Finding Beauty in the Mundane

I enjoy looking at beautiful landscapes. They make for great photographs, especially sweeping panoramas – of mountains, fields, the sea.

Yet, as I spend more time developing my photography skills, I discover so much beauty in the mundane as well.

Silver, one among the greens in my tiny garden
Playing with angles and light and texture
While others may pull weeds from their plot, I simply let them be, including the blur.

Textured layer

“I have always been caught by the pull of the unremarkable, by the easily missed, infinitely nourishing beauty of the mundane.”
Tana French, Broken Harbour

 

 

BlueMoon Rising

“The moon stays bright

when it doesn’t avoid the night” ~ Rumi

The Moon ~~ that fascinating piece of Nature that has held me spellbound all these years. My alter ego I’d tell my younger self in those days when at times I could be affected by teenage self-insecurities, and I needed to perk up my confidence anew.

Somehow, I feel there’s something that binds me and the Moon.

With the Blue Moon’s recent visit, I was jolted into the realization what a strange coincidence it was when she appeared as well in the early part of my stay in this quiet, secure neighborhood as I was delightfully easing myself into the comfortable ambience of the community and its residents. The Blue Moon was a reassuring, welcoming thumb-up sign from my Creator that everything was well. God knows how drawn I am to the drama, mystique of His creation.

But between then and now, there have been challenges that seem to overwhelm me, and what more, I am about to leave this wonderful place, my pet stray felines whom I’ve grown to love; changes are afoot once more. So while I’m eager for the next phase in my life’s journey, there’s also a certain sadness as I leave.

Yet again, last nite’s Blue Moon was another reassuring message from God all will be well.

And as my little ode to the Blue Moon we just had, here are some of my amateurish attempts to photograph Sister Moon basking in the glow of her Brother Sun.

July Moon Sky - the night before Blue Moon's rising...
MoonGlow

 

MoonLight

 

 

 

It’s not what you look at that matters,

it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

 

Three things cannot be long hidden:

the sun, the moon, and the truth.” ~ Buddha

Adrift

Change course…

Far too long I’ve drifted

Like that bark on the stream

fallen from its tree

It seems;

The shore far from sight…

The horizon blurs in the distance

I sink in the whirlpool of my

imaginings

How can it be?

I get a grip

While the faint sound of the bell

beckons me still

Time is of the essence here

my dear

No time to waste.

Taking Selfies is An Art

It’s May, my favorite month of the year! And what an apt theme to go with my favorite month – Photo.

I’m not a pro, I’m not even half as good as the younger ones in my family/clan who are amazing with their photography skills. But taking photos is my passion – and with the coming of the age of Selfies, I’m drawn to it more than anyone else of my age, methinks.

Do you like taking selfies? Why or why not?

I do not find taking selfies bad at all, so I shall disagree with the supposed findings of the American Psychiatric Association that taking of selfies is a mental disorder.

Taking of selfies is an art form, not a mental disorder.

It may not be the best of hobbies – but it is fun, even for a midlifer like me. Nor is it vanity at all, though I must say, self-regulation, especially among the young ones, is of course needed. In which case, the findings of the American Psychiatric Association if this preoccupation with selfies goes overboard, indeed makes sense.

Seen in proper perspective, however, taking selfies is a form of artistic expression, an interesting one at that. I remember growing up with SLR cameras that needed black-and-white films which you had a photographer/shop develop for you. Unless you were a photo buff or expert, where was the fun in taking pictures or posing for one except in the enjoyment of the finished products.

Through taking selfies, one can give vent to her creative inclination just like me. I would love to paint portraits and scenes, including a self-portrait. If only I could. Thus, with selfies and the myriad of photo apps that abound these days, who am I to resist such imaginative yearnings?

Besides, as a grandmother, I do have one simple goal coming from the fun side of me — to collect as many creative selfies as I want – while I’m still bitten by the artistic selfie bug and transform these into interesting collages or dramatic mirages.

Then I shall present them all one day to my grandchildren — “Here is your grandma through the years!” — for sure, just for them I shall be a celebrity, and we’ll share a good laugh.

 

Life is A Garden, Indeed

Leonard Nimoy tweeted, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”

Sometimes when I see a beautiful flower in full bloom, I am tempted to pick and put it in a vase to enjoy it. Yet flowers stay longer right where they are until their petals close, wilt and fade. Sometimes in the best of moments, we forget to capture it in a photograph — yet perfect moments we experience are sometimes better left untouched, spared by the camera, and kept private.

Can we ever capture enough of the joy or pain, or the happiness or sadness of a moment? Many times, they remain just as beautiful or poignant, or hurtful pressed in the deep recesses of our hearts and minds, much like pressed or dried flowers…

 

 

 

 

Image Source                                                                                       Image Source

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Life is a garden indeed, for the journey we take, with all our experiences, good or bad, is the garden plot in which we sow seeds of growth in a variety of ways —

These are the flowers we cultivate as we nurture the garden of our lives into full bloom – developing ourselves, cultivating our potentials until we reach our full flourishing.So as we dig deeper into the soil, the foundation of our spiritual selves, we weed out, too, what can hinder our personal growth…

 

 

 

Each of our experiences, the people we have and encounter, are unique on their own, and provide for us an enriching life – despite the thorns and prickly bushes —

 

 

 

These are mistakes we make, the hurts we cause or are caused by others, the toxic people we sometimes meet — all these provide us invaluable lessons and insights so we become stronger, better persons…

Our failings do not necessarily mar the beauty and dignity of our persons, just as thorns do not mar the beauty of a rose…And life still remains beautiful!

