Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can try to do is be there.
— Annie Dillard
Continuing to work on A Sense of Place this weekend, this morning I’ve been exploring the big picture – landscapes and such. I love the expansiveness and peacefulness of this image, from Lake Como in Italy.
As I write this post, one of my favorite songs, I Will Not Take These Things for Granted by Toad the Wet Sprocket, is playing on iTunes. The image and the song are both a reminder to be grateful for the beauty that exists in this world around us, this day. I’ll leave you with the song today.
If you tend toward order in you daily actions, experiment with the expressive chaos and imbalance. If you are generally impulsive in your habitual ways, focus for a wile on orderly and calculated movements. Try to access unfamiliar roles. There is tremendous energy in whatever is antithetical to the norm.
— Shaun McNiff in Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go
Have you ever noticed this? That sometimes, when you do something that is opposite to your normal routine or nature, you get a burst of energy. While it can be uncomfortable, it can also be fun and liberating.
It takes a bit of a reminder at times, a push to get out of our comfort zones. The participants in my Find Your Eye: Journey of Recognition class are doing it right now, so this quote resonated when I read it today.
And it made me think. Have I been outside of my comfort zone lately? Maybe a little. This expansive landscape shot is different than my usual city scene. But it’s not that far out of my comfort zone. Not really. I need to challenge myself to step out a bit further to get that boost of energy that comes from trying something new.
How about you? Have you stepped outside of your comfort zone lately?
This is Civita di Bagnoregio, a city perched on a hill top in Umbria. It’s a “dead” city – depending on who you talk to there are only a few or no residents. It’s filled with tourists by day, marveling over the city perched on top and carved into the rock of the hill, some back to Etruscan time. Slowly collapsing into the valley below, one cliffside at a time. I love the profile of the town in this image, the buildings and hill against the clouds and distant hillside.
Since castles, the real fortress castles, were in strategic locations on defensible hills, they also have fantastic views. That was not the purpose of course, it was all about military defense, but it certainly must have been an added bonus of living there! This view is of the chapel in the Bled Castle, with the surrounding countryside. Such green beauty! I wouldn’t mind living with this view every day.
Aaaaah, a place that I love. The Oregon Coast. We were on home leave in Corvallis last week, visiting friends, doctors, dentists, property managers and more than a few stores. Patrick took to calling it our “restocking trip.” Very true. But one day, we got out the coast on a beautiful, sunny day. And I was reminded that with all of the exciting places we’ve visited in the last 10 months, there are still many wonderful things about our “real” home here in Oregon.