Toward the Light

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed

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Meditation 2

Yesterday afternoon, following a treatment of shockwave therapy to Bear’s recently injured right hind lateral suspensory ligament (in human terms a badly sprained ankle), I found him standing quietly facing the back of his stall. The light from the window reflected so perfectly on his noble face, and the shadowing was so beautifully dramatic, that I grabbed my Nikon D70, which I’ll be using a lot over the next four months while I document his recovery, and captured this moment of serenity. I did so carefully so as not to disturb his quiet reverie.

The vet diagnosed his injury by ultrasound earlier this week and, needless to say, it’s taken a few days for me to find my equilibrium after such terrible news. This is serious requiring 24/7 stall rest, twice-daily hand walking and daily bandaging. I want to give him every opportunity to fully recover so will do everything I can to help make him comfortable and keep him amused. Fortunately he is in the care of a knowledgeable and enlightened horse woman, so I know he will be getting the best of care. This makes all the difference to my peace of mind on the matter.

So, for the winter months Bear and I are truly dormant.

Still, this quietude gives us lots of time to contemplate the next leg of our journey, and as long as we keep looking toward the light this shadow we are living under cannot last forever.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Travelling Light

Monochrome Madness: Week 37

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Tired

There’s a lot to be said for travelling light.

This image was captured while I was sitting down for dinner in the Campo Santa Maria Formosa in Venice.

This young girl had been pushing her heavy suitcase through the square when she artfully collapsed upon it in exhaustion in front of these beautiful weather-beaten doors.

Venice is a particular challenge to negotiate with baggage.

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Baggage

Following a short break, this young lady, and her well-stuffed travel bag, forged ahead once again.

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In both life and my journeys to foreign places I’m learning to let go of unwanted baggage and to travel light.

It’s liberating, to say the least. 😉

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Lest We Forget …

A reprise of a tribute to my Uncle Archie Gordon killed in WWII. Sadly, one of many ~ lest we forget …

Eyes to Heart

Archie Gordon

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On April 6, 1943, a Halifax bomber with 405 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, in which my great uncle, Sergeant Archibald Don Gordon, was flight engineer, was shot down over the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France.

p_contribution_squadron405a

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The second youngest of a large farm family living in northern Alberta, he was a bright and cheerful chap adored by everyone. He was closest in age to my grandmother and they were fast friends.

He volunteered.

On the back of his photo (above) my grandmother wrote:

“He said, ‘Someone has to do it.'”

He was in his early 20s when he left for war. He did his duty for his country and paid the ultimate price.

Sergeant Gordon’s body was recovered and is buried in the war cemetery in Pornic, France.

My grandmother had custody of his service medals until the day she died, and they remain in the…

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Bear’s Healing Journey

Chillin'

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Monochrome Madness Week 32

This image of my equine companion, Bear, was captured about three weeks ago when he was feeling rather under the weather with a lameness issue.

Like me he’s been experiencing a transitional year.

New barn; new coach; new training regimen and work ethic; new friends have been positive stressors requiring adjustment and alignment on both our parts.

Releasing old behaviour patterns that no longer suit and embracing a new, more authentic way of being in the world requires big change at all levels and can be an exhausting process. If we aren’t paying attention and listening to our bodies, serious damage can ensue.

Adrenal fatigue has been my teacher here.

I’m pleased to say that now, after much considered care by his amazing vet, chiropractor, the barn owner, the farrier and with heaping doses of extra love from me and now two paddock buddies to pass the time with outside, Bear is feeling much better. In fact, it seems to me he’s moving more freely than I’ve ever experienced. Indeed, his frame of mind in his work appears to reflect this ~ probably because he is feeling more comfortable.

Like people, horses can get caught up in a negative way of being. It’s what they get used to so it becomes “normal.”

But then one day the ball drops.

The wake up call Bear gave me when he first appeared lame told me he was ready for change; told me he needed to rest before stepping even further into the new, more life-embracing way of being I’d chosen for us both earlier this year.

I’m glad I listened and had the support around me to move him gently into his next stage of development.

Today he gets a massage to complete this cycle of care.

Lucky horse. 😉

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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I notice we’ve passed the 1,000 marker for followers. Thank you so much to one and all for showing such interest in my photography. I plan a retrospective of my favourite images for a future blog post when things settle down a bit around here. Stay tuned!