 

 

Life is a Dash of Spice & Herbs from the Garden

Life is a dash of spice and herbs, so if I could grow a kind of food and be successful, I’d love to grow a spice-and-herbal garden….                                                            Image Source

I love food with spices and herbs; a simple everyday dish, sandwich or soup becomes a gourmet adventure, not to mention their medicinal benefits.                                                            Image Source

I fancy growing a spice-and-herbal garden, fragrant, vibrant and blooming – a feast for the senses, a feast for the soul, and a feast for the tummy with the yummy soups, dishes, and salads I can prepare for my family and friends, with freshly picked spices and herbs from my own home garden: basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, ginger, spring onions, red and green chilli, to name just a few…

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I also imagine my lovely spice-and-herbal garden to turn into a cozy nook where I can read or write in solitude while inhaling the mix of aromatic, tangy, sweet, lemony, spicy, peppery scents wafting from my plants…

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Or a snack corner for my family and guests, so preparing tea would be fun and delectable with the many choice herb leaves to add to our cups…                                                            Image Source

Or into a perfect outdoor dining area, right in its midst, with white-painted trellis in the perimeters, skylight, old style iron-wrought chairs, some soft settee and a long heavy wooden table. Hmmmm…

Spices and herbs are a delight indeed to have to perk up our meals and moments with loved ones, add zest to everyday rituals, and give a bit more life to our surroundings!                                                                   Image Source

 

My Simple Garden

I’m just glad I have this small, unassuming place where some green plants grow alongside one wall. They were just sparse the first time I moved in, yet now they have grown and their thick foliage partly shield my porch from the gate.

Just a simple home greenery

It delights me each morning as I look through my front window, which faces the morning sun, to see the varying shades, shapes and sizes of my home greenery and my sole yellow hibiscus.

My Garden Collage

I love gardens, and how I wish I had one as lovely as this one I photographed on an out of town trip…

In a highland resort south of Manila

Yet the simple garden I keep, including the few potted plants I have at the back of the house, just gives me as much pleasure.  Tending my plants – watering, pruning, propagating and watching them grow, seeing little brown maya birds, even a few butterflies fly about, uplifts my spirit because this affords me a space to commune with nature right in the middle of the city, and a welcome respite from my work-at-home-job and house chores.

For me, gardening is my special form of praying, so I feel one with God’s creation.

Even with such a small garden as mine, gardening is almost like taking care of a child, or a pet….and I realize a creative project as well. It isn’t as simple as it seems, as it takes time, diligence, and love to keep a garden, nurturing it to growth.

Yet the joy it gives is so much more than the sensual pleasure you derive from it – for when you nurture a garden, you also nourish your soul.

My Garden Collage 2

In My Garden Collage 2 are a picture of my citrus plant, in the bigger box above, and of a young “lanzones” fruit tree, as well as the other green plants in my simple yet refreshing garden.

Once Upon a Moonlit Night

Tonite, I caught sight of the passing MOON seemingly growing on my “Silver” plant at the backyard…

The Passing Moon

Peeking through the leaves of my plant…

The same passing moon, edited version

O moon, you cast your glow brighter, as the hours go deeper into the night…

A more subdued edited version of the passing moon...

’til only you oh moon reign supreme over the hushed, slumbering earth…

 

Moonlit Nite Collage
Moonlit Nite Collage 2

Midlife’s Birthing Pain

Last evening I took enough time to ponder — about my blogging, and other aspects of my current life situation:

  • It upsets me to see I’m lagging behind my daily goals for my blog, (to write each day, follow the prompts…) for one. 
  • Another thing – my blog isn’t attracting enough readers or supporters as I want, even from friends and family to assure me I’m doing just fine – even after all the tweaking I’ve done, for the umpteenth time – and this frustrates me…a lot.
  • And yes, a little angry because no one even dares to tell me how bad my writing is or my topics are…something like this.
  • Lately, I’ve been feeling somehow vulnerable, helpless and weepy – feeling like I’m no longer my usual bubbly, capable self.
  • Times when I feel more like a woman conceiving for the first time…
Midlife's Birthing Pain

      Times when a midlifer’s journey is rough or uncertain…the path ahead not so clear; yet with faith, you move on… – Marichu

Well — it’s not just me alone. If you’re a midlifer like me, at one point, you may have undergone your own midlife crisis..we all do. Midlife is like this – as in any phase of life, you may stumble and fall; you may make a wrong decision or turn; you may feel bad about yourself, and so on.

It’s all part of self-growth…you only need to be able to see the gem of insight behind each mistake you make, then use it to your advantage.

But the term midlife crisis has a negative ring to it, so I’d rather call it midlife’s birthing pain. As in my case, like a woman conceiving, I am about to give birth to my new self, to actualize my new goals and visions in life, that may seem too big for me to handle, but it’s okay. It’s part of my life’s adventure.

Because my new dreams, my new goals are BIG DREAMS, BIG GOALS, so my midlife’s birthing pain is just as big – the anxiety of the unknown borne of an eagerness to see my dreams coming true.

Just like giving birth to a new purpose for my blog and making it grow, I’m hoping Summer’s Third Wind will finally gain readers as I share my stories, insights and thoughts, hoping these can somehow help other midlifers out there.

Thank you for reading this post.