During turbulent times I turn to words for comfort. I find refuge in the prose of CS Lewis; inspiration in the poetry of Rumi and Danna Faulds. Their words are like mentors, reassuring me that I am not alone in my sadness or despair.
Sometimes I am the one doing the writing. Countless journals – most unfilled – line my shelves. I seem to write about halfway through each one before I’m ready for another cover, or a different style of page. I started writing in middle school, and only stopped for a time when my journals were compromised.
Five years ago I found another creative outlet that gives me comfort. Photography. When my stepfather died his camera became my camera. His craft became my craft. I still have boxes of negatives from all the weddings he photographed – 600 if you believe his count.
Photography, I found, is mindfulness in practice. My eyes see. My breath steadies my hand. I catch my mind judging, labeling the shot good or bad before you even release the shutter. Sometimes I remember to smile at my mind and let that go.
After about 15 minutes behind the lens I lose myself in the moment, and become fully present to my subject. I don’t think about the past, I don’t worry about the future. I am grateful for this present moment.
It may seem trite, but I do prefer flowers. I like using a macro lens to really get in there, to see the miracle of nature. I also like flowers because, except for in the wind, they don’t move much. They remind me of the beauty in stillness.
I have begun to merge my love of words and images, combining quotes from Mindfulness and Grief with images from my stepfathers and my collection. I will add to the collection of grief quotes weekly, and I encourage you to share them with any friends or family who may benefit from their message.