Emotions: Loneliness

“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.”

Mandy Hale

I knew it was only a matter of time before my images would be less abstract. Don’t get me wrong, but there are only so many lines, shapes, and blobs that I can play with before temptation sets in and I want to see something “real” taking shape. Not that a human butterfly is realistic, mind you, but it’s definitely more literal than my last few emotions.

The winged woman was something I created a while back, but it was a black and white vector image and there was very little feeling behind it. I saw, however, that her eyes and mouth seemed to express loneliness. “How could a butterfly be lonely?” I thought. “They’re far too beautiful to be lonely.”

That got me to thinking about what it feels like when you see something beautiful… like an orange and red sunset, an endless field of poppies, or a crystal clear turquoise ocean. When you get to witness something that amazing, you want someone else to experience it too. You want to bottle up that water… or pick a bouquet… or grab your camera and capture that flaming sky… so you can bring it all back, and share it with someone you love.

Since I really do love my solitude, that’s the only time loneliness really gets to me—when I experience something fabulous or magnificent and I’m all by myself. I can never really share that moment with someone who’s not standing there next to me. I can haul whatever back I think might work… but that bottle of water won’t look like the beach, the flowers will eventually die, and the photograph of the sunset—no matter how great the shot is—will never be as breathtaking as the real deal.

Anyway… that was my take on it, and that’s the emotion I went with as I added effects and color to my original illustration. I kept hesitating though, because originally I told myself that I’d only use positive emotions for this experiment. And then I found the quote above, by Mandy Hale, and was reminded that there’s a bit of beauty in our struggles and storms.

It’s no fun when we’re in the middle of them, but as we trudge forward, to the other side, we find strength, we find resilience, and we find courage. And then, like the caterpillar… we find our wings.

Emotions: Love

“Love in its essence is spiritual fire.”

—Lucius Annaeus Seneca

I thought I’d show a little LOVE tonight because I’m afraid that some of my posts may have given love a bad rap. My love addiction didn’t really have anything to do with love. Not real love, anyway. Just the feelings that the thought of being in love produce.

My image “could” look a bit like what my insides would do when I felt that way, but in reality the emotion I’m depicting here is about seeing the world through rose colored glasses. That’s kind of what we do when we’re falling in love isn’t it? We put all of our focus on the good in the other person, and we tune out what might other wise turn us off.

I love Seneca’s quote above because, in my case, I discovered that what I had been searching for was something that was much deeper and more spiritual than what any kind of romantic love could ever be. I was looking for a spiritual fire indeed.

Finding God, or coming to believe, was the biggest AHA moment I ever had. It was the realization that what I’d been looking for actually existed, I had just been looking in the wrong place. It was also my introduction to love in its highest form—agape love—pure, unconditional, everlasting and sacrificial love that is given regardless of what is given in return.

Real love is about loving someone no matter what… in spite of their flaws. It’s about putting on those rose colored glasses and seeing the good.

Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do.

David Wilkerson

Just a Note: The featured image is now a part of my iPhoneography collection. A pink peony that I shot a while ago, lovingly fused with an urban silhouette and various effects of lovedone completely on the iPhone.

Emotions: Hope

“Hope is a match in a dark tunnel, a moment of light, just enough to reveal the path ahead and ultimately the way out.”

—Dr. Judith Rich

I’ve been exploring faith and hope, and looking at the differences between the two—especially when it comes to visual interpretations. My thoughts were that hope would be yellow and bright because I compared it to optimism, and optimists are often sunny and upbeat.

Faith, on the other hand, I imagined as dark. I guess because faith is about putting your trust in something or someone else. For some (like me), that faith is in God. The thing about faith is that you’re letting go, or giving up some of your control, and—as every control freak knows—that is pretty scary. It’s like stepping out into the unknown.

That being said, faith was what I had in mind as I worked on my creation. As soon as the image was complete, however, I looked at it and thought “wow… that is not faith. That is definitely HOPE. I can feel it.”

So… I started checking things out. I think that the standard definitions don’t do hope any justice. Here are some of the meanings that I found for hope:

  • a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
  • to cherish a desire with anticipation : to want something to happen or be true
  • a feeling of optimism or a desire that something will happen

It’s so basic. So simple. Like, “yeah… I hope I win the Lotto someday. As if hope is no big deal—or just wishful thinking. But, here’s the funny thing. The word hopeless is much more severe, and many compare it to despair. Hopeless means having or feeling no hope · unable to be changed · unable to be helped or improved : very bad.

Then I read somewhere that “hope is the belief things will work, especially when it seems otherwise.” So my vision of hope makes sense. In a world of uncertainty and despair, HOPE is what keeps us going. If we let hope disappear, the world will go dark.

Thank you for reading…
Peace, Love, and Hope!