As seen in the February 2018 issue of Mueller Living:
What is a legacy?
We think maybe that we begin to understand what that means after we have babies. For isn't it these whom we leave behind? But what about if we can't have babies? Or what about if we don't want babies? Or what about if the babies we are given leave a legacy for which we are unfamiliar or speak a language we do not know?
Is it love? Is it a child? Is it a dollar? What is our deficit? What drives us? What pulls us awake in the dead of night?
We think that what we have or what we do not have defines who we are, but what is more important than a name? Your name.
"8 notes in an octave tell me there is a Divine presence," says Abraham Yellen of Night Beds.
We all have the same number of notes and yet far from the first two lips parting in a lullaby, far past the Beatles standing in front of thousands, still, here, now we have the ability to create a tune, a chorus, a light from our heart, unique to us. It is never a melody sung before for no one has walked the steps you have, felt your pain, lived through every mind-blowing joy and heartache as you have. The melody, too, looks, feels, sounds different. If it's not a song, it's words for a book or a line of code in an algorithm.
So we live. What do we pour our hearts, our lives into? How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
We each have the same number of notes in an octave, the same number of letters in an alphabet, the same two hands to hold, to love, to give, to heal.
"These are healing hands" I tell my daughter Emiliana, holding her hands in mine. "These are healing hands, not hitting or hurting hands, that love and give love to the whooooole world."
We each are given a choice.
The dirt calls to us. Return to the dust from which you came...
But not our souls. Your soul is rooting for you.
What is a legacy? What is your legacy?
I sampled some of the best guilt-free ice cream on National Ice Cream Day!
Considering how much I drink coffee (be it even decaf) thought I'd stir in a bit and ... just watch the movie.
I ended up buying the mint chip, sea salt caramel, chocolate mocha and lemon cake! The chocolate mocha tasted identical to brownie batter and not being much of a chocolate ice cream fan it took every ounce of strength to not eat the whole damn pint in one sitting!
Mint and sea salt caramel were as equally amazing! If I could say "least of all" I'd say lemon, but it was still amazing.
Thank you so much Halo Top. It was a pleasant surprise to discover ice cream that I can accidentally eat the whole pint...
I wish I had more time.
Yesterday was the time to sit in random parking garages. Today is moving day. I watch the sun rise from my two windows, surrounded by things yet unpacked. Last night was my last night in this house and I was so tired I didn't even clear off my bed. Unpacked boxes. Clothes. Camera equipment.
Grateful for the time I had here, no matter how wild of a ride it's been. Life doesn't slow. We must carve out time to slow it down.
See you on the other side, darling...
Waking up with the "Women Who Run with the Wolves" | Day 29 of 33 Sunrises
"Emet. Emet. Emet..." I hear whispered on the wind. The Hebrew word for truth.
A random parking garage. A book that has been calling me for a few months now. A rising sun. The promise of truth ~emet~ in unanswered questions. A beating heart, in solitude, feeling the wind on skin, warm humid air and long strands of hair tickling a nose and bare shoulders and blush dusted cheeks.
Are we woman enough to step away from everything? What lies on the other side? What calls to us from the deepest darkest woods, from where we've come?
Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. whispered on the wind.
Freedom to be. Freedom to think. To create. To live. To love. To give. To accept.
To be. Who we are, in all of our soul-filled glory.
Not who the world is making us.
Not what social media demands of us.
Not what anyone or anything believes we should or shouldn't be.
Who we are.
The sacred name of the Creator of the Universe is translated into English "I am that I am."
But if we take away the Hebrew vowel points (there are no vowels in the Hebrew language) and read only the Hebrew letters it says in essence "It is what it is."
We demand explanations for things we feel and think as if they need explanation.
Strip everything away. The music. The storyline we're playing in our heads.
When there's no agenda. When there's no history. When it's only this moment right here.
