Friday, September 30, 2011

sometimes the being glad
is the hardest part of letting go

she said.  eyes scanning horizons
I've heard that there is good in goodbye

a fleeting smile
followed by a quicker glance
fades away into twilight

as they watched her
walk away in search of mornings

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Night Circus, a Review

Because of my obsession with science fiction and my ability to read like a ravenous crocodile, a lot of books pass through the bookshelf downstairs.  Only a few capture the imagination, though, and those books get to stay on the shelf to be read and reread.   Science Fiction, when it is done right, is the grandchild of fairy tales.  Stories of magic, mystery and romance that can inspire thought or just take you to a place you never dreamed of.  My classic favorites include, A Wrinkle in Time, Perelandra, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Tolkien's worlds, the Pern stories and every single book written by CJ Cherryh. 

For more modern writers I love The Outlander Series, Brandon Sanderson's books, The Name of the Wind series(amazing), and a few stand alone novels like this one. 

The Night Circus is a mystery wrapped in a romance and spun with magic.  It reminds me of every children's story I read as a young thing and leaves you content to have wandered through it's pages.  A little like the tents the circus describes.  It's an original, imaginative work of art that is rare in this world of recycled ideas.  If you like to be intrigued and delighted, you will like this book.  It's going to have a permanent spot on the shelf. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Currently Reading

Time for an update, I s'pose.  Reviews to come...

 Love is a Mixtape - non fiction, memoir
 The Happiness Project- non fiction memoir
The Night Circus- fiction, scifi/fantasy

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tales from the BCB(bottom of the camera bag) #1

Today I need a little venting session.  BTW, this shall be in the style of tales from the crypt.  As we all know, wedding photography has a dark underbelly, and this shall be the place to wear midriff shirts.

Last night I had a bride tell me she hates all her pictures 6 months after telling me she loved all her pictures.  I've also had a strong desire to eat chocolate and cheese all week.  PMS galore.  All of this of course leading me to having had 4 days of Hades and wondering rather seriously last night if I should even be in this business.  But then I thought about what I might want to do if I quit.  There is absolutely nothing at all that challenges me and fulfills me as much as what I do for a living.

Even on the bad weeks.

The cherry on top of the last 4 days was my locking my keys and cell phone in the car today on Main St while buying more cheese and chocolate.  The lovely ladies of Celebration bridal let me use their phone, which was no use, because I couldn't remember Ruby's cell #.

It was a nice day for a walk though, and so as I traipsed down Main St toward the studio, I had a nice chuckle to myself.  When things reach this point of insult to injury it becomes mildly hilarious.  My sister, who also doubles as my emergency kit, drove me home to my spare key and I arrived back at the car JUST in time to save myself from a parking ticket.

So there you have it.  The life and times of CGS.  Hopefully it is all up from here the rest of the week.  Stay tuned...;)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

thank you for noticing

Chalk it up to being a woman.  I didn't want to make a big deal out of my bday this year.  But yet, I did want my people to say happy bday.  To acknowledge that on this day, the life of Crystal Dawn commenced.  So it all boils down to don't celebrate me, but definitely do celebrate me.  See?  I like everything both ways. :)

I had a lovely day that started with sweet potato pancakes downtown with my husband man.  And then carried on with a nap, followed by a nap, and rounded off by a nap. Faith and Amanda W came over to finish the night with me.  Dancing with the Stars and chocolate.  Amanda and I recreated the entrance the dancers did and we feel that we will be entering all public places that way from now on.  It involves hair tossing and shimmying.  And you all will be amazed by it.

My lil heart got texts and calls and e mails and facebook msgs all day long.  I feel super loved.   Shout out to Amber for suggesting a celebratory dance.  :)  Yes! 

33.  Let the ride begin.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The smell and taste
of my favorite wine reminds me
of making love
sitting in an amber glass
next to me
complexity and simplicity

people-we are that
every story is different
every story is the same

a hundred variations of the same theme
I think at night, sometimes
sit in my office alone
swirl the situations/moments of my life together

darkness and light
love and indifference.
kindness and self.
faith and secular life
ingredients of a human heart
destructive and beautiful

is the ending bitter or sweet?


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Various Thangs

This week marks 11 married years, and 13 years altogether with my husband man, Ryan.  Actually, now that I type that, the rest of this post makes a little more sense.

13.  That is.

I can make this long story very short.  Ahem.

Pull up to the house to leave.  Get call from bride I had forgotten that she is ready at the venue to take her portraits.

2 hours later have the dinner we were supposed to have left for in Lynchburg instead of Wintergreen.

Get lost on the way to Wintergreen.

Have the desk person laugh in our face because we are checking in at 11:30 pm and checking out at 11 am, as he hands us the weekend itinerary.

Open our condo we payed a nice amount of money for to find a room granny might have decorated and no view.

What can you do?  It's nice to know that 11 years later we can lay in bed and laugh a lot over a day gone horribly wrong.

Shot a wedding in MD this weekend.  Bride and groom were super cute.  Ruby and I got hit on separately and together.  Two ginormous boys asked us to take pics with them.  We obliged.  They mentioned they were the handsomest men there.  Good information.

I love riding in the car with my sister.  She told me a lil family secret.  Apparently mom didn't approve of the youngest sister saying the word bra, so when they went shopping for unmentionables they had to say bottom underwear or top underwear.  hahahaha!!  I laughed till I could barely see over that one.

Mother.  SMH

I had the best dream of my life last night.  Jason Mraz took me on a date to his avocado farm and we sat on a picnic blanket and had a deep conversation about life.  Waking up was hard to do this morning. 

Busy weekend.  Busy life.  More to come.

Friday, September 2, 2011

On Happiness

Last night around dinner we discussed cognitive behavioral therapy.  Before you think that this is A. normal for my life, or B. that I had a lot to add to the conversation....let me just say that almost everyone in the room worked in mental health or nursing.  Except me. Or Carter. 

CBT is a therapy that helps those who struggle with OCD or depression to identify destructive thoughts and cycles and change them through choosing positive thoughts and patterns. 

It's also an integral part of Christianity.  Philippians 4

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Luke 12

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Romans 12

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Happiness, you see, is not something that happens to you.  That you can find in what people or things or circumstances can give you.   Happiness is something that happens in you.  It comes from choosing to not dwell in negativity.  I'm not saying we should all live in a world of naivete or be Pollyanna's.  But emotions and joy come and go and change.  No matter where you are or what has happened to you.  You can choose to be happy.  

Let's start with the idea of choosing what is true to think about.  If you are struggling with self image and comparisons you can dwell in the idea that you don't have worth or value.  Or that you need to starve your body or work out obsessively or cut or act out in unhealthy ways.  Or you can choose this thought instead:  Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.

The lie is that you are unbeautiful.  The truth is that you are wonderfully made.  

Contentment and peace and happiness in your life and in your circumstances is a choice.  It is.  I've seen it happen in the lives of those around me who have walked through darkness and death and come out in light.  I have chosen it in my own life despite struggles and pain.  

If I can choose it.  I know that you can.  

Live life with joy.  Celebrate the good and not the bad.  Say in the mornings when the weather is cool and crisp.  It's a beautiful day.  Sing in the afternoon when you hear a song that you love.  Fill your mind with good not bad.  When you hate your job be thankful you have a paycheck and can buy food. Be proactive.  Live in gratitude.  Choose happiness.  

Philippians 4:12

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

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