from the airplane, Virgin Islands Canon Rebel Xti
I had the pleasure last night of seeing two of my most favorite authors on one stage. If you are familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Lamott you know what a thrill this was! I was first amazed at how big the theater was, packed to the gills with three thousand women. (A male friend of mine would remark, Dude, you could smell the estrogen!) But really, it was so wonderful to be in such a big room with so many women… sharing something so difficult to put into words, an invisible something that connected all of us about the experience of being women and human and wanting to be connected to something spiritual/creative/bigger than us.
Everything they said was wise, moving, funny and smart… and I devoured every single word, listening for that one thing that I came for, what I needed to hear.
And there were a few stories that stuck. One was a story that Elizabeth Gilbert paraphrased from a book she had read recently. The question posed was about living in the now and this writer responded that living in the now is overrated and unless you’re a yogi or a monk, pretty much impossible for us regular folk. He said that possibly, the key to a happy life is about having great memories to look back on and great things to look forward to. So take lots of pictures and make lots of plans!
This is how I’ve tried to live for some time, but hadn’t put it into words quite so well. I’ve always believed that we need beautiful images of our lives because it helps us to craft the story of our lives. When I look at my photos, I see that I have had amazing adventures, that I live in a world of color, that there is beauty everywhere, that my dreams are coming true, that I am loved. My photographs reflect back a story that inspires me.
Making plans for the future gives you a different quality of life in the present. When I know I am going on a trip next week or next month I feel so differently about today. Having something to look forward to gives you a giddiness about life, an excitement about what’s to come, and can shift our experience of the now. I have a few fun travel adventures planned for this year, and just knowing they are coming gives me a joy right now that is such a gift. (Hello Squam!)
Take lots of pictures and make lots of plans. This is so doable, right?
(As I type this I just saw that Tracey posted about exactly this on Shutter Sisters! Great minds… and by the way, the new Superhero Photo Challenge is up and don’t miss the beautiful photo and essay by Jen Lemen)