Blessed be!

This is a difficult post for all manner of reasons!

Firstly, I truly wish you all had a beautiful, wonderful and peaceful Christmas with the people that you love and care about! The people that truly matter! Your children, your partners, your parents, your friends and significant others, whoever they may be!

I also wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year in 2020 and, an even better New Decade! I say that with love, empathy, compassion and a sense of connection I hope! I am so sorry I have not been about much lately to connect with my fellow bloggers, writers, photographers, storytellers and friends in the blogosphere!

On the 22nd December 2019, I received an early morning phone call from one of  my sisters, who incidentally is also one of my best friends. She was staying with my Mum. We have a sort of shift system where we just ensure that our Mum is  never on her own, or at least not for too long!

My first reaction when I saw who was calling me at that early hour was that something had happened to Mummy. Of course I was happy to be told that Mummy was just fine.

Then the next part of the conversation threw me into a state of disbelief or to be honest not anything I can really put into words just yet. My sister told me with her voice shaking and herself crying that our nephew Aaron had died in a tragic accident.

I have no words just yet to say how I feel, what I think it all means but I know Aaron is not really that far away. He has just got to the next place before me, before my sisters, and before my mum. He is with my Dad in the next place. I know he is okay! I know it, I believe it!

Life is so precious! Time is so precious! Treasure it!

Sometimes our treasures are right in front of us, and we do not see them!

Anyway, I wish you all a year full of love, laughter and time spent with those you love!

Blessed be!

© Liola Lee 2019

The image is of my beautiful Dad with our beautiful nephew. I was just 17 when I captured this image. They are together again.

 

 

 

 

The Present

“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present.  If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.” Spoken by the Camel Driver: pp.88-89, Coelho, P. The Alchemist; Harper Collins 1999.

How many of us can truly say, with hand on heart that we are living in this moment, right now? I for one have to admit too many times dwelling in or on the past, and pondering on my tomorrows. Yet, the old adage says that ‘tomorrow never comes’  and that would be true, as there is only ever today.

Numerous Gurus, Sages, Teachers and Guides have pointed out that the point of power is now, and they are absolutely right. At every moment, it is this moment that we have. This moment therefore is the most precious  thing as it is where we are right now.

May your moments always be precious! May your moments be many, and may you find your treasure within those moments.

Blessed be!

© Liola Lee 2019

Am currently re-reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and am seeing more than the first time round. I highly recommend it! Happy reading! and writing, of course!

Angels in Disguise

Angels appear in many guises!

Entering your life, sometimes in the real world, sometimes in the virtual sphere and now and again in the Ether. Lifting you up when you have fallen down yet again.  They encourage you, inspire you and help relight your fire. They do not judge you nor condemn you. They accept you with your many flaws and imperfections. They see the good in you, the sparkle, the light within. Sharing thoughts, words, poetry, prose, passion and compassion, they remind you that that you are strong, and resilient and that you can overcome the obstacles whatever they may be that obscure your vision.

Angels appear in many guises!

© Liola Lee 2019

Just thinking about Angels this morning, and also thought to share the short poem below: 

Angels, in the early morning ~ By Emily Dickenson

Angels, in the early morning

May be seen in the Dews among,

Stooping – plucking – smiling – flying –

Do the Buds to them belong?

 

Angels, when the sun is hottest

May be seen the sands among,

Stooping – plucking – sighing – flying –

Parched the flowers they bear along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happens next?

“They’ll be wondering where I’ve got to” said the old lady.

I knew she must be talking to me as we were quite alone, standing in the doorway of Angel Antiques sheltering from the sudden downpour. It had been raining heavily now for the last five minutes. I did not perceive her as threatening in any way nor particularly odd. I was one of those people who usually for some reason always attracted strangers as well as strange people of this world. Listening to the old dear, I assumed ‘they’ were her family and responded, “The rain will stop soon enough and we can be on our way”. The old woman smiled and as she did the street lights came on. I could see her quite clearly now. Her hair shone silver beneath the neon glow, glimmering like finely spun gossamer giving the effect of a haloed aura. Her smile was warm and somehow comforting. Her eyes set wide apart were a glorious glinting green not unlike those of a cat. I thought of my cat which just now was most likely curled up snugly on the rug by the open fire indoors. I could n’t wait to get home out of this wretched weather.

I smiled back at the old dear hoping that any fear or anxiety she may be feeling from being stuck here with a stranger would be laid to rest. In truth, I was not really sure which one of us was more anxious. I hated being out in the dark on this dank and dreary November evening. I’d always been scared of the dark. The street was deserted but for us two. Most of the shops along here had been shut down and boarded up and had been for some time as a result of the recent recession. This stretch of road had once been a thriving and bustling business community. How Angel Antiques had managed to keep going was beyond me. Being a luxury trade one would have thought that it would have likely been the first to close its doors. Just at that moment when I was pondering on this point, the door to the shop opened and their stood a wizened and wiry old man with pince-nez perched upon and pinching the bridge of his nose. Peering over the rims he beckoned us into the shop with a wave of his hand to enter in out of the rain, “You’ll catch your deaths of cold out there in this, duckies. Come in and keep warm for a bit. You can look around if you like while I make a nice pot of tea”.

