it's just how i see things

for earth day

i originally uploaded this photo on flickr for earth day... it seemed appropriate. trees seem to be a perfect symbol for representing the earth. that must be why funky monkey {a sort of all-natural, "hippy" store near me } was offering a discount on any merchandise that had a tree on it for earth day. i know, because the lady who took my green tea order at starbucks on earth day had a really cool necklace on with a pendant of a tree. i told her how much i liked it, and she told me where it was from and about the sale. i almost went to check it out... you know how much i love trees!

anyway, i've digressed. the reason i wanted to write today was something entirely different. i woke up this morning thinking about this tree picture. the words i added last wednesday say "there is a peace in the shelter of a tree that nothing else can give." i suppose that cannot be said during a lightning storm. and i'm sure there are other things that bring peace. but there is something about a tree that is so peaceful to me.

okay... still so not the point of this post. i'm getting away from the topic. i was thinking about this tree and realized that i must have walked by it a hundred times before. in fact, this tree is in the center of the woodstock city square. i grew up in woodstock. i lived there from the time i was five until the time i was almost 30 {with some short periods away }. but for the most part, this was my home town.

so as i lay in my bed this morning, i thought "i wonder how big that tree was when i first walked by it? was it even planted yet? if so, was it still just a young tree... young like me?" i don't even know for sure what kind of tree it is. if it is an oak, it's probably been there for a very long time... perhaps even longer than i've been here.

now it is very grand, and i seem small and insignificant below it. in a good way. when i took these photos last sunday, i found it to be in one of its most glorious stages. not bare, but not yet completely filled out with large, mature, dark green foliage. it was just right. beginning to turn green... that perfectly soft, spring, baby-leaf green... still open enough to see the sky above and let the warmth and glow of the sun through to me.

i really was captivated. i was only walking by the tree because the cobblestone path that led me from the pink flowering shrub i had been photographing back to my car happened to pass underneath. i stopped. i looked up. i almost became breathless. not excited breathlessness. calm breathlessness. i could have stayed there all day. but since that would not have been practical, i took photos instead, and then moved on.

so... all these thoughts this morning got me thinking even further. thinking about my surroundings. what i photograph and why. some days i feel inadequate as a blogger... "what in the world is interesting enough for me to blog about that others would care to see?" i think.

i get this way, especially when i visit other blogs whose authors seem to lead these elaborate or glamorous lives with so much interest. so much to write about. so much to picture. so much to share. i often grow frustrated, thinking, "what do i have to show? to write about? just how many pictures of a blossom or tree or bird can i post before it is going to get tiring to my readers... or worse, to me?"

i don't live in the most exciting or exotic place in the world. there is not a lot of interesting city life around me. some days i wish i had exciting things to picture and write about. perhaps a trip to paris. life by the ocean. children. hustle and bustle of everyday big-city life. parties. a fascinating job... the list could go on.

but the truth is, none of those things are a part of my life. at least not right now. so i can do one of two things. i could set my camera down and say, "no one cares about my surroundings. no one wants to see another photo of a tree or cloud or sunset. it's just not that interesting." or i could keep my camera in hand and keep on taking pictures of whatever i see. my life just as it is. all the things {as few as they may be } that surround me.

i have to remind myself sometimes... the very name of my blog is the very reason for its existence. it
is just how i see things. it's just what i see. it's just my life right now... as is. no kids. no luxury. no travel. no high-life. but still wonder and amazement... the wonder and amazement i choose to seek. to find. in my surroundings.

the day i found the quote by photographer elliot erwitt that i have in my side column, was the day i truly understood why i like to take photographs, and always will... no matter what level of skill i am at... no matter what type of camera i possess. his words perfectly express the reason for my love of photography, which i could not express up until that point or any better myself.
"to me, photography is an art of observation. it's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... i've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."
all that said, i still feel lacking in the area of writing. i've found so many writers out there that have the best way with words and taking their photos and writing about them or along with them... something that is interesting and relateable. something that resonates with others and makes them think. i would not say writing is a passion of mine. but i would like to write more creatively and artistically. maybe that comes with time.

