re·flec·tion: rəˈflekSH(ə)n (n.) – defined as:
1. the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.
2. serious thought or consideration.
I love reflection.
Both definitions of it.
And so today, I will share elements of both. The Lens-Artists photo challenge this week (hosted by Miriam) asks us to consider reflections as defined by the first given definition which is also referred to as mirror photography.
We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.
– Taoist Proverb
This photo was taken at Carvin’s Cove in Roanoke, Virginia. It was still, cold morning in the middle of winter. In fact, the edges of the lake were frozen! If you’ve seen my post on Leading Lines then you’ll recognize this lake and the vibrant blue of the day from my photo of the dock.
The beauty you see in me is a reflection of the beauty in you.
I love, love, love a good sunset. And winter in the Blue Ridge Mountains affords some gorgeous ones in the winter. If you followed my A-Z photo challenge on Instagram in February of last year, then this spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway may look familiar as the location of the “Knowledge” (aka-book reading) photo shoot.
Reflective photography is one of my favorite ways to create new perspectives of scenes. As soon as I saw the sunset reflected in the windshield of my Jeep, I knew that it would make a great capture.
There is one art of which people should be masters – the art of reflection.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge
This photo and the header photo were both taken in Oriental, North Carolina. We were led to visit this charming little town based on tales from my mother-in-law’s visits here during the 1940’s. The town and its tales are a story for another day. I loved the shrimp boats and their reflections on the Neuse River.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Recently while re-editing some photos to make them more web-friendly (for the post: The Historical Area of Explore Park), I stumbled upon this self-portrait. I’ve taken many self-portraits on reflective surfaces. Most more clearly than this one.
However, I happen to be drawn to this one. I don’t think it necessarily translates well to the viewer because they are trying to figure out what they are seeing. For me, there is the aged window.
Broken and repaired.
Scratched and dirty.
And beyond that, just the glimmer of a person. An outline. Some fingers wrapped around something.
And that is how I see myself.
Beyond the sh*! that life has thrown my way, the scratches etched into my soul, there is the authentic me. I have been on a journey to dig beneath the layers to find her. To remove the clay and find the gold (inspired by the story of the golden Buddha). I feel like I also need to say that I have had many wonderful, miraculous, breathtaking moments in life. Life is an ebb and flow. I’m speaking only to what the photo evokes for me.
I am learning to have my choices reflect my hopes and not my fears.
International Women’s Day.
And what more fitting day to reflect on my authenticity, than International Women’s Day.
I have acknowledged this day through my writing each year since this blog began.
I have spoken about the roots of the day, my thoughts about the day, the women who raised me, the woman I’ve become, and the woman that I am raising.
If you’re curious, you can check them out:
In 2016 – Raising Strength
In 2017 – Thoughts on International Women’s Day
In 2018 – Why I Celebrate International Women’s Day
In 2019, in acknowledgement of International Women’s Day, I shared a little more about myself on Instagram. Since last year, there are some new faces stopping by and reading my words, so I thought I’d share the post as a little bit of “getting to know me”.
View this post on Instagram
Since tomorrow is International Women’s Day, I thought I’d share a few things about myself: 🌿🌿🌿⠀⠀ • When I was 8, I wanted to be a fashion designer. My favorite part of playing barbies was doing things like taking Ken’s Hawaiian print shirt and having Barbie wear it backwards as a shift dress. I was endlessly creative with my limited supplies. ⠀⠀ 💃 • I graduated high school at 16, with four years of drama (where I never auditioned, only took the leftover assigned roles) This had to do with my never feeling comfortable with myself or where I fit in. So instead, I collected “gold stars” with my grades and fueled my perfectionism. I also happen to love math, where the answers are typically right or wrong and there’s a rational reason why. 🌟⠀⠀ • After high school, I considered being an accountant, a physical therapist, a pharmacist, and a doctor. I filled my college electives with math classes. 🧮⠀⠀ • Being a mother was something I wanted above any other career. I chose to become a stay-at-home mom to my three and poured myself fully into that 🤱⠀⠀ • When my youngest went to first grade, I went back to school to work on a degree in molecular biology and biotechnology. I wanted to be a research scientist. Then we moved to Virginia. I wasn’t going to pay out of state tuition, so I pondered my direction while we settled in. 🦄⠀⠀ • Moving to a new place coupled with being so far from my family, my grandmother passing away and a brutal winter left me struggling. I decided to pick up my camera once again and hunt down some beauty in my chaotic world. I began a blog to chronicle that journey as well as sharing here and discovered that I love being creative, traveling and I’m learning to feel more comfortable in my skin. 💕 ⠀⠀ • I feel lucky to have always been raised by a family full of strong women who have always been supportive of my dreams. 🦋 • As for other random facts, I hate peas, love the smell of salt air and am pretty sure I’m secretly magic. 🔮 • Who is a woman who helped shape your life? Tell me a random fact about you.
