"Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional."
In two weeks I will be hosting the Round Robin Challenges once again! I haven't been a host of the photo challenge in a long time, the last time was actually for the subject of "Express A Feeling" on August 15th, 2010, which seems like forever ago, but was really less than 3 years ago. It seems longer somehow. Time is a strange thing sometimes, because it doesn't seem like my friend, and fellow Round Robin host, Steven, has been gone from the challenges, and our lives, for very long at all. Sometimes I feel like he will be back from vacation at any time to resume hosting again. In one of the last conversations we had, he told me that he would be back in no time at all, because he enjoyed sharing his photography too much to stay away for too long.
Time went by, emails and phone calls went unanswered, and I assumed that he had made the decision to jump off the net due to... well... whatever drives people to disengage from cyber relationships and pursuits. Some get jobs designing websites, and get sick to death of being on the Internet day and night. Some get busy with the day to day drama of being human, and boy can I understand that! Sometimes life is like a sitcom, which is fun, but when it's more like a drama... it can be downright exhausting! The last time I spoke to Steven he was still grieving the loss of his beloved cat, and I could more than understand how that can affect one emotionally, as it had been less than a year earlier that my cat Elvis had passed away. It was an event that I still have not fully recovered from even now. I find myself thinking about Elvis daily, despite my attempts at not doing so.
Karen, who is also a co-host, and original founding member of the challenges, lost her dog Tuffy during the same time frame. There was a lot of loss all interconnected. It was a lot, and it helped me to know that my two friends understood when I needed a bit of time to catch my breath. We all understood for each other... we all had our moments... we all needed the occasional step back from the challenges life was dealing. So sitting here right now, a part of the Round Robin Challenges again, for the specific reason of giving Karen time off to deal with not just the loss of another pet, her dog Pepper, but indeed a full plate of challenges ranging from personal, to employment to commitments made to her church.
Life. It has it's challenges.
"Don't give up! It's not over. The universe is balanced. Every set-back bears with it the seeds of a come-back."
I wasn't sure why I chose the subject of the current RRC: Gateways, to start things off. I went into my archives, and came up with a list of photos that had been previously posted, but not in the context of a photo challenge. The red gate photo is one of my favorites from 2012. It was taken on August 17th, in San Francisco, and graces the downstairs of the apartment on 20th street that Woody Allen used for his upcoming film, Blue Jasmine. My eyes were drawn to the gate immediately upon arriving at the film sight. It is a brilliant splash of color in an otherwise unremarkable street corner. Unremarkable until you look closer at the street and it's quirky splashes of color and life. A closer look at the street will reveal a lot of stories, from the dog walker I saw two days in a row, at the exact same time, with the exact same number of dogs, who stared down at a book he was reading as he walked along 20th street, never looking up to notice the movie being filmed, to the beautiful, medium sized admiral butterfly that alighted on a white gate, nearly directly across the street from the red gate that I found so fascinating!
Now I think I understand. Gateways lead us to the other side of barriers don't they? They let us walk away from pain on one side, into healing on the other. Life is full of gateways or bridges, although I think when a bridge is involved there is a lot more work involved. You know, the gate is a much quicker transition, but the bridge has tolls, and it's generally a longer journey beginning to end. Walking through a gate comes after the trip over the bridge. Of course I am probably over-thinking things again. Sometimes a gate is just a gate... right? But when I consider the whole picture, I can see some parallels. Sure. Anyway, life presents us with challenges, and it's up to us how we face them.
I like to face them with my camera, when at all possible.
That's why I take it everywhere I go.
The doctor's office. The DMV. Film sets. Grocery Stores. IKEA. Parks. Lunch. Bridges.
Anyway, in a couple weeks, on Saturday, March 23rd, I will be once again hosting the Round Robin Challenges, and if you would like to join us, you are most welcome! It's an easy enough challenge, and I would be very pleased to see how you might tackle it! So please consider playing along! If things go well, I might even consider reopening the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot. I miss it very much sometimes. I think I have finally closed the gate on the things that made me so tired.
Round Robin Challenge: Gates
Saturday, March 23rd 2013