Thursday, November 21, 2013

Canvases of Gratitude

I wonder: Will there ever come a time when there is nothing new to notice? Is it possible to look at the same basic scene and always find something new to appreciate? Nature has been surprising me lately as I am drawn to new sources of inspiration and artistic possibilities. The natural world is like a good story - perhaps a Sufi or Zen teaching tale - that you can hear repeatedly and each time connect with a new element or nuance that anchors your awareness and supports your evolution.

Sometimes I am deeply inspired by my photographer friends and mentors. In much the same way as a therapist or teacher offers an insight that opens up new doors of understanding and awareness, sometimes someone will share an image that opens my eyes to something I'd never noticed before. One example is colors of trees, sunrise, etc. reflected on the water. If you zoom in and focus only on the colors on the surface of the water - isolate them from their context - they look very much like a watercolor painting. I see them as a canvas. When paired with reflective thoughts, the images become the background for "daily reflections."

Frosty windows offer another canvas for possibilities. Instead of cursing the cold, take a closer look at the intricate frost patterns, and enter a whole new world where frost becomes enchanting.

Since my world will be painted with frost for the next several months, I might as well find something to love about it!

This is the way of gratitude. A grateful heart is a powerful antidote to apply when life gives us challenges. Training our mind to find goodness in the midst of the full catastrophe of life - to embrace what is - helps us to stay afloat. Gratitude is like a life raft. It changes everything.

The sun continues to set earlier every day, and usually by the time I get home from work it already has sunk behind the trees. So I have turned my attention to the sunset silhouettes of trees

...and silhouetted symmetry.

And of course, there's the moon.

A couple nights ago, I was caught off-guard when I glanced out the window and saw the breathtaking image of the moon rising over the river large, low, and orange. The sky already was much darker than in the picture above, and the long reflection of the low moon looked like a flame flickering on the water. I didn't go outside with my camera but just sat on the futon looking out the window and feeling such peace as the moon gradually floated higher, becoming smaller and brighter, and the reflection became shorter...until it was no more than a tiny, bright, dancing disk.

Nature is abundantly generous, and I believe there is no end to the blessings and inspiration it offers us, every day of the year. For not only is the natural world changing constantly, but we are, too.


My River Bliss Photography 2014 wall calendar is now available for purchase! You can either order through my Etsy shop or I can generate an invoice through PayPal. For PayPal, contact me at with your email address and the number of calendars you would like. I spent many focused, joyful hours capturing the images, assembling the calendar, and selecting 14 of the most uplifting, inspiring photos from my collection for the cover and 13 monthly pages (January 2014 through January 2015).

I am very pleased with the quality and happy to be able to offer this calendar! Quantity is limited, and I am offering a special price of $20 per calendar (plus $6 shipping) for the rest of November. All orders are received with a grateful heart and will be packaged with love and care and sent from the riverside to your door.


The photographs in this blog and in my Flickr photostream are available for purchase as prints or cards through my Etsy shop by selecting a "custom print" in whatever size you prefer and indicating either the name of the print or the blog post and order in which it appears. 

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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