A Catharsis Of Sorts

Hi everyone . . :o)

It feels like a long time since I have really connected with you.  If you’ve got a few minutes, I’ve got a bit of a story to tell.

I have always been a project person.  When I give myself to a project, I immerse myself in it hook, line, and sinker.  Other things that need to be done just don’t get done.  Friends don’t get visited.  Emails I want to respond to go unanswered.

For almost the entirety of 2012, Joyce and I were involved in construction projects, here at our home in the mountains.  So much came out of it, a Reiki Center for my wife’s practice, and an enlarged photography gallery for me.  I still can’t believe it.  We have built for ourselves places for a lifetime, places in which to practice our arts, and it’s right here on our property.  No commute to be able to enjoy what we enjoy doing best.

I recently completed a huge project.  Finally, after several failed attempts over many years, I went through all of the nude figure photos and landscapes that I have taken digitally.  It was a several week process that meant going through tens of thousands of images, looking for ones that I may have overlooked with the eye and skills I had at that time.  My eye and skills have changed a great deal.  Knowing what the hell it is that I am even looking for has been a huge boon to the way I now look at images that may have been taken as long as eight years ago.

Out of all the images I took the time to peruse, I came up with 125 images, which when added to the 150 more current images that I consider to be my very best work, create a Best of Work Album of 275 images.  I will be sharing this body of work with you over the next couple of months, in published galleries, in musical slideshows, and other creative ways.   I will be reworking my website to better reflect what I consider to be the very best of my art.  I would love to be able to share with you the once-a-month newsletter emails that I send out, to be able to share significant postings on my site with you.   If you’d like to be on the list, just send an email to frank@frankleonard.com with the words, “Sign me up.”  I’d be pleased to . . :o)

And now, just a short story, which leaves my heart quite warm this night.  Joyce and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this last July, by going back to the place of our honeymoon, Hawaii.  On this trip, while on Maui and Molokai, we experienced, in several settings, the playing of ukuleles.  There was something about it that I absolutely loved, and seeing them play touched a place deeper within me.

I dabbled in guitar for a good number of the earlier years of my life.  I’m a left hander, but was taught to play as a right hander.  After learning the guitar that way, the times I tried to reverse the strings to be able to play in a more natural way, I just couldn’t do it.   Knowing how to play the chords on the other hand was just too tempting.

The day we left Hawaii I bought a ukulele, at the last moment, in anticipation of what would take six months to unfold.   Part of my decision included the thought that  if I was going to have to learn new chords anyway, I might as well do it the way I have always wanted to.  I reversed the strings on the new ukulele, and the results are very exciting for me!

I took my first lesson tonight, in a group class taught by a marvelous teacher.  She had us playing songs and singing together in a one hour piece of time!   At the end, as we played and sang together the two songs that we had learned this night, I began to cry.  It wasn’t until I had gotten home and shared with Joyce the experience that I finally came clear on where the tears had come from.

It has been way, way too long since I have allowed myself to just play.   As I said when I started, I am a project person.  I know I cannot completely change that, but what I can insist upon with myself is that I live my life in a more balanced way.   I came home tonight and played along to the recording of tonight’s lesson that our teacher encouraged us to record.  I sang the songs again, and I cried again.

I have always loved my tears, for they show me when I am truly in a place of depth and passion.  The $15 I spent for my class tonight is the best $15 I ever remember spending in my life.

Until next time,

Love,   Frank.

frankjayleonard@gmail.com

frank@frankleonardphotography.com

www.frankleonardphotography.com

831-345-5496

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