A Wandering Musician: Chapter 2

golden-gate-san-francisco-california-photography

I found myself in a Golden City,

And the things that were supposed to be pretty,

I found the dark and it made me long for light.

I thought of a smile…and you for awhile,

Lorraine, you’re my happiness and my life.

Chapter 2:

“I am traveling down the Western Coast and came to the City by the Bay. I strolled the streets, went to see the gate but the fog rolled in and shrouded the bridge from my sight. It’s colder here with the mist in the air. I long for you to hold me tight.”

Grant sat on the hood of another man’s car writing his note and gazing into the clouds surrounding him. He drew his collar up, then folded the paper, adding it to his collection. When it seemed apparent the cloak that had fallen would not lessen he abandoned his post and headed for the heart of the city.

He found a place where the poor people stayed but they had a grand piano just inside. He touched the keys reverently. The piano was what he loved to play most. He sat at the bench and pressed the ivory and the sound that rang was more beautiful than a sea.

His hands drifted like leaves in the fall and sent music hauntingly across the lobby. Then a child came in, and his face grew sorrowful from what Grant played. He changed the notes to a lighter time and the young one twirled and swayed. After the minutes drifted to hours Grant could no longer play. People had come and gone. Some had sat for all the hours, the others just for a few songs. But they wouldn’t forget the young man with the harrowed face, who for a moment offered his music and filled their souls with happiness.

He touched the cheek of a youth as the young boy shook Grant’s hand and told him goodbye, then he wandered out into the madness of the city where a homeless man sat and cried.

“Lorraine, today I played in a poor part of town but I was able to make them smile. I even had their children gathered round and I eased their woes, if only for a small while. You would have been happy to hear my songs, I felt like I had performed them before. They were from a joyous place and I thought of your face. Lorraine, you’re what makes me smile.”

 

*Note: This is a fictional story of a musician named Grant. It is loosely based on the places I traveled as a musician in a band. I was inspired by the photographs we had taken over the years as we went from coast to coast and North to South. Another source of inspiration was a song called “Suitcase Full of Sparks” by Gregory Alan Isakov since it brought to mind all the miles, joys and hardships of life as a musician.

I hope you enjoy it.

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A Wandering Musician: Chapter 1

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 My clothes are tattered,

My boots are worn,

My heart is shattered,

My life is torn,

I’m searching in vain,

For you my dear,

In every city,

At every pier.

Chapter 1:

“Lorraine, I am looking out at the water, the sun is lowering into the cold depths. It is beautiful. The boats float back and forth, creating gentle waves, and I, in my privilege, get to gaze upon them in wonder.”

Grant wrote no more, but folded the small square of paper tenderly and slipped it inside of his suitcase. Its leather handle was worn, there were stamps of cities names along the hard sides and there were two metal latches on the top to fasten it shut.

He had only his suitcase and guitar. He pulled his woolen coat a little tighter around him as he stood. The air was cold as it blew in from the water. He drew a breath, picked up his belongings and went into the Anchor Pub.

He played his guitar, a single microphone on stage as a few men sat at a table drinking their beers and cheering him on. He smiled at them but it didn’t seem to reach his eyes. The songs he sang were sad and soon the tone grew somber in the pub and they gazed into their drinks not knowing where the sorrow came from though it was there in their hearts. They thought of the ones they loved and the moments in life they had wasted. It was an odd mix of woe and want for something they had lost or perhaps never had.

When he had finished, they bought him a round and he drank it with gratitude as they laid money in his open case. He thanked the owner who gave him a meal for his time and then left. The men sat talking for a while more but soon the memory of the musician faded and their jovial attitude returned.

“Lorraine, my sweet, I am just trying to find my way back to you.” He folded the new note and slid it into the same inside pocket of his suitcase to rest beside the earlier letter. His feet dangled at the edge of the pier.

*Note: This is a fictional story of a musician named Grant. It is loosely based on the places I traveled as a musician in a band. I was inspired by the photographs we had taken over the years as we went from coast to coast and North to South. Another source of inspiration was a song called “Suitcase Full of Sparks” by Gregory Alan Isakov since it brought to mind all the miles, joys and hardships of life as a musician.

I hope you enjoy it.

Into the Storm

thunderstorm-fall-sunset

Into the storm we all must go,

Whether weary, tired, or burdened with woe.

The heavens are crying, drops falling with pain,

The ground swiftly rises, filled with disdain.

We carry our crosses and march to the field,

We ready our weapons, hold tight to our shield.

We face the darkness with prayer and with light,

Our angel behind us, to hope, holding tight.

The Colors of Fall

fall-autumn-leaves-texas

Autumn has arrived. You will find the yellow and orange hues bursting around you and people bundled up for the coming winter. I love the fall. It is one of my favorite times of year. You get to enjoy curling up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and good book while the air is slightly crisp. Not to mention, as a photographer there is something special about capturing the season.

There have beerose-autumn-falln storms blowing into the valley and on Sunday it was the perfect opportunity to walk around the farmland and photograph autumn. It was grey and stormy with just enough wind to make it chilly. The rain drops were fresh on the leaves and ground and I walked for over an hour – enjoying the smell of the Texas earth and the freedom of where I live.

