If you click on the photo above you can see a mix of postcard messages and photographs from a visit to Scotland in 2004. I fell in mad, mad, love with the area the year before while on vacation with my daughter Miranda. At the time of our visit in 2003, I was on the cusp of making a major career decision and I was scared as most would be of doing something I might regret. Deep inside most of us know when it is time to make a change, but we find ways to rationalize not moving on.
Miranda and I traveled a bit that year doing an Outward Bound experience in Colorado, followed by our trip to the UK which included a few days in Amsterdam and Barcelona. It was during this break from my job that I began to enjoy my life again and somewhere along the way, I got my smile back.
By my second visit in the spring of 2004, I had left my corporate job and was taking some time to figure out what to do next. As I traveled around Scotland, I bought postcards in different locations and wrote messages on them before mailing them back myself in America. Friends who had picked up my mail and looked after my cats while I was gone joked with feigned huffiness that they had not received any postcards, but there were about ten waiting for me at home. The card below is one of the ten and underneath it you can see a message I wrote to myself.
I wrote the words above after taking a wrong turn at the end of the bridge that connects the Isle of Skye to the rest of Scotland. A wrong turn put me in a position to capture the image below reminding me that sometimes leaving the path is a good thing.
Today a blogging friend of mine left her corporate life behind for a new one. Some of you may have seen Mariellen’s comments here at GOTJ. If you have not been by her place you should, she’s a great writer with tons of life experiences to share. I can’t wait to see the new directions she will go as she begins this next phase of her life. If you have a minute, I bet she would appreciate a kind message of support over at her place.
I live in a place that is a wonderland for the imagination. Stories lie in wait around every turn and each time I step out for a walk or a run I return with a headful of ideas begging to find a bit a permanence and a place to call home. Whether on the moor or walking over the ancient bridges that cross the river that runs through our little village, I see possibilities wherever my eyes stop to rest. I find myself talking to the animals I see along the way and can easily understand how Beatrix Potter could create worlds where bunnies and geese talk back while cats and dogs do the shopping and farm work. These are fertile grounds for story making and the peace of my rural life is perfect for coaxing life into new characters and situations.
I have so much material that I often feel overwhelmed with my choices much like the way one might when standing before a huge buffet table, only instead of choosing between fried chicken southern style or asian sweet and sour , my banquet table is weighed down with ideas. It’s a wonderful problem to have, but for a woman prone ever so slightly towards being easily distracted…too many choices can be troublesome. So the ideas tend to pile up, waiting in a long queue for their moment with some moments taking longer to arrive than others. If I forget to write it all down…the story can disappear, but sometimes there is evidence, a lasting trigger with an image of mine to remind me.
Such was the case with a walk in Scotland on the Isle of Skye at sunset a few years ago. Day or night, the sky there is always stunning and I crawled over a thorny patch to capture this image lit by the setting sun. Skye has long been a magical place for me and seeing what looked like a bit of a fairy spirit captured in the lens of my camera created more of a feeling of confirmation than surprise. I have a series of these taken from different angles and the image is the same …twist of light or fairy spirit…you choose. I’d love to hear your thoughts…
(My lens was clean…in case you’re wondering…with no smudges or dust)