Sinner vs. Saints

DSC_5503Somewhere out near Moose Junction in the Grand Tetons sits a little old church.  Nestled in the mountains, the view is beautiful.  This is really no surprise.  That is unless you sit outside….then it depends on where you sit.

To the right and to the left there are benches.  One pair has a beautiful view of the mountains, the other set…a view of the building.  I couldn’t help but wonder the implications of this, but only one thing stood out….sinners vs. saints.

Considering that it is self-seating, I cannot help but wonder why anyone would choose to sit on the side without the mountains.  I doubt sermons  are held outside unless the congregation is small.  So, why?  Does one deem themselves not worthy of viewing the mountains?  Does one not want to be distracted by the mountains?  Does one just purely not like the mountains?  That last one raise a whole other question….like, why exactly are you in the mountains? Anyway, why sit on the other side of the building.

I did not grow up religious.  I grew up in a family that believed in God, but that is as far as it went.  My grandparents went to church religiously, but we didn’t.  There is a difference between growing up in a family that is religious and growing up in one that merely believes there is a God.  You have to come to terms with figuring out your own spiritual conviction.  It is something that is enlightening and sometimes confusing depend on where you are in life and what you need.

I won’t discuss religious views.  To each their own.  What I will say is this….if you have the choice, always choose the beautiful side.  Despite what you are going through.  Despite what you think that you have done that deems you unworthy.  Always sit on the side with the view.  The view, the beauty it is what makes us seek redemption and life over despair.  You can’t really get right with yourself, soul, or whatever spiritual being you believe in if you are staring at a wall that doesn’t allow you to see.  That is my opinion of course.  Again, to each their own.
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Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.
~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~

Lost in it All

DSC_5937Somewhere long ago I became lost.  As I’ve gotten older, this feeling has just gotten worse.  Moving into my 43rd year of living,  it has gotten hard to…well, truth is I don’t know the right words.  Anything that I say is going to make it sound like I’m in this deep, deep dark depression and that just doesn’t really feel like the case.  It is more like I’m stuck somewhere in the abyss.

Why am I telling you this?  In small part to explain my absence, which isn’t really something I expected anyone to notice….it is humbling when people prove you wrong.  It is also to really just ramble I think.

For some time I have been feeling….well, honestly, excruciatingly bored and frustrated with this life of mine.   The attempts to figure out how to change it so that I don’t feel that way, they have been less than helpful.  They have really just fueled the fire that has opened the gateway to the abyss.  I allowed myself to get sucked in without fighting.  It just required too much energy.

There are things that contributed, but nothing was the sole perpetrator.  The loss of a internet friend.  I can’t really blame that at all.  I am embarrassed to admit that I really only mourned him for a short time.  It was more of the fact that it was a lost soul who felt this was his only option and I don’t want people to ever feel that way.  The fact that I truly understood why he had done it.  The thought has passed through my mind, but there is so much more that always pulls me back.  I’m just truly saddened and heartbroken for those that can’t find this in their lives.  I wish I could just wrap them up and keep them safe, but life just doesn’t work that way.

It could be the loss of something that maybe just wasn’t ever meant to be.  A soul crushing moment, because I felt like a fool.  A fool for allowing myself to be happy and for believing that things may actually turn around for me.  A fool for making up excuses as to why he just wrote me off without explanation.  A fool for allowing it to weight so heavy on my heart that I lost site of this confidence everyone else seems to believe I have.

I could be the rut that I am in job wise.  Working a job that I cannot stand because it truly does not require any real brain activity to do the work.  The fact that most of my work is outsourced to an overseas company that I’m also expected to support when they have questions.  The other day I realized how insulting it is that my work has been taken and given to this company and that what I do is purely support work and that I’m to answer this questions when they have them about the work they were given.  It could also be that I have to be thankful and grateful because of the fact that I still have this job, because there are so people out there that cannot find a job.  And if I lived a different life, this job would actually pay a decent amount of money.  I am thankful for it, but it doesn’t make it any less of what it has become.

