Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

I Heart Macro Week 19










And this is when i began to cry,

for the beauty so close on this weather worn plank

for the intricate veins, the colors bleeding through the back of a leaf fallen in the night,

the dew still clinging. 





Yes, this is when I began to cry, for the beauty so close as I squatted then knelt down on this weather worn plank across the bog. How I love to walk through this mysterious place on chilly autumn mornings. I cried for the intricate veins, the colors bleeding through the back of a leaf fallen in the night, the dew still clinging. I cried because it was the first long walk outdoors since I sprained my ankle a month or so ago hiking down a mountain. 

Grief flooded my throat so suddenly; the lingering questions I’d let sink below the surface of my daily thoughts filled my whole body with startled fear. What if this is also the last walk? What if when I receive the results of the next blood test in a few weeks my T-cells are still too low? What if my doctor no longer feels comfortable prescribing Gilenya; the only medication that has offered release and remission from the downward spiral I was in from MS exacerbations? If we stop it will I start having back-to-back exacerbations, like when I had to stop the Tysabri infusions? What new symptoms will appear? Will any of the other one or two medication options left work for my body? Will I lose the ability to walk, to talk, to see through both eyes? What if she has me stay on the medication I’m on at this new lower dose, but the drug causes PML a risk I knew about when starting Tysabri, but was not known (at least to me) when I started Gilenya two years ago. That devastating virus could kill me! I’m no different than the organic material that died and created the mat of peat I’m standing on, the ground that isn’t ground on top of a deep lake, the bog I love, the bog from which new life grows and dies and grows and dies, continuously transforming. Oh, oh, oh, what if? What if I wipe my face on the sleeve of my fleece jacket and come back to the marvel of this awe-filled place and let the awful worries sink back down again, because it is a gorgeous morning and I’m here, and I’m walking and what could be better than the tapestry of this leaf, the gift of this moment?

If you thought I’m somehow braver than average, untouched by fear, I’m really quite ordinary. It comes in waves and stories for me, just like it probably does for you. And the swell of anxiety, of grief crashes against the shore of my life, to just as suddenly be replenished by a new crest of gratitude. I cry for the beauty so close, happy tears. I got to walk through the bog, to see the leaves beginning to turn.


What shook you up, woke you up, surprised and amazed you this week? 

Welcome to our Nineteenth Week of I Heart Macro

"Pure awareness transcends thinking... It allows you to look at the world once again with open eyes. And when you do so, a sense of wonder and quiet contentment begins to reappear in your life."~Mark Williams and Danny Pennman, from Mindfulness An Eight-Week Plan For Finding Peace In A Frantic World

It is time for YOU to share the love up-close with YOUR
I Heart Macro offerings!

Shine the Divine


Enjoy slowing down with your camera, paying full attention, observing beauty and curiosities many people pass right by. Your generosity of spirit and keen eyes may open the door to miniscule miracles and mirth others would not have access to otherwise. Feel free to include poetry, prose and thoughts your macro photo or series inspire(s) in you. Writing is completely optional for participation. Straight out of the camera (SOC), edited, color, black and white; anything goes as long as you bring the viewer near to whatever it is that drew your heart's attention and "woke you up" to full presence.

Please link back to my blog either using the button provided or by linking the words "I Heart Macro" back to my blog with this link: shinethedivinecreativityisaspiritualpractice.com. By sharing the link, visitors to your blog will learn about this meme and have a chance to participate as well if they so choose. 

Visit each other...
S  p  r  e  a  d  the  LOVE. Thanks :-)
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73 comments:

  1. Be back later to read your beautiful post more carefully; we're on our way out the door (only 5 p.m. here!).

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  2. I find it fascinating that there's an entire new world on the under side of every leaf. Brilliant photos!

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  3. I totally understand why you would feel like crying when you saw this beauty. It is hard when you have a health problem which potentially could take this opportunity to see beauty from you. I personally understand this. Blessings and keep up as much courage as you can and live for this moment. Think that this is the same reason that I love macro work... it really helps you see the beauty all around you!

