Loosened from the mud, I find myself floating in a world of possibility.

So can you.

2014 pathways

"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful."  E.E.Cummings


If you read my profile, this is what you will see:  Loosened from the mud, I find myself adrift in the Midwest and seeking a medium that is suitable for my existence. I live in a world full of possibilities.

For far too many years I sank myself into the mud, becoming shapeless and hiding from the world.  When I emerged with softened skin and determination to chase the light, I thought I was still surrounded by the mud of a world where I did not belong.

My life exploded, expanded and bloomed in 2013.  I did a lot of journaling, big dreaming and committed many acts of bravery.  I went from being a mother and a wife to something more than I thought was possible after I gave birth:  University teacher with a Ph.D., photographer, knitter, Board president, toastmaster-in-training, public speaker, advocate, Woodstock regional coordinator, and big dreamer.  I was already some of these things but these were never acknowledged and honored in the right way.  Now when I hear someone refer to me as Dr. Manisha I no longer cringe, but give a surprised smile.  I carry my camera with me wherever I go and I'm finding new meaning in what it is to be an advocate, in this situation, an advocate for cooperative endeavors and an advocate for young students of color seeking to better themselves. This is progress.

Through this process I have become an even better mother and wife.  I have become a better "me" in that I feel more like "me."  Now I find "the world mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful!"

I came to realize the significance of blogging and journaling in my life.  In the years and decades to come, this record is going to be for my daughter, she will be the one to read my words and view my images.  Understanding this has changed how I journal and has given me motivation to continue blogging/posting photos.

This time of year, I struggle with the decision to review the outgoing year or to focus on the paths I will take in 2014.  I think I will do a little of both.

Lotus 365 Photo Project:  Well, I did it.  It wasn't all that pretty or tight.  I fudged many, many times.  Nonetheless I managed to take 365 photos and post them.  I thought about going through them all and posting my favorites from the year (and I still might) but honestly, I'm not all that impressed with them.  My goal was to primarily post SOOC photos.  I plan to continue in 2014, but my goals are going to shift.  Rather than focusing on taking a new photo every day, I plan to post a photo everyday.  This way I can give myself time for processing and working on series.  Also, I have other photo projects that I wanted to air here so those will show up as well.  I want to think about setting up images and i want to think about capturing the same subject in different times of the day.  I want to consider the shadows.  I want to collect things from my environment and try to see them in a different light.  The biggest benefit of completing the 365 project in 2013 is that it has given me many ideas of how to further my photography and my photography techniques.

The Buddha Project:   The photo for today is a great example of the other photo projects I've got going on.  I've been lugging this Buddha around the country for several years now and have many photos that I would like to share on this blog for Niobe to see when she's all grown up.  I want her to see the process I go through to add more creativity into my life....I've been taking these photos without knowing what I was going to do with them.  I've decided I want to try to make cards and perhaps, sell them online.  I'm also going to make cards with my Jeep photos and see what comes of it all.  This is a way for my to get my images out into the world, I think - a low budget and fun way.

2013 Books:  I read 53 books last year.  I reconnected with a friend I hadn't seen in 19 years and she introduced me to the urban fantasy genre.  It was a whole bunch of mind candy that kept my mind from becoming overwhelmed by the challenges in my life.  In this coming year, I need to commit to some serious reading mixed in with the fun stuff.

The Radha Project:  Talking about serious reading, I need to resume the research for my novel.  When the Big D got his legendary* promotion and subsequent pay raise, I realized I had been in this holding pattern, neither ready to land nor ready to take off in a new direction.  It was then that I decided to seriously pursue my writing because the pressure to find a job was gone.  A month later I landed a teaching job,  two months after that I became the Board president for our local co-op.  While all of these developments are good, they have been at the expense of my own writing goals.  I need to change that.

*I say "legendary" because my lover and husband is very successful despite not having a college degree.  He literally makes 4 times as much as I did when I worked full-time, me a woman with an advanced degree.

The Trailer Retreat:  I'm still trying to figure out how to play with this.  D and I tried to buy some more land that surrounds our woodland retreat.  We made an offer back in September and have not heard from the owner.  I keep thinking there is a reason why and that is because neither of us know well the land we own.  We don't walk the corners, we don't have many paths that traverse our four acres.  The Universe, I think, is saying to us, get to know what you've got before you go out and get more.  And a record of what we find and learn should be here on this blog so that the little one understands why and how we choose to do this work for ourselves.

Funny how I thought I had much more to write today, yet still I've written a lot.  2014 surprised me, I was not expecting the new year to start up so quickly.  That's a first for me.  Usually I'm anxious to get onto the new year and be done with the old one.  I suppose that says a lot for how I feel about 2013 which was good for me.  Instead of being rid of the old year, I'm looking forward to adapting and playing with those things I started.

If I can say that 2013 was about big dreaming, then 2014 is going to all about manifesting dreams.

P.S.  Thank you, my friends, for reading this blog.  The comments are few but greatly cherished!