“Please don’t go to any trouble”. I politely responded but he was already gone somewhere behind the counter, to the kitchen I assumed. In reality, I was glad to be in the warm where I could dry off a bit and would happily welcome a hot cup of tea; there was nothing like it to warm you up, with the exception perhaps of a small shot of brandy.

 In the shop the light was brighter than that afforded by the lamp posts outside so now I was able to take a good look at my elderly companion. The old lady wore a beautiful grey full length fur coat. I was unable to identify the animal but was convinced that this was a real fur rather than faux: not something you often see these days mostly because the animal rights people would be up in arms, which for the most part I agree with them but when the coat is practically an antique, I’m not sure it counts . Looking at the old lady, I could not have imagined her wearing anything different. The coat could have been a second skin it fitted so well.

The old guy, who I guessed must be the shop owner rattled back into the room with a tea laden tray. I took the tea offered, wrapping and warming my hands around the cup. The old lady declined to drink any tea but was pleased to accept a cup of warm milk. Mr Angel for that was the man’s name passed her the milk. “Perfect” she said, stretching out each syllable with precise pronunciation.

Opening the door and holding his hand up towards the night sky, the old man stated

 “It’s stopped raining”.

“Ah, yes…time to go home”. The old lady announced.

I enquired as to whether she would like me to escort her home but she would have none of it announcing that she knew her way well around these parts. With a brief thank you to Mr Angel and a smile and a nod of the head in my direction she left.  I finished drinking my tea which had by now cooled down a little. As I was about to leave, a small black leather bound book on a shelf close by to the door caught my eye. I picked the book up and held it, turning it over, in my now warm hands. There was something rather intriguing and inviting about a well bound book that I found appealing. I thought what a shame it was that books were no longer put together by the loving and dextrous hands of a traditional bookbinder. Even worse was that they were now being digitised and turned into ebooks to be read on kindles and iPads. As I handled the book appreciating and admiring the skilled craftsmanship that had lovingly laboured over the encasement of an authors treasured text, I caught sight of the time. Placing the book neatly back on the shelf, I turned to thank Mr Angel for his kindness and hospitality. To my surprise he said that I could take the book if I liked. It had been there for ages and no-one else had ever shown the slightest bit of interest in it. It was mine for the taking. I offered to pay but he would have none of it. I took the book and took my leave but not without thanking him first.

© Liola Lee 2013

This was a writing competition titled ‘What happens next?’ set in Writing Magazine a few years back.  That said, I never actually entered it as did not really think it would get anywhere but it’s good to do writing exercises to get the imagination working. It has just lain dormant in my files ever since. Anyway, posting it here just because I can.

 

Picture this!

Picture this! Imagine a time when you picked up a camera; perhaps it was bought for you, or maybe you purchased it yourself. It may have been back in the day of film photography (analogue photography) or more recently a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. It may have been a simple point and shoot or something a little more complex. There are many makes and models to choose from. You take a few pictures which you think are pretty good (at the time). Your family and friends also tell you how much they like your pictures, and say things like “You should be a Photographer”. You are flattered naturally. You enjoy capturing moments in time, and at a certain point you think, “Hey, why not try my hand at Photography for real”. It could be fun, and who knows where it may lead? Does the scenario sound a little familiar with maybe a tweak here and there? This is how it sort of was for me.

I had always taken pictures, captured images and been mostly the one behind the lens. Capturing the holiday snaps, the children as they were growing up, the birthdays, the Christmases and any other what I thought were picture worthy occasions. In 2012 I purchased a really fabulous camera. A Canon 60d. I chose Canon because it was a make my Dad had liked and used. My Dad by the way was a a good amateur photographer in the days of film. He used to develop his own film as well. How clever is that! Anyway, getting back to my trusty Canon, the 60d was an excellent choice. It was I believe a mid entry level camera. I named it Penny Bright after a favourite childhood doll.  Actually, all my cameras both before and after the said 60d have been named Penny Bright. It was at this time that I left my former job and embarked on my photography journey for real.

Every journey begins with a single step! The step was taken and the journey began. Sometimes it’s about taking a leap of faith!

©  Liola Lee 2019

This post can also be seen on my website http://www.liolaphotographic.com where it was first posted yesterday. My photography journey has had ups and downs but I continue to love capturing anything that ignites my imagination. I plan on writing a few posts about my life behind the lens; the good, the bad and even the ugly. The image is of the equipment I had back in 2012.