It could be that I’m working to get out of this dead-end job of mine and better my life, but I have to move to go to grad school because I’ve only been considered good enough to get into one of the several that I applied for.  Yet, once I make the decision as to where I’m moving…everything starts falling apart or making me question it for other reasons.  I wanted to feel like I was moving towards something, not just changing the scenery on something that will never change.

That I’m not sure if I’ve chosen the right path to continue on for my career but it is the one that is easiest to figure out how to pay for.  Or that I’ve reached a point where all the materialistic things have reached a point of frivolous existence.  I have actually found myself embarrassed by the amount of boots that I own.  I love my boots and I don’t foresee me getting rid of them, but I am embarrassed and ashamed about the amount of money I have wrapped in boots and clothes.  It seems especially so since I rarely go anywhere anymore to wear them.  The things we are not supposed to focus on like, if I hadn’t spent that money there…well, I could be spending here instead.

All of this could be caused by the fact that I have a brain that literally never shuts off and doesn’t seem to actually know how to focus on anything other than the negative and the bad.  That I feel alone at the loss of decade long friendships.  That my body has decided that it only knows how to ache and I’m afraid the day will come when I will no longer be able to move.   Not because I do not want to, but because I can’t.  It has already started as there has been twice now that I’ve awakened to find I can’t move my head.  The second time nowhere near as bad as the first, but is that a sign of what is to come?  A body that is slowly shutting down?  I don’t know what I would do if I cannot walk, workout, hike, camp, ride horses.  All wonderful thoughts to a neurotic brain that already overthinks and focuses on the worst case scenarios.

It could be countless other things, but the truth is…it is really all of them.  They’ve all led to this piled on by age and the need for life changes that never seem to come…no matter what I do.

Now, by no means do I need anyone to feel sorry for me.  I’m not looking for sympathy or empathy.  I’m good.  I own my stuff and I know how most of them have ended up where they are.  I don’t really know why I’m posting it now.  I am sure I’ll overthink it and start feeling guilty about it, but for now….here it is.

There are things that I want to do with my photography.  My writing, which I have actually been doing more of lately.  Thank goodness for broken hearts I suppose,  some of us do better creatively when tortured.  Anyway, I don’t really know where I’m going with them, or how I am going to get there.  With that said, as always I don’t know what that means for the future of my blog but until I try to not stay gone so long.

Thank you to all of you for following and sticking around; especially, if you do so after reading this post.  You are amazing and I appreciate you.

~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~

Holding Together

DSC_4073HOLDING TOGETHER

Sunset, and passing a fence
The idea that all that holds us together
Like the pieces of wood, bowed in the middle of the barricade
Is our softness. Only the resolution
In such kindness
Keeps us from going over the edge, Or down With the sun.

~J. MacLean.  Jun 9, 1981 – Sep 13, 2019~

I have tried to come back to the blog world on many of occasions.  I’ve not had it in me.  Of course it would take this to bring it out.  A death.  A suicide.  A lost soul.  I’m sure there is some psychological reasoning behind it.  I know that there is.  Being lost is part of the reason I’ve been gone.

This soul was not someone I ever knew in person.  We had a long 10 plus year online friendship that started in the world of Myspace over writings and photography.  Mainly writing back then.  It would transfer to Facebook. It would be consistent until we had a disagreement about….suicide.  It seems ironic now.  The callous part of me, the angry part of me screams about the irony of it.  This friend, his stance was that suicide is selfish.  Mine would be that it is not selfish because we do not know what that person is going through.  How lonely and heart broken and lost that person has to be to choose that path.  The irony would be that it became his reality.

I know not the details.  Just what I’ve read and pieced together from his family.  He was walking along a road.  Lonely, lost, deep in sadness, deep in darkness.  He was hit by a commercial truck.  He chose to be hit by the truck.  Chose to end his life.  His pain.  His suffering.  Most will view it has selfish.  I hold true to my truth, which is we don’t know how much pain he was in to make this decision.  How lonely and lost he had to feel.   I’m angry because years early that same man chose to end a friendship with me because of my view and because he felt that I was going through something because I refused to argue with him over it.  We reconnected. He claimed to not remember what it was about.  I chose not to remind him. It no longer mattered anyway.  It was the past.  This was the now.

