Taking a Deep Breath

Chillin'

Its always a challenge to choose a photograph for my blog on days when I’ve been shooting for Soulumination. Nothing seems quite as compelling as the photographs I’m not using. Soulumination, if you aren’t familiar with the organization, takes photographs of children and parents with life-threatening illnesses. Free of charge, they put together a photographic record of love for the families of those who are ill.

Today the image posted here is one of those that was shot after “the shoot”. I photographed this guy because I loved the idea of sitting there in the late afternoon sun reading a book. I actually wanted to trade places with him, but instead I am “keeping him” as a reminder to make time for this kind of thing; to make time, as my kids say for “chillin”. I was going from dropping off a kid, on my way to another engagement, and took a quick tour through Volunteer Park knowing I was likely to find something to catch my fancy and that of my camera’s lens. I love the light there late in the day. Sitting on the crest of Capitol Hill as it slopes away to the west, it holds the rays and the warmth of the day when they have disappeared from “our side” of the hill. Its amazing to be able to look out towards the Olympics here and then go home and look at the Cascades as the eastern sky takes on a pinkish hue from the  light of the sunset.

Something about making pictures of a little girl waiting for a heart transplant this morning shifted my perspective again. I didn’t want to hurry around any more today doing all the things I was committed to doing. But it wasn’t until this evening when I tried to get out the door one more time that I was stopped in my tracks. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to that 6:30 meeting no matter how hard I tried. I did try to convince myself too. I failed. When I finally admitted to myself that I was not going back out again, except to pick up a kid after practice, I took a deep breath and started to relax. My family got lemongrass and chili Thai noodles with chicken and fresh vegetables at a reasonable dinner hour instead of a hodgepodge of leftovers from the fridge after having already consumed half of the snack drawer. Robby shared the details of his soccer game and I heard the latest from volleyball practice.

I asked myself how the day got out of control; how it was that I didn’t manage the time well enough so that being back out the door at 6 wasn’t impossible. In thinking it through, I came to the conclusion that the day was no more or less full than most, it was just that my urgency about “doing” had been shifted and I didn’t have the motivation to make one more thing happen. It wasn’t that the day was so different, its that my answer to its demands was different.

Tonight, I’ve dilly-dallied at my computer, dipping in and out of emails and Facebook messages in an unhurried way. Tonight, I will not be racing the clock to get this posted at midnight.

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