Blog Page - sunlight

03/07/15

I've been thinking a lot about this again lately and decided to have a go at sharing some of my thoughts on "this." I haven't quite found the right word for "this" yet, but hopefully you'll get the essence of what I mean . . . I've been hearing feedback from some friends and acquaintances their own feelings about social media. Some people crave the gossip . . . some only want to see "positive" things in their newsfeeds . . . some feel bad about themselves when they only see posts about all the amazing things that friends or people they follow are doing . . . it goes on and on the myriad of reactions to what is now a mainstream form of communication in most of our worlds . . .

As an artist . . . at least an introverted one . . . it's a really strange thing to try to balance. . . . I definitely am not entirely comfortable with ANY means of self-promotion, especially on a broad scale. That being said, paradoxically, I feel really passionate about wildlife and animals especially and appreciate having an opportunity to have a voice on an increasingly larger platform to advocate for their habitats and to share some of the amazing glimpses into their lives that I've been privileged to capture with my camera.

For me it's a tricky thing to both yearn for large times of solitude and introspection, to be quiet and communicate without any words whatsoever, to plant myself in an environment and wish to blend into the background and observe the dynamics unfold as if I were not present, to go into my own internal creative self and allow things to bubble and percolate and brew into something that wants to come out artistically, manifested in the external world . . . .

to balance all that with a deep desire to connect . . . I love people and that heart to heart, mind and soul connection with another being is invigorating. I love being able to share ideas, energy, appreciations. I love being able to share what inspires me with others and I love being able to inspire them and be inspired by them!
And then there's the whole layer of "being seen." Truly allowing another oneself to be seen not just with the final "pretty product" that you are proud to show the world, but the messiness and struggle and trials to get there. No one has triumph without tribulations, but how much of that does one want to allow another to bear witness to??

I myself struggle for balance in this department especially. . . . it's a variation on the theme of my earlier blog post on expansion and contraction. Making time and space for going into the cocoon and for trusting that you may emerge a butterfly . . . and then trusting those wings to FLY. The constant and natural ebb and flow of the tides . . . finding our own rhythm and balance with the cycles of life . . . especially without judgement or undue force.

I am working to find my way in all that . . . and to find balance with it all. I do know this . . . it's an incredible ride!


  • sunlight

    on March 9, 2015

    Thanks SO much Caryl Dotson!!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate that!! ;o)

  • Rated:

    caryl dotson

    on March 7, 2015

    Christine,
    How eloquently you have summed up what I think many of us feel about social media! I am glad you are taking the risk and sharing because besides being a very talented photographer, you also have a real gift for expressing yourself in a way that is thought provoking, authentic and kind hearted. I for one can't wait for more from Christine Crosby!

02/16/15

This is my very first "blog" post . . . I'm aware that many of you receive my newsletters and that you have come to this post through a link found there . . . so if you're here via that route THANK YOU so much for taking the time and having the interest to click through and "go deeper" with me!! I so appreciate your interest in learning about my "process" a little more. If you've stumbled across this post by looking through the photos on this website . . . THANK YOU too. I appreciate everyone's support and interest however you've found your way here! (and if you'd like to be on my newsletter list and aren't already . . . you can sign up at: www.sunlightinspirations.com)

So . . . here goes . . . some thoughts on EXPANDING AND CONTRACTING . . .

For the past several months, I've been aware of a real sense of wanting to "cocoon" or go into a sort of semi-hibernation. I know many people feel like that for a few days or even weeks, but since we're going on a couple of months now, I must admit that I've had some moments of harsh self-judgement around my desire (and need) to do just that . . . to withdraw a bit. . . . go inward . . . detach from the external . . .

On some levels I know this judgement is absurd . . . I know both from my travels, and from keen observation of nature, that not all creatures nor cultures support a "going, going, going" way of being in the world. I'm aware that LOTS of different animals and creatures (in addition to maybe the most obvious ones . . . BEARS) hibernate for a season. Many European and other countries encourage their workers to take months of vacation or sabbatical, as do various forms of educational institutions. Aboriginal and native cultures encourage different times of withdrawl from the main group . . . such as a "walk about," a "vision quest" or other such types of personal journey.

Nature itself has seasons . . . even at the equator there are the dry and wet seasons. The natural world is dynamic and cyclic.

So why it is it, especially in my own culture . . . is it so difficult so slow down and take a rest at times?  I've been pondering this quite a bit . . .  At first I came up with a few valid personal observations . . .