"If only our hearts could hold signs like doors
Yours would say healing"
Waking up Driving for Lyft | Day 27 of 33 Sunrises
I love meeting new people. As deeply as I crave my alone time, I need to meet new faces and hear new stories and new ideas. I learned this about myself the last year. It only seemed fitting that since Lyft just came back into town I would dive in. Life's too short to not try a new (money-making?) hobby, right? Right?
SO EASY! Before I forget if you want to sign up, use my promo code: Carli229756 and we both can get $50. There's a small catch, of course, but just log in and see if you're the least bit interested. Also, coupon for a $10 ride towards the bottom if you hang around long enough. :)
Considering I already own a car, have insurance and am current on all of the records, it took me less than 10 minutes to sign up to drive with Lyft. Believe it or not the most difficult part was finding a selfie. I don't have a single photo of me looking at the camera without my sun glasses on, smiling, just me from the last year. That was astonishing. (Emilia seems to be in every one haha and I don't mind.)
LYFT has a few tutorials that are straight forward and pretty fool proof that made me feel somewhat confident in my first ride.
Car detailed - check!
Decals on - check! (You can easily remove them, FYI so you don't have to be advertising for them all of the time.)
Cold water and temporary tattoo business cards and quiet music - check! It was a little nerve-wracking as anything is the first time, but not difficult! LYFT is very clear to let people that you're driving know it's your first ride/first day, whatever and honestly that made them so patient and encouraging and I got a solid 5 stars and a "Good job on your first day!" haha
I don't think you can be prepared for how much driving around you're doing between rides. It's a lot of car time. I just turned on a few TEDTalks. :)
I have a feeling that will change once the word spreads that LYFT is back in town!
So your phone obnoxiously makes this loud ringing sound, and a circle with the person's face who needs a ride pops up and you have so many seconds to tap it to "accept" it. They make you 3-step verify that you're actually picking someone up, which I guess is a good thing. You hit "I'm arriving" and then you confirm that you're actually at the address, another click, and then "Pick Judy up!" for the third click.
Then it's "tap to navigate to the route!"
The first LYFT was two ladies who only checked in as 1 passenger and I should have had them cancel and re-count but I found that out later.... It was uneventful except for my illegal u-turn when I didn't know that I had to hit "navigate to route" and an "Um... I got this." after I dropped them off and hit "client delivered." haha
Last night... since I live by the airport I thought "Oh this is going to be genius!" Just go where people NEED a lift! After two trips around the loop in the airport and driving 5 mph the entire time and me stressing if I would ever get someone to ding my phone, I left and headed towards South Congress. My stomping grounds. That was last night.
This morning I stayed in the residential area assuming people would need a work INTO town and sure enough!
OVERALL THOUGHTS/ COST
It's a lot more downtime driving then I thought. Is it worth it? It depends on how much money you hope to make and if you really love people. The truth is that you are indeed making money and with a little extra smile you can get a tip. Although I still haven't figured out just how to see how much each customer is tipping me. You can't tip in cash with LYFT but everyone has been so kind and the conversations have been great and I'm depositing $71 and some change into my account from the last approx 5 hours of driving. So...
COUPON CODE FOR $10 OFF YOUR FIRST LYFT: INKEDFINGERS (SO difficult to remember, I know.)
PS: I need to rave about my $6 phone holder. If you need one, no need to spend a penny more and you don't have to attach any weird stickers to your phone or case! The magnet is thin enough you can just slide it in and still close your case. :)
Waking up to a FujiFilm X-T2 (AKA Sony a7ii vs Fuji Film X-T2) | Day 24 of 33 Sunrises
Last night Emiliana and I played in the pool until the sun almost set then raced down to stay at her Daddy's house in Buda. John is out of town with his sick father and we were holding the fort down. We woke up this morning in Buda. It was extremely cloudy which put me in some what of a bad mood that I didn't have any gloriously lit images...
Anyway, I had grand plans of staying up long after Emiliana went to bed (9pm-ish) and configuring the new Fuji Film X-T2 I traded my gear in for, and thought the excitement alone would keep me awake but alas, I didn't wake up until my alarm this morning.