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Inside Salisbury Cathedral

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

I have a passion for ancient structures. To me there’s something magical about a place that has stood the test of time.

Salisbury Cathedral happens to be one of those places.

We had the good fortune to visit the cathedral for an afternoon last fall. It was a particular thrill for me as I’d just finished reading Sarum ~ the epic historical novel by Edward Rutherfurd documenting the history of the area, including the construction of this impressive religious structure.

If you’re interested in learning more about Salisbury Cathedral, which was consecrated at this site in 1220 and boasts the highest spire in England (at 404 ft/123m) visit the History page of the cathedral’s official website.

Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy 🙂

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©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Shout Outs

The Adventures of Justin Beaver

Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different

Witrian’s Photofolio

One Conversation; Two Perspectives

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

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Perspective 1

Two people engage in conversation at the Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

Beautiful Barcelona is the backdrop.

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Perspective 2

The same conversation; a different perspective.

Can you see them?

Can you spot me?

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Thanks for visiting.

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

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Shout Outs

Travels and Trifles

The Numpty with a Camera and a Laptop

de Wets Wild

The Beauty of Loss

Daily Prompt: Unexpected/Loss

SIlver Lining

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We often think that to lose smoothing means the end. To me this is a limited view. The beauty of loss is that it also marks an incredible new beginning. Sometimes, when we are in the middle of the loss this is a difficult view. Nevertheless, it is true.

When my grandmother passed away some years ago I made the active choice, in the midst of my sorrow, not to wallow in feelings of loss. To me this was not productive. Of course I needed to mourn, but to take it beyond a healthy release of stress and emotion didn’t seem to me to be the best way to honour what she meant to me.

My grandmother was a go-getter. After leaving my grandfather following 27 years of emotional and psychological abuse, she somehow had the strength to make something of her life. The scars of her experience with him never left, but she made the most of her loss of faith in relationships and people and did what she needed to do to make her life her own again.

After she died I decided to honour her memory and strength of spirit by making the most of a sad situation. I wanted to turn my loss into an expression of new life, and I did this by honouring my need to heal.

Not that I thought of it in those terms at the time. I simply made up my mind that her death would not be in vain and that the best way to do that was to pick up the broken pieces of my life and start again.

In essence, granny’s death marked the birth of my long journey to self-awareness.

So, what did I do?

Well, we had a shared love of horses, so I knew she would have loved this. I quit corporate life to pursue a dream of working with these beautiful animals. I was in my early 30s at the time, unhappily married and barren. I was at a point in my life where I really needed to start making sense of things; needed to see a few of my dreams come true.

Working with horses (please see my Freshly Pressed post Confessions of a Coaching Intern: Finding Clarity with a Pitch Fork and a Song) put me through a refiner’s fire. I leaned on my promise of making good of my loss and honouring my grandmother to get me through some really tough moments. In the process, I began to explore my suppressed creativity, which eventually lead me to working with people who could help heal a lifetime of pain.

The loss of my lovely gran had paved the way for me to learn how to live authentically, and I have always believed in my heart that she would have been proud of my choice to do so. No matter how difficult our relationship had been, I knew she wanted me to be happy.

And now, when I look at my life and how much more grounded and happy it is; when I see how far I have come since that sad summer of 1994, there’s hardly a day that goes by when I don’t think of granny and the positive life-altering experience that came of my sad loss.

How we handle loss is, of course, a personal thing. I have chosen to adopt the attitude that every cloud has a silver lining. That to honour the person or anything else that is lost by honouring the life and blessings I still have is a greater tribute to what is gone than to sacrifice my happiness on the alter of bitterness and self-pity. Granny would not have wanted that for me. Up there in the heavens she has the pleasure of knowing that I have made good. It is also her blessing to observe how happy I am in my life now compared to the miserable woman I was at the time of her death.

The beauty of loss is that with every ending there is a new beginning. I believe those we have lost who truly loved us would want us to live our lives fully and joyfully.

It doesn’t mean the journey will be an easy one, but at least we’ll be heading in a positive direction.

