Saturday, March 29, 2008

the beauty around me

i'm not full of words these days, but am back to taking daily here's some visual offerings!
(i wish i had a picture of that gorgeous snow yesterday and the hail on wednesday...adding a reminder that its not quite spring yet, despite the magnolias, cherry trees and blue sky days).

Sunday, March 23, 2008

cat lady?

two nights ago, just before i fell asleep, i put out an inquiry to dreamland to give me insight into my future love.

when i awoke, i could recall there was a sweetie in my dream, but i couldn't remember much about this person.
what i could remember with great clarity is that i was far away (portland? berkeley?) and eating on the patio of a lovely cafe with some folks when i heard it. her meow.

that meow that helped me find her when she was missing.
that meow that woke me up at 5:15 this morning and repeatedly until i got up.
that meow.
it was my ladybug.

what does that mean?
am i destined to be a cat lady forever?

nope (well, as much as i love my cats...which is a whole lot).

i think i'll take the dream to say that
i already have love.
its already present.
its here.

or maybe i should have just been more specific with the question!

Friday, March 21, 2008


"The splendor of the rose and the whitness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its lovliness."

Therese of Lisieux

i'm falling in love with spring.
cherry trees lining streets,
magnolias ready to burst from their furry shells,
especially lenten roses with their demure petals facing downwards
but if you look up from the ground you see breathtaking beauty.

i've been to 3 gardens in the last few days.
taken hundreds of pictures.
often taking my camera away from my eyes and putting it oh so close to the flowers.
which brings forth some magical photos
as the camera looks from where the fairies eye view.

i loved seeing that shutter sisters discussion of the day was just this:
shooting from the floor.
when i was at the vandusen gardens the other day i saw a lady wearing knee pads, walking around with a whole lotta photo gear. i would love to see the pictures she takes. thats a pretty good idea, wearing knee pads, for those of us smitten with seeing flowers from unusual angles.

the above was one of those photos in which i stuck my camera near the ground and started's a few more!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

you who are beautiful


I had a lovely photoshoot this weekend with a friend, each of us taking a turn with being in front of and behind the camera. Its been a while since I've had pictures taken of me and it was a very humbling experience. It felt so good to see the beauty she captured of me, pictures that feel like they are the authentic, beautiful me. It feels important to return to being in front of the camera every so often, so i can remember that place those I photograph are in and ponder more ideas to help them feel comfortable.

Most of the inquiries I get from friends lately about photoshoots have involved them feeling like they need a reminder of their own beauty for those days when they are having a hard time with it. This has me thinking of the importance of photographs in increasing our self esteem.

I know that for me, taking self portraits has been incredibly healing. There is no one else to feel nervous around, you can make goofy or sexy faces and just delete it if it ain't what you wanted. It becomes a place of play for me and I've truly been able to see myself as beautiful through this process. Doing the 365 challenge (which I started in august) took this to a new level. Some days I do a self portrait I love, other days just a quick one that may not be fancy but may truly represent how exhausted i was or show some other authentic representation of my day.

I'm excited to be able to offer this kind of support to other people. To help them capture a visual representation of their beauty, their authentic self. I think all my friends are beautiful...just gorgeous inside and out...but if they don't believe it, its difficult to capture it on camera. Its not difficult to take a pretty picture...but my goal is to take a picture (or lots) that makes you say 'yes...thats really me' or 'wow...i'm beautiful'. When Z was taking pictures of me this week I realized how hard it is for people to open up like that when having their photos taken...and how important it is that we do. It was like all that practice taking self portaits in my bathroom mirror disappeared and i had to centre in how safe I felt in the moment in able to let go. I can see my uncomfort in the early pictures and then watch its unfolding. I see that too in those I photograph...that moment that is like a big sigh....and they start moving more, smiling wider and opening to that experience. It is so important that we connect to that feeling of being beautiful in a way that isn't connected to our outer appearances....that radiant self love that makes our beauty radiate.

I wrote this post and then went over to Shutter Sisters (one of my favourite websites these days) and realized it is Love Thursday. This post is about Self-Love...that elusive kind of love that is probably the one we need the most. The above pictures feel to me like they radiate the self love that we both strive to have grow even stronger in our hearts!

