May 21st, 2013 by Sherry
With the new revamping of Flickr I was inpsired to go back and take a look at some of the old photos that I once displayed there. I havent used Flickr in some time and every time I think of going back there, the first thought that pops into my mind is that I should delete it all and start fresh. If I ever start at all. Then I get there and start looking through my old photos and my old style and I really, really like what I see. I like the photographer that I used to be.
I like the photos that I took when I was just reintroducing myself to the love of having a camera in my hands. A cheap camera, at that. I’ve often wondered if I should just sell my Canon and go back to a smaller, inexpensive camera, because I’ve thought on more than one occasion that my photos took a downward spiral about the same point that I bought my Canon 50D. Looking back on the early Flickr photos, I can only support this thought.
But it gets worse.
It seems to me, the more I learn about ‘proper’ technique…..the less I like my photos. When I was point and shooting, and using Picasa for simple edits, and enjoying what I was doing….there you have it. I was enjoying what I was doing. There was no Lightroom. There were no high expectations of being followed by Photographer circles in Google Plus. There were no thoughts of grandeur of one day someone, somewhere seeing one of my photos and taking it to new ‘plus’ or ‘likes’ heights.
Now, there’s just too much thought. And I don’t like it.
Back to basics. In fact, less than basics.
May 5th, 2013 by Sherry
It’s funny how sounds can bring you back to times in your life, sometimes long forgotten. Songs are particularly heavy on this, but that’s not really what I was thinking of that prompted me to want to sit down and throw up my thoughts on my keyboard this morning.
The sound of a turn signal, blinking inside a car, reminds me of when I would miss my bus (on purpose) and my Dad would drive me to school. He didn’t have to drive me, I would have gladly stayed home. I’m pretty sure he knew this and thus the drive to school.
The drive was so quiet. I don’t even remember the radio being on. Ever. Maybe that was punishment for missing the bus, because he knew how much I loved the radio. Maybe he just didn’t want to hear me singing when he was so pissed off at me. Although there would have been no singing. When I missed the bus on purpose it was because my life was far from lyrical and melodic. Maybe the radio just didn’t work in whatever vehicle we had at that time. I don’t know.
The resonate sound was the ‘blinker’. The turn signal, if you will. With every turn getting me closer and closer to school, and with every turn wishing that I could tell him to slow down, that we were getting there too early before classes started, and I might have to try to fit in with the mingling crowds of people with whom I would never belong.
April 5th, 2013 by Sherry
I’ve been thinking a lot about money, lately. Probably because I don’t have any. And one of us is about to quit their job and embark on a journey that possibly only gives a 6 month employment window, with no promise of money prospects after that. I wish it was me. It’s not.
Add two kids in College and University. Poverty recipe enclosed.
When I was younger my parents made us save our lunch bags from our school lunches. We had to bring home the sandwich bags and the brown bags that we carried our lunch in, and we reused them every day for a week. On the Monday we were allowed to have fresh bags. You can imagine how gross the clear, plastic baggies got, and how wrinkled the brown paper bags got, by the end of the week. Kids teased me.
I don’t recall the teasing really bothering me that much. I mean, I remember feeling shitty, and some days proving to my friends that I wasn’t as poor as they were calling me by throwing the bags out….only to have to lie to my parents that they got wet, or ripped. I wish I was smart enough to come up with the mold excuse, but my young brain didn’t think as advanced as my older, wiser brain thinks.
I think about it now and still find it absurd. I mean, no, my parents didn’t make as much as I currently make. I’m not even sure if my Mom was working because I think it was around the time my brother was born. I’m also pretty sure that my cousins were living with us, and possibly their Mom because she hasn’t passed away at that point. That surely caused hardships. But a pack of 50 or 100 brown paper bags is, like, a buck now. And those lunch bags werent the fancy zip kind, they were the fold tops. And a pack of 200 of those are like 99 cents now. How much could they have possibly been then? When you’re taking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich/sometimes bologna and a wagon wheel and an apple to school every day, how much damned money could lunches have cost?
I fucking hated wagon wheels. Still, to this day, marshmallows make me want to vomit.
December 31st, 2012 by Sherry
Apparently New Years Eve for me means that I sit in front of my computer, a well of tears, reflecting with everyone else through social networks, while I sip my morning coffee and dab at my eyes. Aside from sitting in a flimsy chair on the beach somewhere, with a completely inappropriate drink in my hand for the time of day, I would have it no other way.
Reflecting is a magical thing. Reflecting through someone else’s eyes can be just as magical. In 2012 I have been blessed to have met new people to share that with, and I am forever grateful.
One of those people asked on her facebook wall yesterday, to “Describe your 2012 in one word.” My response was ‘enlightening”, and it was.
I learned a lot this year. About myself, about the people around me, about life itself. It wasn’t all pretty. It wasn’t all butterflies and rainbows. When is it ever? But it was good. All of it. Even the scary bits and I accept the challenge that they have given me to grow and renew and move forward. I accept them with honor and I will do my best to make success out of every situation, even when failure and knowledge of a lesson learned is the only success attainable.
Happy New Year, friends. May the end of your 2012 and the beginning of your 2013 be calm and without worry, and the year ahead be a roller coaster of magic.
September 27th, 2012 by Sherry
Sweet Jesus with rainbow bit icing.
August 6th, 2012 by Sherry
My space is cluttered. My creativity is completely gone. My Nica high has been completely sucked out by the realities of life.
I know this is all my fault and life is what you make it, but for the last few weeks it’s been hard to ‘make it’ at all.
I made the dreadful decision to put my Zilla kitty to sleep. On my own of course, which is how I seem to have to handle everything, and I’ve dealt with the consequences ever since. It’s amazing to me, how people expect you to be a certain way and then secretly fault you for it when you are. Sometimes not so secretly.