This is how my brain feels about trying to learn new technology...
just give me an ink-filled pen and a crumpled piece of paper and no body will get hurt.
Translation: I've shot with the same camera since 2012 so I don't really care about having the latest greatest.
That is until I took the xt2 out of the box. :)
I have been photographing on the Nikon d700 since those bodies came out in 2012 and they were the BOMB back then! I've replaced the shutter twice, shot with it in the rain, replaced all the rubber pieces, shot my first commercial gig with it, etc etc etc. To say I was sentimentally attached to that thing would be an understatement.
But all good things must come to an end. (And I didn't even cry when that basket of thousands of dollars of my old Nikon gear disappeared with the sales clerk.)
So there's a reason why there's only 1 camera store called Precision in Austin, Texas. If you're new here and you think "They need some serious competition" I beg of you to go in and ask for Robert. Let me say that again... go pull a ticket and then wait for Robert. To make a long story extremely short, I traded both my d700 and all flashes/lenses in and my x-t1 for the Sony a7ii but didn't feel too excited about it. I shot it a few days and then I talked to Robert on the very day I was trading in the last of my gear and he said "WTF are you doing?! Here... hold this xt2" and I hauled ALL of the gear I had just purchased two days ago back into the store, returned in and walked OUT with the xt2 and a 35 f/2 equivalent of the 50mm.
Bottom line: If you have shot with a Nikon DSLR and you're trying to switch seamlessly to a mirrorless dslr because that's the future folks, and bonus points, if you have any hopes at all of shooting video, the XT2 is your answer.
Here's a quick list how the XT2 blows the a7ii out of the water (in the less than 15 mins that I have shot with it.)
The #1 reason. All of the controls are hidden INSIDE of the Sony a7ii. In Robert's words, the Sony is a PC that happens to take pictures. He couldn't be more right. You have to literally "dig" into the menu to change everything from iso to manual focus, etc. It's annoying as hell. haha Especially coming from the ease of the use of Nikon with all of it's dials on the outside body,
The Fuji Film XT2 is quite comparable, with manual shooting ease. I know I have so much to learn about what can be accessed on the outside and I'm really excited about that.
+ SHUTTER LAG
(The time difference between when you're pushing the shutter button and the camera actually takes the photograph.)
Non existent in the XT2. It's as clean and fast and crisp as the Nikon DSLR. Unheard of!!!
I noticed a millisecond in the Sony a7ii. If you haven't ever shot with a dslr, you will still be wowed by the Sony, but it's not as fast as the XT2 in my opinion.
+ IN CAMERA EDITS
I didn't play with this feature on the Sony much but I'm including photographs I shot on the XT2 that I shot as JPGS (which I don't ever shoot jpg! I always shoot in RAW and edit!) But there are some really fabulous in camera edits that make shooting in jpg possible, even freaking fabulous black and white reminiscent of film days filters, and knowing I don't have to spend HOURS editing makes me the happiest girl this side of TEXAS ya'll!!!!!!!
+WEIGHT AND ERGONOMICS
Coming from a d700, the Sony felt so much like a cheap toy camera to me, so I immediately bought the battery grip with it so I didn't feel like it was going to just fall out of my hands. Even with that it still felt clunky. The material doesn't feel substantial enough for me, but then again that's all personal preference.
Even though the Fujifilm isn't a full frame, it instantly felt familiar to me, like holding the metal body of a film camera. If you spend any time with your camera as a profession it becomes your baby and guys, the weight and fabric of your baby is SO important! Fujilfilm just has it down.
Wish I could give a better assessment of this but just spouting facts: the X-T2 shoots 4k, the a7ii only 1080. Wish I knew what that meant, haha. In short, X-T2 wins again.
I didn't use this feature yet on either but they both have the ability to send images directly to your phone! Awesome.
+ OVERALL COST
Winner winner chicken dinner: FUJI FILM!!!!
Bonus: Not to mention it just looks so much prettier than the Sony AND Amazon now has the Instax printer which you can configure directly with the xt2 in the menu! Ah!!
