Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Choice

“The ability to have a choice in what you do is a privilege.”
Anton Yelchin 

This week the Lens-Artists photo challenge theme is “You Choose”. What a marvelous thing, to be able to make choices, little choices and big choices. Around this season, I am mindful of the choices I have: not just “paper or plastic?” when I choose to shop, but also how and what I choose to celebrate. Expanding that mindfulness, I am grateful that my family and I have been able to exercise our choices in who to love, whether to marry and whether to stay married.

“We are our choices.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre

I am also grateful that I’ve had a choice in where to live and where to raise my children. My husband and I made a choice to leave Southern California and raise our four kids in the Midwest.

And then I was able to make the choice to leave the Midwest and follow my grown-up children to Oregon…in my chosen hybrid vehicle.

Choices always have consequences, so they can be very difficult to make. They can often be very tricky to undo. Do you really want that tattoo? (My daughters definitely did want matching SisterCats tattoos.)

Sometimes being able to make a choice to do something can feel very empowering, especially when it feels like your cause is hopeless. Choosing to fund research on a currently incurable disease or plant a tree, for example, is a step in a good direction.

Choosing to help others, or to help animals, live happy, healthy lives is a choice that can bring joy and spread love.

I have much to be grateful for in the freedom to make my own choices. I am grateful that my children have been able to make their own, different choices as well. That is certainly something to celebrate!

Thanks to Tina, our challenge host this week. Visit her blog to see her photo choices and learn how to participate with the Lens-Artists.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Everyday Objectives

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ― Annie Dillard

I moved to Oregon from Wisconsin in order to be closer to my adult children, in order to spend more time with them, in order to make the special occasion of a family gathering into a more frequent habit – not to make it less special, but to make it more accessible. 

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yesterday, we celebrated my birthday and a host of other August birthdays in our extended circle of family and friends. There were 15 people on the Zoom call with six of us present at my new place. 

If every day you see people you love who love you back, if every day you have food to eat, then I should think that each of your days would give you occasion to be grateful. 

“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.”
― Lao Tzu

Still life is still life. I am grateful for food and tools and objects of beauty. I am amazed at how these things can be used to create meaning and purpose and alleviate suffering. My heart is mindful of many who are suffering in the pandemic, the wildfires, the process of aging, the loneliness of separation. I wish them comfort; I send them love. 

Special thanks to Patti, our host for this week’s challenge