between the worldsthe scent of wet woodssea smoke

Rosa

In honor of Rosa… Rhoda “Rosa” Abbott, 35, refused to leave Titanic because the Ship’s crew would not let her two sons — Rossmore, 16, and Eugene, 14 — board a lifeboat. They were considered men, not children, and it was women and children first. Rosa held her sons’ hands as a wall of water washed them overboard. Mother and sons were pulled apart in the rush of the wave.

Rosa, the only woman pulled from the sea, was rescued but her sons were lost. (this written excerpt from an informational plaque at a Titanic exhibit)

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All images in this post were captured and edited with my iPhone 6S+. View an extensive library of my purely iPhone photo artistry on my Instagram account @susantuttle. I’d love to share my techniques with you… find out more.

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We are hungry for beautiful. Hungry for worthwhile, soul-gratifying experiences. We know on a visceral level that our lives cannot be complete without such encounters and adventures, but we often do not stop to realize how near at hand they are.

Time and again I am drawn to the allure of nature to fulfill these parts of me that long to connect in meaningful ways. These parts of me that desire to feel grateful. That wish to embrace wonder and seek miracles. That seek unfettered, authentic joy. All of these things can be found in abundance in nature.

I live in Maine. The seasons are bold, and impossible to ignore. Each one offers up unique gifts.

 

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Spring

• the unlocking of frozen earth giving way to regeneration and new life. the…

• babble of the river

• far-off cry of the red-tailed hawk

• rich, loamy smell of damp woods

• fresh foliage

• a carpet of velvety, blue-green grass

• golden lustre of blooming forsythia

• musical incantations of the vigorous peepers, singing on end, all night

• sunny windows

• delicate, paperthin blossoms of native serviceberry shrubs (also known as sugarplum or juneberry or saskatoon) that grow naturally in the Maine woods (I transplanted from my woods the one you see in this post). In the summer it bears sugary-sweet, delicious purple-red berries that taste much like blueberries. I’m planning to make a wild sugarplum pie with them.

• startlingly glorious returns of my crocus, daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, ground phlox, scilla siberica (called ‘spring beauty’), and leucojum (the white bell-like flowers in this post)

• nature’s plant medicine, as found in the daffodils springing up all around my yard. I have made medicinal infused honey with the roots (the how-too on my personal IG account @drawn•to•the•river) and I’ve been enjoying their new tender greens in my morning omelets, in salads, and on our Friday-night pizza.

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Keep your eyes open today. The beautiful is near and at hand.

XX

Grit. I have been contemplating this word. What does it mean to have grit, as a personal trait? The dictionary tells me it is synonymous with courage, bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, and fortitude.

Having grit won’t necessarily mean the same thing to everyone. I thought about what significance it has for me as I composed this purely iPhone photo art, Joan. As the work evolved and emerged through creative process, I was able to unearth my angle on grit, to become clear about my thoughts and feelings on the subject. Indeed, we are great mysteries unto ourselves.

Life experiences, some of which I believe we design for ourselves before we are born, are meant to teach and evolve our spirit. Yes, they can be painful and challenging. It seems the greatest life lessons often are. But the trick to allowing them to teach us, is to not resist them, but embrace them. To give in to them. To go soft. To not allow these happenings to turn our hearts bitter and hard, but instead to allow them to shape us into something stronger, better, filled with love.

By going soft in this way, we become open. We allow the learning to occur. In turn we become wiser. Stronger. We become more Light-filled and at peace. We become love. ‘Light-warrior’ comes to mind.

That is what grit means to me.

I ask you, and I ask myself this same question… Your life experiences… Will you allow them to harden you? Or will you choose to go soft and let them in and allow them to make you wiser, stronger, better, love-filled, and more evolved?

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Sharing Some Art:

• One of my iPhone pieces is currently part of the exhibit Mira Mobile Prize :: Earth – Our Panet, at the MIRA Forum Gallery in Porto, Portugal until May 13th. If you are a history buff, you might find the story of this gallery quite enchanting.

• Off-the-beaten path, artistic cinema is something that deeply enriches my human experience. I love it. Crave it. Seek it. I recently watched Her. Have you seen this film? It’s beautiful. Disturbing. Moving. Entertaining. And raises a lot of questions about technology and artificial intelligence advancements, relationships, and soul. Quirky. Unique. I enjoyed it more than I suspected I would. In fact, it’s now on my list of favorites. Oh, and Joaquin is nice to look at (even with his mustache).

• I am looking forward to seeing this film about one of my favorite dancers. It won best documentary at the British Independent Film Awards. Talk about a person with grit! And, just in case you didn’t contribute to one of the 19.5 million views of Sergei’s breathtaking performance to Hozier’s Take Me to Church, you can watch it now. He’s redefining the art of ballet in a big way; a great example of what an artist can do when he or she pushes boundaries and breaks rules to serve a creative purpose. Very exciting that he is forging this new path for the next generation of ballet dancers.

• I am drawn to certain books. They stand out and almost glisten on the shelf. That’s how I choose my books, and most of the time, it works. I found The Winter People at a thrift shop last week and have not been able to put it down. A mysterious, other-worldly, thriller ghost story that weaves narratives from past and present together in surprising ways.

• These paintings.

 

Thank you for visiting.

XO

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