Here are the photographs I shot this morning with the fujifilm xt2 as jpgs, unedited. If you know me, you know I don't shoot in jpg and I definitely don't post un-edited files anywhere. While I don't know I would give these exact files to clients, they are sure pretty as is without any adjustments at all!
I know I'm so freakin biased to the FujiFilm, so I really encourage you if you have shot with both and disagree with me, tell me why you like the Sony so much better! Would love to hear!
Photographs by Kris Silverstein
Waking up with Friends | Day 23 of 33 Sunrises
How are you this morning? What are you up to this week?
In 2 weeks I will be moving out of my place and leaving for Israel for my sister's wedding. As my to-do list grows it's a nice reprieve to be giving myself this designated quiet time in the morning. It's a waterfall on my parched soul!! Being on day 23 does feel like it's become a habit. The nights I have Emiliana I say before she goes to bed "Where do you want to see the sunrise tomorrow morning?" and sometimes we can go there but mostly it's just knowing that I'm creating these memories with her.
Having friends along is even better. This is my darling friend Kris. I photographed her and Eric's wedding so many years ago and even prior to that photographed for her husband's business, The Peached Tortilla.
Kris has a gentle spirit. Niko is not unlike his mother, a happy little guy. I'm guessing with the number of times I gazed into his deep brown darling eyes and said "I'm going to take you home" and he smiled right back at me that Kris was probably freaked out she would be driving home with an empty car seat. haha But you know. Children are such a blessing. Watching my friends have babies (clearly one of the most difficult things to do in this lifetime) is a beautiful thing too.
So.... not only was my camera being weird this morning but my phone in every single one of my apps wouldn't take a photograph! Ugh. So much disappointment. Thankfully Kris is an amazing photographer and designer in her own right (she photographs for Peached, runs the social media and designed their website! She has SO much talent!) She snapped these.
Thank you lovely Kris and sweet sweet Niko for joining Emiliana and I this morning! A lovely morning indeed!
Waking up beneath the Bridge at East Blvd | Day 22 of 33 Sunrises
What a noisy morning.
Cars and trucks and birds and runners and talkers. What a difference from Zilker Park.
(Be prepared for the longest run-on sentence you've ever read.)
I went to bed at almost two last night. I had a few things I had to finish up and by golly I was not going to go to bed until they were DONE! So I did those things and my phone was at 11% and I currently only have one charger that really works with my phone and it's in my car so I set my alarm and then another back up alarm which I call my "oh shit" alarm to ensure I would pick up Emilia from her Daddy's at 6am because he had an early work gig but my phone died sometime in the night and at 6:30ish I hear a pounding on the door, the type of knocking that makes it's way into your subconscious sleep and then you wonder if you're dreaming or is it in real life and that's when I put two and two together and I had a real "OH SHIT" alarm in real life!
Anyway everything ended up OK but needlesstosay there was no type of sunrise seeing this morning. So ironic since I just sent out a newsletter last night (one of the things on my to-dos) talking about the #33Sunrises project. Of course...
C'est la vie. I shake it off. I shall rise tomorrow with intention.
This is all we can do!
Waking up at the Lou Neff Point
Good morning, my friend. How are you this blazing hot Saturday morning?
My alarm went off at 5:45ish and although I didn't know where I was going, I was happy to just get out the door.
I ended up at Lou Neff Point.
While I run this particular loop frequently, I only knew Lou Neff Point as a spot along the trail and forgot where I needed to park to access it. I randomly parked on Lou Neff Rd and just started walking this direction, then that way, then back again.... in 90 degree humidity and thought "Oh my gooooosh. I'm never going to find this silly point. Who cares. I'm at the lake. I'll just sit here and journal" and so I sat down at the nearest bench, attempting to enjoy the view with vines closing in on all sides.
And that little voice said "Are you really accepting this, here when you came to see Lou Neff Point? Are you really going to stop here and settle... when you could just keep walking just a bit farther? Really????"