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  4. Dearest Laura,
    I love this:
    “If you thought I’m somehow braver than average, untouched by fear, I’m really quite ordinary. It comes in waves and stories for me, just like it probably does for you. And the swell of anxiety, of grief crashes against the shore of my life; to just as suddenly be replenished by a new crest of gratitude. I cry for the beauty so close, happy tears. I got to walk through the bog, to see the leaves beginning to turn.”
    Thank you for that. It is so real and yet imbued with life’s renewal. Thank you. Good luck on your medication journey. (((Laura)))

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  5. I love your study of this simple leaf. It is amazing how intricate some things are when we get up close and personal. I hope the results of your blood work is good news and will relieve your mind from worry.

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  6. I love the intricacies of leaf structures. These are lovely shots.

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  7. The details and colors of the leaves are amazing, Laura. Best wishes for good health and serenity.

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  8. Powerful post. We can seem so strong to others but we all have our fears. I'm sure you face them as bravely as is possible. Walking is such a gift. Seeing is such a gift. Hearing is such a gift. And, yet so many of us take such things for granted. I hope you never have to experience the loss of any of these things you hold precious. In this day and age, there are breakthroughs all the time. I hope there is one for you. Hugs. p.s. I am joining up with you today but my macros are not of the outdoors. I hope that is okay.

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  9. Amazing colors and autumnal feeling.
    And a touching text.
    I know similar concerns will one day be blind, maybe not for long. Also with me suspect MS but not confirmed. Cause is not found and there is no doctor in the area ...
    I can only try to have as much joy nor how it goes ... and it goes much - this is hope. Have a great autumn.

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  10. Such beauty in the delicate veining of the leaves. Laura, may you find the right medication and may the beauty you capture with your lens be magnified in your life.

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  11. Hi there - this is a wonderful post - It made me think about if my next but one wordy post should really be called "On the (temporary) loss of walking" because of a broken bone in my ankle - seems small change really.


    Stewart M - Melbourne

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  12. Dear Laura your photos are georgeous. I love the delicate veins of every leave. Please take care of yourself and thank you very much for visiting me so often. Happy sunday. Tamara

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  13. Laura,thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and beautiful photos.There's an amazing world around us when we look closely.
    I hope you get your medication sorted out.You may be interested in placing a healing prayer or intent on my autumnal altar.The central crystal is charged with Reiki.

    Happy Sunday,
    Ruby

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  14. Beautiful leave......lovely sunday...love Ria...x !

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  15. How wonderful all these colors!!! I like autumn so much!

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  16. i like your photo's !, especially the first 2 !

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  17. ...gentle hugs dear beautiful friend!...(O:

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  18. Your beautiful leaf photos are exactly why autumn is my favorite season.
    Happy first day of fall.

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  19. Leaves..... they take my breath away .....yours are exquisite!!

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  20. My three favorite colors in one ! and you are so right , the beauty of the macro world is like a blessing on us ! Namaste !

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  21. So I posted to my blog yesterday so I would not miss "I heart macro". The photo of the leaf reminded me strongly of you- and the image at the top of your blog. Of course when I looked at them they are quite different. (I could swear you took an image just like this one.)

    I love that you walk us through anxiety into gratitude.

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  22. Sending you lots of healing energy hugs ~ your photography is divine ~ the colors exquisite ~ sending lots of healing love to you ~ carol xo

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  23. This is a beautiful, powerful, heart opening post, Laura. I am grateful to have shared the pain and the beauty in your words. Sending love and healing wishes to you.

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  24. ...it was only a few poignant moments, but the stories the mind generates seem to go on much longer when we are in their grip, then something else draws our attention and we are home again in the present. Not to say that the feelings aren't happening in "real time" too, it is complex being human, being alive, isn't it? And so good to have access to all of our memories, concerns, delight, the continuous transformation of honest experience inside and out. It is good to be able to feel the fullness of our emotions, sometimes there is sorrow, sometimes there is joy, love, doubt, fear, compassion and everything in between. It is a blessing, to witness new feelings rise and take center stage for a few breaths. I'm grateful to be bathed in the truth of each moment as it comes to call then fades into the background so a new truth can rest in awareness.

