We’re just beyond halfway through the year…and almost to the one year mark of the absolute hardest, most painful, confusing, life altering, growth experiencing, self-realizing, up and down, holding tightly and finally releasing, complicated, spirit and universal energy filled years of my life.

As I’ve sat with the boy today, just doing much of nothing at home, I’ve cleaned off the images on my iPad and I came across this one at the very end. Perfect timing – I sat and thought about what I just wrote, and this image and what it represents to me now versus what it represented to me when I took it. It’s still exactly the same:

Live gently. Be kind. Look up and work through and keep going or look down and get hit by all the stuff life WILL continue to throw and finally just become swallowed. Be conscious. Express yourself. Slow down and experience all that exists around and within you. Focus on YOU. Then everything else falls into place. I promise…

My “everything” hasn’t fallen back into place yet, not this year, but it’s all well on it’s way to being whole again, as am I. What I’ve told myself for as long as I can remember (what I shared above) is true. I am confident in that. I am confident in me.

I am continuously grieving and expressing that grief and that process, but I am hopeful. I am still in pain at some levels, and at some levels always will be…but I am understanding now how to live with it and still be joyful. I am understanding these hollow pieces of myself and how precious they are BECAUSE they’ll never be filled again. I am grateful and I am proud of the progress I’ve made, even if I’m the only one who can see it.
Life is good, even when it’s hard, because it’s mine and I’m living it. I’m facing certain struggles and I’m taking the steps I need to take to overcome them. I’m taking control of what I can control and I’m OK with releasing what I can’t control and what doesn’t serve me. My heart is as big as it’s ever been, and my soul is beginning to open up again.

I can’t help but feel tears in my eyes as I feel the bittersweet feeling of choosing to heal… Healing just means it’s not going to stay raw forever, it doesn’t mean there won’t be a scar. It’ll be bumped by holidays and big events and milestones that I reach and it’ll ache often at first, and then every once in a while. But I’m learning, and becoming whole by choice. Not by chance, not by coincidence, not by luck…by choice. I have too much spirit in me to allow or expect any less.

Yes, look up. Keep going. Be present. Be real. Be aware. Be expressive. Be YOU. All the advice I’ve always expressed to others, especially to my son – I try to live it. As Maya Angelou once said, “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” I am being. The person I most hope that teaches something to is my son.

I hope you’re all having a beautiful weekend, friends. Many blessings and much love to you…

C.

Butterflies make me miss her. She loved butterflies as much as I love dragonflies. Her side of the front porch table was a butterfly and my side was a dragonfly. Her butterfly said, “Hope.” My dragonfly said, “Believe.” ❤️

 

“It hurts to wait for someone who is never coming back again.”

 

I am like a boat in the sea, and my seemingly never ending grief is a storm. My storm is raging, and yet again I find myself amidst a hurricane. I’m tired – I’ve barely gotten past one life altering storm before another has begun, over and over, for the last few years. Yet somehow I keep going, and somehow I am still here.

I think…hope is the anchor that keeps me from foundering and going under. I do have hope – some valid and some false and I try to differentiate the two within myself. Regardless, an anchor is dependent on two things: the chain that tethers it to the boat, and the solid ground that it grabs hold of when it is thrown out. But to have hope – to have and to hold on to faith – in the midst of my life’s storms…that’s what carries me. To believe in SOMETHING – sometimes myself, sometimes fate and the Universe and “something bigger,” sometimes the existence of some unseen and indescribable sixth sense – what my hope and faith is changes for me from day to day but to believe in something and to never allow myself to stop believing in SOMETHING… That’s how I go on.

My chain is invisible and I’m not sure what it’s made of…and it’s as though the ground my anchor digs into is my faith itself. Yes, it has wavered and the anchor has lifted and I begin to float and rock about every now and again. Ultimately, though? There is only one way for me, and it’s how I’ve been my entire life – forward.