the only thing i do know is i have to be me. i can only do what i can do. i must not compare myself to others. if i do, i will surely grow disheartened. i must only let the photography and writing i see inspire me... not discourage me. i must only aspire to be a mature and seasoned photographer and writer like those i observe and admire. otherwise, i will never grow. i'll remain small like the tree i stood beneath once was. i'll not grow tall, or last through winters, or blossom in spring, or allow light through in my most glorious stage.

it's part of the reason i have taken a hiatus from visiting so many blogs. i am attempting to try to find more of myself in me. trying to figure out who i am creatively without my tendency to compare. i know when i discover that more, i will once again seek the community and inspiration of other blogs... and other artists. {because i also believe we learn about ourselves through others, too.}

perhaps i will take that trip to paris someday. maybe i will get to fulfill a dream of living by the sea or living in a vintage flat in chicago. i'm still hoping to one day have a child or children. and if any or all of the above do come true, i will still blog. i will still take pictures. and it will still be just how i see things. but until then, it's just how i see things right here. right now. right where i need to be. have to be. am.

shelter of a tree {two}

shelter of a tree {three}


Hi Kooky said...

Finding the extraordinary within the ordinary - which you did so well with this tree shot/experience - requires confidence and produces the greatest kind of joy. I'm SO glad you share with us. I love the Erwitt quote too, but sometimes flashiness or fanciness is valued over true-ness. You stick to your viewpoint and that's why it's valuable. It's true. I'd rather read someone's true blog than a fancy pants blog all about impressing.

The one thing each of us has is our unique perspective - keep sharing! You see such beauty, inside and out.

Yvonne said...

i think you are right on all accounts.
your life is now ~ whatever that means to you!

smith kaich jones said...

you don't need paris. you have where you are. it is more than enough.


ginny said...

hi georgia,
i understand how you feel as i often wonder if anyone will be interested in what i show or write and i also often feel inadequate at expressing myself too... these beliefs stop me from blogging regularly... i do think however that it must always come back to being about what we want our blogs to be and what we like to share...moments of observation, thoughts and ideas and to post when it feels right to us.

i love your tree images and also your words... you are so very talented but i sense that you find it hard to believe this yourself.
be kind to yourself
...warmest wishes
ginny x

slommler said...

And that is what I want to hear...just how you see things. And that is what I want to see...your take on your surroundings. Suits me just fine!!
The tree photo is fabulous!
Trees are so glorious this time of year...not quite green but not bare either. I love it!

nacherluver said...

Love this post. Can relate. Wonder, if the tree was smaller when you were younger, did you perhaps miss noticing it change in size due to your growth right along with it? It's a possibility!
Love the quote you added and love your insights. Great stuff.

JaL said...

Love it! It's almost as if you wrote what I've been thinking but never knew I needed to put it into words. I can relate to the love of trees, the worrying about my blog being interesting, my writing skills and style. You nailed it =) Thanks for making me realize it is enough that I blog for me and that's the most important person that it matters most to in the long run.


(btw is your Woodstock the one in IL?)

maccandace said...

Lovely photos, esp. #2 with the flare.

georgia b. said...

yes, jennifer. woodstock, illinois. do you know of it?

S. Etole said...

you see uniquely ... that is enough for your sharing to have value ... I appreciate the beauty you bring us

mrs mediocrity said...

Oh Georgia, do not doubt your own abilities... I think it is much harder to find the beauty in the everyday, and you do that, always. I feel the same way sometimes though, my life is quiet, there are days every week where I don't even leave my house. I live in a very small suburban town. I am not exciting.
But. All the thing you aspire to come from within. And they are already there. I love your writing. It is honest. And lovely. And you.

georgia b. said...

thank you so much, friends. what nice words you all had for me. it means so much.

Michel Feist said...

Wonderful post today Georgia. I can relate on so many levels. I also have a love for trees and you've captured the essence of them here, in your photos and you words.

Its funny our perception of others. Its hard not to compare. have a great week! Keep up your wonderful words.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Christian, iwspo.net