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.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

I Heart Macro 131


After a rainy night, when morning sun reappeared, light dazzled and danced from one living thing to the next in a dizzying display of pure joy that my eyes were blessed to behold on a day in early May.

And then, the metaphoric joyful dizziness took an unfortunate turn experienced as physically internalized vertigo. It was as though I was moving when still, as opposed to sensing that I was still but everything outside of me was spinning. At first I thought perhaps this was allergy related, so I attempted to wait it out. Alas it got worse and more familiar MS related symptoms revealed themselves as well. It was time to go see the neurologist. For the past month or so I have been healing through an ongoing UTI that caused the onset of an MS flare. (Pseudo exacerbations, meaning no new plaques in the central nervous system rather an “awakening” of old ones, are very commonly brought on by any kind of infection for people with MS.)

As of Friday I am now on a second round of antibiotics, hoping this time they will work and my life will return for the most part to how it was. The weirdly good news is that because I am mostly in bed, head propped against a pillow to help quell the swimming sensations, not walking around much, I am not feeling the pain of muscle spasticity in my pelvic muscles and back with the same intensity that I had felt when I was busy going and doing in the world beyond this bedroom. Good news is always relative, but that does not diminish its “goodness.”

I haven’t felt the energy to post anything on my blog these many weeks. Honestly, I have also been feeling frustrated, angry, sad, and useless. I’ve been looking back through old posts, reviewing the downs and ups through the years.  I found myself focused on a particular “up” that for the first time started to bring me “down.” The thing is, my life seemed so spectacularly “normal” just three years ago when I was able to garden and walk for miles each day, culminating in a successful hike up Mt. Washington at the end of that summer. It was no less than a miraculous recovery from a downward spiral of increasing disability. Even then I knew it was temporary, MS is after all a progressive, unpredictable disease. And there have been backslides since, but mostly I’ve been fairly stable.

The inner voice of wisdom tells me, that looking back with a “want-don’t want” mind-state set me up for unnecessary suffering. Why not frame the same memories with “Wow what a treasure that wonder-filled summer adventure is to recall?” This is something I have always done up until now. I know this is right thinking, healthier, kinder, I really, really do, and I’m human. Sometimes I self-diminish and little me tumbles down the rabbit hole of “want-don’t want” sticky fingered longings vying for attention.

And being human, I recognize what’s happening, the extra stories gaining momentum in my mind and understand that it is possible and time to come home, acknowledging each thought child of desire with a gentle compassionate touch as I climb back out returning to sensations of my body, moved by breath, anchored by gravity to this bed of cool, rumpled sheets, soft ambient light filtered through a dove gray sky and the window above my head. Ok, so this is how it is now. And this particular now is part of a continuum of “now’s” in which rain laden clouds will release their precious cargo, slake the thirst of plants and creatures below, in due course the sun will reappear, light will dazzle in a display of pure joy, it is quite likely my eyes will be blessed to behold beauty outside in nature once more with new flora and fauna to capture my attention, and perhaps when the dancing lights stop, the dizziness will too, at least for a while.

Listening to the musical pitter-patter of drops splashing off the roof, I am grateful for the ability to discern the truth of this moment; I am calm, content from the catharsis of writing. And this too is subject to the laws of change, and change and change, here I am.

Thanks for bearing with me if you had time to read all the way through this.

Tiny worm bends down
to sip the sweet elixir
of life in a drop

Welcome to Week 130
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!

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.

Shine the Divine

Please link back to my blog either by copying and pasting the button provided above on your post, or by linking the words "I Heart Macro" back to my blog with this link:

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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  1. Wonderful macros of such beautiful flowers. I really like the water drops on them, looks beautiful. Good job on capturing those tiny little worms.

  2. Oh Laura I do hope you start to feel better and stronger soon. I have missed you so much. But I know what you mean, I have been in the place you are in. I did not post on my blog for a year. I do not have any advice for you or any plans or procedures or help, I just know that your blog has been such a helpful place for me. Life is change.

  3. How exquisite! Love the tiny worm.

  4. My very dear friend. I empathise fully. I have been feeling that you have been going 'through' things. I have been dancing with death all my life of almost 80 years,was never expected to reach over 60. So often have I prayed to be allowed to go home when the staying became too hard to bear. We none of us know what lies before us, when I had put my house in order, donated my remains to medical science, arranged not to be resuscitated and even organised a funeral parlour to transport what is left of me to the School of Medicine since they only have a free pick-up within 40 km. Only then, when i was free of these last earthly stresses and fading fast, did I meet a stinger in the strew who asked to pray with me. As it turned out, she prayed for me and for me to be restored to COMPLETE health! From that day, little y little, my heart is coping again and I have been granted a glorious Indian summer with my ovine family. Miracles can happen, one did for me at this very late stage.Over the last 20 years, I have learned to joyously dance with death until death has become my wayfarer, good friend and companion as we enjoy this journey. Later, I hope I will be his/her fellow traveller into the great, loving, unknown.
    I pray for you each and every day, but only for the greatest good of all concerned, since none of us know what that is.
    When things are tough, don't try to do it alone, ask you angels to arrange all in the best possible way. They can't unless we ask. With love, light and healing . . . Arija