To me, life is too short to look at it any other way.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

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©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

More of the Unexpected

Dreams Soar | crookedeyebrows
Death. | ♥Bob’s Magical Land Of Oz♥
Daily Prompt: Unexpected | life n me!
Monuments to Loss | Finale to an Entrance
Remembering My Mother | The Pinterested Parent
Daily Prompt: Unexpected | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
The Lurker’s List | In Silence
Daily Prompt: 20 Days Left….Unexpectedly | Not The Sword But The Pen
Love and Loss | The Nameless One
Daily Prompt: Unexpected | Finding Life
Sideswiped by the Unexpected | The River Mom
Life Happens, Good and Bad | Kansa Muse
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” | Beauty
Signed Unknown | Ashes of Roses
Daily Prompt: Unexpected | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
Signed Unknown | Ashes of Roses
TEARS STING | hastywords
The Road Not Taken Does Not Exist
Not alone | Life is great
In Loss We Often FInd Ourselves | An Upturned Soul
Loss | the ephemeral petal

Desert Island Day Dreaming

Daily Prompt: Five Items

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Playtime

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A desert island. Isolation. Nothing to do but be.

But how to be?

When pondering what to write I thought first about my list. I wanted to know where my survival instinct would take me. Would I be all “Oh my gosh, I’m stuck on a desert island!! Save me! Save me!” Or would I  adopt a “T’is cool, man” attitude and enjoy the experience.

Assuming there would be a plentiful supply of food and water, etc. I didn’t give this another thought. Frankly, I could survive on bananas and coconuts. 😉

So, given that the “necessities” of life are under control, I present to you a list of five items I would consider necessary to my survival were I to find myself alone on a desert island without human contact.

1) My horse, Bear ~ My thoughts drift to a favourite childhood book, The Black Stallion, and the movie by the same name released in 1979. I want to play out that scene on the beach (minus the snake), where Alec and his wild new equine companion, The Black, are frolicking together in the tropical sun, chasing each other across the sand and splashing in the water. The sequence in the movie is 20 minutes long and features absolutely stunning cinematography. I’m sure Bear and I would have fun and spend many happy hours thus engaged.

2) My digital camera ~ I couldn’t possibly be in a foreign land without my digital camera. So much beauty to capture for future enjoyment after Bear and I are rescued. No doubt I would get spectacular shots of my boy running and playing on the beach.

3) A journal and pen (counted as one item) ~ I’m a writer. I need to document things. I suppose that’s where the camera comes in too. I need to write down my thoughts, feelings, observations. Pour my heart onto the page. Finger writing in the wet sand won’t cut it.

4) My ukelele ~ On a desert island I would have time to play my lovely ukelele and sing. I don’t get to do that these days. I might play everything in the key of C, but at least I’d be playing. 😉

5) A book of Shakespeare’s Sonnets ~ I would immerse myself in the beautiful language of this gifted poet and it would, perhaps, inspire me to write sonnets of my own.

Hmmm, this sounds good. I might enjoy some time on a desert island.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

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©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

More Desert Island Day Dreaming

  1. Daily Prompt: Five Items | Under the Monkey Tree
  2. Daily Prompt: Five Items | soulfoodwords
  3. Charge your phone | Photos to inspire you
  4. Alone in a Deserted Island. | paperdollsletter
  5. Daily Prompt: Five Items | Basically Beyond Basic
  6. Five Items | Geek Ergo Sum
  7. 5 Items | Jab and Cross followed by Cross and Stitch
  8. Five Items | Insanitree
  9. Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This
  10. Undeniable | Active Army Wife
  11. Daily Prompt: Five Items | Joanne Lynn
  12. What Five Things Would You Not Want? (This Prompt Is Stupid) | The Jittery Goat
  13. The simple bare necessities of life | RPMAS
  14. Necessities | The Magic Black Book
  15. Daily Prompt: Five Items « cognitive reflection
  16. 5 Elements of Baking | A Crazy Chef
  17. Daily Prompt: My Five Must Have’s | Musings&Rants

Bathed in Light … Roman Baths, Bath, Somerset, England

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Portal to Heaven

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When I travel I like to visit the old and ancient places. I like to marvel at the workmanship. I like to look up.

I find when I look up I see the most amazing things. Like this beautiful domed ceiling at the entrance to the Roman Baths in Bath, Somerset.

In the centre a window to the heavens, where light enters and bathes the palatial hall in a warming glow.

In the Baths at Bath I am bathed in light.

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Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013