The Birth of Something New

As part of the ongoing photoremedy.me effort to encourage others to explore the “good medicine” that can be delivered to those who are passionate about the pictures they take and make, we occasionally share research or thought processes that support the healing nature of creativity.

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch (fine art photography)

Today’s thought comes from Jan Phillips in her book, God Is at Eye Level.

We get so caught up in the flurry of our lives that we forget the essential thing about our art–that the act of creating is a healing gesture, as sacred as prayer, as essential to the HGR Pink Fower 1j (1 of 1)spirit as food is to the body. Our creative work reveals us to ourselves, allows us to transform our experience and imagination into forms that sing back to us in a language of…who we are, what we are becoming, what we have loved and feared. This is the alchemy of creation: that as I attempt to transmute a feeling or thought into an artistic form that can be experienced by another, I myself am added to, changed in the process.

As we center ourselves in the act of creating, attune to our inner voice, a shift occurs in our consciousness, allowing for the birth of something new. Our attention is no longer on time and demands and errands. It is caught up in the metamorphosis of one thing into another. What begins as a cocoon emerges a butterfly. What once was sorrow may now be a song.

All of the photos featured today are photoremedy.me originals, and were taken at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Like many of Arizona’s celebrated resorts, it is a great place to stimulate the “birth of something new.” It is a great place for photoremedy.

St. Francis and a Hippie Bus

St. Francis and a hippie bus? I can’t say I ever imagined those two fitting together in the same headline.

St. Francis of Phoenix (fine art photography)

St. Francis of Phoenix (fine art photography) – 111 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix

A recent trip to central Phoenix in search for highly rated Eggs Benedict, however, led Mary and me to St. Francis restaurant. We then followed up on our wonderful brunch–the eggs were top notch–with a little photoremedy that included the discovery of a couple of really cool vehicles (a 1957 Chrysler Imperial and the front half of a VW Hippie Bus).

Note: The photoremedy mission is to encourage those fighting chronic pain and other afflictions to consider using photography as a powerful tool to move their focus away from the pain. In the process, we strive to enhance readers’ ability to see beauty and experience elevated joy in their lives. There are many gifts that can accompany health challenges; one of the greatest offerings is it frequently forces sufferers to set better priorities for their lives and assists them in seeing the world in new and more meaningful ways. 

Staycation Vacation

Merriam-Webster defines staycation as “a vacation spent at home or nearby.” It’s not a complex concept; the word is simply a combination of stay and vacation. We first moved to Arizona in 1993, and we’ve been enjoying staycations ever since. Because we now live in Anthem on the northern most reaches of the metro Phoenix area, it is super easy to experience nearby amenities that are completely different than where we live. And, of course, such journeys inescapably provide photoremedy opportunities.

Ingo's Tasty Food - Arcadia (fine art photo)

Ingo’s Tasty Food – Arcadia (fine art photo)

Our most recent staycation involved a sojourn into the North-Central Phoenix area, and epicurean adventures to the historic, yet hip, Arcadia neighborhood.  We stayed in what used to be accurately referred to as a resort, and it still bills itself that way. Since it is a significantly “tired” facility, and not resort quality in my book, I refused to get my camera out to take pictures of the facility. Highlights of our otherwise wonderful trip included:

Great food

Good Wine

Fun Food Shopping

Ice Cream (the best I’ve ever had!)

Sweet Republic Ice Cream - N. 16th St., Phoenix

Sweet Republic Ice Cream – N. 16th St., Phoenix

Looking at an attribute list that features great food, good wine, fun food shopping, and the best retail ice cream I’ve ever had, it becomes increasingly clear that staycations will continue to be an important part of our future travel planning efforts. After all, sometimes there’s no place like home.

Back to School

Saint Augustine of Hippo, who has proven to be a fountain of knowledge that has watered seeds of wisdom for so many since the fourth century, is best known for his Christian and theological teachings.  He also proved prophetic when it comes to travel.

Augustine has been quoted as saying, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”  In my book, this doesn’t mean you have to be a world traveler; there are often gems we have overlooked in our own communities or regions. A couple of weeks ago, Mary and I added some pages to our travel book with a day trip to the Arizona neighboring mountain communities of Pine and Strawberry. Not only did we beat the heat, but we savored a great home style meal at Pine’s Randall House and snuck in bit of photoremedy.

Since we were not in a hurry, we also made a side trip to the historic Strawberry School. This diminutive log building is known as the oldest standing school in Arizona. It only operated as an “educational institution” between 1884 and 1916. School House Exterior jAfter largely sitting idle for more than a half-century, local residents restored the school and it was formally dedicated as a Historical Monument in 1981. Thanks to a great group of volunteers, the Fossil Creek Road structure allows visitors a nostalgic opportunity to momentarily return to the days that preceded the education related technological advancements featured today.

I’ve driven past the Strawberry School turn off dozens of times, but I’m extremely thankful Mary and I finally slowed down and took such a glorious step back in time. Next time you find yourself being overly entertained by technology or even bored, make time to write a few new pages in your book – whether this requires traveling half a world away or right outside your door.

Splashing Into Heaven

Children Quote Card

A Memorial Day Weekend trip to Anthem Community Park’s splash pad with our grand kids brought the familiar Bible passage (above) to mind. And, the more I look at the images produced by this short photoremedy journey, the more I find myself thinking, “Once again (as always), Jesus has it right.”

Isabella Splash 5b (1 of 1)

Emmett Splash 8 (1 of 1) - Copy

If heaven is full of souls with child-like glee, enthusiasm, and explorations, I want in. It’s gotta be a blast!

Arizona Spring Flowers

Flower Quote 2

Each Spring, I experience the seemingly inexorable pull towards Arizona flower-related photoremedy. I know those who have not visited the Great American Southwest have a hard time picturing flowers in the desert; it is almost as difficult as trying to imagine a Redneck passing up a cold beer. The colorful gems, though, flourish during the Spring in Arizona’s breathtaking Sonoran Desert. They triumph on the ground and on trees, while consistently painting the ancient mountains in brilliant Spring colors.Gavilan Peak 1j

Flowers can also be appreciated in well-manicured gardens. Traditionally, I have focused a greater percent of my efforts on capturing Spring wildflowers. This year, however, garden-grown varieties have received most of my photographic attention. African Daisy 1j

A few of the of the images I have captured (and developed) this year are featured in the gallery below. Just click on any image to view the selections in slide show mode.

Note: The photoremedy mission is to encourage those fighting chronic pain and other afflictions to consider using photography as a powerful tool to move their focus away from the pain. In the process, we strive to enhance readers’ ability to see beauty and experience elevated joy in their lives. There are many gifts that can accompany health challenges; one of the greatest offerings is it frequently forces sufferers to set better priorities for their lives and assists them in seeing the world in new and more meaningful ways.