65 Mornings
It's Not So Hard to Make Magic

Never Ready, Never Done

Bowl on table

This morning, I listened to a "Love Letter" from Meghan Genge, cohost along with Jamie Ridler, of Love Letters, a series of 32 messages on creativity and more. I have to confess that I've gotten really picky about these free events, since way too many of them end up promoting what they have to sell more than anything else. Jamie is a different story...she generously shares so much good stuff.

Meghan's video chat drew me in immediately; her message one that I've heard many a time in one form or another. But, it never hurts to hear it again, to be reminded of what I know, but I too often forget. 

"You're never ready; you're never done."

I can be the master of excuses at putting creativity off. My mind has so many tabs open: photography, writing, slow stitch, mixed media. I can't begin to tell you how much I've created - in my mind that is. I wake during the night composing a blog entry, working out a photo, and more. Trouble is I'm way too good at finding reasons that I'm not ready. I need my dslr, not my phone. I need my "To Do List" to disappear, because what's on there is way too important and really should be done first, done before I sit down to create. I get in my own way. 

Never done. I do this one well. I love to learn, to research, to explore. As I finish up something, another idea pops into my too many tabs opened mind. It might be a "better" way to do what I've done. It might be something brand new. I'm not idea challenged, but when I sit down to write, the little gremlin, aka inner critic, whispers, "Really? Why bother?" and then gives me a laundry list of why I shouldn't bother, and oh, yeah, remember all that stuff you need to do? Like laundry?

Meghan's advice: Just begin. Just take one step. Then, take another. Yeah, I know this, but again, it's just good to hear it, to be reminded.

I've been working through a mindful photography course with Julie Fischer MeCarter, whose work never fails to inspire. One assignment this week asked us to take a meaningful object and photography it outside of its normal surroundings. I chose my mother's blue bowl, aka the "Cookie Bowl."

Bowl on path

Julie asked us to go with whatever popped into our heads, that it would be the right choice. 

And I thought, that cookie bowl is too big to be lugging around. Besides, it's too cold to go outside.

Sigh. That damn inner critic.

So, yesterday, I woke up to a gorgeous sunrise and the most beautiful light outside my window. Out I went in a fuzzy blue art making stained bathrobe, my phone, a pair of slippers, and at the very last minute grabbed the bowl. 

Exiting through our back room door, I stopped dead. 

Well, crap, it's morning rush hour and I live immediately off of one of Virginia's busiest roads. Not only are there thousands of commuters driving by, but the middle school busses passed by as well.

And, I was the crazy lady in her bathrobe making photos of a bowl. Well, if nothing else, I'd provide a bit of conversation for a lot of folks. 

Bowl in leaves

It's not pretty outside right now, not unless you happen to love brown. I happen not to, finding it a pretty depressing color. Looking around I spotted a grungy looking moose (dog toy), also brown. A few tennis balls, the toy car the twits drive, but not one thing I could see to do with the bowl.

I wanted my dslr (never ready!) but knew if I went back inside, I probably wouldn't come out. I knew I'd get some great shots if I laid flat on the ground...uhm, no. Not going to happen. Virginia's commuters and middle schoolers already had enough to talk about. Besides, that ground is cold!

Leaves. I had lots and lots of leaves. I also had a meandering stone path that would make for great leading lines. 

I went for both, and quickly at that. When I'm shivering, it's hard to get things focused the way I like.

In the end, despite the not readys, I ended up with some cool shots. I can only imagine what my mom would be thinking. You filled the cookie bowl with dead leaves? Girl, you need to see the doctor. 

I love this bowl; it holds memories more than leaves. 

I love my shots; I know what I'd like to try next (never done!), and it will involve lying on the ground and my big girl camera. 

I love how I learned to look at the bowl differently; placing it out of context does that.

I love the stories my photos tell.

I like that I did some thinking "outside the box." 

Most of all, I like that I didn't just write this in my head.




Oh this hits me in all the feels. And just that idea I'd looking beyond the obvious. Thank you.


I've missed reading your words and visiting with you. I'm glad I popped in today. Your verbal visuals are as enchanting as your photographic visuals. I'm glad you filled the beloved cookie bowl with leaves. Bet your mother would have loved that too!


I missed this post! I love that you got out of your head :-) I have the same issue, I lay there thinking about wonderful things to draw... after work... after chores... after dinner.... And I love you that you gave all the commuters something to talk about. They probably needed a creative boost as well, maybe you are featured in a story on someone's blog!


Paula, I stopped by your blog today and enjoyed reading your posts and seeing your photos. It seems like there is renewed energy. My creative process is in need of that ... thank you for the inspiration.

Paula Bogdan

Thank you so much, Jan! I do so much more writing in my head; I don't know why I'm fighting sitting down to actually do it. I have a few ideas listed, and once I catch up on my comments, I'll be writing a bit today and then more this week. I appreciate your comment...it's easier to write when you know someone's reading!

Paula Bogdan

Cynthia, thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm trying to get back into this blogging thing, and it's so much easier when you know someone's reading!

Paula Bogdan

Abrah, I'm pretty sure I'm the talk of the school kids and commuters on a regular basis! But, when I get started on something like this, I get lost in what I'm doing, and that's probably a good thing. But, now as I'm writing to you, I'm picturing all the snails, insects, etc. chatting away about this strange lady.

Paula Bogdan

Thank you, Sherry. I'll be sitting down in a bit to write; it's still hard to get back into the pattern of blogging. So much easier in my head! I really appreciate your taking the time to comment.

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