{Echo} Week 9- ‘illuminate’

:: burning glory ::

:: sunbeams ::

      “There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” – James Thurber

I have a penchant for light. I seek it, I bask in it and I humbly try to capture all of its majestic glory within my camera lens. Those who accompany me on a photo walk can tell you how I light up like a child on Christmas morning when that glorious golden hour comes around and even the smallest blades of grass are all aglow. Sun-kissed, is there anything more magical?

I suppose it is within that hour that I’m brought back to my childhood where fairies danced.. always  j u s t out of my reach, clouds became characters in my latest story, leprechauns taunted me and elves were always causing mischief. Anything, and I mean anything was possible. 

:: fairy of dreams ::

“The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others.”  James Arthur Baldwin

Though the details have matured a bit as I grew up, that light still delivers me the same fantastical feeling of magic it brought me as a young girl.  With age, has come (a bit) of wisdom as well as acceptance of the disorders I was given in this life.  Among that knowledge is the importance of light in managing bipolar disorder.

It is a key factor in resisting depression and a crucial element to pull myself out from under the darkest of days. Even technology is understanding the importance of light, and light therapy lamps are becoming a valuable and more accessible tool for folks like me. Love, love that.

“Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.” -Saint Thomas Aquinas

After dark – I find myself drawn to the colorful neon lights … cities are chock-full of them!  There is this unequivocal energy they produce – and instantly, I am captivated. I could never choose between the city & the country … as I love them both.

I don’t always take photographs to capture beauty – sometimes, I just want to capture that powerful, and oh-so-bold feeling of excitement … so I play with long exposures, light writing.. and delight in the abstract beauty it produces. If you don’t want to fuss with manual settings on your camera -turn your camera to fireworks mode (if it has one), aim it at light… and move it around in the air as the shutter is open… but be forewarned, it is addictive.

So, imagine my thrill when Susan sent over her shot …

Photo Credits: © Susan Tuttle (left), © Christy Hydeck (right)
(click image to view it  larger)

… I’m beginning to think she really can read my mind.

I look forward to seeing what you in have store for Week 9 of Echo– illuminate. Susan & I invite each of you to participate in the project and show us your unique vision, your voice, your echo. Remember, to share your link in the comments here so I can add it to the roundup next Wednesday.

Lastly, allow me to apologize for skipping the {Echo} Week 8- ‘Juicy’ roundup; a few unexpected (of the major time-sucking variety) things came up this week &  killed the time I had allotted for posting it. The round-ups are just a lil way I can thank each of you for participating – so I feel terrible that I can’t carve out the time right now.  Please be sure to read through the comments on this post, Susan’s post and peruse the Flickr group to check out all of the fabulously juicy interpretations. I hope you all know that I love seeing what you share with us, even when I’m looking on-the-run!

If you’d like to see the round-up posted late, let me know in the comments here!


{Echo} Week 3- Abundance Roundup

(click to see larger)

Light and  Dark.

Dark and Light.

A Yin/Yang sorta thing, dontcha think?

Seems to me, that the transition between the two recently is happening all too often in my life.  Mind you, I am not complaining – I learned long ago that you need the dark to know the light. I see the value in it, I truly do – but that doesn’t mean I am immune to the occasional woe-is-me moment. So I allow myself brief moments of that pity.. then I dust myself off, and work through it until the light appears. It doesn’t always emerge instantly, or even quickly for that matter… but it DOES always find a way to shine through.

I couldn’t fathom a diptych that would better encompass that inner battle I am constantly fighting. For what its worth, I am a total metaphor whore.. visual representations are so vital to my being and wellness. Do you see what I see in it? There is the obvious abundance of leaves.. and while that is all lovely and stuff, it is so not what I was going for.

Let me break it down a bit.

A downward gaze with no end in sight.. trampled upon leaves that show signs of aging accompanied by these brittle, fragile shells that have fallen… dark and awful lonely; despite the abundance of company. The cold shrill of a bitter wind and the quiet, almost melancholy tones of the rustling echoing. I see an abundance of emptiness, and shells of what once were.

I suppose In my worst moments, I feel exactly that.