    I wrote a version of the paragraph above to my friend this morning after having shared the story on today's blog post with her in an email the day it "happened."

    I am enjoying a day of bed rest after two days in a row of teaching. My ankle is quite swollen this morning, so the gray rainy sky offers a good reason to dive into my friend Toni Bernhard's new book How To Wake Up Thank you Toni (she's on this list:-) for reminding me that we have been "pen pals" for three years now, ever since Sylvia introduced us. And thank you Sylvia Boorstein, what a blessing you offered us both in this ever deepening friendship. I've had Toni's book for a couple of months (she shared the advanced reader's copy with me) and sadly I have only had time to read up to page 52. Well it is sad that I haven't read further, happy that life has been so wondrously full. Ahh, the both/ands of life.

    Oh, and here comes the sun!

    I still need to rest this ankle, but maybe will sneak out for a few sun infused raindrop photos.

    Thank you for the many kind comments, will do my best to catch up on your blogs,
    blessings to one and all,
    laura

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  25. Dear Laura - it is not the waves of anxiety the undertow of fear that threatens with icy fingers to pull you inextricably under - but... that shimmering spark that offers the choice of joy, the clear light of beauty ... It is this gift to you - to be able to see through tears and fears - the wonder and beauty that life holds - It is this gift to you - that you generously share with us - that is the source of profound admiration . Thank you, for sharing you in all your bountiful facets - with love :) pearl

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  26. Beautifully captured, wonderful autumn colors and textures in these beautiful pictures!

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  27. How poignant and so human... And such beautiful photos in spite of all the tears, which I do believe are very healing.

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  28. Your leaves are so much farther than ours, which based on the forecast may not get the chance to turn colors :-( I hope you are better and we ALL have fear my dear and you deal with it much better than most!

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  29. Despite your fears and anxiety, you are able to go out and capture the beauty of nature with your lens. That, in itself, is healing to you and all of us with whom you share. The leaf you photographed is very beautiful in its fragility.

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  30. Oh my - what amazed me and shook me up this week was this post. You are as full of beauty as the things you photograph!

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  31. What awesome shots of the leaves. The colors and textures are gorgeous. I just kept looking and looking at each of the pictures. Your writings are so poignant and especially touching for me because my childhood boyfriend and a former dentist has MS. By reading your words, I better understand what he lives with. You are both troopers. My prayer is you have more good days than bad. genie

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  32. Gorgeous shots. Amazing details in the leaves.

    I've lost several relatives within a short period of time. Some were expected and some were unexpected. We all need to slow down and enjoy the beauty of this moment. Life is fragile.

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  33. Great image seie Laura. Wishing you a good Monday / good new week :) Hanne Bente

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  34. Hi! Thank you for leaving a nice comment on my blog.:)
    Your photos are without exception truely beautiful, and your words poignant.I hope all is well with your test!
    Take care.

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  35. These are really stunning photographs Laura, such beauty. I do hope and pray that all goes well with your meds.

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  36. Beautiful photographs; and yes, it makes me cry too when I look at such beautiful leaves and realize their beauty is so very temporary now and soon they will be turned to dust. Part of the cycle of life, but nonetheless very sad.

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  37. Gorgeous pictures and fantastic macro.. Well done and a regard from Spain..

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  38. Only a true soul will cry for beauty, Laura.

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  39. Dear Laura,
    Thank you, for your comment!
    Your post touched me very much!!! Your pictures are very beautiful. All these enchanting colors!!!
    Have a wonderful week!
    I will pray for you!
    Wishing you all the best,
    Katrin

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  40. You are a joy and an inspiration Laura. Your ability to share your thought processes especially when life is difficult...and to see the beauty at all times I is unique and wonderful.

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  41. Spectacular captures!

    And lovely blog!

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  42. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.