As I wandered, I found a rose barely budding. Its delicate petals knew that the winter was coming and soon the time for flowering buds would be passed.

Below it were fallen leaves of the trees that offered their canopy and protection in the warm days of summer. There was crimson

rose-petals-autumn-elpaso-texascolor standing out from the brown, catching the water of the rain, and it painted a romantic picture to me.

I give thanks for the peaceful days of autumn, the colors the season as they come, and I look forward to a new day of inspiration.

Boo! Are you ready for Halloween…?

halloween-el-paso-tx-photography

Halloween–we love it! It is a chance to let our inner child shine through. The more elaborate the costume, the better! This is a photo of my siblings’ costumes from last year. My brother went as a chimney sweep and my sister was a marionette.

I did her makeup for the costume and it was a blast. The face paint I used was called “Goth White” by Manic Panic. I highly recommend it. Most white face paints that people use smear and come off but this one stays put and gives you the lovely finished look you see in the photo. You can apply it even thicker than I did if you want an even whiter complexion. For the black around her eyes I simply used eye shadows and eye liners. I think it turned out great! Her makeup lasted through an entire party and even after several hours still looked fresh. It came off easily with some makeup wipes and a facial cleanser.

My brother got creative and put his costume together by using clothes he already owned and then his “soot” was some black and charcoal eye shadows I had. He looked authentic and reminded me of Burt from Mary Poppins. Everyone loved it, and he didn’t have to spend any money to create an original costume that everyone liked.

I always enjoy being creative with my costumes and coming up with something unique and I also usually prefer to use clothes that I already have in my closet to make my costumes. Like the one year I went as an Oompa Loompa because I had a white skirt and orange striped shirt. At a thrift store I found some flat brown shoes with a large flower on the end and the only other thing I had to buy was green hairspray.

Halloween is a chance to have fun and be creative, so what will you be this year?

There is Beauty Even in Sadness

Source: There is Beauty Even in Sadness

There is Beauty Even in Sadness

butterly-sunset-beach-waterI came across this lifeless butterfly on a walk I took and it struck me how, even in the splendor that surrounded me, there was sorrow. It is inescapable. This life has both joys and tragedies. Though it is easy to see the happiness in a beautiful moment I find there is also a certain beauty in the sadness. Death is a part of this life but what we fail to realize at times is that it isn’t the end. It is merely the beginning of another story.

When I saw this creature, so small and fragile, being swept away by the waters of the ocean it made me thoughtful. If the salty waves had wanted to pull me away I would have no more control over them then the butterfly. It humbled me as I realized how vast and powerful the world is and how frail we are as human beings, from an infant in the womb to the oldest man. We must respect that our lives are given to us to live, love, laugh, and do good in this world so we may join those in the next.  I wish to protect that idea as well as I hope to welcome death in old age.

“If life pleases us, death being made by the hands of the same Creator should not displease us.” – Michael Angelo

Sunset On a Beach

Source: Sunset On a Beach

Sunset On a Beach

sunset-beach-girl-photography

The picture shown is of my lovely sister-in-law before the sun sank into the limitless waters. She was looking at her camera and I loved the way the screen made her face glow. The sunset behind her was a perfect backdrop for this shot and both the gulf and my sister-in-law stood out beautifully.

Originally, trying to capture this photo was a challenge. The light was growing dim and in order for me to properly expose the sunset I would lose her to shadows, but if I properly exposed her over the background, the image would lose its vibrancy. An opportunity presented itself when she lit her face with her camera screen, unknowingly solving my problems. I saw the shot and took of it. This photo helped me realize you must, as a photographer, always be searching and looking for another way to photograph a scene. Look for another source of light or perhaps even create one. The result may surprise you and please you all at the same time much like this picture did for me.

Sunsets are a truly magnificent thing. Getting to have the pleasure of capturing breathtaking sunsets while enjoying my beachside vacation, makes me remember that I am truly blessed. You can expect to see more posts featuring beach photography from me.

A Grain of Sand

beach-at-sunset

Peace always comes to me when I walk along a sandy shore, the water lapping across my feet. As I walked, the clouds spread across the horizon and met the ocean that stretched endlessly on, creating splendors beyond imagination. There is so much to see and photograph in God’s world.

There is something about the wildness of the water that is simply irresistible; I am enthralled with it. It brings to mind adventures of old–stories of pirates and hidden treasures– yet also offers you reflection in a time when life moves too quickly. Being at the edge of something so vast and powerful puts things in to perspective. As I gaze at the ocean waves they stand as a reminder of how truly small we are, and it brings me a sense of calm to be reminded of this. In the water’s waves, we mean no more than a grain of sand.

I have never been one to want to go into the water very much or at least, not as much as I have on this trip. The air and the taste of salt have done something to me–and I am glad they have. Maybe it is because I get to photograph such beauty in both the morning and at night of these lovely days. There will be more posts and photos to come as I enjoy this time on the beach…DSC_2275

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