I repacked my camera bag, re-orientated myself and headed off in the right direction this time, as I finally recognized the path. Not a quarter mile down the path there it was, of course.
So... yeah. Perhaps, if we had only just climbed to the top of that one last mountain of life, if we could pull back to have some perspective to have seen that we were just a valley away from that one dream....
But damn is it hard to not settle.
Here's to packing up our bags and heading back on the road... again.
This "33 Sunrises" continues to remind me of the necessity for flexibility, to not judge the day or the day's events but to give it the best I've got...
I spoke with my dear friend Kris last night and her and her darling baby boy and I were planning to drive down to McKinney Falls Park. I was so freakin excited but at 6am as I'm on McKinney's website I see the gates don't even open until 8! We decided to take a rain check to a day we COULD go and I instead bee-lined it to the Mopac Pedestrian Bridge, outside of Austin High School, cranked up the song below and ran as far and fast as my legs could carry me down that 3 mile gravel path. I didn't even get out my camera.
Some mornings are for sleeping in.
Some are for listening to Dustin Ohallaron.
Some are for killin it.
Waking up at the Pool | Day 15
This was Emiliana's idea. I said "Where do you want to see the sunrise this morning?"
She has some of the best ideas. :) Only a lovely grandma swimming laps joined us and that glorious light bouncing off the water.
Something about the water.
Something about how it responds when we move. Zero gravity.
Not unlike the wind, only we can tangibly see it, feel it, notice how it responds.
Have you ever had the music up so loud in your car, or any where for that matter, and you're right next to a speaker drinking and all of the sudden you see the liquid in your cup moving to the beat? It's the wildest thing.
Waves. Energy. It all feels like magic to me.
Emiliana is so close to swimming on her own. For now I throw floaties on her and she doesn't fear swimming "like a mermaid" in the deep end, so I'm grateful for that. I try to do a lap (haha, more like kicking my legs so I don't sink) and she paddles right along laughing like a crazy! Seriously, the amount that girl laughs when she is in water... I feel like we need to live by the ocean (?) !! I feel so great after a swim though. It's like the muscles of my body breathe a sigh of relief a few hours later...
Of course this was the first time we'd ever arrived at the pool at 6:45am! The quietude and light makes me want to wake up to water every day.
(Side note: The last time I spoke at a conference I met the incredible staff of LiveFashionABLE, a sustainable fashion company based out of Nashville. We got these towels from them! I like to give them a plug whenever I can, because they have a really beautiful vision/mission! Go check them out!)
Waking up at the Texas State Capitol | Day 13 x 33 Sunrises
Well hello there. How are you this Monday morning? What are you up to this week?
I sat out front the Capitol for a good 15-30 minutes this morning waiting for the sun to peek from behind the clouds and just trying to wake up. (I lost track of time ?) After finishing my homemade almond half-caff latte and recording some more voice memos I felt there was enough blood and oxygen pumping in my brain to actually walk successfully on the wedges I decided to wear. At 7am on a Monday?!
So tell me. What's your superpower? How can we change the way we see a situation? Every now and then I'll flip my prime lenses into manual focus and make things intentionally blurry. I've been asked if this was done in post processing and yes you can absolutely do it in post processing (editing the photograph in photoshop, but in my opinion it still can't look as grand. :) In the single class I took in photojournalism school at UT they taught us how to crop in camera. This was back in 2005 on film, so not the whole "spray and pray"; in other words, deliberate shooting, deliberate framing in camera as you're shooting so you're not cropping anything after the fact, mostly shooting with primes, deliberate thought etc etc.
The two photographs below were shot around f1.4, a few seconds after the other and the only editing I did was brighten it and bump up the contrast. Blur was done in camera.
It might appear that this is obvious: there's only soooooo many vantage points to the Capitol. Why even shoot it? Couldn't I just have pulled a few pics off the web? Aren't they alllll the same? I thought this as I was shooting, honestly. "Why did I even have to get out of bed?!" ha
But what I find fascinating is that no matter how many people stand in the exact same vantage point, every single one of us will see something different, see what we want to see, see what we choose to see or maybe even not... maybe see only what our subconscious shows to us.
