Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Be Where You Are

While on my last trip, I took 2,000 photographs over 14 days that began at 6 a.m. and ended at midnight. I never missed our arrival in, or departure from, any port. I did everything I could to be mindful, drink it all down and revel in being abroad.

And now I'm looking at some of the frames and thinking I can't have appreciated what I was seeing, or I would not have been able to come back to Chicago. I would have jumped ship, sent for my books and my boyfriend, and started life as an expatriate.

Here it's so gray. Raining, humid. The air is murky. Everything droops. Even the green leaves are dull as old paint. Looking at some of these frames almost hurts.

A Square in Mahon, Minorca

Monument at dusk. Mahón, Minorca.

Zen teaches us to appreciate the beauty of what is there, where we are. Clearly, that's the lesson I need to focus on today. As of this minute, I'm flunking.

26 comments:

All the Way With Knitting said...

If you ever want more of grey,polluted,humid do come to the lovely Thames Valley .There are places I avoid because I'd have to be dragged back to Reading .

Andy said...

Raining? I hadn't noticed it was grey and raining today in Chicago...thanks for the update ;-)

Carol said...

Do you sell prints of your photos? Because I think I want to frame that one.

mote said...

I've felt that way about my city too. So one Saturday my best friend and I went out with our cameras and looked for interesting bits of city life to photograph. There's always beauty to find.

Lee Ann said...

But at least you get to wear cute robes.

Cynthia said...

Don't beat yourself up. You are appreciating the beauty where it is--in your photos. Some days just are not beautiful, but that does not mean that there is not beauty to be found.

Kathy Merrick said...

I am reminded of a quote from the lovely Dylan Moran:
"It's easy to smile when you have the intellect of a squirrel"

Franklin, I have felt what you're feeling off and on ever since I went to Shetland.
It's beautiful here in New Hope, yeah...but Lerwick and Unst and Yell...

Nelly O said...

Funny . . . I never thought of you as being a broad. Except when you do your Tammy Wynette routine.

(Does this comment cause me to be disinvited from visiting you ever again?)

David said...

One of the advantages of living in New York, while I always enjoy my vacations, I never tire of returning here.

CynCyn said...

just the books and the boyfriend? what about Dolores? What about your yarn stash?
while I'm not sure any city in the USA can compare to Europe, Chicago is perfectly lovely... when it's not raining and 100% humidity. Wait for the Fall season.

Sarahfish said...

Thanks for the reminder. I'm in the same boat today, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I had beauty around me rather than the humid, overcast day that it is here in Ottawa. I'm off to go look at some of my photos to remember...

Sherry W said...

Take your camera, go outside in the 'nastiness', and find beauty where you are.

Kat said...

Beautiful picture! I can just imagine that girl standing in the doorway of a shop watching the day wind down and the evening approach.

Truly lovely...

Anne said...

But if you and Dolores and C had stayed there, you wouldn't be able to go visit.

QuietdanMN said...

Such a beautiful photo to accompany your eloquent writing.

Everyplace has beauty and ugliness. It is easier to appreciate/be aware of each, by looking at those characteristics in other places.

Thanks for sharing the beauty of life, wherever you find it.

marcia in austin said...

In contrast, *I* just spent a few days in Chicago, enjoying the city and the fabulous weather, and now am bummed to be back in Austin.

Jacquie said...

I believe that pretty statue is in the Plaza Colón.

If I remember rightly there is a lovely bookstore there too.

Lucy said...

That's why it's called practice.

birdfarm said...

Tibetan Buddhism teaches us not to try to pretend things are beautiful when they seem murky and droopy, but just to be with the murkiness and droopiness and be okay with it, because it's part of life and part of being human.

Constantly wanting to escape from reality is precisely what causes our suffering. Being where you are is the first step, but being okay with it being unpleasant at times to be where you are, is the road to peace.

This is different from passivity in ways I'm not yet good at explaining. It doesn't mean you just lie in the street and accept that trucks will run over you. I can't explain it well but I can recommend some books.

Anyway, it has totally transformed my life.

Scuse the soapbox...

Love your photos. When you say "My last trip," do you mean the one to Turkey? I missed some of that so I don't know. I too had a totally transcendental experience in Turkey.... glad you had a wonderful trip in any case.

love
birdfarm

Mom said...

Hang in there the sun will be back out. I know how you feel about the grey weather. I also agree with what birdfarm wrote.

Violetsrose said...

"Looking at some of these frames almost hurts."

EXACTLY how I feel when I see pictures of New York - its like a physical loss

Vintageme said...

Not your stash ? If anything happens to Mum ( such as a sudden urge to go and live in N.Z) we'd know the stash would go too .

Nerdy Knitter said...

Oh, to be a student of Zen and actually pass! I'm flunking the very same lesson this week (this month, even). Thanks for the reminder to be happy where I am (it is beautiful, after all--the Blue Ridge Mountains are all around me).

Lucia said...

MG, that's a beautiful photo. if you master that Zen lesson will you let me know? Being tied down and unable to travel far, I need it too.

Bonne Marie said...

I adore this picture.

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