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Looking Up

When you’re a photographer, you’re trained to look at subjects or scenes from various angles—to continually look for a fresh or unexpected viewpoint. To go low or go high. To look through or over or under. To find ways to mix things up.

When I have my camera in hand, this movement comes pretty naturally to me, but I’ve realized it doesn’t always translate into my everyday life. It’s so easy to get locked into a way of thinking, or a way of living, or a way of looking. In my regular life I have to work a little harder to remember to stay nimble.

A couple recent examples…

A few weeks ago I spent a glorious weekend out in West Texas with a bunch of friends. The skies are ridiculous out there—vast and dark the way they are in children’s picture books. For the first couple nights we enjoyed the stars from the comfort of our fire pit and Adirondack chairs, but on our last night we had the brilliant idea to find a dark road and even darker skies. It was incredible. We could see the edge of the Milky Way with our own eyes. But then...we decided we could make it even better! We dropped and lay down on our backs in the middle of that road. Best view ever. With that one move, we made an incredible moment unforgettable.

Just this morning, I enjoyed a less dramatic and more urban version of that experience. I decided to take my early-morning workout out to my driveway instead of my living room. It was still dark but our security light was casting a glow toward the yard. When it was time to do sit-ups, I fell back on the mat and gasped. The massive oak trees above me were so spooky and beautiful there, with the edges of their crooked limbs sharp between the house light and the dark sky. When was the last time I had looked at my trees from this angle? Probably never. It was such a simple shift, but it made me so happy to see the trees from there—to be reminded of how much I love yet ignore them as I go through my days. Just this small act of looking up added a fresh perspective and a little spark of joy this morning.

Who doesn’t need more of that in their life?

Speaking of dismantling perspectives…

• A runner’s story full of inspiration and unexpected wisdom.
I Am 35 and Running Faster Than I Ever Thought Possible

• Finding the necessary hope before a big shift can happen.
Notice When the Light Shifts

*  *  *

A few other things I’ve enjoyed lately…

• Patti Smith, musician/poet/artist, writes poems for friends and loved ones.
Happy Birthday, Greta

"Validation that says keep on working."
Philanthropist hopes to boost mid-career women artists

You’ve met these guys, right? What a team!
Coyote / Badger

• I wrote the longest Instagram caption ever.
R.I.P. Thorny
Thanks for your enthusiasm and support!
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Copyright © 2020 Elizabeth McGuire, writer/photographer, All rights reserved.

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