To Sweat or To Sit

”I’ve found [photography] has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

– Elliott Erwitt


If you read my post a week ago, you know that I’m starting a Week in Review of fluffy” photos on this blog to give us all just a little something to mindlessly enjoy. Mind you, though, I DID do some actual work this week on the blog. If you haven’t checked out the start of my first identification gallery, you should do that after you read this, especially if you happen to share my fascination with butterflies. But back to this.

When I sat down to pick out my seven favorite photos from this week, I began to see all of the images come together for more than just face value of the subject matter. I began to see them in such a way that they told a story…a story about me…really a story about all of us.

I work a lot. My husband J. calls me a bee. Funny that the bee would now be raising bees in her very own back yard. (Sort of reminds me of that kindergarten teacher sweater that sports bears wearing sweaters that have bears wearing sweaters on them. Where does one bee or bear begin and the other one end?) But back again to this. I’m really not unlike any of you. We all work. We all work a lot. I think what sets some of us workers apart from other workers, though, is an ability to turn off the work switch and flip on the play switch…or, even more delicious, to shut it all down and just be, not bee. Be slow. Be easy. Be centered. Be grounded. For all that is holy and pure…be present. Allow yourself some moments throughout the week where time doesn’t matter. Shocking concept, right? That time shouldn’t always MATTER. If you aren’t doing this religiously, before too long you’ll find yourself flat on your back at the bottom of the hive…DEAD. And, as my bestie Jilly W. reminded me this week, the Monty Python cart master of an undertaker will come along calling, “Bring out your dead,” and your friends and family will just have to carry you out and toss you onto the passing cart.

I had this feeling while walking this week. I glanced under my neighbor’s arbor and spotted an old periwinkle clam-shell chair, sitting amidst spindly stalks of purple Penstemon, and I got this feeling I couldn’t quite place. In my heart of hearts, though, it soothed me. Something about that chair equated to everything that is right in this world. It wasn’t until my friend D. D. commented on the photo and said, “Makes me think of my Grandpa,” that I could set into words why that chair seemed to quell every bit of noise within my soul. If you’ve ever had a Grandpa, nothing about him is busy. The closest you’ll get to “busy” with a Grandpa is more akin to the word “putter,” and that’s what makes him perfect. Grandpas always seem to have time. I know mine did. I have very real, very clear images of him just sitting. Sitting and tapping his foot. Now tell me, who do you know in your life right now that you can clearly imagine just sitting? I bet you’re hard-pressed to name one single individual. That was how the chair unfolded for me. It spoke to me and said, ”At some point every week your story should end up with you as a Grandpa, even for just a few moments.” I can start out busy, sweat on my brow as I bustle here and there, packing everything I can into a day, but in the end, dang it, I absolutely should cool off, take a few long sips, maybe of some wine, and just sit in a chair and be, not bee.

The story is all right here in my seven favorite photos for the week. It’s my story. It could be yours too, if you let it.


All you have to do is pull up a chair.


All the best,

A. J.


“Dive Right In” (Metallic green Sweat Bee working the Coreopsis)


“Just Keep Moving” (Honeybee workers carry pollen into the hive and fly right back out)


“Pack it All In” (Honeybees packing different colors of pollen into the comb)


“The Cool-Down” (Blue Borage bathes in the sprinkler)


“Take a Long Sip” (Four-lined Bug sucks juice from a leaf)


“One Glass or Two?” (Nothing quite as delectable as the perfect Winecup)


“Just Be” (Enough said)

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