I came home the other day to find my Vinny bird dead on the bottom of his cage. I couldn’t help but think, Wow, Karma, you are truly a royal asshole. So now I have the bird cage right beside my desk chair, in the hopes that I’m enough company to keep my Olive bird alive, because she’s never been alone before.
My space is cluttered. Apparently I can’t be creative in a cluttered space. I feel guilty just thinking about it because it’s cluttered with things like computer equipment, laptop accessories, camera gear, Nicaraguan pottery and the like. Not to mention pretty spined books, Indonesian art and an adorable white and blue parakeet.
I am blessed. If my trip taught me anything last month, it taught me that. And yet I can’t seem to pull my head out out of my ass long enough, lately, to embrace it.
July 20th, 2012 by Sherry
I find myself drifting off a lot since I got back from Nica. I’ll be doing a mundane task and in my mind I’ll float back and compare it to something that I experienced a few weeks ago. Although that experience doesn’t come close to my home life, therefore the odd comparisons.
Simple things, like washing the kitchen counter and being transported back to this:
And buying and stocking toilet paper, thinking about this:
I went to Costco the other day and wandered around wondering what seeing that would be like, from the eyes of one of our Empowerment kids. I had a familiar pang of guilt and allowed myself to be guided by the ever-so-present need vs. want that I returned with.
When we were at dinner one night, near the end of the week, Kathy asked me what I had learned that week that I would take back with me. My first response was the “need vs. want” philosophy that I truly spent a lot of time thinking about while I was in Nicaragua. We, as a family, have always been pretty spoiled with getting what we want…sooner or later and within our means. I had decided that needed to change. Not just because I was in this euphoric place of wonder but because I truly felt that it was way overdue that we be thankful for what we have, feel blessed for things that we don’t have to experience because of our good fortune, and show some gratitude once in a while. Another of the participants asked me to “be honest” and “how long did I think that was really going to last?”
I was more taken back by that than I was by Kathy surprising me with the question in the first place.
Yes, I was on a traveler’s high. Yes, I was reacting from the culture shock of things that I had seen that week. Yes, I was feeling exactly the way everyone feels when they experience the way of life that I witnessed. Who wouldn’t be?
My honest answer, and one that I still believe to be true, is I don’t know. And I don’t. But it has to start somewhere, and there’s no better place than with me. I can’t force my expectations on others. I can’t tell people how to live their lives.
I can only let this experience shape me and how I move forward because of it. And I promise I won’t waste this opportunity of enlightenment that I’ve been given.
For more information on the wonderful organizations that made my Nicaraguan experience possible, visit:
The Giving Lens and Empowerment International
July 19th, 2012 by Sherry
While I was walking in the Barrio, taking pictures of all the beautiful, young faces that longed to be paid attention to and photographed, it was impossible not to notice that the adults showed equally as much of that childlike enthusiasm.
I noticed one young woman, off to the side, intently watching the throngs of pictures being taken and the smiles that were so freely provided. I asked her, in Spanish, if I could take her photo.
She didn’t say anything to me, and simply nodded her head with a shy smile.
I took the photo, trying to push away old habits of clicking and dashing, and showed it to her. “Bonita”, I said.
She thanked me half giggling, shying behind an embarrassed flush and covered half her face with her hands.
I repeated myself, trying the best that I could to express to her just how sincere I was being. I thought she was beautiful. I can only hope that she felt that way, too.
For more information on the wonderful organizations that made my Nicaraguan experience possible, visit:
The Giving Lens and Empowerment International.
July 17th, 2012 by Sherry
It’s been a little over a week since I’ve returned home from Nicaragua.
I thought by now I’d have a handful of blog posts and some serious G+ activity. The truth is, when I was in Nica, I thought a lot about the brilliant homages that I would be able to weave when I got home. The incredible tales that I could tell here. The fantastic magic that I could wave.
Since I got home, I haven’t been able to do any of it.
I could blame it on the reassimilation process and the fact that it hit me much harder than I’d ever anticipated. I could whine about how I’ve been nothing but sick this past week and can’t control the nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (come on, have you ever known me not to talk about poop?) and unrelenting fatigue.
I could simply say that I haven’t wanted to. If I said this, I’d be lying. I have wanted to.
I’m just not sure I know how.
It would make sense to start from the beginning. To tell the tale of the Toronto sky as I waited for my plane.
To move on from there and describe all my feelings and emotions and trepidations about taking this trip. This leap of faith. Show you what my journal looks like from the first flight.
Of course that would make sense. I also feel that would be ‘rehearsed’.
The truth is, this trip, this leap of faith was something that I will never, EVER, forget and never be able to sum up in a series of events blog post. And that’s okay. The last thing that I want to do is rush through these incredibly precious memories.
So, if you will indulge me, I would like to piece it together slowly and carefully. As I look through the numerous images of the memories that returned with me, I’ll share a little or maybe everything that I’m feeling in my heart and take you with me as I return. If only in my mind.
June 4th, 2012 by Sherry
In a mere 26 days I will be leaving my family behind for a week and heading to Nicaragua.
Here’s why I’m freaking out more and more every day:
-I’ve never traveled farther than Dallas by myself.
-I’m going on a photography workshop with people so talented they make me want to pee my pants.
-I am not a photographer.
-I am an office Manager who loves holding a camera and clicking buttons to make pretty pictures.
-I don’t know the first thing about “professional” photography.
-I’m trying to learn a tiny bit of Spanish and wanted to throw my laptop at the wall last night.
-I hate you, Rosetta Stone.
-I’m about 30 pounds heavier than I would like to be and not only are these people talented, they’re pretty.
-I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up.
Phew. There, I said it out loud.
Now I can go back to being excited and trying to catch these butterflies in my belly before they fly away.