I watched a man jotting things down in a small sheepskin notebook; those of which I could not read, but still I sat watching. What I noticed was that he made a mistake in his notes, turned his pencil around, erased, and then started again. What he had written was not gone completely, the eraser could take only the surface. The ideas would remain etched into the paper, even after new things would cover them. For better or worse.
I found so much joy in that secret and quiet little moment, thought about the human brain and it’s similarities to this simple process. But then it was my turn in line, so I stepped up and forgot it.
When I got home that night though, I took out a box of pencils buried deep in our kitchen drawer, and stuck two of them into my purse.
Resolution four: (Wo)man vs. Machine. It may come as a surprise when I admit that over the years I have teetered between a decadence for and complete rebellion against, new technology. I mightily tried avoiding the digital SLR, but in 2005 when I finally started using one, the world shone in technicolor. I swore against the laptop computer and I sit now, only a few years later, in front of my 27 inch iMac screen, and I love it. I may be the only living person left in America without an iPhone, and until recently I swore that it made me less neurotic. That was until Christmas Eve, when Drew & I were given the new iPad. I believe now, after so much exploration and education upon it, that in 2012 I resolve to treat fascinating movements in technology much like I do my diet. Everything in moderation.
The truth is, these tools are much like doorways, and Janus would be proud I think, depending on how he looked at it.
Resolution five: Write more love letters. A few days later while doing research for this blog I sat with my feet curled underneath me on our couch. I typically suffer a very lofty bout of writers block mid-month. It lingers like a cold until my deadline has slinked up the walkway and it is during this first week of it that I try to remember how consistently this happens, and that I am not a complete loser that has no writing ability. It was on this day, about an hour into my process, that I received some inspiration, just in the nick of time.
Aubrie Nettle has perfectly kept dark hair and striking Italian features. She wears her sense of humor like a style, and during one of my best and hardest years (and Drew’s second deployment) she cradled me with her kindness. It never occurred to me that, during that time, I was influencing her as well.
This is a love letter. To my friend. Who I miss terribly and love deeply. I have a theory about you. I used to think of you as a bird. Flying here and there, landing, floating. But no. You’re a tree. You don’t just move in and out of places and lives. A piece of you stays. You know that right? You have roots here. And in New York. And Texas. All these veins run back to you. Wherever you sit under your own canopy of shade.…Feel free to use part of this on your blog. I read it feverishly, looking for a glimmer of me. Not in a selfish way. But for reassurance that my impact on you mirrors yours on me.
I didn’t end up writing that day, instead I sat in a little puddle of gratitude. I sat for a while, thinking about love letters and how special our friends are. It took another three days before I wrote a word, but each day I found a little more strength and when I couldn’t focus on the blog, I read Aubrie’s letter.
Resolution six: Don’t change a thing.
On that thirteenth day I was lucky enough to visit with my brother and his wife, Amy. We don’t see each other often, so when we do I hold tight to the conversations, even the silly one’s, and little bits of me feel comfort. I had been thinking about my new years resolutions, and how they were starting to pile up, but still they stayed undefined. I felt lazy, like one of the guilty one’s, that let their resolutions sit idle or abandoned them completely, with their gazes down. As if they didn’t notice their luggage sitting there behind them.
It was late in the evening, and we were all getting tired.
As we all sifted down a long hallway, Britton and I kept talking.
“You know what my resolution is this year?”
He smiled as he asked me so I would know what to expect from him. But what he said surprised and delighted me.
“I’m not going to change a damn thing.”
He hugged me goodnight and turned to go,
and I thought that I probably wouldn’t change a thing either.
I would keep striving to be just like him.
Resolution seven: Love, ferociously. Since returning to Colorado, I have accepted contract positions with some local companies in order to meet local artists and get my name back out into the circuit. One such company is Yellow Paddle Photography, and last week I was lucky enough to shoot a beautiful couple that is planning their wedding for September.
On this afternoon, Whitney & Tyler shared their story with me, while my camera and I captured it, and I remembered just why I love what I do.
In honor of my resolutions, I am sharing some of my remarkable discoveries.
The following is a list of inspiring and artistic shares, all related to living, loving, and photography:
Resolution one: For delicious recipes visit http://www.smittenkitchen.com
This woman is amazing and so knowledgable with her recipes. She also makes home made baby food! The beautiful photography is simply the icing on the cake!
For creative games and projects for kids, visit http://pbskids.org
Resolution two: When I am looking to feel gratitude I visit
http://dearphotograph.com and look on all the memories that these people have worked to duplicate.
It is truly remarkable. Please take time to find inspiration in these projects, and say thanks for what you have.
Please visit Dalton Ghetti Pencil art
Dalton is from Brazil, and his work is obviously striking, but when you consider the time and patience it takes to complete his pieces…. well, have a look for yourself.
Resolution Four: Did you like that amazing door necklace in this last post?
You can get one of your very own from Ryan Talbot. He is a local artist and teacher in the Denver area.
Contact him at email@example.com
And if you have time to kill on your iPad or iPhone, why not visit http://www.stumbleupon.com instead of facebook or playing another game of Angry Birds?
It is time well spent.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in seeing a PDF of The Love Letters, A collection of photographs and corresponding writings.
Visit http://www.ramblecreek.com for information on Britton Beisenherz and his recording studio.
Looking for some new music? Monahans are Austin based recording artists. You can find them at http://www.monahans.net
Please visit http://www.yellowpaddlephotography.com for more information on wedding photography in the Colorado area.
For more work by me, Regan Beisenherz, please visit http://www.seraphimfire.com
For wedding inspiration visit http://www.greenweddingshoes.com