Sometimes my think tank runs dry. There’s just no fuel in there.
And when that happens, I find myself without the energy I need to get those creative juices flowing again. No topic springs to mind jump-starting my brain and causing an imaginative spark to ignite. Often times I’m just running on empty.
That’s one of the reasons why, for the last couple of years, I’ve enjoyed the weekly photo challenges Word Press published each week. Each weekly theme provided fodder for thought. And thought usually led to a photo I’ve taken either from my files or one I chose to capture just for the challenge. And viewing the actual picture prompted more creative fuel producing written blog posts to accompany the photo.
But the photo challenges have officially ended while the creative folks at Word Press move on in a different direction, and I’m going to miss them. I know there are other picture challenges out there in cyber-land, but I’m just too
lazy unmotivated to spend time searching for one that strikes my fancy.
So I must revert to igniting my own creative fires when it comes to writing this blog. Whoo-boy, that’s a more difficult challenge than simply opening up an email and saying, “Ah yes, a theme!” and tap, tap, tapping away at my computer keyboard.
When I first launched this blog, prior to engaging with the photo challenges, I summoned up my own creative ideas, studied my surroundings and God’s Word, and thoughtfully considered things I’d read, seen, or experienced as worthy writing fodder.
In my defense, my life was a bit simpler back when this empty nest blog became reality. My grown children were all off on their own and living far from home, and the Papa of this empty nest still toiled full-time long hours at his job.
And even though I worked at a part-time job myself, I still had a whole lot of free time on my hands. Time I didn’t know what to do with. So almost eight years ago, I started seriously blogging and Mama’s Empty Nest breathed life.
As time progressed though, I started relying more on the photo challenges and Wordless Wednesday for blog posts instead of my own creativity. It was easier and less time consuming and if I’m honest, also less tiring.
I could sit down at my desktop, peruse my photos, and start composing an accompanying blog post personifying the weekly theme. And I cranked one out just about every week. Wordless Wednesdays were even simpler – choose a photo, type in a title, and voila! A blog post.
In the last couple of years, I just haven’t possessed as much open, free, and uninterrupted time like I once did, so yes, I confess I grabbed the easy route like a white-water rafter tossed overboard grabs a well-placed tree branch in the river to save him.
Time with little or no distractions is still an issue since I watch my three-year-old grandchild while her mama works. And other issues often prevent me from sitting down in front of my computer screen to get my thoughts down in writing.
Changes happen. It’s just the way life is. And stages of life come and go, reminding me of an old 1960’s Herman’s Hermits song, “years may come, years may go, some go fast, some go slow…”
With each new change that comes along, I must learn to adapt and go with the flow. So as one chapter ends – my use of weekly photo challenges (unless I find another interesting one) – another must begin. Because of this, I may not post as often until I get some creative inspiration flaring again, so I’m preparing you, my faithful readers.
Please don’t give up reading my blog because of that. I’ll still be here. Just maybe not as often. But then again, you never know. If creativity sparks a flame, I may post as regularly as before if not more. Hope springs eternal, you know.
“Don’t fan the flames of despair. Ignite the spark of hope instead.” ~Doe Zantamata
And hopefully, something will light my fire every week and inspiration will come, even if I have to chase after it.
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” ~ Jack London
Have you ever heard or seen something that just goes beyond what you call normal? Often times, we shake our heads and say, “Man, that’s twisted.”
This week’s photo challenge theme is exactly that – twisted.
I really haven’t had time to grab my camera and go out to capture a shot that would fit the challenge, so I resorted to my photo files. As I searched for a picture, the image of twisted that sprung forth in my mind was of tornadoes – sometimes called twisters.
I do have a bit of experience with twisters and have witnessed firsthand the devastation they cause. But I’ve never had an opportunity to capture one with my camera. And you know what? For that I’m grateful. I’d rather be safely ensconced in an inside walk-in closet than be sticking my camera out at a funnel-shaped onslaught of destruction.
In their wake, tornadoes leave a lot of twisted debris. The force of a twister is unreal, bending metal, stripping trees bare of their bark, picking up and smashing houses to smithereens. As I was considering that, a photo I’d taken last summer came to my mind. (The photo above)
On a day trip, we ventured northward and visited Kinzua Bridge State Park located in the Kinzua Gorge. Years ago a tornado slammed into a railroad viaduct there, which was once the longest and highest such structure in the world, and destroyed a good portion of it. Its twisted metal skeleton still remains several feet below the surviving towers of the structure which have been turned into a sky walk.
But twisted things aren’t always the result of something horrific. Sometimes twisted items are things of beauty like this exquisite and huge glass sculpture fashioned by artist Dale Chihuly. One long winter season a few years ago, Papa and I visited our nearby city conservatory and botanical garden just to get a glimpse of color and this sculpture hung in the entrance hall of the conservatory.
So when it comes to twisted things, it’s all in your perspective, isn’t it? Just like life. Are you going to go through these days on earth you’ve been given with a negative attitude every time life doesn’t turn out quite like you planned (that could be really twisted) or will you embrace each day of life with an upbeat spin no matter what happens?
It may take some tweaking here and there, but I’m choosing to twist my attitude. Go for the optimistic. Be encouraging not critical. It’s up to me to decide which way I turn. And on that note, maybe I’ll just go fire up some oldies tunes and if I’m lucky, I’ll hear Chubby Checker singing “C’mon baby, let’s do the twist.”
You’re never too old to twist and see where it takes you.
“Life has many twists and turns and sometimes what looks like a very bad day can just be clearing the way for good things to come.” ~ J. Kim Wright