Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Energy of Live Music (Week 47 of Fireflies at Dusk: A 52-Week Project)

Mylo Xyloto was the UK's best selling album of 2011.  The tour will have covered North America, Europe, and Asia.  The show brings this album alive along with Vida la Vida and previous albums.  

Any Gen Xer who has kept mementos from their growing-up years has one or maybe even a handful of tickets to concerts they saw in their youth.  Coldplay hadn't yet formed as a band (as we currently know them) in my Gen teenage years, but they were undoubtedly a soundtrack to my Gen X 20s.  At times, they were with me all day long - A Rush of Blood to the Head playing on my CD Walkman as I worked one of my rote temp jobs in a gray cubicle through the day, and Parachutes  in my car CD player late in the evening when I would drive home in the rain past the glow of storefront neon lights.

My pink light-up wristband.  To the left - a sea of people  across the stadium .  To the right - the lit up stage.  

What could be better than being around the music that has been a part of your life and seeing it live?  Any time there is live music at a stadium, there is this incredible energy there.  I think this is because a certain tour from a certain album only happens once in history which means that you are all having this epic collective experience.  And you are all living in the moment.   I think that is why that amazing energy that comes pouring out of a stadium - emanating so intensely that even passers-by outside can feel it in the cement under their feet.

The round screen above shows the larger image of Chris Martin on the stage below in the purple light....

Looking around at the audience, there was every generation there, and a huge Gen X presence.  It was incredible to have been there, experiencing this with thousands of people from Portland.  As the tour continues to go around the world, many of us will have had this collective experience together.

(c) 2012 photography and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some Little Desire of Your Heart (Week 46 of Fireflies at Dusk: A 52-Week Project)

Is there some little desire of your heart that lays in wait unfulfilled?  Is there some ocean edge that you long to stand on but you haven't yet let yourself walk up to it?  At the heart of the Fireflies at Dusk project is the idea of doing things you've always wanted to do that you've never had time to do.

Why is it we sometimes wait so long to do things that are so close to our heart?

When I was a child,  I would carefully study the photos in interior design magazines, hoping to learn how design elements came together in their symmetry and color.   For most of my growing-up years I planned on being an interior designer.  Time went on, and as a college student I remember the day when I walked into the art department at the university I was going to and declared it as my major.  Immediately afterward, life took some unexpected turns, and soon I was transferring to another school and declaring a new major.  There were so many other things I needed to study that demanded my time and so many classes that I had to take to graduate that I never got to study interior design.  While I'm glad I got the degree I did, I really wanted so much to take at least just one interior design class.

After years and years of wanting to, I finally studied interior design.  I started an online class that covered all the main aspects of interior design several months back and finished recently.  I decided I was going to have to make it happen. This meant sometimes getting quizzes done between a load of dishes and a load of laundry.  It sometimes meant thinking of answers to questions on my homework assignments while I was making dinner.   It sometimes meant sometimes falling asleep with color swatches and floor plans in my mind and dreaming up ideas of what to do with both.

It made me really happy.  

If there is something that you have always wanted to do only for the simple reason that it would just make you really happy - what is keeping you from it?  Sometimes when something makes us happy, it is actually more than just something simple.  It is an important piece of the mosaic of our lives, and it is vital for us to go back and find these missing pieces.  It may be something that makes other seemingly disconnected things in your life come together in some unexpected way. The really surprising thing is that getting on this kind of wavelength can cause even more pieces of the puzzle to come into your life and, more and more, you'll begin to see the bigger picture.

You might be amazed at the picture that starts to form.

You might be amazed where it all takes you.

Go do something that makes you really happy.

(c) 2012 photography and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved

Sunday, April 8, 2012

When Buds turn to Blooms (Week 45 of Fireflies at Dusk: A 52-Week Project)

In the Pacific Northwest, it can feel that spring takes a long time to come into its fullness.  While the gray sky acts as if it has forgotten how to be blue, coldness and cloudiness hang on for yet another day. But, should we choose to notice, little messages of hope are placed for us on tree branches.

When there are mostly buds and only some blooms, it takes patience to hang on until your cold, aching bones will soon be thoroughly warm again.   It takes faith to believe that those branches will ever again be covered completely in blooms.

And finally, life around us  goes from being mostly buds and only a few blooms, to being mostly blooms and only a few buds.  And this is Easter and the brightness that follows...the earth goes through a resurrection of its own and if we choose to see it, we will.

In my youngest Gen X days, I remember the sun would shine and reflect off color with an amazing resonance exactly the way it is shining on these flowers above.  In those days, I remember how the sky was blue just like this - a stronger blue above my head and a lighter blue at the horizon.  On my swing set I would swing high enough for my feet to touch the bluest blue and come back down until my feet could kick up the dust of the earth below me.  In those days there was boundless joy.  It was like Eden in that I did not yet know shame, and joy was there for the taking at every moment. That warmth and light were both enough to get me through the winters of my life - especially those that took the longest to become spring.

This is Easter and the brightness that follows...resurrection at a finite moment in history, resurrection infinitely with us in time and in the space around us, and resurrection of who we were made to be - beings full of unbounded joy.

(c) 2012 photography and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Colors of Easter (Week 44 of Fireflies at Dusk: A 52-Week Project)

Memories of my Gen X growing-up years were full of pastel colors along with splashes of some vivid pink, yellow, and green, too.    

This week I put the final touches on surprises for my little one who will be getting a few fun things like finger puppets in her baskets this year...

My growing-up Gen X years were Protestant, and now I'm an Orthodox Christian.  Orthodox Easter is also known as Pascha.  The colors I see at Pascha are all the bright happy colors above, as well as all the rich colors below...

Orthodox Christians dye their eggs red at Pascha.

An Orthodox friend of mine gave me this card a few years back and I  set it out every Pascha.
It's called the "Russian Folk Family Pascha Feast" - a sweet little depiction of a
Russian Orthodox family maybe in the 1800s or early 1900s.  The artist is Nadja Glazunova.

As the Fireflies at Dusk Project has gone on, much of it has turned out to be about color.  The project is about revisiting good memories and since memories are often visual - they often hold specific colors.  The project has also been about creating new good memories.  Through our windows we see the blooming flowers in their brightness with all the colors of spring.  Inside we have decorated with a mixture of the beauty of the pastel colors, and the richness of the reds, deep blues and oranges above.  It all comes together to create an amazing color palette all around us.  This time of year holds both the richness of color and that which makes seeing color possible - God's light.

(c) 2012 by Chloe