Here... as I walked in a 45 degree arc around the southeast side of the Capitol I took the following shots. Even moving 100 feet to the left what a difference adding a mere two trees into the shot makes!
So we gather to photograph the same thing, the same location, building, whatever. One of us sees only the trees. The other only sees the architecture of the building. And another the baby squirrel crawling up the tree. How can we see what others see? Can we? Be it even if we're not in their shoes? Can we open up our eyes, our hearts to accept another's vantage point not as incorrect rather merely their vantage point, their life story?
One of my favorite quotes of all time and that's saying something because I like a shit ton of quotes, is from Brandon Stanton of "The People of NYC".
He said: "I always thought people's stories were more important than people's opinions."
Stories. Vantage points. Same darn thing.
Find them. Move your feet. Move your eyes. Move your heart until it's telling you
whether or not we're wearing the same shoes, it all comes back to a beating h e a r t.
Can we be quiet, still enough to listen to ours . . .
Waking up at Castle Hill Graffiti Park | 33 Sunrises x Day 12
(Don't do this. Don't hold a 6 lb camera in your right hand with a zoom lens while you're going 60 down 35 as the sun is rising. Otherwise you might end up with something like this... )
So I climbed to the tippety top of Austin's Graffiti Park and there before me: a sky on fire above and entropy at it's finest, below.
After deciding holding the DSLR is a bad idea while driving (haha ?) I tried desperately to get to the park before the fire sky vanished. This first shot below was the first in a series of 3 or 4 I shot a few seconds after I got out of the car. Of course the full skyline view wasn't until I climbed the dirt path that lies just to the right of the park.
I sat perched on the ledge above, feet dangling below, watching the clouds float by.
At one point I saw someone far below walking and it looked like he was looking at me a few streets down and I thought how odd it must have been to look out on this great big expansive graffiti park and see a girl perched, when barely anyone else was awake. Why shouldn't I wave? So I waved. And he waved back.
Waking up at the Texas Rowing Center with Miranda, Eliot, Milo and Plum
Why 33 Sunrises? What is this about? Over the last year and a half I've gone through major life changes and afraid of getting caught in a rut of "words without action" in my business, I needed a creative project to re-energize, bring life back into these bones. I'm 33 this year. I've always loved the sun rise but I wanted a challenge that would actually get me out of bed, to start the day out in a positive way and still have it be a trajectory for my photography business, essentially create content and have fun! I'm on Day 11 of documenting the sun rise, whether just in words or words and photographs and this feels like one of the best decisions I've made in a really long time.
I didn't start out with any grand plans though. To be honest I had no plans. No thoughts of where I would go or what I would see. That's just how I roll. I didn't even think prior "Oh! Let me invite others to join me on this path!" I just wanted to ensure I was jump starting the day, then it occurred to me "Wait... I can invite others on this path, too?! Oh my goodness! How exciting!!"
This morning was one of my favorites. Miranda runs a lifestyle and sewing blog Live Free Creative Co. She's done everything from make wedding dresses from scratch to flower arrangement DIYs. I draw so much inspiration from her as both a business owner and from the beautiful mother she is, to curious Eliot, big-hearted Milo and darling Plum. What a joy this morning was, following along on their adventure of kayaking Town Lake! Their family is moving to Virginia next month, husband Dave is already working/living there, and M had a bucket list of places they wanted to ensure they visited before they all headed East!
How serendipitous only the week before I thought "Who can I kayak at sunrise with?!" The kids did so great! The light was otherworldly, of course. The water was peaceful and perhaps in Carli's perfect world, I'd wake up to this flow - the sea, an ocean, this river - every day of my life.
I've lived in Austin since 2005 and I've lost count of the number of times I've kayaked, but I can't ever say I actually stopped to look at the trees on the banks. Usually I'm caught up in the grand scale of it all, the city skyline resting atop the train tracks balanced by the nature we're floating upon. There was a tree so The Notebook-esque, with large branches bending and arching on all sides that just barely touched the surface of the water and the roots were gigantic, sinking deep into the river.
