Charming Photos and Uplifting Writings

Archive for August, 2011

Irene Created a Change

The Night Before Irene

The water was calm with a fiery sunset the night before Hurricane Irene invited herself to the North Carolina coast.  Slight breeze with humidity high gave me the sense that it was hotter than the temperature showed.  I watched as boaters and fishermen either pulled their boats from the water or attempted to tie them down for the upcoming storm.  Several of the locals mentioned that they were not leaving their homes and that this was not the first hurricane they had to ride out.

I was visiting friends and decided to leave the day of the hurricane.  Travel was satisfying, no significant stops or complicated accidents, to the western part of the state.  There was more traffic heading west than east as I observed the cloud cover getting heavier in my rearview mirror, which for a weekend, that was unusual, since most folks would be heading to the beach for those final weeks of summer vacation.

I kept an ear to the radio, and once home, an eye on the weather channel as the outer rain-bands of the storm showed the coastal folks of down east that Irene had arrived.  Couple of phone calls early on gave me false confidence that those on the east coast were doing well.  After the early morning hours, little did I know as I watched the weather broadcast, that the storm would tarry for the day?   Irene’s back end of the storm was an angry departure causing several water surges in the rivers and sound areas, even 70 to 80 mile wind gusts in the inland counties.

Unable to reach several friends with power outages and phones dead, I worried.  Once the storm moved north on the eastern coast line and out of North Carolina, I was amazed at the damage several faced in our state.  Hurricane Irene, for a category one, left a path of destruction for so many from the Outer Banks to the inland communities of Eastern North Carolina.  I was able, after days of worrying, to hear from several as they shared their experience, their burdens of repairs, and tears of loss, but they all seemed grateful that they had made it through the storm.

Mother Nature is an element of living we lack control.  The earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes that come into our lives, not only change the inlets, roadways, rivers and landscape, but change our lives as well and the path we’re traveling towards tomorrow.  They affect the rich and the poor, the employed and unemployed, our cities, towns, and all communities.

I will say, in my opinion, a devastating trauma like this can humble, but yet it brings people to together as a community.  So many are facing some difficult times, not only North Carolina, but hopefully, those neighbors, friends and family will come to the aid as needed.  God Bless each and every one that has been touched by Hurricane Irene and any other power of Mother Nature that has come unexpectedly.

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Visualize with Creativity

The tunnel of summer trees, green and deep are making it difficult to see far down the dirt strips of the road.  Spanish moss hangs low from the branches, giving it an eerie aura that not many have traveled these parts.  The sun rays break through with blinding beams just before it sets.  I’m blinded and confused in the twist in the road, unsure of what’s coming or where I’m going.

Visualized Path

To form a mental image in my mind, visibly see the image as it would grow into a story, which I was drawn into as I turned each page, to me, that’s what, comes from visualizing with creativity.  I enjoy closing a good book, sitting back and thinking I certainly knew that character.   Taking a trip, visiting a place I had read about and feeling like I have been here before and I had from the story.

That’s the incredible thing about books; there are so many genres, that there is something for everyone.   A trip to the past, a conflict at present, or a leap into the future, there is always something.  That is an adventure I find less youth experience today with the various computer games, movies, easy short cuts to get information without truly reading.  What happened to those rainy Saturdays, when I couldn’t go outside, so a good book was the comfort of the day?

Prompt Your Creative Side

“I wouldn’t go any further, unless you want your delusions scattered,” his daughter warned.  She was sitting in the shadows at the far end of the porch.

“I was dropping off his jacket he left at the diner,” Joyce explained.

“I’ll take it, that way his unscrupulous reputation will remain without confirmation,” she said as she stood up and walked towards Joyce.

Joyce was confused.  She handed the jacket to his daughter.  She stood there for a moment gazing at his daughter, as if waiting for an explanation.

His daughter took the jacket as she exhaled her cigarette. “Thank you, I’ll tell him, you stopped by,” she said.

“Ok, thanks,” Joyce said as she took a few steps backwards to head towards her car.  She kept staring at his daughter in wonder.  His daughter glared at Joyce with a half smirk as Joyce got into her car.  Joyce could feel his daughter’s eyes to continue to burn into her as she looked into the rearview mirror while she drove out of the drive.

Joyce didn’t want to leave and was curious of what goes on behind closed doors at the Fuller’s residence.  Each time he came into the diner, he was polite, had the capacity to make others laugh, and his friends that would join him seemed to respect his opinions shared.

He had asked Joyce out last night, encouraging her to share some time, to get to know him better.  Now she had been warned to forget their last conversation.

 

Creative Prompt

Prompts are creative ways to get the imagination active.  So to speak, to get the juices flowing to create, to develop a perception that can grow.  Using a prompt can give me that stimulation needed to build upon a concept or notion.  I find using lines from the newspaper, or even comments from friends and family and pictures have inspired me with ideas.  I was listening to a conversation and the statement, “She kept staring at his daughter,” stayed in my thoughts.  Ideas of a mystery started to progress.  Who knows where I will go with this dramatic beginning.