  5. Hi Laura,
    marvelous photos of the raindrops in the naure. So beautiful !
    Thank you very much for hosting I heart Macro !
    Best regards, Synnöve

  6. Thank you for these wonderful pictures full of atmosphere. One of my closest friends has MS too and I empathize with you, reading your feelings and thoughts. I hope you recover soon.

  7. Glad you have the catharsis of writing. Life can be a roller coaster, but it is a precious gift to be able to return to center, to the connection with nature, to the beauty there is in truth. I love your little worm, seeking hydration. He does not know he is part of a moment of beauty, and perhaps we do not always know either. For some reason, that photograph reminds me of a Winston Churchill quote, "We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm." Sending good energy your way!

  8. Oh Laura, this disease is just a monster. I too am in a flare. I, like you, have come to accept that "this is how it is now". Does this calmness come easier the longer we have the disease? We received bad news last week, my Son In Law was diagnosed with MS. He's only 38. I thought my daughter would be the one to get it. I hope in time they can accept that this is now, and look forward to the days when the disease retreats, and their now isn't as hard. Lovely macros as always. There is so much beauty all around us. Take care. {hugs}

  9. Your pictures are beautiful!
    I send all my best wishes to you!

  10. Laura...I have thought of you so many times during these past months as I removed myself from blogging. I know how frustrating it must be to have to stay in bed, but I trust you will be up and about by the time the antibiotics kick in. I read every word you wrote and was so touched by it. My old friend from junior high school has the disease so I know a wee bit about it and how it has its way of coming and then going for a while. Take care, genie

  11. Dear Laura, I have been away from our blog world for a few months. I am very sad to learn that you are feeling down. Keep focusing on the beautiful things you see around you. I hope God's beauty will help cheer you up some. You are an incredible photographer. But, most impressive is the way you see things, interpret them and capture them. Thank you for your visual gifts.

  12. Laura, as always I am moved by your grace and gratitude and ability to see what is real. I do hope the wonders and beauties of nature in the gorgeous views out your window bring you some joy. Maybe a reclining decl chair out of doors on warm days? I expect we will be seeing many beautiful photos in the weeks to come. I get occasional attacks of vertigo and you are right - lying down is the only state possible. And even that gets tipsy turvy. I hope this abates soon for it is no fun.

  13. It's true, there are special moments in the morning light. I enjoyed your post so much. There are fantastic captures.

  14. All great shots, but there's something special and unique about # 3 & 4.
    Thanks for joining the weekly photo linkup at

  15. I love how you've captured the silk.

  16. upppps... Were are my comment??
    Laura, you make wonderfoul macros!
    I like your teardrops on the plant!
    I hope you have lucky day's! You understand what i mean??? Sorry, but i can not so good english... *gg
    Have a nice week!
    xxx Britta

  17. I so need a Macro lens!

  18. Dear Laura, you are often in my thoughts and I send you every healing energy your way. You continue to be an inspiration to all. Blessings to you my friend and your photos are always a great gift.

  19. I was so moved by what you wrote. Wishing you many better days outside with nature.

  20. Delightful shots, Laura. I love all of your macros. Wishing you health and happiness.
    Many thanks for taking part in the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

  21. I read Arija's comment as she is such a wise and loving person... I understand how you feel. I have not had times of being able to walk a great deal, but have had times that were normal for me. I had vertigo 2 winters ago and was bed bound. How awful it is as I couldn't even read. Feeling sorry and disappointed for what is lost... For now... I can only say what I tell myself... This too shall pass and very soon I hope... Many hugs...

  22. Dear Laura, your words moved me a lot and I wish you all the very very best. It's a nasty disease - we recently found out that our daughter-in-law- has got it too - but hopefully medication slows it down. I hope that is the case for you. You have such a gift for writing and for photographing the beauty of life. -Please keep it up - you're such an inspiration! Take care of yourself.
    Love and hugs!

  23. Your pictures are amazing!
    Have a nice day!

  24. I have no idea what you are going through, but I keep you in my prayers often.

  25. Sending you love and virtual hugs and all the good thoughts I can . Take care dear Laura!

  26. I'm so sorry for your most recent bout. Hoping and praying that, by now, the worst has passed and you are enjoying movement once again.

    At the same time, I'm so HAPPY to see that I Heart Macro continues! Thank you so much for carrying the torch. I knew you were the right person.

    Hugs and blessings,


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