Yet – if I merely look up and change my perspective … an abundance of color and light shine through. The path becomes longer, curving through the glorious shelter of the  autumnal trees. I see life. I see light. I see the path I must follow.

I see and feel that abundance of light coupled with an eternal abundance of hope. It is as if the world just suddenly woke up.

Just… for me.

“Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you are a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else. Your completeness must be understood by you and experienced in your thoughts as your own personal reality.”
– Wayne Dyer

Throughout this last week, in the moments that were dark and full of those yucky woes.. I heard Susan’s words echoing (how apt!) in my mind: “it is filled with the abundance of what matters most. love, love” What an incredible, much-needed reminder that my life is indeed full, even when my Bipolar mind tricks me into thinking it is not. Another tool I have cultivated is this book: Get It Done When You’re Depressed , I highly recommend the strategies to anyone who has trouble being productive when fighting a depression.

I may not be able to be change the fact that I am bipolar, but I don’t have to fully give in to those debilitating demons or let them rule me either. I choose to fight, always.

I am not the only one who has found these prompts to be eerily relevant in my life… so please, take a look at all the other wonderful souls who have taken part, their images and stories just may touch you too.

If  I have inadvertently forgotten you, or you choose to join in (yay!) … please let me know in the comments section and I will update the list .. it is wonderful discovering  the unique visions y’all have in this beautiful life, I can’t get enough of it.

Need/want a partner?  Join the Flickr group and post here! It is my sincere wish that it shall be the start of some fabulous collaborations and friendships for y’all.

The new prompt, Week 4 – will be posted next Wednesday… November 25th, 2009.

With an abundance of gratitude,


P.S. Shameless self-promotion whoring here: only 2 days left of my mega artography sale – details here! Won’t be another one like it for at least 6+ months! Thanks!

Hello World! Depression, Hope & Possibility

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
Bernice Johnson Reagon 

Depression...Then Hope

1. another 2. Hello darkness, my old friend
3. even cowgirls get the blues
4. Light at the end of the tunnel 5. Thank You

As some of you know, these last few months have been particularly trying for me. Though not always easy (or successful), I put a sincere effort into maintaining a positive attitude throughout times like these… a life lesson, I wasn’t always aware of. Sadly, there was a time where circumstances like those of late, would have had me sitting & rocking on the edge of a roof not wanting to live.. yet not wanting to die. Looking back.. that event seems so surreal.

  “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”

 Living with Tourette’s Syndrome, and Bipolar Disorder, has presented many challenges for me… the hardest of which, is fighting those ‘demons’ in my head. An internal struggle, that I have accepted will never cease. My best defense is self-awareness, and to achieve that.. I am constantly in the process of self discovery. As you get to know me, you will begin to see just how evident this is within my artwork… a tad ironic, considering my creativity is a blessing and gift that having these disorders provides. Admitting this, believing this, and embracing this .. is also my path to healing, my way to cope.

 “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”
Oprah Winfrey

In early April, when just about everything in my life seemed so damned bleak to me.. I forced myself to begin a shift in my mental state. Little by little, day by day, literally.. just…
… o n e – s t e p …
… a t – a – t i m e …
I found myself waking up… that rebirth of self so many speak of, and we chalk off as silly or absurd…I found myself saying “Hello” to the world and all it’s endless possibilities once again…I had found hope, where I least expected it… within myself.

click photo to see larger in new window

“Hello World”
 Mixed Media Collage & Painting
One of a Kind 4″ x 4″ Canvas Panel
By Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist Chrysti

This beautiful piece, was created during that magical time. The adorable, vintage puppy with his hopeful, eager eyes.. looking ahead at what’s to come. A cheerful, whimsical world just awaiting him to discover it and if you look carefully, you can see the faint image of a newborn baby behind him, a symbolic image of that rebirth.

Though this is piece is small, it took hours to create .. no detail was left unturned. It has served as a powerful, inspiring reminder to me over these last 2 months, and it’s my wish now .. that it do the same for someone else.. so, it’s for sale here. You can read a bit more about this small treasure in the listing as well.

“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.”
Chuck Palahniuk

 Learning is the discovery that something is possible
-Fritz Perls

Now go – discover something, anything …that you didn’t believe was possible.