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Bittersweet Surrender

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Bittersweet Surrender

How bittersweet autumn can be. The leaves glow with brilliant color, before cascading to the ground.  The feeling in the air is nothing short of electric. We delight in the dynamic change, and let go of our hopes for warmer days.

On days like today when the light is brilliant, the wind is fierce, and the leaves are flying, I find myself caught in the dynamic space between awe and sadness.

I think perhaps in that space, is where surrender resides. As I raise up my arms to my sides and close my eyes, I let the sensation surround me. Feeling as though I could fly, but well aware I would land on my face if I tried.

I keep my feet on the ground, grateful for each step I take.

I breathe out, letting go of what I no longer need to carry.

I call my untruths into the light and call them as such.

Knowing that in doing so, I will no longer be under their spell.

I will no longer believe that I am a contributing problem in any given crisis.

I will no longer react to crisis as if I am responsible for their existence.

I will no longer turn anger in toward myself when I struggle with something I don’t know.

I will no longer think that there is something wrong with shedding tears.

I breathe in, gaining a truer sense of myself and reality.

I will feel the sadness that surrounds my losses.

I will feel the power I have to heal myself.

I will accept others as they are.

I will see what it is to love myself.

I will let go of what holds me down

and move forward with solace.

I will trust that the winds of life will take me onward.

Taking Flight

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Taking Flight

I’ve been kinda stuck at this in-between-stage of creativity.

I know now that it is possible for me to be creative.

Photo on 2-23-13 at 10.51 PM

I have a space dedicated to my work and I have a bit of an open schedule this week.

Neko, my business associate. working in the office.

Neko, my business associate. working in the office.

But I have this little problem. I try too hard. I try to do too much. I get disappointed easily.

I wanted to work with some feathers today. I love the beauty that resides in a paradox of simplicity and complexity that can be found in nature.

But, leave it to me to try to complicate things.

The pheasant feathers I sorted through today were fairly large. Many were too big for the jewelry that I’ve used feathers for in the past.


Plus, I wanted to try new things. I sought out exploration over method.

I tried using some spray adhesive to adhere feathers to paper. Yucky and smelly.

I tried some ModgePodge instead. It took away from the shape of the feathers, those natural curves.

I embraced those curves and even tried to ModgePodged some feathers on eggshells. It was interesting. But it just wasn’t what I was looking for…

I got myself completely frustrated. So much so that I was willing to walk away. I even thought about taking a nap.

Then, I just started tidying up my work space. I sat for a long time, looking at the feathers and admiring their beauty.

Then, it hit me. Why not take photographs?

I gave myself a load of ridiculous excuses.

My inner critic is even still at work right now, “What’s so great about a photo of a feather?”

Well, my inner critic, let me tell you.

It’s about embracing simplicity. Recognizing the unique in the familiar.


Highlighting beauty. Slowing down to see things that might be mundane.


Revealing the beauty that is, in what it is.


Remembering that art is not about what I think others might think. DSCN8487

It’s my art and it’s about how I feel. It’s about who I am.

listening to the trees, in late winter

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The air this morning was crisp and cold. The thermometer read -2 when we left to take my son to school. He says to me, “It looks like a lamb outside, a cold lamb.”

Given it is the first of March, this would suggest we will see this month in like a lamb, out like a lion.

The drop in temperature left a dusting of fluffy frost collected on the trees.

Sunrise over the First Lutheran Church of New Rockford

Sunrise over the First Lutheran Church of New Rockford

In that a moment, as the sun captured the flecks of crystalized moisture, the trees spoke to me. Even though it was cold, I listened.


They said, “Go back home and get your camera. We are feeling photogenic today.”


“The sky is the most exquisite shade of blue. A deep contrast on the shades of white, grey, and brown shown on our limbs. The same way the snow on the mountains accentuates the shades of color in the sky. We know you miss the mountains, but we are glad you are here. We are glad to be here too.” 

DSCN8325“Mornings like this are exciting. We awake, dressed with an unsurpassed beauty. A beauty we only welcome in winter.”


When we are dressed with such beauty, its almost as if our blossoms have returned. As if our buds have burst. But we know this dress is only temporary. For it is not yet time to begin stirring for spring. The birds have not yet come, to eat our remaining fruit. Our sap has not yet started running, to nourish our green parts. The air is not yet warm enough, to comfort our new growth.”

DSCN8330“Nonetheless, we are grateful for the day. For the elegant frost. For the beautiful sky. For those who take the time to notice. If they don’t take the time to notice us now, while we are dressed up and pretty, we will not laugh. We will not be disappointed. Afterall, that is just what life does to people.”

DSCN8345“But we will snicker, even giggle, later in the day. People will notice when we begin to shed our decor. They’ll think its snowing! And then, they’ll see the blue sky and feel relief. ‘Its not snowing outside! Its sparkling!’ And those are the moments we hope to hear, hope to feel. To feel the moments in which people feel the beauty that is all around. The moments in which they feel the beauty from which we come.”