Even in the now, I knew something was different. I just figured people change.  People go through Facebook phases where they eventually don’t post as much or just leave Facebook all together.  I figured this was him, but somewhere I knew. I SHOULD have known because I have seen it in me.  The cries for help. The desperate attempts to get someone to notice, but because of my own “being lost” I ignored him.  Maybe some of me was still in a place where I knew we weren’t the friend we once were.  I honestly do not know.  What I do know is hindsight is an evil part of life that makes you smack yourself in the head, because it is so obvious now.  It is always so obvious after the fact.

My heart is broken but it is more so over a life that became so lost he felt he had no other choice but to end.  For the fact that my own stubborn pride kept us from reconnecting sooner.  I had thought about it, but I am stubborn as hell.  My anger is not just over the situation but the fact that once again I am in a position where all I have is the regrets of everything that should have been and that sadness is not mine to hold because of the situation.    Anger over the things that I keep saying that I’m going to do but that allow to just go the waste side because of…life.

We all know someone who is suffering in the darkness.  If you see changes in someone, acknowledge them.  If you sense something, investigate.  I hate sayings like, “be the change,”  but the truth is….one call, one gesture, one moment it truly can change everything.

I chose the above picture because J. MacLean actually wrote three pieces to go with three pictures that I had taken.  This picture was one, the poem is the one it goes with.   He submitted them, now I will never know how that turned out for him.  He had planned on more, I suspect that it never came.  I don’t know where you are in your life, but live it and find away to love it.  Know if you are in the darkness, you are not alone even though I know it seems that way.  I always listen to a stranger, so come to me if you need.  Don’t let the darkness swallow you, don’t let it swallow someone you love.  We never get the chance to go back.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.
~Montana Rose Photography~

Mountain State of Mind

DSC_6065Especially now that I have to attend jury duty next week.  Ugh.  I know that I should be one of those, “it’s my civil duty” and blah-blah-blah, but seriously…no.  It ranks right up there with watching golf (For those that share my dismay at the thought of that).  Anyway, I can only hope that it is better than the last two times I was called.

The first time I was called for jury duty, I was an alternate.  An alternate jury member, meaning that I get to sit through the trial and not get to voice any of your opinions while the other jury members discuss things and ignore little details like “how you didn’t see that that the guy was carrying a 2×4?”  Yeah.  Fun-fun.  I’d like to at least get to input my opinion on such matters if I have to sit through the tiresome back and forth of it all.

The second time, I was in Ohio and they do things a lot differently.  I was called to sit in a pool of jurors.  This means, that you sit in this room with a bunch of strangers and maybe you get called for  jury duty and maybe you don’t.  Or, if you are really lucky, you get pulled for a case.  You then go to the court room, the judge sits you down, tells you what privilege and duty it is to serve on a jury, and then informs you that the case has been dismissed or settled and that there will be no jury needed.  Sounds simple enough.  All done and get to go home?  Oh, no.  Of course not.

In Columbus OH, if  you don’t get selected for a case, or in my case the trial is no longer happening, you get to sit in the room until the end of the week or until you get pulled for a trial that actually happens.  Yay!  I sat there all day for five days.  I read a book, started a book, and watched a couple of movies.  Not all that horrible.  I did get paid for being there and for work so that was good.  At the time my job didn’t require you sign over your jury check like a lot of places so I got bonus money.  Still…yeah.

Anyway, I will just take it for what it is and dream that I am somewhere else.  Like the mountains.   I hate the busy-ness of the Tetons but I am missing Wyoming, or really anywhere that is Westbound and not Indiana.  The fresh air.  The quietness.  The peace. The nature of it all.  I’ve always had a thing for mountains and with a water view, just makes it all that much better.

I didn’t quite get the water as still as I would have liked and truth be told, I cannot remember if it was sunset or sunrise.  I am thinking that these were taken on my way back from Yellowstone so that would be have sunset.  Maybe. I guess ultimately it really doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that I loved the sun and the mountain reflection in the water.  I hope that you do too.

