10/31 July Challenge

10/31 July Challenge

Today the image was inspired by the incomparable ParkeHarrisons, Joel Robison, and my long-standing obsession with umbrellas. Ever since 2010 I’ve felt very connected to the umbrella as a symbol. I watched as most everyone in my life sought shelter from their own personal storms – life, all of it’s hardships, fears, anxieties – they wanted so much to be protected from them. I wanted the opposite; not always because it was fun, but because I had this unending feeling in my stomach telling me to embrace what is uncomfortable.

I remember being in Paris and running along the water as a storm broke out. I was filled with joy like never before. I wanted to splash in every puddle, to be soaked, to feel it in my bones. I looked back and my friend was huddled by a tree yelling at me to stop and to keep dry. I had never felt so disconnected.

I remember being in Amsterdam with thunder bursting all around. I looked at my friend and asked her to go outside with me, and she did. We ran to the nearby docks and sat on their edge, feet in the water, rain pouring down, and we both still look back at that moment as one of the most important in our friendship.

Everyday that it rains here at home I can’t help but run outside. Even my husband comes to get me if I haven’t showed myself at the start, just to make sure I know. I love the rain, the storm clouds. When I give things a rating from 1-10, I simply say “clouds” if it is off-the-charts good. But not those white, fluffy clouds; I mean the evil storm clouds.

What metaphor exists that is better than theΒ oncoming storm, the rain that will soak us through? What metaphor is better than seeking protection, or embracing what makes us uncomfortable, for this life we are living?

When I make a decision, I ask myself if I am carrying an umbrella or not. If I am, I know I am playing it safe. I know I need to let go of what keeps me sheltered to fully immerse myself in the experience.

Today I noticed an umbrella in my car. I asked how long it has been there – 3 years, I was told. I hadn’t noticed. I pulled it out and opened it up, and to my delight, every bar was bent and every clasp broken. I smiled, threw it in the trash, and created this image.

Come hell or high water, I’m in this life entirely.

5 thoughts on “10/31 July Challenge

  1. I love storms! And thunderheads are one of my absolute favorite things to photograph. Here are some of my better thunderhead photos. πŸ™‚ https://flic.kr/s/aHskZ8twFz
    I would like to get one of those cheap waterproof bag for my camera, so I can shoot in the rain.
    Rain is a funny thing, it is uncomfortable until you are wet, but once you are soaked it is so comfortable. You kinda become part of the rain.
    I love this photo, it has a lot of emotion in it.

  2. I have a magnet on my fridge. I got it in high school at a quirky little shop at which time I stuck it to the inside the driver side door of my beat up jeep cherokee. Where it sits now my 10 year old son likes to read it over and over again. On it’s fading blue background it says simply “Some people walk in the rain. Others just get wet.” I wasn’t quite certain of it’s intended meaning at the time but I was drawn to it…I get it now. A few years ago I was out with coworkers and friends at a bar by the beach when it started raining. Everyone ran in to huddle under the eaves and in the doorways. I looked at them and for the first time questioned this instinct…I smiled as I handed off my flimsy sweatshirt to a friend and ran out into the wet sand to frolic and spin around in the rain with my face to the sky while everyone hid themselves away. It remains one of the most beautiful moments in my life. That silly old magnet is a reminder to me every day that you can choose to sit back and let life happen to you – be a victim or a bystander. Or you can choose to jump in passionately with both feet really experience your life in first person. Life is all how you look at it. Personally, I will always choose to walk in the rain. It seems I’ll be in good company πŸ™‚

    1. β€œSome people walk in the rain. Others just get wet.” I love that!!! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  3. I loved this video and your blog post. Come spend a rainy season in Seattle. It’s so different from “stormy” rain: persistent, at time-never-ending, and most days intermittent and for most of us a non-umbrella event. I like to think of it as nourishing and making our trees whisper. You would have fun in a rain forest.

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