A beautiful song by India Arie feels like the best way to end this post:

Beautiful Flower

This is a song for every girl who's
Ever been through something she thought she couldn't make it through
I sing these words because
I was that girl too
Wanting something better than this
But who do I turn to

Now we're moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives

'Cause you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind

There is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you, who are beautiful
Yeah, you, who are brilliant
Yeah, you, who are powerful
Yeah, you, who are resilient

This is a song for every girl who
Feels like she is not special
'Cause she don't look like a supermodel Coke bottle
The next time the radio tells you to shake your moneymaker
Shake your head and tell them, tell them you're a leader

Now we're moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives

'Cause you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind

There is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you, who are beautiful
Yeah, you, who are brilliant
Yeah, you, who are powerful
Yeah, you, who are resilient

Yeah, you, who are beautiful
Yeah, you, who are brilliant
Yeah, you, who are powerful
Yeah, you, who are resilient

Yeah, you, this song is for you
Yeah, you, this song is for you
Yeah, you, this song is for you
Yeah, you, yeah, you
You are brilliant

Saturday, March 15, 2008

superhero photo challenge: eyes closed

i love catching those moments
when your eyes naturally close
because your smile is so all encomapssing!

a few other things making me smile today:

~waking up to find an email from this lovely blogger including the words
rooooooooaaaarrrrr!!! that gave a super empowered start to a day which really needed a change in mood!
check out the movie trailer that prompted such a vibrant roar!

~treating myself to the dvd of this amazing movie that i want to watch over and over again!

~this photo

~checking out other eyes closed pictures over at the superhero challenge at shutter sisters

Monday, March 10, 2008

whatever it is, it is what i am.

written while in portland:

what is it about this place?
i feel like i can shake off protective layers and just be my authentic, even confident self here.
i look around and everyone seems like they've done the same.

i've spent the day on alberta st and now mississipi st.
drinking stumptown coffee,
admiring the stores tumbleweed and mabel and zora.
standing in awe of jen mercede's art.

my folks are feeling under the weather, so are taking it easy here. they have another week here, but i'm heading home on the train tomorrow. we're learning how to use the darkroom in my photography class and i can't miss that. but its kind of nice that i've been able to spend the day alone, lots of journal writing while coffee drinking, chatting with pdx folks and exchanging smiles with just about everyone i see.

it really feels like home here. i'm pretty wide open to where life might take me. who knows...maybe it will be home someday.

back in vancity:

i've been home for a few days and that quick doze of pdx has done mighty good for me. i hadn't been down there since october and a little part of my heart was obviously in desperate need of whatever sort of energetic wavelength exists in portland. whatever it is, it is what i am.

my first few days of being home, i've jumped right back into i've been having what i call 'gentle days' which due to the nature of working nights are those that i set expectations for myself that are not as vast as a post-8-hour-sleep day. mostly the gentleness refers to my need to be gentle with myself. i have this way of waking up in the morning and jumping right into a place of guilt....mostly that I'm not making all that I can of the day. But I do this before the day really gets going and it brings a negative tone to a day which hasn't even had the chance to show me its potential! Its very noticable after being on holidays, where i don't question the validity of every moment of every day.

so i've been working on being present and just letting the day unfold. i've discovered a wonderful tool for when that chatter begins. i've been putting on the cd 'Sin and other Salvations' the wyrd sisters. I'd have to say its one of my favourite albums ever. it speaks right to my root chakra and grounds me. it also speaks very clearly to my heart and my throat chakras...gets me feeling present and alive and gets me singing from that place in my core that lives to sing. by the time the cd has played a few songs, i am feeling present and ready to listen to the wide openness that is the day.

i've also been trying to stay in that place in which portland sings to my heart. what can i do to bring that pdx-love back to vancity? i've been painting up a storm and am working on image transfers of some of my photographs which i eventually plan to add to my etsy store (but have a bit of a ways to go before perfecting the technique!)

i also felt mighty beautiful in portland. i felt seen. i felt like people spoke the same language there about what beauty is. i'm noticing that embodiment of my own beauty that i feel there hasn't disappeared. its like knowing that someone out there sees you for who you are. they may not be by your side at all times, but sometimes just knowing they are there is enough to walk taller and feel stronger!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

the reunion of viv and pdx

i've just arrived at my home away from home in portland
swooning from an amazing weekend on the coast!

i only have 36 hours in my beloved city before i need to head back to vancity.
so i'm going to try and savour every sight and sound.

my master plan for my one and only day here:

alberta street
stumptown coffee
pdx people watching
lots of photo taking of the above things!


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

bound for the coast!

i'm off to the oregon coast for a long weekend!
be still my beating heart!

armed with:
7 cameras (holga, diana, lubitel, fisheye, duaflex, film rebel and canon rebel!)
5 maps showing the most scenic route possible
2 wonderful parents
2 roadtrip cds
1 silver car
1 sleep till the open road!