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Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.
Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

~Montana Rose Photography~

Specialty

DSC_2051 I have been thinking a lot about my area of expertise as far as the world of photography.  Then I wonder how much of it is the area of which they are posted.  Facebook vs. Instagram vs. here on my rarely posted anymore blog.  The truth is, I love photography and I do want to make hobby money but people are not my area of expertise…on so many levels.  However, what is my area of expertise?

If I was to pay attention to Facebook, it is hit and miss.  Really, Facebook probably shouldn’t be an accurate measurement because pages have a hard time getting exposure because Facebook wants money.  Friend list…well, anyway.  If I was to pay attention to Instagram…horses and most animals.  On occasion, certain landscapes but as I’m typing this…well, I’m realizing that it probably comes down to what people are actually looking for.  We all know art, poetry, photography…the beauty and meaning and what not are all in the eyes of the beholder.  Perception is a cheeky monkey and we all have our own.

So far this above is my least liked photo in a long time. It has gotten a decent amount on Facebook since posting (in comparison to others), but Instagram like two people like it.  There could be many reasons why.

For those that do not know, this is the Devil’s tower inside of the Sacred Circle of Smoke.  The placement of the sculpture was strategic and shots like this one have come a regular and sought out view for most tourist.  The fool in me didn’t think much of it at first, but when I went to take it and saw many others going for the same shot, it made sense and I realized mine would not be amongst the first.  I did want it to be different.  Not the usual typical version.  I played with it.  I like it….but this one is also not bad.

As always, I’ll let you decide what you think but I hope that you at least like one of them.  Opinion and thoughts are always welcomed.

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Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~

Breakthrough

DSC_9798I am finally breaking through my pictures.  There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel…vacation tunnel anyhow.  I do have a batch of photos that I took prior to leaving and some after returning…those will keep until sometime that is not now.

I know I posted a car the other day, but I’m really loving my ghost town old car series.  I am really loving a lot of my photos.

A friend on Facebook said that she’d like to know the history of the last car that I posted.  The truck.  I’m sure that there is history somewhere.  More about the town, I would think the rest would go without saying.   The cards obviously came from somewhere.  Maybe someone passing through the area and it broke down.  Or it belonged to whomever once owned the old house on the same portion of land.    All of that I’m sure is somewhere in the history books.  Either accuracy or bits and pieces put together by someone through their own research and/or assumptions.  I…I don’t really want to know the history.  Maybe it is that part of me that still thinks it is a storyteller, but I like to leave it all up for imagination in these types of scenarios.

I don’t know.  We all have our things, I guess.  I’ll let you do what you do when looking at this picture.  Either way, I hope that you like it.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

Rusty Old In the Snow

DSC_9956As I walked this old dirt path looking for a “ghost town”, it began to snow.  It was incredibly cold this year in the Black Hills.  Some would say that I should have checked the weather…I did and I went the same time of year that I’ve gone the two years prior….weather is unpredictable and it is never the same.  This year was no different.  It was cold.  It was raining.  It was snowing.

I walked what seemed to be for miles.   It wasn’t, but it felt like it.  Slipping and sliding in the mud. Snow that grew heavier.  Temperatures that dropped.  I didn’t care. I was on a mission.

After sometime, I stumbled upon and old house.  I wondered around. Saw old cars.  Realized that the “ghost town” was really just an old house, and old concrete enclosure of sorts, some old structure remnants, and some old cars.  Maybe if I had walked up the muddy hill further down the path I would have discovered more, but I didn’t.  Did I mention it was cold and snowy…and muddy and I didn’t wear my cowboys boots.  We all know by now that I’m fearless when I am in my boots….if only.

DSC_9979I was more fascinated by the old cars anyway.  The house, I couldn’t nail down the pictures I wanted.  I still have some…I will get to them someday.  As far as this car, there wasn’t much to him.  I’m also pretty sure that it was more of a truck than a car. It looks truckish.  I also altered them.  There were a handful of old cars in this “ghost town”, but regular editing just didn’t seem to fit them.  They needed a ghostly, soft, and faded vintage type look to them.  I hope that you agree that this look fits.

Live, laugh, love, and let it Ride.