Calm and not

Ever since I did my first ‘painting’, I was infected with painting fever throughout the whole week.  I looked at many of my pictures and imagined how they will look when they are all turned into painted images. I made many attempts to paint pictures after pictures, and guess what, I ended up deleting most of them.
I realized that there is a learning curve to go through, slowly and patiently.  If art can be produced within a time frame and at speed, then it may not be the art piece worth pursuing.  Try and error. Through the experiment of using different brushes, I have now a better idea of which brush to choose for certain types of pictures and what pictures are better choices for painting. Fact, I do love to learn new things, and I am very content in the process.  I am well aware that I will be challenged by my patience and bonded by being a perfectionist. Some day I will find my balance. Hope it won’t take too long.
Too much sitting in front of the computer. On Saturday, I decided that I need to stay away from my camera and computer for a change.  I want to leave my house WITHOUT a camera. How did I do that? We went out for a 1-1/2 hour bike ride along the river bike path. I brought only my HTC android and a water bottle. This was the first bike ride since we stored our bikes away last fall. I thought we would only do a warm-up ride, but we ended up riding longer than the plan.  It is a nice feeling that we are in good shape. Not only that, we took a different route and went into an area that we have never been to, a natural wildlife area with a vast green forest and bird’s haven. It is within the city limit.
This new (to us) path is embraced by lines of thriving evergreen and wildflowers. Birds, lots of them, are opening their throat and singing. They cruised high in the air, dived quickly by me, and vanished in a split second before I could identify them.  I can hear their beautiful voice but visual is impossible. And the river, I saw sunshine sparkles on the water and the white silhouette in distance, the egrets.  Varieties of geese and ducks are a sure thing in the area. There were joggers, couples, a mom and the stroller, a woman with a dog, and bikers. So many photography subjects, but I did not have my camera. I had my moment of regret but I was immediately reconciled with myself that this was exactly what I intended. I breathed in fresh air mixed with a bit of toast smell from the sun. Calm, comforting, and soothing.

I thought about the image taken one week ago at our family cabin.  Water is calm and clears down to the bottom. Few floating clouds add some white tint to the blue sky, a little enhancement, but not a churning drama. And the lonely dock, quiet but inviting.
Down on one of my regular walk paths to take a picture for the magazine.  The path is shady, nice for a cool and peaceful walk in the summertime, but not a good choice for pictures.  But I found some wildflowers that I have not noticed before. A small streak of light quietly shone through the branches and showered the flower. I felt the share of cozy sunlight and surreal peace.
Often time I found small flowers have more intricate details and make more interesting images. Large flowers like Rhododendron, Peony, and Iris are striking to the eyes, good to be pictured in larger portions but not my favorite flower subjects.  I just like to pry the intricacy and secrecy of small flowers.Husband of a couple friends that I often saw and chatted with just died from an accident. There was no drastic natural disaster or serious car accident. It was an unexpected and unfortunate incident. They were enjoying their family weekend at the coast. A large wave suddenly roared in and drenched his mother. While he tried to pull his mother away from the hazard, an approximately 40 feet long and 1 feet diameter log came loose from the stack and fell on him… a fragile human life was taken.

Pondering what shall I say to her, I’d dragged a few days before I went to see her. The moment I saw her, I was overwhelmed by the poignant grief on her face. I gave her a big and long squeeze and we melted down together. Even when I am writing now, I still have a hard time controlling my emotion about the loss. Below is not an extraordinary image, but it so accurately portrays my current state of mind. I thought of her, the helpless wife, and the two girls, and how they will begin to overcome the fresh wound and get back to normal.

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