The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Tag: Photography and writing

This is a Wonderful Day…

This is a wonderful day.
I’ve never seen this one before.
– Maya Angelou

How do we keep the freshness of our spirits and love of life when it sometimes seems we’re caught in the sameness of every day?

How do we stay in wonder?

For me, my photography practice and every day walks are my window into the mystery and beauty of life these days – no matter what is happening in my outer or inner world.

Some days I bounce out the door, looking forward to the beauty I know I’ll see. Other days I go only because I know that I’ll feel better by the time I return to the house – but still grouchily thinking that I’m tired of seeing the same old thing.

Each time, however, I’m entranced by something new. I have to laugh at myself thinking the walk would be boring. Or there’s nothing new to shoot, I’ve taken that picture before. Or, in the darkest of days: Who cares.

I care. I care about the essence of life, love, and beauty.

I care about the wind on my face, the sun that warms me, and even – sometimes when I’ve felt so trapped and alone “staying safe,” – I care about the gray rainy day that I insist on walking out in, even if for a brief fifteen minutes.

Today I walked in the glorious sunshine, the same daily walk I take along my road bordering the Hudson River. Not expecting something new, just happy to be out and breathing clear, fresh air.

I brought my camera, as usual, ready for inspiration, but not requiring myself to shoot. Listening to an interview with Brother David Steindl-Rast, a favorite monk, sharing his wise and warm perspectives on gratitude, spirituality, and the essence of life, I felt my body gradually getting into the rhythm of walking, breathing, relaxing, being.

I took pleasure in the sound of his voice and uplifting thoughts as I looked and felt my surroundings, appreciating the budding forsythia, the tiny flowering fruit trees my neighbors have planted, a handsome house that is newly built.

I started to notice – absorb – resonate with my joy of being here and now; grateful for the beautiful things that continue to happen in my life.
(I call them “small miracles everywhere.”)

I walked and waved to the few cars that passed; the drivers waved back. I waved to a couple having a video chat on their porch; smiling, they waved back.

I waved to a cat sitting on the steps of a house I’d love to live in – and no, the cat did not smile or wave back. Instead, he ran next door to his own home; startled and probably wondering who this crazy woman was, walking, walking, waving to all.

But I’m fine, Mr. Cat. I practice living in the moment, allowing pleasure.
I recognize Grace.

I photographed new things I hadn’t noticed before. I made some images I’ve shot previously but this time from a different perspective, in a different light, with a new eye. I captured new stories to tell, experiences to share.

I forgot about anything I’d been worried about, and settled into the “now,” the wonder of being.

The sun was setting and all became quiet. A red fox suddenly appeared from the marsh and dashed across the road in front of me. He ran through a yard, and into the woods in a flash.

A small white dog perked up and made a beeline towards the trees. He stopped. He sat. He waited.

After a time, the dog lost interest and trotted back to his house. The night bird sounds began.

The fox came out of the woods, crossed back over the road and vanished into the reeds.

This is a wonderful day.
I’ve never seen this one before.

*******

Image: “Tree Spirits on the Hudson (Apples)
©Heidi Straube 2020

Download the pdf of “This is a Wonderful Day”

Thank you, Maya Angelou.
Love.

“Safe Haven” at Archway Gallery, Houston, TX Reception Saturday July 11

hstraube_2015_safe_haven_archwaygalleryannualshow_2.30_1250-5484

One would think that all would stay
snug in their homes in the midst of a blizzard

But there is magic in snowfall, power in the wind, mystery to be felt.

I found I must walk to the beach, drawn to the immense Silence.

The glow emerging of resting red tail lights
A single brave soul contemplating the ocean

We need not stay home to be safe in the vast wildness.

* * * * *

“Safe Haven”
selected for the

Archway Gallery
“Seventh Annual Juried Art Exhibition”
July 11 – July 29, 2015

Opening Reception:
Saturday, July 11
5 pm – 8 pm
Juror’s Talk, Awards, 6:30 PM

Juror: Gus Kopriva
Benefiting Young Audiences of Houston
2305 Dunlavy, Houston, TX 77006


“Safe Haven,” First Encounter Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

© 2015 Heidi Straube

* * * * *

I provide transformational experiences for those who desire
to joyfully live and create their inner truth in the outer world.

Through photography, contemplative practices, and inner path coaching,
I partner with you to feel, express, and live your unique experience of the Sacred.

Enjoy your photography…improve your images…claim your life.​

“My studio…today”

hstraube_viewfrommywindow_222014_web-2551

“A foggy day leads to a foggy mind.”

She laughs.

Not really. I just made that up!”


Image: “View from my window, 2.2.2014”

Copyright Heidi Straube 2014
More: “Winter on Cape Cod”
http://www.straubephoto.com

“The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World”

Bookstore_Porto_Portugal_most_beautiful

The picture above is of a bookstore in Porto, Portugal – truly a book lover’s version of the “stairway to heaven.” I discovered it in the article “The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores of the World” by Emily Temple – a tantalizing appetizer of images and locations for the  traveling reader.

What a wonderful photo tour this would be to plan around! I love the variety of spaces, feeling which would be most inspiring to me to read in, buy books, or just immerse myself in the inspired architecture and design.

I’ve been to one of these bookstores – Atlantis Books, in Santorini, Greece. In 2004, after a month of roaming the wilds of Crete and other less known islands, shooting constantly, speaking basic Greek, and living in many different realities, I treated myself  to a stay in magical Oia, Santorini. Wandering at sunset, I  found this tiny, eclectic bookstore perched on the edge of a cliff. How lovely  and with a sense of coming home did it feel to discover on a shelf the familiar name of my friend Hans-Michael Koetzle and his wonderful book “Icons, I & II” (now republished as “50 Photo Icons: The Story Behind the Picture” ) and to have a warm and interesting conversation with the creative bookstore owners.

Immersing oneself in books, bookstores, the friendships that result – May we have the opportunity to experience them all!

Atlantis Bookstore Santorini Greece

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