One thing I know about myself is that, at heart, I'm a pretty introverted person. Not a recluse or a hermit, but definitely an introvert. While extroverts get an actual charge or energy boost from being around people, it actually takes energy away from introverts. That's not to say I don't LOVE connecting with people . . . I do! I like nothing more than to have a one to one deep and meaningful heart to heart conversation and connection with another human being!! I LOVE that kind of soul connection, actually!!!

What's a challenge, at times, is when I find myself in a large group (and sometimes a large group can look like 10 of my good friends all together, in the same room, at one time! smile). Those are the times that really, while often exhilarating in the moment, afterwards can leave me in real need to withdraw and recharge my batteries, so to speak. I know that in Western culture at least (through a source of measuring, like the Myers-Briggs test, for one example) that introverts are in the definite minority. As such, maybe there is a pull to be more like my extroverted counterparts? 

I also have a brain injury . . . I've talked about this some, but this forum is an opportunity for me to share a little more authentically with those of you who have been asking, or have been curious about that piece and were it fits into my life today. For those of you that don't know the back story . . . briefly . . . in 2011 my husband, Paul, & I were hit by a wreckless driver while heading home one evening in our car. We are very lucky and blessed to have survived it and are thankful for that fact everyday. In the accident, I incurred a Traumatic Brain Injury.

In the past several years I have been incredibly fortunate to have been able to continue to regain skills and make progress in healing from that injury. I know many people are not as fortunate and I know how lucky I am to make progress. What many people possibly don't realize, is how slow and arduous that progress has been on a daily basis. While I'm going to go into all the details of that in this one blog post . . . I'll begin sharing that the barometer and measuring stick for that is so completely different than how I used to measure things. The actual mental (and physical) fatigue to accomplish tasks which used to be simple at first was excruciating . . . in the beginning just trying to make the seemingly simplest of choices was exhausting. Three years post accident, I am just finally able to read and entire paragraph in a book without needing a break. (once in a while I can read a whole page without stopping . . . it's even more exciting when I can remember WHAT I've actually read!) Given this measuring stick, I'm doing phenomenally well and it's understandable that I'd still need "breaks."

Then there's grief . . . in the past year, I lost two of my very best friends to cancer within 6 months of each other. That alone could "knock the stuffing" out of just about anyone . . . probably.

So then why all the pondering about this then? Why aren't those "good enough" reasons to want to take a little break and just not give it another thought? I've thought about that a lot too . . . I'm curious by nature . . . and prone to acute observation . . . and have a tendency to need to dive beneath the surface and try to "see" what's there. . . .

I don't know that I have any concrete answers yet, but I do know that it's always good for me to take cues from nature and my animal "friends." I know that while our amazing planet struggles with pressures we have induced upon her in terms of climate change, pollution, etc. (that's a whole other blog post), that our earth has an resilient and natural ebb and flow. At it's core, our planet is continually expanding and contracting. The ocean tides wash in and recede. I know that brown and black bears still hibernate for the winter, caterpillars still spin their cocoons and certain species of frogs burrow deep in the mud to survive the heat of the dry season. I know that even though upon appearance that it looks and feels like spring today outside in Bend, Oregon that it is still the middle of February and we could (and "should") have more winter to come!

I know that to obtain the photographic images I love to share with you in these pages and galleries that I must get quiet, keep my movements steady and my energy pulled inwards, that I must not startle or infringe on the animals so as not to frighten them or alter their behavior or migration patterns! It is only is slowing down, getting quiet and becoming in tuned with the animals and their environment that I can come away with the images that captivate and intrigue me. Patience and an acute sense of timing are paramount, as is a willingness to be at times uncomfortable or flexible or even deterred from "my" plan.

So with that, for now, I will try to trust that I too have seasons and that soon enough I will have the abundant energy of expansion. For now I will relish a bit longer and try to savor the moments of introspection. Because, as I am about to push the button to send this out into the world, I am aware of how easily that dynamic can shift.

  • sunlight

    on March 9, 2015

    Thanks SO much Caryl Dotson!!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate that!! ;o)

  • Rated:

    caryl dotson

    on March 7, 2015

    Christine,
    How eloquently you have summed up what I think many of us feel about social media! I am glad you are taking the risk and sharing because besides being a very talented photographer, you also have a real gift for expressing yourself in a way that is thought provoking, authentic and kind hearted. I for one can't wait for more from Christine Crosby!