Monday, June 25, 2012


I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music - Billy Joel



One of my first real loves growing up was my piano.  I have always been amazed by people who could just sit down at an instrument and play something beautiful, just pulling it out of nowhere.  When I was 7, I started to learn what it was to make music.  Although many times I was frustrated and wanted to give up - my desire to be one of those people who could bring joy to others and to myself through music was stronger.

Music is one of those few elements that can be found in nearly every culture around the world.  In many third world countries, music is what unites a village.  It can bring a community a sense of togetherness and is often used to keep tradition and celebration.  Music provides individuality and diversity amongst cultures.  While music may look different in various places around the world, it is a facet of life that is shared amongst individuals everywhere.

One of the things I personally love about music is that it is a medium of expression.  Lately I have been experimenting with sitting down to my piano and trying to just play what I am feeling.  Some days it is joy and gratefulness for all the things I have in life - other days heartache flows through the keys.  It has been really interesting to see what I can come up with by just shutting my eyes and letting my heart and fingers lead the music.

For generations music has evolved as people find new ways of expressing themselves.  The styles of music, use of words and the various instruments and technologies used to create music have changed throughout the years.  But consistently - people have conveyed their feelings and beliefs through song.

People use music to pump them up for special events, or to help calm down after a stressful day.  It is used to enhance the audience's senses during movies and to hype them up during sports events.  Music is so versatile and you can find it just about anywhere in some capacity.

I aim to continue to expand my knowledge of music and find new ways to express my heart and soul through song.

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary" - Martin Luther

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Last week while visiting with my neighbors, they mentioned the tree frogs that apparently occupy the shrub that is in between our houses.  They were surprised when I had no idea what they were talking about.  Sure enough, though, the next afternoon I took my camera outside and within moments of approaching the bush saw two of the small tree frogs.

 We have been in this house for nearly 8 months.  While I'm sure they weren't out there in the dead of winter, I still never noticed them in the last couple of months since the weather has been a little nicer.  How could something so wonderful and intricate escape my view?  Because I didn't take the time to notice!

If you are at our house in the evening, you will probably notice the choir of croaking coming from behind the house.  At first, I found it highly obnoxious.  But after finding these frogs in the hedge that I had never taken the time to open my eyes to, I realized that lately I do not even notice the sound echoing from the slough that runs through our neighborhood.  Not until the sound abruptly stops on occasion do I notice that the frogs are even making any noise.  The sudden silence is what catches my attention now, not the music that is filling the night.
It really is amazing what you can find when you just stop for a minute and look around you.  I have been trying to stop more often and appreciate the things surrounding me.  You would be surprised how much you miss while just going through the tasks of your day.  How you view your surroundings really can impact the way you think and feel. 

Please - take time to notice the little details, the small pieces of beauty that are just waiting to present themselves to you.  It will do your soul some good.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


What is it about water that tends to catch our eye?  Water can be powerful, yet serene.  Some days it may be sheer as glass, and others looks like someone has picked up the river or lake bed and shaken it.  Water can create comfort, fear, peace, awe.  It also provides both entertainment and sustainment.

Hagg Lake

For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the water.  Whether it be the river that runs through my hometown, the ocean an hour away, or the lake I would visit annually states away - I could never stay away.  When I was younger, it was the pleasure and activity water provided that attracted me.  As I have grown older, I still enjoy the opportunity to "play" in the water, but the attraction has grown much stronger.

 The way the waves crash gently onto the shore, or when it is really quiet and you can hear a fish jump out of the water in the distance - the way sound travels across an open lake or when the water is really clear and you can see all the way to the bottom.  I've learned to notice and appreciate these things.

I love the way that water catches the reflection and mimicks the colors of the landscape surrounding it.  It is difficult to not appreciate the beauty once you learn to really see it.

Multnomah Falls

I had the opportunity to hike up Multnomah Falls, just east of Portland, earlier this afternoon.  While standing on this bridge, I realized just how powerful water can be.  Although the day was hot and the air was still elsewhere, standing on the bridge the atmosphere was cool, and there was a wind blowing over the walkway.  The water was coming off the cliff with so much force that it literally was creating its own wind.

Unfortunately, too often this power gets the best of us.  When people fail to heed this power, lives are at stake.  This power truly awes me.  The fact that something that can be so gentle at times and yet take lives at others is hard to fathom.

I am curious to know what other aspects of nature people tend to overlook and not give them the appreciation they really deserve....what things do I myself take advantage of and not take the time to appreciate?  That is something I will have to think about for awhile.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


All of the best artists start somewhere.  For some, it may be a quiet room in their house.  For others, maybe a sunny park or shopping mall.  What they all have in common is that they seek out inspiration - that thing that drives them and establishes new ideas.  Inspiration can come from all aspects of life and is what makes all artwork different.  The same subject may inspire 5 artists in 5 different ways and they will all interpret it differently, coming up with different expressions and finished products.  That is what is so great about art: you can make it yours.

Lately I have been seeking out that inspiration.  Where do I find beauty in life?  What makes the gears of my mind start turning and creating new ideas?  How can I interpret the scene I am looking at and turn it into something beautiful that other people can admire?

Beauty surrounds us everyday, but rarely do we take the time to really notice it.  We go about our days and don't stop to think about the flower blooming outside our front door, or the barefoot child running around in the yard across the street.  Every once in awhile we need to just stop and take in everything around us.  I am determined to seek out this beauty and capture as much of it as I can through my photography.  To be able to share the things that I believe are beautiful and things that matter with the rest of the world is a great honor.

A little bit of background on my photography:  I am no professional!  I have enjoyed taking pictures for as long as I can remember but have recently been working on making my pictures worth looking at.  I own a Nikon D3000, with the stock 18-55mm lens.  It was a gift a couple of years ago and I recently attended a half-day class (another gift!!) to learn how to really use it and to manually adjust the settings to get the picture I want.  As I continue to work to grow my skills, I am looking forward to sharing my work and hopefully providing some tips and techniques along the way.

For now, here is a little teaser of some recent photos:

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