In the spirit of reflection, I’d love to ask you the same question that I posed on Instagram.
Who is a woman who helped shape your life?
And tell me a random fact about you.
Let your light shine!
14 thoughts on “Reflections: In Nature and Of Self”
I love this post so much Amy! Life sure is not always easy is it? Especially as we get older – we just keep adding to the bag of unfortunate experiences. I still always say, life is good, even when it’s not. It’s interesting, there isn’t really just one woman who has shaped my life. I think it has been a bunch of women – friends, co-workers, sisters, aunts, etc. I am honored to have known some really wonderful women. Random fact – I can blow bubbles off my tongue. Cheers Amy! Hugs to you!
Thanks, Pam!! Yes, life is good, even when it’s not! All of it is a journey and shapes and strengthens us. I am definitely a product of many women pouring themselves into my life, so I know what you mean. That is such a great random fact!!! Love it!! Hugs to you as well! xx
A lovely post Amy – I chose not to address Int’l Women’s Day but am glad that you and several others did. It’s terrific that we have a day but let’s have the rest of the year too LOL. Your images are terrific – I think the jeep shot is my favorite but they’re all wonderful.
Thank you, Tina! Yes, I’m hopeful that in future generations it won’t need to be a conversation and equality will just be the natural part of life that it should be. I love that Jeep one too. The sky was magnificent that night!
Since her recent passing, she’s on my mind so I’d say my husband’s Great Aunt Barb shaped my life in a very positive way. I’m up and on like her, busy like her, love to cook and bake and laugh like her, so I really am going to try to carry on her lightness and kindness.
As I have just finished Skinny Pop, I will add as my random bit — I think the right way to eat popcorn is to shove it into my face in the least ladylike fashion imaginable 😉 Apparently.
Thank you, Joey.
I read about Great Aunt Barb. She sounds like the type of woman that I would have loved to have known. Women like that are special indeed.
Mmm….Nom…Nom…Nom. Why do I envision something akin to cookie monster’s love for his cookies? lol.
It’s just like that. Quite a sight! 😛
The reflections are beautiful, Amy. I love the boats in the evening light.
Thank you, Deborah! The boats were just beautiful. I hadn’t seen shrimp boats up close before and they added such charm to the waterway.
A random fact?
One of my favorite *light* quotes is by Kate DiCamillo, a woman, who wrote The Tale of Despereaux. It is: “The world is dark, and light is precious. Come closer, dear reader. You must trust me. I am telling you a story.”
I reflect on that thought often.
Ohhh…I love that quote. I’m definitely going to tuck that one away.
As far as Kate DiCamillo, my daughter loved Because of Winn Dixie and we owned the movie version when she was little. If she didn’t watch it every day, it was close. And it still makes me cry any time we watch it.
Such a beautiful post Amy filled with lovely reflective pictures and words that speak of who you are and the upbringing you’ve enjoyed. Like you I was raised in a loving supportive household and had wonderful role models, my beautiful late mum, my brave older sister who battles cancer but continues to inspire me even today. Stay blessed my friend. xx 💙🙏
Thank you so much, Miriam!! I’m so glad that you were lucky enough to be a raised in a loving, supportive household. That is such a blessed thing. Your sister sounds brave indeed and how beautiful that she is a source of inspiration. Wishing you much love and good health during this chaotic time. xx
I wish the same for you Amy. Stay safe and well 🙏