January 22, 2015

"A Human Doing vs. A Human Being...

Why is it so hard to just be?  As in "be still".  To be present in the moment, instead of looking to what is next. To exhale.  Stare out a window.  Lay in bed and clear my head.  To realize being alone is  not the same as being lonely.  I am conditioned to feel guilty about that kinda stuff.  Doing, doing, doing.  "To Do" lists to check off.  Places to go.  People to see.   Crap-ola galore.  My days usually start off with the Better Half inquiring "So whatcha got planned today, what's on the agenda?"  And I'm off and running to make sure I got something done today.  I'm more of a Human Doing, than a Human Being.

But I've come to realize all this Go-Go-Go can be counter productive.  Because there is always guilt associated with it.  Why?  At the end of the day, 9 times outta 10 I didn't git 'r done.  There is self-imposed pressure.  And after awhile thoughts, words and creativity slow dramatically...sometimes they stop. Photography block.  Writer's Block.  House cleaning block (thought I'd just throw that one in there because it COULD happen!).  Instead of getting ANYTHING done, I find myself escaping to Facebook, Buzzfeed, Trivia Crack, Houzz.  Even when I'm doing nothing, I'm doing sumptin' sumptin'. I guess you could say instead of the need for speed,  I have a yen for zen.  To be still.

"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."

- Dorothea Lange

"I Should be Cleaning - Still Life #1"

To be still does not mean to not move.  It means to move in peace.  To move quietly and with intent.  To simply "be".  Ain't so easy in this always on, instant access, over communicated world of ours.  Without defining it as such, it is probably one of the main reasons I've always been drawn to photography.  The ability to take a moment in time, and holding it still.  Capture it.  Relish it.  Yes...be at peace with it.  When I am present in the moment it's kinda amazing what I notice without distractions or commotions. To take the time and observe from a different perspective.  A different angle.  A different light.

"I Should be Cleaning - Still Life #2"

There is a liberation to quiet time spent alone.  Stillness has it's own set of gifts.  When I made time for it, I found there is beauty all around just waiting to be found.  Be still.  Breathe.  Slow Down.  Capture the quiet.  Be still.

"I Should be Cleaning - Still Life #3"

"I Should be Cleaning - Still Life #4"

Still Life  (n.) - a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter,
typically commonplace objects.

When I am still, I notice there are bits of lovely everywhere.  There's beauty just waiting to be found in the ordinary.  Yep, much to the chagrin of the familial unit who already think I can find anything AND everything to photograph, and STILL find it interesting.  And they are probably right. But now?  I think I'm gonna to find even MORE.

"I Should be Cleaning - Still Life #5"

I'm embarking on a year long still life photography course called "Be Still - 52" with Kim Klassen.  It's outside my comfort zone.  It forces me to take some time to BE, instead of always DO-ing.  To be aware of my surroundings.  My every day.  The beauty that goes unnoticed.  To be in the moment.  You'll see posts every now and then with some of the Still Life captures.  It's gonna be fun to be a Human Being for a change.  AND...to get even LESS housework done.  I hope Buzzfeed and Houzz will survive without moi!

Be Still.

Here's where I "link up" today.

(click on image for description of Song-ography)
Next Tuesday's Song-ography title suggestion is "End of the Line (It's Alright)" by the Traveling Wilburys.
Come back and link up!


  1. Love your post! You have spoken out loud what I think in my head! I love the human being instead of human doing! I am a doer with lots of lists and check marks. My sense of accomplishment comes from checking the days' list all off! I love the "be still" that creates a sense of peace. Been trying to follow "Be still and know that I am" from scripture for years now!!

  2. The word "should" can be soul crushing..The word "should" judges..Before I retired, I lived life on a very unforgiving schedule with a frenetic pace...To the point of burnout...I am slowly recovering from burnout..I think, lol..I don't think I accomplished more as a human "doing" than any of my friends who were human "beings "..I think it depends on the individual person, how one can balance between the human being and the human doing to enjoy life and family/friends..

  3. These shots are all so amazing - love the different views!
    We had a session on mindfulness at work earlier this week - so interesting and so true, it's so hard to be still and just be!

  4. LIfe is short. My healthy eater athlete husband has ALS and is paralyzed. So I hire the cleaning lady...I never clean. I sew and do exactly what I want...I am happy..no cleaning for me...

  5. Love the titles for your still life shots - all creative and beautiful (far more interesting than say, housework). I find such peace when I am staging something to photograph it - I am in motion but my mind and my energy is in the positive.

  6. Such Intriguing images. I find the first particularly peaceful.

  7. I've got be still mastered, I need a class on get moving.

  8. Great post Kathy! and love your new perspectives. Bet this will be a great project with Kim Klassen. Being still is definitely an art... one that is hard to aquire. Will be looking forward to seeing more of your "stills'

  9. I love what you wrote and I love your photos with all the different angles! I am taking the class too for the first time, so we shall see what evolves right? Have a great week-end!! xo

  10. I was already well on my way to stillness, and being, but then you know... Sam got sick. Dealing with a child with a chronic illness changes the game, it changes everything. Being still and intentional is no longer a choice, it's a necessity. It's the way I ride the changing tide, and it is always changing. Some days I really feel like I could be a female version of R. W. Emerson and go live in house in the woods, on a lake and be as happy as a clam.

  11. Yep. I feel fairly certain I could have written every word of this. I'm a doer as well and feel guilty when not "accomplishing" something. Im not even sure why as not one person puts that pressure on me but me! I'm trying to make more room for just enjoying life.

  12. I LOVE this post. I am going to enjoy seeing your photos from this class. I wanted to take it. But my internet is not always the best. Love your photos.


  13. I love this. I love what you did! So original and beautiful!

  14. Just finished week one ... your post is inspiring me as I ponder week two! Gorgeous.

  15. Sounds like such a wonderful class. The pictures are perfect and I love being still now and then. Sometimes I love to turn off the t.v. and just sit and listen to the silence. Enjoy my surroundings and really relax! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  16. enjoy this year of stillness, the year of BE. seems you are off to a lovely start.
    just BE.