Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today is my someday~

Some days I get tired of myself, my thoughts. I just want to turn them off and drift in an empty headed haze, lie down with a book and get lost in someone else's thoughts for a change. Lately between writing and taking pictures, I've been living too closely to my own thoughts, too intensely involved.

I take a walk, and I see pictures everywhere-- in a wide-open scene of trees and sky, or a small spot of sunlit color in a hidden berries. I stop and snap and move on always seeing more, more, more.

I used to walk with no other purpose than to exercise-- fast-paced, sweaty and cathartic-- but I can't do that anymore for some reason. There is beauty everywhere. I want to capture it. Need to.

I used to go to bed with a book. I wandered in another world until I fell asleep, and the book slipped aside. Now I stay up later than I should, focused on my own inner world, writing down my thoughts and observations. For some reason, I need to do this, and I want to, but I miss the time away from myself I got from a book.

I took a walk on the college campus the other day. It's a beautiful campus, more expansive than when I attended. New buildings, new dorms, and a new wall-- more decorative than functional -- caught my eye.

Engraved in the concrete was a saying by Horace Mann, an early education reformer: "Coiled up in this institution as in a spring, there is a vigor whose uncoiling may wheel the spheres."

It struck a chord in me. I love the language, and the image-- a vigorous student body coiled together, ready to move the planets.

But it spoke to me in a different way. "There is a vigor within you, too," it said. "A spring is uncoiling and prodding from within, making you restless, keeping you awake, keeping you wired, when you'd rather drift.

I always had vigor. I didn't squander it; I merely used it to survive. Now I can use it for something else. For my "someday" plans: someday I'll write, someday I'll travel, someday I'll . . .

I stopped after school at the Better Bean, the family owned coffee shop in the center of town. There is a small back room where local artists display their work.

"Is there a schedule for the back room," I asked the owner.

"Are you an artist?" he asked.

"No," I said. "Well, I . . . I'm a photographer. That's an artist of sorts."

"It is," he said.

He'll schedule the back room for me next time I go in, when he has his book.

This is my "someday." When I let the spring uncoil, who knows what spheres I'll wheel.
"The future has a way of arriving unannounced." George Will


Dawn said...

Ahhhh I wish you the best with your new endeavor! You'll do great. I so enjoy your photos.

A quilt artist is doing somewhat the same thing you are doing -- venturing into a little different arena. Virginia Spiegel has taken her art, her blogs, her inspiration and put them together into a new book with all of the proceeds to benefit the American Cancer Society. Here's what she sent to me about it:
My book, "Art, Nature, Creativity, Life, " is now available with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the American Cancer Society.

"Art, Nature, Creativity, Life" is stuffed with essays; art, art, and more art; recommended books for artists, nature lovers, gardeners and other creative types; over 80 inspirational photos; more than 35 haikus, and much, much more. The nineteen chapters are greatly expanded versions of the best issues of my e-newsletter of the same name.

For ordering information, reviews, and more information about this web-based book, please visit:

Maybe this is a form of outlet you might like to consider for some of your own work.


Lisa said...

Ooooh ~ I love that coffee shop! That's awesome that some of your work will be displayed there, Ruth! Very exciting stuff. :)

Janice Thomson said...

That sounds wonderful Ruth. Your photos certainly touch a chord with everyone - and if you decide to add words too that would be awesome. Good luck with your 'someday'!

Ellen M Johns said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.It's always good to meet someone new. I love your butterfly pics by the way.
I must call again sometime soon. Have a good week-end. I am working...all of it!!!

Barbara said...

Brava to you! I can't wait to hear about the opening of your photo exhibit. I think all forms of creativity bring with them a certain restlessness. You're just gearing up for a shift to a new level of life, one that opens up all sorts of possibilities. I get that antsy feeling all the time these days. It's much better than not feeling anything at all, yes?

sc morgan said...

I love the George Will quote that opens this: "The future has a way of arriving unannounced." That is so true, but it is also true that "luck favors the prepared mind." I can't remember who said that, and I'm too lazy to look it up (at the moment) but it sounds as though all that energy is coiled up inside you and looking for a direction to spring. The coffee shop sounds like a good direction. I loved this entry, Ruth. Very honest and true.

rain said...

How exciting. Make sure you go back and book. I know what you mean about always seeing photos. I am constantly grieving these days for all the pictures I want to take whe it's not appropriate - for example when my kids want me to actually pay attention to them, not take pictures of them - or their events, or their friends, or .....

Ruth D~ said...

Just feeling like me again after the virus from hell.

Dawn~ I'll check out your friends site now that I'm feeling better. Sounds like a great idea. Maybe I can tweak something like that to fit my style.

Lisa~ How about meeting me there on Saturday sometime--with your camera?

Janice~ I have the words but I'm letting them swirl without stopping to capture them, so then they're gone.

Ellen~ Do come back! Nice to meet you.

Barbara~ I made the first inquiry. I wonder if I will finalize the deal.

Sarah~ I like the luck quote. It reminds me of what one of my students said: "I have way better luck on tests when I study!"

Rain~ I hear you, but your getting a good jump start on photography. When my kids were little, they were in every shot. Since then I've probably taken more pix of ornamental grass than I ever had of them. :>)

Alice Folkart said...

You're doing exactly what you're ready to do, Ruth. And, if I could find my camera, I would be doing what I'm ready to do - or, is it that what I'm ready to do is hunt for that danged camera.

Oh, yes, do go back and sign up for a 'show' in that back room! Wish I could be there. Nice to see them on my computer screen, but nicer still to wander around with a non-fat soy latte and look at them with other people. I could report comments to you - be the fly on the wall (not on the photo). You'll be famous!

Ruth D~ said...

Alice~ When you find you camera, I want some shots of your new environs. Is it paradise?