This garden is bringing me so much joy this summer. The neighbors love it too. Gardens are to be shared. The way the plants wander through, wrap and intertwine Richard’s rusty sculptures is for me, a lesson in resilience coupled with transformation.
Walking the Back woods.
There is no place more humbling than the bottom of a hill...I'm back at it. 5 days of running the trails around the lake. It's been difficult...However, today's time was minute faster than yesterday's time. I am humbled and grateful for this practice. I will never give up running. I hope to run 'til the end of my days...
4 mile run. Done. I've been reading MLK for inspiration, peace of mind and lessons for the way forward. Onward!
Awoke to 25 degrees this morning. Hello November. 3 miles in the book.
I am blessed with a beautiful garden. Lots of hard work, sweat and down-knees-digging. Nature is my church. Gratitude.
body is poem
spirit is breath
mind is sweat
earth is lover
Shelita Birchett Benash
6.24 beautiful miles...The focus is on breath during my practice. Centering. I believe, every working artist and human being needs to take time to away from distraction to recalibrate the spirit...Running is my way of spiritual centering and soul recalibration. I am so grateful for the ability to move...
I'm grinding toward a deadline right now....Still, I'm focused on what's important.
I'm in the midst of a run streak. I was already running 6 days a week. However, I saw the Runners World Run Streak 2015 challenge posted on Instagram that challenged runners to run every day from Thanksgiving until New Year Day 2016. So, runners are tagging #rwrunstreak on Instagram photos from their daily runs. This is my first experience with participating in a social media virtual run streak. I find it quite amazing. I appreciate seeing other runners journeys and stories. There's so much beauty out there!
I already use nature photography as part of my creative practice. However, my photography is taking on a whole new significance, as I am determined to run through winter 2016. I am so grateful for this practice. And I am so excited for this #rwrunstreak!
Here are some of the photos from my Instagram gallery. All photos from my runs are taken with my iPhone 6 Plus.
TRADITIONAL JAPANESE HAIGA CONSISTS OF A HAIKU POEM PAIRED WITH AN INK BRUSH PAINTING. HAIGA IS VERY MUCH ASSOCIATED WITH BASHO. FIVE YEARS AGO, I BEGAN PRACTICING THE WRITING OF A DAILY HAIKU. I ALSO TOOK NATURE PHOTOGRAPHS DAILY. I CONSIDERED THE PAIRING OF MY NATURE PHOTOGRAPHS ALONG WITH MY HAIKU, AS A MODERN INTERPRETATION OF JAPANESE HAIGA. I'VE RECENTLY, BEGUN SHOOTING SHORT NATURE VIDEOS ON MY IPHONE 6 PLUS. I FIND THE VIDEOS AMAZINGLY PEACEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL TO LISTEN TO AND WATCH. I'M CAPTURED BY THE SOUNDS OF SERENITY. THe CREATIVE PRACTICE of writing haiku, taking nature photgraphs and short nature videos, centers me and FEEDS MY WORKing procress in other medias.
strangled roots yawning
oak in repose her head splayed
tangled in the arms
of her much younger lover
eternally kneeling kiss
Took a walk into the backwoods today. The call of the birds was happy. Their chorus was a welcome change from winter's biting silence. Felt the crunch of frozen grass in some spots. Still, the sun was finally warm and the stream was flowing clear. Then, I saw them fallen. There were several massive trees wrenched from the earth. I imagined the weight from heavy snow and ice cracking their branches. I wondered if they fell together, as if giving up. The massive half moon wall of tangled dirt and roots jutting into the air, frightened me a little. The sight of ripped out roots was violent. The cavernous icy hole left behind seeming ready to swallow an unsuspecting soul into hell. I was drawn to the tree corpse. My eyes traveled the long trunk up to its glorious branches, it appeared as if god herself had fainted with her arms above her head. I felt small and vulnerable. I looked up to see if another might collapse onto me. I was respectful and sad for one hundred years lost. I walked on, slowing down. As I got closer to the tree's halo branches, my perspective shifted. I saw how the soft earth cradled her. The truth of impermanence laid out bare. The fallen tree was not dead, it had taken a new form there on the forest floor where it would live on for another ten thousand years, as it gave itself back to the earth in beautiful decay.
If only you could hear
the sound of snow...
©Photographs by Shelita Birchett Benash, 2014.
"When we lose someone we love, we should remember …matter cannot be destroyed--it can become energy. And energy can become matter, but it cannot be destroyed; she has just taken on another form. That form may be a cloud, or a child or the breeze. We can see our loved one in everything." Thich Nhat Hanh.
The sunrise grabbed me from my bed. I looked toward the heavens through my camera lens with gratitude for capturing the moment. And later on this day, Donna McElroy, my dearest friend of over 30 years was taken off life support after battling Gammadelta T-Cell lymphoma for 18 months. I see Donna in this sunrise. I believe her spirit called me outside that early morning on January 4, 2014.