So much depends on the angle of light, and the way you squint.
Butterflies, for instance . . .
How would you caption this photo?
Little bug, big attitude? Walk softly, and cast a long shadow? Dracu-fly wannabe with serious Cape Envy?
I almost missed this miniature drama at my feet. Dreamer noticed the lone butterfly. I chose where I would stand in relation to the light (a mindset I hope to keep cultivating).
Photo-ops surround us, waiting to be absorbed. Received, rather than taken.
Even for rookies, like me.
When it comes to photography, my No Know-how list is long: aperture, shutter speed, focal length, depth of field . . .
No tripod, no fancy lenses. Just me and the digital Lumix, no bigger than a diet-wise portion of beef (like a deck of cards, and equally chancy).
Dreamer and I will attend a weekend photography workshop next week. The prospect beckons; it also gives me butterflies.
Butterflies, in particular . . .
In his motivating new book, How to Be Here, author Rob Bell writes:
Make friends with butterflies
- Take his advice literally, which I did one day, as shown by this photo (story here.)
And . . .
2. Consider applying Bell’s advice to your next case of nerves—that nauseous flutter in the gut accompanied by clammy hands, dry throat, and heart-racing dread—typical symptoms of risk: being in over your head with no foreseeable escape so that now you must face the next scary thing. (Often, in front of those you’d most like to impress.)
Bell doesn’t stop there.
Nerves are God’s gift to you,
reminding you that your life is not passing you by.
Make friends with the butterflies.
Welcome them when they come,
revel in them,
and if they go away,
do whatever it takes to put yourself in a position
where they return.
Periodically, I would add. No need to live on the edge; try occasional visits.
Thresholds . . .
We each have varying thresholds for risk. You might dread snakes, public speaking, or spiders; I’m unnerved by zip-lining.
Seems every time I clamber into the RV with Dreamer and take off for weeks at a time, I inch a little closer to my next personal ledge, the next swinging bridge over a chasm . . .
As Bells says:
Risk is where the life is
Don’t buy into the lie that this is as good as it gets, Bell adds.
And no willy-nilly recklessness. No cares-to-the-winds plunge unless the venture before you sits well with your spirit (that part of us most attuned to God—and mostly immune to “butterflies”).
Researchers and spiritual guides agree that any moment we fully inhabit often reveals itself as sacred.
Even shooting pictures out a car window on a gloomy day. There just might be a butterfly that only you notice, carved into a mountainside, a fleeting, organic image that echoes the poet, Rumi:
Your life has been a mad gamble.
Make it more so. You have lost now
a hundred times running.
Roll the dice a hundred and one.
MAKING IT PERSONAL:
When was the last time you took a risk? What did it teach you? Share with us if you’re willing . . .
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like: Exposed to Truth, Its Beautiful Sting