Tee Teaching 1
Nature can empty our heads and give us peace of mind. Being in nature can be a meditative place. Yet, my thoughts are usually going a mile a minute, which sometimes is good to solve a few things. Most of the time it's repetitive and useless. I feel like I don’t take advantage of the usefulness of the moment. I like to apply as much as I can an exercise proposed by Eckart Tolle. It is to focus on one simple thing, like the sounds, the surrounding colors, the smells, or my breathing, just to get out of my head and to live in the moment, even if it is for brief moments at the time. Then, while walking in the wilderness of Idyllwild one day, where I go every weekend, I had an epiphany. Looking at Tee, as she was running around, sniffing, stopping in her tracks… one paw and tail up in the air, scrutinizing the horizon… She was right there, in every moment, being fully present with the environment. All I had to do was to mimic her. I looked at what Tee was looking at, and paid attention to what she was smelling. I was not in my head anymore. Tee was in the moment. And now I was as well. Tee is always in the moment. She's always out of her head. That’s Tee's teaching!
Valentine's Day 4
Happy Valentine's Day
Love is the truth. It is what we live for. We want to give it as much we want to receive it. Love comes in all different shapes and sizes, but it always shows up with the same sentiment: an authentic warm feeling that stays with us through the years, through thick and thin. It is hard to explain with words, because it is unreasonably present under our skin. We feel it all the way into our bones, and it makes our hearts beat louder. It shows up when we need it, and often surprises us when we expect it the least. Is it more powerful to give love without asking anything in return? I don't know. It's not always easy to do. Is it the key to real happiness, to no resistance, to freedom? Fascinating … Am I describing the way my dog loves me? Am I saying that she shows me the path of true love every day? Not only does it feel like it, but I know that’s what she does if I really listen and observe. Her mission is to love. I am certain of it. I don't care to know why dogs embody so perfectly what we are all seeking. Dogs are love, as simple as that. My dog is what I want to be when I become enlightened :) Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. Spread the love, the world always needs more of it.
Julie Shaub commissioned me to photograph Buddy and Birdie for a birthday present for her dad. I agreed that I would take some pictures of her dog Beatrice as well during Buddy and Birdie’s photo shoot. It was a beautiful, sunny southern California day when I arrived at Julie’s parent's house. To keep it a surprise the session took place while her father was not at home.
Until that day I hadn't met Julie or her mom, and it was my first encounter with their dogs. This was not unlike any other shoot day. Though, I was surprised when I entered the home and three dogs greeted me. Again, being greeted by the dogs is the norm, but the surprise was Buddy, an adorable Pug. Buddy was full of life, and so exited to meet me, banging into the furniture and spinning around my legs, such a loving little soul... Buddy's back legs are paralyzed due to a birth defect. Big surprise. A first for me, taking pictures of a dog on wheels...
My mind was wondering, thinking of the different ways I could take Buddy’s portraits. Most of all it was an emotional moment for me, as I couldn't stop thinking about Mr. and Mrs. Shaub's commitment to give Buddy a good life, instead of dumping him because of his handicap, like I've seen so many times in shelters, often because of a way more minor reasons than Buddy's condition.
The session went amazingly. After I photographed individual portraits of Beatrice, Birdie and Buddy I took my 6x6 negative camera out and took a few pictures of the three of them together.