Monday, April 29, 2013

To See If I Can

Five little words.  Just five.  I uttered them last week when I felt the need to photograph the full moon out back that was so incredibly beautiful. 
The words?  To see if I can
It was nine o’clock at night.  I sat out back with my camera hoisted on my tripod and tried different shutter speeds, iso settings and apertures.  It was incredibly frustrating.  But I kept on.  I would stop and head into the house every once in awhile to take a break and re-group.  I studied my owner’s manual; I went online to see if there was any information that might lead me in the right direction to capture that one perfect shot. 
One site suggested I buy a telescope and adapter to get the best picture.  I googled.  $1500 and up.   I made the practical decision to try to get the picture with the equipment I already possessed. 
Back outside and tried a few suggestions I had found online.  Manual focus, ISO 100, Aperture F11, Shutter speed 125 and lens set to infinity.  (I shouted, “To infinity and beyond” to see if that would help.) With these settings in place at 11:53 pm I got the shots I wanted.  250 shots of the moon over 3 1/2 hours and I kept 7.  But they were a good 7.
I had experienced an  “to see if I can” moment.  And even though it was sitting in my backyard shooting picture after picture of the beautiful full moon, I thought of something; when I was younger I had so many of those wonderful moments where I stepped outside my comfort zone and stretched the boundaries of my somewhat safe existence. 
Sure I can jump off that cliff into the water below.”
“Let’s climb up the steel trusses of the ranger tower.”
I won’t go into some of the other “to see if I can” moments of my life as some were just too stupid and I would prefer you all think of me as that “grown up” you all know and love. 
These moments might change as we age, maybe they’re not as  physically demanding.  But that wonderful moment when you see that you can learn something new, conquer some fear or just step outside your comfort zone and try, well these moments are priceless.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Love It!!!

Something has been bothering me for some time now.  It has to do with words.  Not the overuse of the word “literally.”  Not the overuse of the words “whatever” or “awesome.”  Not people who say “irregardless.”  Actually, those things really annoy me.  But what really drives me crazy is the overuse of the words “love” and “hate.” 
I was talking to a friend about a new movie and she said, “Oh, I won’t see it. I hate Tom Cruise.”  You HATE Tom Cruise?  I may dislike an actor’s acting style, or their role choices, but hate?  No.  I save that emotion for more serious matters.
Let me give you an idea of what I mean. 
I hate that my Father died so young.
I hate Cheetos.
Do you see the difference?  Can the feelings in these two sentences even compare?
I dislike Cheetos.  I can’t stand Cheetos.   Cheetos are not my thing.
I think maybe this all boils down to my love of words and their true meanings.  We throw love and hate around so casually that they lose their meaning. 
I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you.
I love spaghetti. 
I love my children.
I love lattes.
Overuse of the words tends to make the sentiment less.  Less meaningful, less important. 
We need to respect the words.  We need to allow them to express their true meaning.  Because if you stop to think about it there are no two words as powerful as Love and Hate.