Thoughts for a Passing Afternoon


My husband always teases me that I can't be left alone with the camera or I end up taking photos of random things, such as this little blooming thing we found walking one day in spring last year. Frankly, I can't help it, I like taking photos of "random things," as he puts it, and I like zooming in and zooming out, capturing those small details that the ordinary eye misses, or that the poorly fed soul overlooks. Lately, however, I have been focusing a different kind of lens on a different kind of subject.

As a general rule, I am not one to dread the process of aging, or to wax poetically over days gone by (at least not over such days in my own life, though I do more so on grand time scales and over long lost ages), but lately, I can't help but focus the lens of my eye and the filter of my soul on my own life, looking at what it is, what I thought it would be, and what I would like it to be. Of course, I've been sick lately, too, and being sick always makes me think about where things stand and where I would like them to- I suppose that it has something to do with what an English teacher told me years ago about balancing body, mind, and soul, and that all have to work together to achieve the "fruit of life," by which I have always assumed that he meant a well-lived, happy life. At any rate, I think it's easy to get caught up in day to day to life and keep thinking "oh, I'll start...working out... eating right...learning Italian...dancing...painting...a new career...going back to school... tomorrow, or next week, or next year- only we forget and postpone, and then, eventually, we fade. But sometimes, things happen to call us to attention and to focus, things like illness or stars aligning, or that leaf that seems imbued with significance as it blows in the wind, clutching tenderly to that branch. Whatever calls us back, it's fortuitous and I like to think that if we pay it enough mind, we can begin to seize some of the opportunities and act on the impulses we need to piece together the fragments of ourselves and the lives we dream of. So, I have been thinking very hard lately, evaluating and discarding, and trying begin the small steps that will, hopefully, take me closer to my own goals before it's too late. Some of these changes are quite basic: exercising more, eating more "real food" and less processed, making more time for the things that I enjoy doing; and some of the things which I am working towards are more ambiguous and intangible, but there nonetheless, and I am trying to reach out to them as best I can, one small affirmative movement at a time.

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