celebrating renewal!

easter sunrise 2009. cocoa beach, florida. road trip with my love to the florida keys for spring break.
easter sunrise 2009. cocoa beach, florida. road trip with my love to the florida keys for spring break.

“the secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possible can.” ~ mike dooley

“i have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” ~ j.b. priestly

“easter is the demonstration of god that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.” ~charles m. crowe

“there is a fragrance in the air, a certain passage of a song, an old photograph falling out from the pages of a book, the sound of somebody’s voice in the hall that makes your heart leap and fills your eyes with tears. who can say when or how it will be that something easters up out of the dimness to remind us of a time before we were born and after we will die?” ~ frederick beuchner

“things are always better in the morning.” ~ harper lee

“i couldn’t imagine living in a state that didn’t reach the ocean. it was a giant reset button. you could go to the edge of the land and see infinity and feel renewed.”
~ Avery Sawyer.

“reshaping life! people who can say that have never understood a thing about life—they have never felt its breath, its heartbeat—however much they have seen or done. they look on it as a lump of raw material that needs to be processed by them, to be ennobled by their touch. But life is never a material, a substance to be molded. if you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself, it is infinitely beyond your or my obtuse theories about it.”
― boris pasternak

“i believe that when you stop renewing and are no longer open to change and the possibilities that continually unfold, you stop being alive and are just getting through the years. transformation doesn’t happen unless you’re willing: it’s your choice.” ~ oprah winfrey

“perhaps the earth can teach us. as when everything seems dead, and later proves to be alive.” ~ pablo neruda

come out of the darkness. celebrate the light. a new day is upon us! with the morning, life is renewed once again. we have a new beginning.  a new chance to follow our dreams, to live life, to be who exactly who we are. the question is… what are our dreams? who are we? and what are we going to do with our life today?! one thing is for sure, we have one more opportunity to celebrate life!

happy easter, everyone! peace, light, & love.

gettin’ artsy in august.

i love the beginning of a month. it’s like a chance to start over every 30/31 days. a clean slate. something new. new possibilities. new opportunities. new adventures. there’s truly something about a new month that makes me feel free, excited, and hopeful. another chance to keep chasing my old dreams and to even begin making new ones. the ending of one month & the beginning of another gives me a chance to regroup, rethink, and recommit.

each month brings with it a unique feeling for me. it’s like i have a pallet of colors throughout the year, and each month is represented by a certain color, which connotes a certain feeling. august is warm reds, yellows, & oranges… like the late summer sunshine. but it’s also deep green, like the mature leaves on trees, waiting for a few more weeks until they begin to turn vibrant, warm colors and then fall to the ground. august feels a bit lazy in the beginning… the last few moments of rest until a new work & school year start up again. it’s a month of transitions…

but, before i get ahead of myself, we’ve got all of august ahead of us. and while there are things that are planned, things that i know are waiting for me during this month, i am also thrilled about the unknown treasures hidden in my august days.

for me, august hold lots of excitement…

  1. i still have one & a half weeks of my vacation left. woo hoo! of course, i could be on vacation every day of my life, but i admit that i am pretty excited about going back to work. starting again, adding some new things, and hoping that i can go up i  percent that i work (keep your fingers crossed!). there’s so much i want to do, so many ideas i have, and i can’t do it all working only 50%/half-time. anyway, all i’m saying is, i am almost ready to head back to the working world, thanks to a 4 week vacation. USA, you really should look into providing a real vacation for your residents & citizens… it is so much more physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy to actually have some time off to really rest and enjoy life. talk about good, strong, conservative family values… what could be better than getting to spend major quality time with your family?
  2. in the end of august, my love & i are heading back to a city we love: DUBLIN!! yep. we’re flying to the green isle for a 5 day weekend to celebrate the wedding of our dear swiss friend, n, to her lovely, funny, kind irish fiancé. the super cool thing is that we will be in dublin (which we looove. check out our previous trip here, here, here, & here), but only for a short bit. the wedding is taking place in the irish countryside at an estate… can you say, “helloooo!!!”?! i am so excited about getting to see the irish landscape, be a part of more irish/swiss traditions, and have a wonderful time with fabulous people… eating, drinking, & making merry. the irish are jovial, fun-loving, full-of-life people. get yourself to this island whenever you get a chance!
  3. i’m gonna do my best to write as much as possible during august, as well. i’m really, really feeling the writing groove right now in life and i love that. so, stay tuned, and keep checking the “from death to peace” in my menu bar to see if another “chapter” has been added.
  4. finally, august also invites me to keep my creative juices flowing photographically. i have now been a part of the monthly photo a day challenge created by chantelle, for 7 months now. that is crazy! i actually considered skipping it this month, but i figure it’s just the honeymoon period coming to an end. now, it’s time to dig in my heels and stick with it, challenging myself to go to a higher level with my photography.

and, guess what?! something just happened to come into my life to do just that.

i won’t go into details, but there is a band/group that lina & i have had the pleasure of getting to know over the past 6 months. we’ve been to a few of their concerts and chatted with the members of the band as well. because of the magical connections that happen through social media, we have been able to form an interesting kind of “friendship”, not that we hang out or anything. still, it feels like we mutually support each other.