Creative Connections

Connections

Over the years, I have witnessed the progress and growth in our technology, the creativeness in the development of science, inventions, and methods that have influenced society and how we communicate.  I have utilized those developments to communicate, but most of all, to reconnect with others.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to be able to communicate with family and friends.  Friends that I have allowed those years to pass since we last talked.  To locate someone, someone I thought a lot about during school years, but had not heard from in 30 plus years. Those years that I have concentrated on jobs, children, and struggling to find my way on my journey and forgot to share the experience with others.   It has allowed me to be informed of their experiences, news in the making, so to speak, and share at that very moment with comments and pictures.

As I watch the generation of my grandchildren, I ponder on a question, will they understand the concept of reconnection?  Today, they are connected from the time they are awake and even when they sleep, they wake up to messages that keep their status updated.  Will they truly understand the feeling or notion of missing someone?  Having that experience of mystery, anguish of anticipation, wondering if a letter will arrive or the phone will ring?  Will they still have that intimate, personal connection that once a letter could offer that was saved for years?  A letter that turned yellow with age and the writing has faded, but the words were memorized in the heart.  The joy of a reunion, anticipation of finding out, the excitement of reconnection with someone you have not heard from in years.

Well, I may not be around to see the full circle, but right now I will say, I am enjoying the creativeness our technology has offered.  I just hope the generations of my grandchildren do not take it for granted, but consider the privilege as a gift to build upon, positive concepts to build upon that will make things better.  That the messages of hope, faith and love are shared more, and an entity of togetherness be joined to conquer the struggles of yesteryear, and make today and tomorrow a better environment for their grandchildren.

Hope, the Root of Creativity

Sitting on the beach with my camera in my hand during a sunrise, it’s like meditation to me.  The breeze is tranquil, the salt air that I breathe in is soothing, and the sounds of the waves as they wash upon the shore flow to the heart beat of my dreams.  I am at peace as I focus the lens towards the rising sun, the shore birds running along the water and the crabs as they scurry across the sand.  Sea gulls invite themselves to fly close and land in the sand near me.  It’s a new day, a new beginning with endless possibilities like looking out to the sea and viewing the vastness of water.

Hope

I have read that each individual remains on a quest or has their particular place that encourages peacefulness.  I truly wish that each will find that comfort.  I don’t always have the opportunity to sit on the beach, but I can get away from the demands of daily living, by closing my eyes, if only for a moment, and retreat to what gives me clarity to my priorities.

I am not one that can say, “All my ducks are in a row,” or I have lived life with no “regrets.”  I may have my moments of confusion and discouragements, but learning from where I have come and believing in where I am going, gives hope that something brilliant will come out of those times of disappointments.

When I am able to find peace of mind, then I am able to reflect on what needs improvement.  Accepting the struggles with the blessings, gives me a feeling of balance, then I am able to focus on what matters.  With each experience and walk in my journey, I have gained or improved on skills and talents.  If life had been easy, organized, well-planned, then how would I have learned problem-solving, developing my creativity, or appreciating those moments of meditation.

I cannot speak for others, but having regrets motivates me to strive for my dreams today.  I may have taken a path in the past that was confusing, discouraging, and disappointing at times, but there were blessings too that have continued to guide me to where my dreams are taking me.  In my opinion, to be creative, want to create, and dream to create something to be shared, then one must have that one ingredient; “Hope” that always offers a guiding light through the storms.  To a moment to say “Thank you,” while refueling in the safety of a harbor.  Hope can provide the courage to set sail on that adventure into the unknown of the journey of life.

Journey of Love

A Journey

Wherever I travel, I always run into people who express that one wish on their journey and that longing is for the experience of love.  The inner desire to socialize, associate, and experience companionship that is uplifting, inspiring and elevates the spirit to find meaning and value to existing each day.  That emotion may put a smile on one’s face and bring color into perceptive of what might have been viewed in black and white.  Love can be that emotion which may bring warmth and melt those bitter feelings of loneliness and despair.  Love has been said to influence one forward towards a passionate attachment to growth, maturity and enlightenment.

Love may be a word that sounds so easy and sometimes over used, but the act of love can have profound strength that can spread tenderness, pleasure, and devotion between individuals and groups.  Love is an act that does not come effortlessly easy; it requires willingness and a course of action of consenting permission from the heart.  It is an act that requires exerting energy and effort.  If given the opportunity, love can defuse hatred; it may bring on agreement which encourages acceptance of different points of view.  It can convey appreciation of the gifts others may provide.

When I read an article or book that strongly expresses an act of love that touches my heart; I too, want that experience and may attempt to search for it.  That which is good and feeds my spiritual need for hope to cross the bridges of uncertainty that may surround me at times.

As I walk along in my journey, sometimes, I get a sneak preview of my life coming together like a jigsaw puzzle, and it seems like it is the little moments within uncertain turns in time between a stranger, a friend, a family member or even a pet that can add up to several chapters within my lifetime that I may not fully be able to see or finish reading now, but once the journey is complete, reflecting on years of experiences, the novel of love that I thought I needed to search for has been lived each day.

Daily Performance

Uncertainty may lead the way,

Along a path that seems disarray,

Jumbled quest, muddled I may say,

To an ending unfinished as of this day,

Each moment is like a bowl of clay,

To mold, shape and plan I will pray,

Certainty, my stage of dreams will play!

SGW

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