Thoughts after a month of daily blogging

Today will mark thirty three consecutive days of writing and posting photographs to my blog. Just over a month ago I wrote of an audicious challenge to post every day for a year.

The challenge was to get into a regular habit of creative expression to help find my voice.

Some days I have struggled to write, mostly because I’m not quite at full strength yet. Sometimes I’m too tired to think, much less write. I can only write when I’m inspired; I just can’t write something to throw on a pixelated wall.

My photographs have been a saving grace during those times — they’re very much part of the fabric of who I am and my creativity. I enjoy snapping and tweaking them afterwards to coax out the vision of what I saw that day.

By writing and crafting photos each day, I’ve started to notice the return of a very dear old friend of mine.

My muse.

She comes as a feeling deep within, magic elixirs percolating in a well of deep creativity that hadn’t been used in a long time.

She makes me feel warm inside, a comfy flame burning in the hearth of my soul.

Long forgotten parts of my soul are coming back to life, awakening in bits and pieces.

As I create, I feel her poking and prodding, challenging me to step out of my inertia and embrace passion.

It’s not quite a roaring fire just yet; she needs to be stoked more to be set further alight.

This challenge has reminded me creativity is a fire that needs to be tended to else she flames out. Coals of neglect become harder to re-ignite.

Like forgotten love.

I’m not sure yet if I’ll be up to the task of doing this every single day for a year — it might be more reasonable to set a goal of crafting a few times a week rather.

Still, I like what’s happening within. I like dancing with my muse again.

I’m going to try twirling her around each day because it’s a joy I’ve missed.

Be bold with life

This summer I’ve been swimming daily in the local community pool as part of my healing process from Lyme disease (my acupuncture physician suggested it and I’m amazed at how much better I feel floating in cool water).

I made friends with several folks there, including a young lifeguard who was on summer leave from college.

Over the course of my time there, the lifeguard and I mostly small talked. As her summer leave drew closer to ending, we had a couple opportunities for longer talks where we got to know each other a bit better.

She mentioned majoring in psychology and I suggested a couple books she might find fascinating (“Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” for one, it’s a favorite). She asked what I did and I told her I had Gator Country and lived life as a nomad roaming across the land.

Her eyes widened in wonderment at the stories I shared of my journeys along with other crazy parts of my life travels before I became a nomad.

She was wondering if she could do something like that, at least travel to Europe and such. I could tell she wasn’t sure — perhaps life seemed to have already gotten in the way of it.

I urged her to find a way to make it happen.

That it was a once in a lifetime journey at a young stage in her life. To do it before she got caught in in the relentless march of “regular” life because it stealthily steals time from you as the years fly by.

She nodded, her mind churning and thinking.

A few days before she went back to college, I gave her my copy of “Brain on Fire” with a short note inside:

Life is short. Be bold with it!

It’s never too late, my friends.

I began the nomad life in my late forties and it has been incredibly life changing and deeply fulfilling.

I did it despite emerging from a chronic illness (and coming down with another in Lyme — it ain’t gonna stop me either) and a limited budget.

And I’ve just gotten started — there’s many more adventures and dreams on the way.

Whatever dream you have that brings you joy, do it.

Make room for it in your head and find time for it.

Turn that dream into reality.

Be bold with your life!

Gone in the blink of an eye

I had a vivid dream of the future where I was on a spaceship hovering above our planet.

We’ve all heard stories about time machines and such where we’d step into them and transport to a different time?

These ships were outside the bounds of time and space; they transcended matter, making our people’s stories of time machines seem quite crude.

I was inside the ship and I could see our earth, but in some sort of sophisticated holographic form that I hadn’t seen before.

I had this “knowing” to watch the globe (apparently communication transcended matter too).

As I watched intently, the earth started spinning faster and faster until it became an incredible blur of motion. Despite the blur, I could still “see” what was happening; it was a story unfolding in front of me.

I was witnessing the evolution of our earth.

The spinning accelerated, going from hundreds of years to thousands and then millions and millions.

By the time it reached the moment of our human occupation on the planet, we were gone in a blink of an eye. Faster and faster it went until it faded away to be no more.

Then the dream was over.

What stuck with me was how we humans were only on the earth for a very brief moment in time — a literal blink of the earth’s eye. And how the world marched onward as if we were insignificant in the grand scheme of the totality of its life.

Just like the dinosaurs — they once reigned supreme over the land and then they were no more. Poof.

Maybe we’re not so different from them after all; maybe we are just another brief fling of occupation upon earth.

Storms of the past

 

Intriguing view of a Montana countryside with thunderstorms in the background. It takes me back to the days of settlers, cowboys, and fields of Buffalo…

Touching the sun

This is one of my favorite photos caught at a serendipitous moment. It’s as if the water is reaching out to touch the sun and becomes infused with its warmth. Taken in Sarasota, Florida.

To be roofless again

Life as a wandering nomad the past few years has changed me.

It has woken my soul and I’ve found it is restless.

Out there I was always hiking, jogging in the woods, kayaking, etc. I loved exploring new grounds and finding new adventures. It kept me alive in spirit.

Before, I used to sit for long periods of time — mostly working on the computer, watching television, or staring at my smartphone.

Not anymore. After a couple decades of it, there’s no joy to it.

I don’t like inertia. It’s a nemesis because when I slip into its grasp, I feel lethargic and lazy.

I want to be outside all the time, to be in the embrace of beloved nature.

Being under a roof boxes me in. I want to see the sun, the clouds, birds, night sky, stars, and the moon.

I feel uneasy when I enter a building of any sort. I feel out of place, lost.

I don’t belong anymore.

I struggle these days while recovering from Mr. Lyme because my heart is outside and I don’t have the strength yet to endure the rigorous wandering & camping life.

But soon I will be free and tears will flow in joyous release.

I will be roofless once again.

For now I endure.

And dream of stars overhead in the warm embrace of nature’s fire.

View off coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

View off the coast of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. Out of all the destinations I’ve camped on the American continent, Nova Scotia is one of my favorites. It reminds me of a northern version of Costa Rica with raw beauty.

Solitude in the rain

Rain has a way of driving people away and inside, emptying the earth of inhabitants.

Those are the times I feel freer – even in the city.

It’s when a new, secret world comes to life, calling out to my soul to come and play.

I decide to go for swim — a favorite thing to do when the sky is weeping — in the local community pool. Thankfully there is no threat of electricity falling.

At first glance the vast pool looks lonely, abandoned of laughing children and ardent lap swimmers. I slide into the water at eye-level amidst raindrops dancing on the surface.

I’m taken back to the days of my beloved cabin on the Suwannee where I would walk naked in the rain and sink into river’s warm embrace. I’d sit a long time, eyes level with tannin surface, watching rain drops reunite with their beloved.

Ashes to ashes, water to water.

I miss it.

I’m brought back to the pool, tiny spheres of blue water bouncing in multitude with each drop and I smile.

River or no, I’m still in the warm ambience of an empty pool given life by nature pelting it with her own, trees nearby swaying in the wind, and an occasional dragonfly braving the rain.

It’s when everything feels most alive, more than sunny days full of swimmers. It’s where quiet magic takes over in the whims of nature and solitude and becomes a force of its own.

My soul comes out to play, unfurling the inner child within and dances freely with the rain.

Solitude and rain.

Bliss.

(Photo of me in my childhood days contemplating in the rain taken by my uncle Terry)