Images

Forty four years today…

Forty four years today I came into this world. A Drop of water from outer space, taking the shape I have now.

The only intention I am aware of – that this drop had when it landed here – is my shape: I seem to have all the parts in moderate proportions.

Columbia Hillen photography, travel photography

But why am I here? I am sure the universe would not waste material for nothing… am I ‘being’ enough for Life?

street photography, Columbia Hillen photograph

I know I was born old as I don’t seem to grow older… just stuck somewhere between a waterfall of questions…

art photography, Columbia Hillen photography

I believe we always have a choice of paths and that in choosing one over the other, we define ourselves.

black & white photography, Columbia Hillen photography

But I also believe in rebirth, that in every moment we can reinvent ourselves again and again and again… That’s all Time is, a chance to reinvent ourselves…

abstract photography, Columbia Hillen photograph

I wonder how far or how close am I to the intentions of the Drop that landed in this body, forty four years ago… And when it rains, would I recognize myself among the others…

The many shades of happiness

Coming to the end of another year and I let  myself carried away with the wave of all the rush to remember everyone… Have we “bought something” for everyone we know? How easy it is to be swayed in asking no questions….

yearly resolutions, landscape photography, Donegal beachAnd then it dawns on me: what if we could not “buy” things but we would have to make something for each person we care about? Make something using our hands and imagination?

Story telling in Donegal, ancient crafts in IrelandEven more, what if we forget about things? Simply focus on creating something memorable for all people that mean something to us? Have the power to give them a happy moment?

happiness moment, abstract photography…see that list disappearing, as realization hits: how much do I know about all these people beside hints about “things they like” or “things they hope will make them happy?” How much do I really know about their dreams and their hopes and what really makes them happy?

moon eclipse, landscape photography, photo of skyHow much does an oak know about me when it makes me feel so complete just by allowing me to rest under his branches? How can I share love like an oak does?

large oak tree, forest in summer, landscape photographyMy two dogs pull me out of my daydream and drag me out for a walk up Bloody Foreland. A little storm is brewing on the west, but, I say, we’ll be back before it hits.

Bloody Foreland Donegal, Donegal landscapeAs with all good things, we are caught in the storm… up half way the hill, I can see the dark cotton blankets coming towards me like curtains to different worlds… like veils protecting different truths…giving me a very very short glimpse…

abstract photography, landscape photography Ireland And seconds later I feel the full blast of wind and water against my face and my eyes and, up here, almost suspended between sea and land and sky, with all this energy running through me, I am as happy as I might ever be… as tingling lines of life run through my veins. And I feel them just like when I first set my foot on this place almost twenty years ago …. a place that makes me happy from inside out, with its wilderness, its howling winds and crying rains…it makes me content with just being, like resting in the company of an oak…

old tree root, landcape photography, memories of placesHow do they do it? How do trees and places and waves hand out love and happiness as if they know you?

abstract photography, columbia hilen photography, Irish photographersSo I make my short-term resolution. In the last few days I have left of this year, I will try to be silent and supportive like an oak, accepting and encouraging like a mountain, soothing and alive like a wave, for all the people in my life… and from the lessons I learn, I will know what the next step will be …

Autumnal thoughts

Why do I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders?
It’s light.
It’s light when I cloth my soul in a different skin.

landscape photography, trees joined beside the sea
It’s light when I burst into blooms of colors and scent.
Why can we only love what we see but fail to see the fear that blinds us?

landscape photography, lemon in a lemon tree
A night of weary thoughts rushes in through my pores, and it’s not the darkness I fear, but fear itself.
Why do I feel the weight of time on my shoulders? Or more likely the lack of time that presses down ever so slowly, and ever so fast like the night pressing down on the setting sun.

street photography, bird in captivity
It’s light and I’ve been awake in my dreams. It’s time to fall back into the sleep of reality again until I convince fear to like me.

landscape photography, island in the sea with sunset

Food moods – Rainbow salad for rainy days

It’s been raining and the sky won’t change its grey tones.
Why not get a rainbow in my plate with this salad created as I go along.
food photography, salad with peanut butter
2 carrots grated,
1 courgette grated,
1 small red onion chopped,
a handful of rocket salad chopped,
1 red peper chopped,
crunchy sugarless organic peanut butter,
horseradish,
extra virgin olive olive oil,
handful of dried currants
Toss them together and see the sky change colours.

Je Suis Charlie: A thank you to all my diverse selves, wherever you are out there

It’s no coincidence that I have been reading “Tomorrow’s God” by Neale Donald Walsch when the events in Paris happened.

And even though Walsch says that any act of violence is a cry for help, is so hard to look at the attackers and admit that they are merely the embodiment of our collective failures in how we treat one another. Hundreds of years of bowing to fictional descriptions of a series of Gods who are continually separating us from one another. It was such a tough mirror to face.

So, like never before, I was so proud to be a human being when people gathered in Paris and other cities of the world, showing that Life, above all, is what we treasure most and what unites us all.

Many humble thanks go to everyone who was out there on the streets marching on behalf of Life today. With your permission, from the wild northwest of Donegal where I am now, I would like to call you all my different other selves and join in your diversity and solidarity.

100_6017Tomorrow’s God does not require anyone to believe in God.” N.D. Walsch

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Tomorrow’s God is separate from nothing, but is everywhere present, the All in All, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the sum total of everything that ever was, is now and ever shall be.” N.D. Walsch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow’s God is without gender, size, shape, color or any of the characteristics o an individual living being.” N.D. Walsch

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow’s God talks to everyone all the time.” N.D. Walsch

self assurance

Tomorrow’s God is not a singular Super Being, but the extraordinary process called Life.” N.D. Walsch

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Halloween thoughts and autumn feelings

At this time of year I always get asked the question: “Was Dracula real?”

questionGrowing up in Transylvania, in a small town in the mountains, where old traditions are still preserved and even today, people gather and play cards in the graveyards on Easter night, definition of real has so many meanings.

As a child, when my grandmother was telling me that if I don’t come back before dinner time, the ‘strigoi’ will get me. Did I ever see one? Of course, with my imagination’s eyes, I can describe it even now. Was he real? My grandmother said so even if she could not really remember if she ever saw one.

bonesAnd then, as I grew up, there was “Zburatorul,” a being that, if I was not careful enough, would come to torment me at night with the pain of longing, the torture of being away from the loved one…we all know some aspects of this kind of pain and it’s so very real when we feel it.

painBram Stoker deserves the credit for somehow putting all these (and many more) together in one man he named Dracula.

Is there any connection between the literary character and the Romanian voivode, Vlad The Impaler who managed to keep the Ottoman Empire at bay in the sixteenth century? Maybe. They are both very powerful men and Vlad is mentioned even now by people in Romania as a hero, whom we would welcome anytime to come back and put things right in the country.

red castleDuring his time, his reputation as a just and decisive leader was so strong, that public fountains had golden cups (no one would dare to steal them) and no honest person would starve or lack a roof over their head.

blue castleSome described him as “no common man;” “the bravest of sons from the land beyond the forest;” “a mighty brain and an iron resolution.”

dark castleDoes that make him a vampire? Does this make him real?

How do you know something or someone is really real?

magic castleI am looking forward to the talk this Saturday in Dublin, as part of the Bram Stoker Festival, where a variety of people will be trying to search for meanings into one of the most fascinating characters, which have inspired so many people and who, in my opinion, for that reason alone, is as real as one can be.

Note: If you find yourselves in Avignon, France, make sure to go and see the night show at the Pope’s Palace (some of the photos are taken there) … and ask yourselves what is reality?