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  43. Laura, what a beautiful and very human share. The beauty of the leaves, the fears and wonderings, and then full circle back to the beauty and gratitude. You are a wonder! I wish you the very best possible test results.

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  44. Gorgeous pictures of autumn leaves ~ I am always reminded by how frail life is ~ Lovely words ~

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  45. Laura, I wish I could hug you and tell you what a gift your words are and tell you-you will walk there next autumn and cry again, for joy!
    I have my own limitations and worry n' wonder~ I think sometimes those in pain, see beauty more delicately! Thank you for sharing yourself and I pray you will be okay! (hugs) @>------------------

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  46. Laura, stunning images and even more stunning words. As always, beauty and grace abound here.

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  47. Your narrative is amazing Laura. Let yuorself cry, it's good for the soul they say. There;s some comfort in knowing your humanity, though I still admire you greatly. Your fears are normal and I hope your blessings exceed the norm. Take care.

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  48. Laura, you are in my prayers and meditations, for patience with your condition and yourself. I understand those tears - and the fears that prompt them.

    My limitations are to do with my well-documented bouts with manic depression and PTSD, and I have a phalanx of drugs to keep it at bay, but still the darkness consumes me at times. I try to get outside... but you did that and look what happened, right?

    I'll tell you what my grandma, Blanche, had to say: "The things you worry about most don't happen, so go ahead and worry. Then get on to other stuff." I don't know if this will help you, but when I read about your dire thoughts about process and procedures, I thought that maybe, just maybe, this would help. Much love, Amy

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  49. Fantastic images, fantastic ideas:) Greetings

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  50. Absolutely incredible texture macros Laura!!!

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  51. I love the macros of the leaves.

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  52. i'm always humbled by your braveness... and how you see beauty in everything around you...this is so precious..

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  53. This is so beautiful! So much beauty in a simple leaf... Thank you for sharing.

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  54. so many colors... and so much love about Fall. my absolute favorite time of the year! beautiful photos

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  55. I hadn't known of this prompt. I feel stunned after reading your prompt, Laura. For me, part of the beauty of nature resides in its transience, its fragility. We love and long to hold onto thinks we know will not always be with us...that is at the core of the pain of loving. I will add you to my "prayer cloud" Laura. I also deal with health issues, including immune deficiency because of meds. The onset of autumn seems especially poignant this year. I will try again to subscribe to your blog. Google doesn't care for me since I abandoned them for Wordpress...or, then again, I must be doing something wrong. Blessings.

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  56. I'm sorry you were feeling scared and sad and overwhelmed. It must be hard to carry all of that around and still find beauty in the world sometimes. I heart macro must be good for you in a special way because you have to focus on the tiny blessings and beauty.

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  57. Laura, your leaf images are lovely. I will keep you in my prayers and I wish you well. Take care and have a happy week!

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  58. Wonderfully written. We all have our demons for sure! And it's hard to stand brave in the face of them! v:-)

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  59. I think you are very brave and please don't forget that. But fear is powerful and the ramifications of your relapses are awful. I get that. I will keep you in my thoughts... Our immune system is so fragile but so very strong too... like all of us.. hugs...Michelle

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  60. thanks so much for your comments on my blog, I really appreciated them...I am sending you strength, remember we all are thinking of you...each day is a gift, give time to a positive outcome and spend time in nature....it is never an ending only a new beginning and it is never what we think it will be anyway. See the future as a bright light and shine it over yourself.

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  61. Your poignant photos are stunningly beautiful, as are your words. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope for good things.

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  62. such depth of emotion, Laura. through image and verse you convey much.

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  63. Your photos are amazing tributes to nature's beauty. Your writing is so open and heartfelt that it truly touches me. Beautiful.

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  64. Wow! That's an extremely positive message!

    The 'leave' and intricate detail portrays the depth and beauty of life..

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  65. Oh Laura! Thank you for making us realize HOW precious life is... You see beauty in the little things that many of us take for granted - or more likely, never, ever see! - and yes, you worry, of course you do. We need you - you live love. This world needs love. Hugs.

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