The first set of shots I took with my Nikon D700 (full frame dslr) when I was just shooting from the dock but the ones when we're all actually on the water were with Mirandas iPhone! I love the iPhone - it's great for portraits - but it didn't do the sun light through this tree justice! In any case it is a moment I shall not forget...
Thanks Anderson family for sharing Day 11 with me!
Oh those silly swans. For no reason whatsoever as I was shooting they just waddled up and tried to eat my toes! Maybe because they are so long they thought they were worms?? They're just beautiful animals, so graceful and it was great being up so close to those wild beasts...
Thank you soo much to Mack from the Rowing Center for yelling "Hi!" back every time I run the trail. Thank you to Matt for the kind email and Alvin for setting us up in the canoe and for remembering that Oh my gosh I have been kayaking at TRC for many many years and yes, he has been there for 21 years himself!
Lots to love about this great city. So many friendly familiar faces.
Good morning, ATX, indeed.
Waking at Mount Bonnell Covert Park
Some mornings you wake up ready to conquer.
Some you hit snooze.
This morning, snooze, and now as I sit here wondering where my typing fingers will lead, I want to cower. We're talking about mental illness this morning as the sun rises, something that hits really really close to home.
Maybe we're all sitting in the dark, and we're just waiting for those bursts of light to show us the way. Maybe those bursts of light are people or books or a song, something, as Kafka says to "Break the frozen sea inside of us." Maybe that darkness is what society calls mental illness, masking as so many names we don't know and maybe we'll never know or fully understand.
When I hear that word, "mental illness" I immediately think "padded cell". I think oh my gosh these people need to be locked up and who are they and how are they creeping around in our society and we don't know who is really crazy and... then I remind myself that mere depression is a mental illness and attempting suicide is caused by mental illness... and who defines mental illness anyway... and when and why has it ever been a word associated with padded cell and not something that is conquerable,
For these things are in my blood because what happens to our family members happens to us, it's a part of our dna. So we must ask ourselves then, are these things not conquerable? Are we destined? Are we mere subjects of destiny? Are we victims of the events, the people our ancestors have become? Will we become them? Are we them?
Do we control our fate? Are we victims of failed collaborations or events for which we might even be unaware?
Are we nature?
I find it so fascinating that Jesus says to the people who are about to stone the harlot woman "Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone." Perhaps a man could only say that if he first understood the gravity in those words.
We are human.
I am no psychologist but I know this...
We are born into this world in circumstances beyond our control.
If this is truth, and the only thing we have control over in this lifetime is our actions to those events, then...
Perhaps mental illness in our society today that is diagnosed with pills and more pills and more pills and more pills ~that we don't even know how they are really affecting us~ is a mere lack of willingness or understanding to look at the cause and not the symptoms of a bigger problem. Maybe we're looking at a tree that is warped that has wrapped itself so perfectly around a fence, but we're all blind to that fence. We just see this marred and mangled tree... and that invisible fucking fence is so prevalent to the person who has become that tree that because of circumstances beyond their control they have had to grown around, so to speak, things they have been perhaps forced to deal with, but hey-- they're still alive and that fence has become a part of their story.
We all have our demons. We have secrets. We have our fences that we have been forced to grow around, to grow through, to become one with. So many of us still, have been blessed to lead lives where those life-defining events are fewer. Thank the Universe for this.
Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.
Next time we're looking at something we don't understand, let's hold up that mirror, that great big beautiful mirror that you are human and I am human and there is only this lifetime to ask questions.
Let us ask so many questions. To the doctors and nurses that shape who we are based on a mere few words scribed on a page for mind-altering, life-altering prescriptions. To the restaurant owners that create menus that fill our bellies that become fuel for our thoughts and actions and ultimately feelings. To the mothers and fathers that don't just make love but create a life with their actions,
that raise a generation that won't just accept the status quo rather
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars." - Jack Kerouac