the other day the leader of the band, a very talented singer/songwriter chatted with me on facebook and asked if lina & i were coming to their next gig in a week. of course we were! next thing i knew, we were chatting and he was asking me if i would take pictures for them during the late evening concert/gig. WHAT?! this is awesome! of course i would! now, i have a chance to take pictures for a “reason”, for someone else, in a professional way. i am overwhelmed and stunned and completely humbled. can’t wait! thank you, blackbyrd, for the opportunity to capture you all making beautiful music!

so, as you can see, august is filling up with opportunities. it even feels like i’m touching on a few dreams i’ve had in my life. there are still struggles & difficult times ahead, as always in life. but, my love is home with me now (i can say that she has been in the hospital for almost 3 months, and was close to death, but now she is home & is fighting to keep getting better) and we have the unbelievable joy of sharing this crazy, mixed-up, beautiful life together. having our family together again makes everything seem more bearable.

so, august, i welcome you. a fresh start. a new beginning. a month of enjoying the last days of summer and of transitioning to the cozy season of fall. a month filled with joys, both known & unknown and challenges, that i may be prepared for, or not. my dear readers, thank you for sticking with me. it means so much. my little blog has become a place where i can dream, write, and refocus; and your presence here makes it even better. if this is your first visit here, i hope that you stop back by. leave me a message so i can check out your little corner in cyberspace.

by the way, for those of you who want to join in on the photo a day fun, here’s the list for august:

happy first day of august! here’s to wishing you a  great month! peace & love.

my favorite bit of the weekend.

well, the sun is setting on this weekend & i’m ready to wind down & head to bed soon. but first, i’ve got a few things on my mind… all day i’ve been thinking about my favorite moment of the weekend (photo a day challenge today), and i just knew i was gonna post something about friday night. you see for bedtime on friday i was cozy at home with my love, sleeping with an open window, listening to the rain fall down, snuggling all warm & safe under our covers. yep. i was sure that was my favorite moment this weekend. and not only for the atmosphere of the night, but for everything that led up to those peaceful, carefree moments as well.

it had been a crazy, and important, thursday & friday (only i didn’t know it as everything was happening. funny thing perspective is, huh?) anyway, i felt as if i was living in some kind of strange dream world when i went to bed friday night. i couldn’t really comprehend the past 2 days… all i knew was that in that moment, as i lay my head on my pillow, i felt peace.

isn’t it crazy how life is full of paradoxes? you know, yin & yang. something so frightening, confusing, & difficult one day can transform into something amazing the next. i say it all the time, and i believe it because i experience it over & over again (not necessarily always in life-changing, blow-you-away moments, but even in little, ordinary moments too), “it is always darkest before the light”. there is something about that contrast. the light & the dark. the pain & the joy. the dark reminds us and teaches us what the light is. does that mean that we must have dark in our lives too? i’m not sure if it means that we must have dark, but i am certain that we do have the dark in our life. it’s just a part of it. but, the dark somehow serves a purpose, reminding us that there is light. the light is the brightest because we have seen the dark, experienced the dark, been in the middle of the dark. but, the light never leaves us alone. we are never without hope. the light always comes in the morning. always. offering us a new day, a new start, a new moment to live life. to begin again. over & over we can begin again. when we are in the dark, we just remember to breathe. and then to shake it off, because the light, life, love… it’s right there waiting for us.

oh my dear friends, i have been learning so much about myself over the past month. mostly about letting go of control & living in the moment. of trusting that the light is there, that the dark never wins. i have begun to understand how to back off when i want to push & be in control, how to let go of the responsibility i feel to try to fix things, how to care for myself, how to love freely & openly without expectations, how strong i can be, how much i can do, how unbelievably amazing (yet not perfect, as none of us are) my wife is, and how to truly, simply try to be present.

going to bed friday night with my love, feeling that something in our universe was different (better, but not perfect), feeling some hope, listening to the rain through the open window, i felt like i just wanted to bottle that moment up and never let it end. i wanted to bottle up the light that i was feeling shining in of the darkness, teaching me that even though it’s tough sometimes, it’s always worth it. but, that night is in my memory. i can relive it over & over again, if i wish. and i will, since it serves as a reminder of the light in the dark.

yeah, it still may be my favorite moment of the weekend.

but then later on today, i had a few moments that were a close second, if not a tie for “best moment of the weekend”.

this afternoon, lina & i discovered that there was a norah jones concert on tv. the concert was filmed in denmark. without writing a whole, long story about what norah jones’ music and denmark mean to both of us, let me just say that those two things symbolize a very special, amazing time in our life. so, sitting on a sofa together during the late afternoon & watching the hour concert on tv, while a thunderstorm roared outside gave me a few more moments of heaven this weekend.

i’m telling you. i am learning so much about living in the moment. i know i write about soaking it all in, which is something i have been consciously trying to do for some years now… but at this point in my life, under all the circumstances under which i live & breathe these days, i have learned infinitely more about what it means to be in the moment: out of the necessity to take it one moment at a time because i don’t feel like i’ll make it at all; and being in the moment out of pure bliss and joy. again, the yin & the yang. the light & the dark. life & death. bliss & agony. above all, i have learned to stick with it. to trust. to let go. to be mindful. to breathe. for there is still a long road ahead.

but, you know, all of us are much stronger that we ever imagine ourselves to be. i am sure of it.

on that note, i’ll goodnight, my dear readers. i hope that your weekend was filled with moments of light & dark. i wish for each of you a life full of ups, downs, adventures, tranquility, color, music, dreams, discoveries… one that is not perfect, but one that is the perfect journey for you. and of course, most of all one that is filled with, even in the darkness, peace.