October 29, 2010

connection: MEND

Pictures taken by my sister molly milroy during her photo shoot for the MEND program of Invisible Children. bravery and beauty embodied. molly, that includes you too.

October 27, 2010

reflection: presence and patience

little tree, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

A couple of months back while attempting tree pose in a yoga class, I worked to steady my trunk so that I could bring my two arms together to meet overhead. It was a day in which I really needed a break from the trials of parenting, the increase in speed of my days, and the burdening weight of recent emotional upheaval. as i steadied myself I felt two key guiding principles rise within: presence and patience. I extended and raised my right branch in honor of presence and my left in honor of patience and when the two met I felt a surge of stability and freedom at the same time.

Amidst the whirl of my days I repeat these words like a mantra and realize that they challenge me at every turn. I wish to claim them both, encourage them to burrow deep within, and yet so often they chuckle to themselves just out of reach. its okay. i will keep reaching. and grounding. and reaching.

October 25, 2010

creativity and connection

art, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

This marks the wrap up a week's worth of images from LEAF festival. I started the week with a posting of the LOVE side of this artist's van and I wanted to close out with this one because I am finding that I happiest when I am in the center of a LOVE and ART sandwich- two of the world's most powerful forces. The artist who created these visual delights I am finding myself longing for more time to create, and connect with other creative souls, and am greatly looking forward to the new creative space in the basement that we are slowly making headway on. will be posting progress images soon.

p.s. the other artists from LEAF I want to acknowledge in this connection post are Lisa Vetter and Paul Siefart of The Art Farm, located outside Fort Wayne, Indiana. Their work and generous, creative spirits inspired me greatly. And as serendipity would have it, I found myself in their neck of the woods last week and though they weren't there, the bartender who served me at a local haunt was wearing one of their custom pieces and the guy sitting next to me at the bar rents their old place. i love our small world.

October 22, 2010

connection: missing you

happy, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

a little virtual postcard to my little one while I am on a work trip in Indiana. this was taken last weekend as we did one of many laps around the lake. the site of her happy in sunlight makes my heart swell.

October 20, 2010

reflections: impermanence

reflections: impermanence, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

gathering from all directions
to celebrate
to commune
to simplify and reconnect
impermanent villages
of tents
and firelights
of harmonies carried over water and mist rising
commonality so natural so fleeting
so freeing

October 19, 2010

hoop it up

polka hoop, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

good fun and great exercise. i love hooping and the challenge of linking little tricks and turns together. i am trying to make a little time for a few minutes of hooping each day. thanks to wonderful sarah for making me my hoop.

October 18, 2010

finding LOVE at LEAF

LOVE, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

a period of restoration, reflection, creation, and connection all rolled into one- that's what happens at the all-encompassing LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) every spring and fall. I will be rolling out images from this magically creative arts and music extravaganza throughout the week, in an attempt to carry a bit of the magic with me through my more ordinary days.

October 14, 2010

reflection: year of the handstand

handstand, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

Two months ago I participated in a yoga workshop with Mado that was dedicated to working on handstands. One of my personal goals for this year has been to work on kicking up into a handstand. Note that the goal is to do the working on, not necessarily achieving, the perfect handstand. This subtle shift in the semantics of the goal setting is actually what I think the key is to making me stick with it.

Last winter I wrote to my fellow unravellers about the fear that resides in my inability to kick up and how it trips me up emotionally. I feel so heavy and weak and as if what is holding me back is not physical strength but is rather emotional weight that I can't release, no matter how hard I try. So to sign up for a whole workshop in which I face this fear felt, well, rather daunting. What the workshop offered me was a whole bunch more tools to use to work up to kicking up, some tricks to meanwhile enjoy the benefits of a handstand without the fear rising, and the gift that comes when you share your fears with others who carry the same.

So 2010 has become the year of the handstand for me. and maybe it will be next year too. this process encompasses so much more than just being a yoga pose on which I am working. whether being supported by a bathroom doorway, walking my feet up the logs of our cabin, or being free to fall by the oceanside expanse of sand, I am showing up. over and over. and as the strength builds I feel the emotional weight slowly releasing and the effort giving way to a sense of ease. effort into ease. i like the sound of that. and I remind myself that the only way,in all of our journeys, is to keep showing up.

PS. I will return next week after LEAF with photos and tales from this wonderful multi-cultural arts and music festival just down the road.

October 12, 2010

restoration: a quick jaunt down country roads

yesterday my father, daughter and I travelled up to hot springs for a morning hike along Big Laurel Creek on the way to pick up husband and dear friend from three days of backpacking. on the way back home we stopped in marshall for a bite to eat and a quick look around. these images are from a storefront on the main street of this small mountain town- a splash of color and charm in an otherwise all brick block. i am grateful for the little journey-just under an hour away and yet just enough unfamiliarity to recharge the travelling spirit. A simple monday morning journey down nearby country roads can work wonders, i highly recommend it.

October 10, 2010

restoration: the call of the woods

in hiding, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

i feel it so strongly today, a longing to walk off into the woods and hide. i come by it naturally, my father told my husband recently that he is currently resisting the same urge. this morning i was surrounded by dear friends at a brunch gathering, folks I cherish and crave time with, and yet today the weight of their gazes was too much for me to hold. my little one felt it too. she wanted to go home and once we returned she wandered straight back into the woods (can you spot her? she is with her beloved kitty). her new found refuge. she too comes by it naturally.

October 8, 2010

creation and connection: opening a new door

for years I have been wishing to open the door into the world of clay. during each studio stroll in the river arts district I admire the potters in their creative spaces and long to get my hands dirty. I finally began my first pottery class last week with Angelique Tassistro of Fly Coop Studios and I am happy to say that the process has enveloped me just as I imagined it would. and yet I find myself so distracted by all of the charming, personal touches in her studio calling to be photographed that I easily lose track of my task at hand. more will hopefully come about Angelique and her own journey in a future post-though I think her chalkboard just about says it all- this is a woman who leaps, loves, creates, and inspires, and keeps turning good thoughts into good things ....stay tuned.

October 5, 2010

rearview reflection

rearview reflection, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel
I go about my days, scurrying between here and there with a hundred thoughts all competing for attention, and then comes a stoplight and a chance to gaze into the rearview mirror. my eyes lock on her and my heart swells. I lose track of whatever I was swirling about and I anchor into the awe of the moment- I realize that I am sitting at an intersection of revelry and grace.
The journey of infertility tattooed my heart in ways I still struggle to put into words. I write and write and yet the right words choose not to show up. but the feelings do. the ever-present longing giving way to intense surges of gratitude. of wonder. of inexhaustible love.
and reverence. reverence for those who are on their own journey of desire of one kind or another, those whose most steadfast companion in the journey is loneliness.
i am grateful for the rearview mirror and how, in those moments of reflection, the past shows up and tenderly releases into the present.

October 3, 2010

restoration: The Perfect Protest

perfection protest, originally uploaded by AnnieLaurel.

I have joined Brene Brown's Perfect Protest in honor of the coming out of her new book, The Gifts of Imperfection.

What is born out of the messes in our lives- physical, emotional, spiritual- is what defines us and fills our stories with the juicy details we and our loved ones cherish.

October 2, 2010

reflection: making it last a little longer

not ready to let go of the beach adventure yet...thought a few more pictures would make the taste of salty air linger. can't wait to return in november.