Sometimes it’s slower than others, but it’s always…onward. Life goes on and so do I. But I’ll tell you, it hurts like a son of a bitch most all the time lately, even when I’m focusing on what’s real and good and right in my life; even as grateful and aware as I am and try to be.

💙

I haven’t done this in a very long time. I started a digital painting last night, over one of my shots from my walk in the woods yesterday. This is where it ended. Maybe it blows – I don’t know what to think of it. Ha… I suppose that my darkness took over my usual desire to see the brighter side of things…of ALL of these things.

Nothing is as dark as it seems – not from the outside of it all. Yet at times I do feel this enveloping feeling – almost a suffocation of things unseen…of the past, and of an uncertain future (who has a certain future, anyway, really?)…and in choosing to see or to show a brighter, more hopeful side I’m really just grasping blindly in front of me, hoping that it really looks the way I imagine it – light, which is the way I try to present it – to myself and everyone else. It works most days. But, I guess when it comes to digital painting, we see a more realistic current view inside my mind.

Twisted, right, for a woman who appears to have it all? That’s true on the surface and I’m not ungrateful. It’s just different from the inside, when I’m feeling invisible and completely irrelevant, feeling like a ghost even when I’m surrounded by many; and I sometimes think, “if I could just bring them back…” But how silly is that? Because in some cases it would be worse for them to be with me – and I’d only lose them all over again. So, onward, and allowing these moments to pass just as they came – ever flowing, always changing.

EVERYTHING is always illusion – especially emotions. That’s just how it works, and I know I’m not the only one. Or so I tell myself…

**Lumix GF3, Mextures, MasterFX, iPad.

Mextures Formula – STITTPQ

Welcome to my haunting…it follows me wherever I go.

I’ve grown quite fond of it now, and I’m content.

There’s something beautiful about it’s shadows and fog; something comforting about the blanket of mystery it wraps around me, daring me to look beyond my own costumes and masks and see myself in its reflection.

We’ve become rather friendly now, and have accepted each other’s flaws and darkness.

I suppose that’s why I seem to shine so brightly to others, and appear to have no darkness whatsoever.

Light is brighter in the dark, right?

~C

Hi hi hi… Mextures formulas episode 10 has been a long time coming, hasn’t it? I wanted to get some shots that were crosses between fall and winter, because that’s the mood I’ve been in since December. I just can’t quite go full on into winter this year. I keep wanting to hold on to what warmth is left of fall…and the likelihood is that I’ll be jumping into spring about a month early, too. ((giggle)) It’s not like winter’s made it easy to go into winter mode this year, with it’s fantastically warm temperatures and tricks of the plants, who seem to be even more confused than I am. I’ve had several almost bloom and then die back, some more than once, this winter.

As always, I hope you enjoy these formulas (one of the images below uses the same formula as another image, so take note). Please remember that blend modes of layers (and the layers themselves) may require tweaking depending on the light/style/tone of your image and they will not necessarily look exactly the same on your images as they do in the provided versions.

If you have any questions about Mextures or using formulas, feel free to ask them in comments or via e-mail or social media/messaging. Enjoy!!

 


Formula Name – Swamped
Formula Code – GFXBBNU
Formula Name – Weird Days
Formula Code – EGNZHHQ


Formula Name – Swamped
Formula Code – GFXBBNU


Formula Name – Weird Days (Warm)(Catacosmic™)
Formula Code – XNHZMFX


Formula Name – Vines (Warm)(Catacosmic™)
Formula Code – WUCBUCV

 

“I’ve learned to live half alive

And now you want me one more time

Who do you think you are?

Runnin’ ’round leaving scars

Collecting your jar of hearts

And tearing love apart

You’re gonna catch a cold

From the ice inside your soul

Don’t come back for me,

Don’t come back at all.

Who do you think you are?”

Christina Perri

**iPhone, Mextures
Mextures Formula – DZECFFE