Tag Archives: Britton Minor

From Super Moon to Super Mom

Today I extend an enthusiastically warm welcome to my friend and writer-extrordinaire, Deborah Batterman, author of Shoes Hair Nails, and the new and timely, Because my name is mother. To her, and to every mother on the planet, Happy Mother’s Day!

And now let’s hear from Deborah…

Sometimes (probably more often than not) a kind of collective consciousness takes hold in the blogosphere. No sooner does someone post a photo of last week’s Super Moon when someone else is inspired to write something moon-related. I could easily wax poetic about my own fascination with the moon. Instead, I’ll relish the simple pleasure of being inspired by the photos of Britton Minor and her anything-but-jaded lens of a blog. I first encountered Britton via another site we both wrote for (smartly.com). The connection was instantaneous, the admiration about the ways in which we express our thoughts mutual. So when she sent me a photo to ponder (yes, a shot of the moon), as a way of initiating a collaboration, there was barely time for a second thought. Another photo followed, and another, until a sequence emerged, Britton’s photos/my text, all in the spirit of celebrating mothers.

A selfish woman says to her daughter, ‘Men will come and go but diamonds are forever.’
A selfless woman says to her daughter, ‘Diamonds may come and go, but a mother is forever.’
A wise woman says to her daughter, ‘Think of the cup as neither half-full nor half-empty.’

Deborah writes with warmth, humor and wisdom. Her collection of stories, Shoes Hair Nails, is one you will want to keep by the bed, in the car…anywhere you find yourself craving a satisfying read. If you’re like me, you’ll want to read them again. The short story format makes it perfect for a busy lifestyle. Shoes Hair Nails is also available as a Kindle edition (only $2.99), or in paperback ($6.99).

Purchase Because my name is mother, electronically for only .99!  This is a wonderful collection of mini-observations (not mini in their impact though) on the many facets of motherhood – a book that can be equally appreciated by a daughter.

Thank you, Deborah, for visiting today and for sharing – I hope you’ll come back!

 

Riding at Anchor

I am pondering the ironic fact that I felt less free over a decade ago while sailing over the Temecula Valley in a commercial hot air balloon than I did recently when I rose straight up over Orange County, California, in this tethered Great Park balloon.

I am reminded of another time I sailed through the air: when I careened off of a 30 ft. telephone pole as part of a team-building exercise. The atypical expletive I screamed as I jumped off the wavering wooden beast and toward the trapeze bar didn’t stop my epiphany: fear can be random and irrational. Yet fear was the last thing I had expected to feel. After all, no harm was in sight; I was harnessed and tethered. Yet “abject fear” barely defines what flooded my mind in the few moments that elapsed between climbing, standing, jumping, and gratefully connecting with that three-foot swinging bar.

Pondering fears–rational and irrational–inadvertently led me to the debate that exists between sailors who believe tethered harnesses should be the standard when sailing on the open seas, and those who don’t. Mobility and racing effectiveness are allegedly compromised when a sailor’s safety harness is tethered to  jacklines secured to the stern and bow. San Francisco and San Diego are both reeling from the recent deaths (rare occurrences in the sport) of several sailors, which has fired up ongoing concerns about sailing safety in general. Bryan Chong, a survivor of the San Francisco accident spoke up on the matter, standing clearly on the side of safety precautions that could have saved his crew mates and eliminated his horrific experience; one that he says was like being in a “washing machine with boulders.” Regarding not being tethered, Chong had this to say, “It’s simply a bad habit that formed due to a false sense of security in the ocean. It’s obvious to me now that I should have been clipped into the boat at every possible opportunity.”

Freedom creates a tantalizing fantasy that rarely considers viable dangers. Sometimes we act with wild abandon and we survive, thrive even. Other times we are left to clean up the aftermath of something we regret. There is a balance that involves weighing the risks – a “pros and cons” list we often make in our heads based on knowledge, experiences, beliefs, affinities, tolerance levels and more. It is complex and personal. This is a healthy process because we know ourselves best. But when we allow our fears to be tethered to our doubts, we are unlikely to sail toward our best dreams–the ones that bring us the most joy. Going adrift of total caution can be just what we need to spark an incredible journey.

So why did I feel more free in the tethered balloon? I have a fear of heights and a proclivity toward claustrophobia. Neither are a problem; they are mild in nature. But that day, the beauty of the Temecula Valley was obscured by my eagerness to land. The Great Park balloon on the other hand, is finite. It has a secure basket with a screen that prohibits falling out. There are openings that allow for photography, and behind the lens I was pursuing a passion that blotted out anything else. My fears were non-existent.  I was safe, and I was free.

My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones to the sea; weak solace in the fact that they died doing something they loved. Hindsight has everyone involved wishing these souls had been safely tethered. Though they would not have escaped fear, they surely would have cheated death.

Note: An anchor that is aweigh is one that has just begun to put weight onto the rope or chain by which it is being hauled up. And while this pulling up allows a ship to sail, the anchor sits ready for when it is needed again.

To “ride at anchor” is to be anchored.

photographs and thoughts are the creation and property of the author/photographer, Britton Minor

Thank you

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Tooth-brushing, food-cutting, hand-holding, tear-wiping, typing, piano-playing, caressing, cat-petting, camera-holding, box-carrying, gardening, scratching, supporting, full-body-hugging, push-ups…

Yesterday, while walking at the beach, I observed an elderly couple enjoying their older grandchildren. They had the look of a comfortable pair who have been together for many years. Eventually I passed them by, and when I reached my turn-around and started back, I saw them again…she with her right arm wrapped around his waist–no space between them and their love.

The absence of his left arm only bothered me a little bit-but not for the reason you may suspect. It bothered me because it has been a long time since I have given thanks for how well my left arm works, and for all the things it helps me do.

My jaded lens


Sometimes, when I get the feeling that I am missing something important yet intangible, I remind myself that my perceptions are jaded. Then I seek the broad path of seeing beyond, behind, inside of, below, outside of… differently. Herein lies the rub. How can I provide myself with an unbiased view of something “hard-wired” to be exactly that–biased? How can I change the DNA-fueled impressions I’ve made, been fed, massaged over years of mass media influence, denied, embraced, honed?

For example, how can I decide whether my faith is based on what I was taught, or on what I have come to believe “on my own?” Or how can I decide if my ideas about parenting have come from years of careful observation, natural instincts, intelligence, research and a heart for children, OR if I am wrong about many of the issues I fight (internally and externally) for and against?

Is there such a thing as “being neutral?” Can I be “fair” without also being “unfair? And don’t I consistently remind my children that life is not fair? How about “righteousness?” What does this mean? My way or the highway? The way the local church professes? The way my kids catch any inconsistency I unwittingly demonstrate, and call it out, expecting a resolution?

The lens with which I view my world is not rose-colored, it is cracked, dirty, and grimy. It is clear, reflective and beautiful. It is polarized and jaded. It is all I have. Pressing my eye to the viewfinder, I seek the perfect shot through a perfect lens. Click. I’ve got it! I pull the image up on a large screen to analyze the capture. The background is nicely blurred, the foreground is complementary and leads my eye directly to the subject. That’s when I see it–the perfect combination that suddenly has me taking great deep breaths. I study the shapes, the contours, the colors, the shadows and the light. The simple beauty of the virtual shot I have taken is stunning, but will only be fully appreciated by me. As I begin to flip through my life-album of best images, I realize that my most enlightened, powerful days are compositions made up of confidence, hard-knocks humility and the softest, most beautiful light I can imagine–that of gratitude.

photograph property of The Jaded Lens Photography