Sunday, May 17, 2009 (2/365)

Updated 5:45 p.m.

7:31 a.m. Good morning…It’s off to the gym in a few minutes, then back home to grade papers before we head out to Full Moon Farm for Madelyn’s riding lesson.

It is a calm morning, where the rains have lifted long enough to allow the birdsongs to bring life in the Goucher woods behind our home. We are deeply blessed to live in such a natural setting, yet so close to all the conveniences of suburbia. I am simply not home enough to enjoy it. At least–I haven’t been in the past two years. This is exactly what I am trying to change, so earnestly, and surround myself more fully with the things that bring me great peace and calm.

All my life, I have felt the urgent desire, the need, to make myself as busy as possible with projects that I believe in. And there’s no doubt that I do believe in all of the publications, the courses, the activities I am involved with. I love every one of them, and I have no regrets. But this year, more than at any other time in my life, I see my contributions to each of these passions diminishing because my energies are being pulled in too many different directions.

In last week’s season finale of LOST, I was taken aback by a scene between husand/wife duo Rose and Bernard with the other survivors of 815. Three years had passed since they had seen each other, and when they met, Rose and Bernard had taken that time to live life simply, enjoying the natural beauty of the land, and the love they shared for each other. This was contrasted harshly with the others who were rushing around with guns, looking for people who needed to be stopped before they blew up the island (and, in this comparison with Rose/Bernard, other such foolish nonsense).

What struck me so about the scene was the message about the choices we make in how we live our lives. We can live simply, enjoying the beauty of nature, the companionship of friends, the love that comes from kindness, no desires, no expectations. Or, we can get caught up in the man-made drama of selfishness, greed, and domination.

Why would we not choose the former way of life over the latter?

This is where I am. There are ways for me to continue to contribute more fully than ever without getting so caught up in the game that takes me away from the simpler things in life. Let me put my energy into nature, all that is beauty, all that is simple, all that is good.

This morning, I begin my day with no expectations. Let this vision of simplicity allow me to appreciate more fully all that is beautiful around me.

* * *

9:33 a.m. Just finished my workout at Brick Bodies. The quality of the equipment is superior to any other gym I’ve belonged to in the last few years, and the environment is warm, supportive, and motivating. This is why Amy and I experienced so much success here back in the 90s. It’s great to know that the place hasn’t changed since then.

As I was wrapping up my workout, I was struck with some good memories of Mom, and I realized suddenly that she died two years ago today. I wasn’t overcome with sadness or grief; rather, I took comfort in the good memories and continue to reflect happily on her life of 80+ years.

Am planning on writing my friend Steve today. This will begin the final phase of my3*6*5, where I will write to three individuals each week.

Onward! A peaceful day continues. . . .

* * *

5:45 p.m. A long afternoon, but very peaceful and serene (even going through Sam’s Club for this week’s groceries seemed a little more…relaxed–is it just me?). We spent much of the afternoon at Full Moon Farm for Madelyn’s riding lesson. She got her posting down today (Yay!), and she even took Hank (or Hank took her) over a few 12-inch “jumps” (baby steps, right?). . . As you can see in the pictures, there’s no fear when she’s on a horse. Loves every minute of it.

Braeden loves spending time on the farm as well, simply because it is a treasure chest of natural wonders for a very curious 4-year-old.

And of course, I took some time to play a little with digital “film” exposure with the Nikon D70s. I’m getting a D300 in a few weeks with a nikkor 105mm macro VR lens, so I’m putting myself through a refresher course when it comes to exposure and taking the image up or down a few stops to improve the overall image. In the next two images that follow, I shot the first one on full program mode (1/500, f10); I felt like the clouds were probably going to wash out a bit and be overexposed, so in the second shot I cut the shutter speed by a 1/2 stop and bumped up the aperture just under one stop (I thought the shutter on the first shot was 1/400, so the difference was a little less than half a stop). Still, there is enough difference in the definition of the clouds without darkening the grassy areas too much. I like the second picture much more.

The last picture I took was on full program mode, though I wish I would have played around with depth of field a little more. That’ll be my next assignment.

Not sure if I’ll be back again tonight. Lots of papers to grade as both Towson and Centennial wrap up…

Love to all, as always. ❤

4 thoughts on “Sunday, May 17, 2009 (2/365)

  1. VW,
    You have always been an inspiration to me in the way you see things. You never see things the way most would, you don’t look at the negatives and dwell on them but instead you find the good positive parts of each situation and make them explode with opportunity. Slow down, appreciate your family because before you know it that little girl and that little boy will be grown and moving out 🙂 You’re an amazing individual VW and I am a better person for having met you. Thank you for all you have given me and all the laughter and happiness you’ve shown me and my fellow students.


  2. Thank you, Kiersten…I know I need to slow it down. I’ve already seen such a difference in my attitude in the last week or two in making this decision to live my life a little more simply so that I might appreciate more genuinely all that I already have. I’ll miss you next year!


  3. Wow Rus you continue to swell my mind and heart with awe. You always helped me forgive myself for not coming to the MWP with more. You acccept what life, nature, people have to offer at the moment and don’t demand, ask or look for more…

    Is there anything you don’t do? All that camera jargon!! I am stoked that you are taking on this 365 challenge. Will you continue to post your photos here? I hope so – I plan to frequent the Rusvw Spa often. That is what you do for me you know … cleanse my guilt, feed my writer’s soul, and filter the junk. I gathered three cameras today from my tech junk drawer to give to kids. I also heard from another AVID teacher who is at Lansdowne with Michelle, who is going to take the plunge with us! …

    I looked at Cody today with his new hispanic haircut and wondered when he got so tall, where the baby fat went, when the personality really took hold … have I been ignoring the details or speeding past the subtle changes? Thanks for reminding me to sloooooooooowwww down.

    And here’s to loving, ambling, exercising, writing and taking photos every day.


  4. Thanks, Jodi! So glad to see you here!
    I became very passionate about photography in 1986 during a particularly tough stretch, and I guess ever since, it’s been a haven for me. I’m finally returning to those roots established in 1986 and seeing where it takes me…
    I guess photography teaches me to slow down as well….That’s why I like nature photography so much. There’s time for thinking, playing around a bit with exposures, and just having fun.
    Can’t wait till we’re all doing the 365! 🙂


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