Out fishing in the aqua waters of the Marlborough Sounds this summer, I photographed these amazing sea creatures, and became intrigued. They don’t look dangerous, they don’t look edible, they don’t even seem to be in charge of their own direction, and yet….. they are awesome.
Teal as in blue
Blue as in moon
Moon as in Jellyfish…..
Jellyfish drifting along in the aqua sea
Pulsating gently as they catch a ride in the tide.
No destination to decide.
They have no brains but,
it's amazing how long they have survived.
I became fascinated in the why’s and wherefore’s of Jellyfish so I googled – (as you do)
And found…… Jellyfish are the oldest multicellular creatures on earth, older than even the dinosaurs.
But wait, there’s more…… Some Jellyfish are also immortal.
“Turritopsis dohrnii, dubbed ‘the immortal jellyfish’because on reaching maturity, it regenerates into its younger form, so appears to be immortal.” When this jellyfish gets old, or hurt, or even too hungry, it uses a process called ‘transdifferentiation’ to regenerate its old cells.
First, the jellyfish falls to the ocean floor, or coral reef. From there the adult medusa reverts back to its polyp form, regenerating the cells and creating brand new, youthful cells that are genetically identical to the old medusa. The immortal jellyfish can theoretically do this forever, that is, until it gets eaten by some other sea creature like a turtle, whale, or fish. Scientists think that, unhindered, the immortal jellyfish can keep on living forever, with no cap on the number of times it can regenerate.”
The immortality of jellyfish -who knew?
Now that would be a handy thing to be able to do!
The moon jellyfish is the most common in New Zealand. They also make awesome subjects to photograph whilst waiting for the fish to bite. I took some artistic licence when abstracting one of my photos to highlight their aqua awesomeness.
A group of jellyfish is called a SMACK – I’m thinking it should be a STING
ACROSS AQUA OCEAN AND RIVERS
Awesome aquatic adventures across the world’s oceans
Journeys from the river mouths to the sea.
Building bridges to span the waters
to keep us connected and free.
Every breaking wave reminds me
of seashores near and far
with the awesomeness of Aqua
those connections again will be.
I love light, I love to write and I love life – I create my words and images to capture the light in my life. Capturing the light leads me on many different journeys – wandering with my camera is one of my favourite things to do.
“If I didn’t have my camera to remind me constantly, I am here to do this, I would eventually have slipped away, I think. I would have forgotten my reason to exist.”
Once upon a time, my habit was that I always took my camera everywhere I went. Over this winter, I had forgotten that habit. Part of the problem was that due to being locked in with road closures and locked down through Covid, I wasn’t actually going anywhere. Yes, I could still walk on the beach unless it was raining and blowing a gale – which it did regularly throughout the winter months.
Thankfully, as the weather is warming up- and (even though the roads are only slowly being fixed), I am getting out a bit more – and I am becoming reacquainted with my camera after misplacing my ‘phojo’ for a couple of months. I had forgotten the joy I feel when wandering with my camera.
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
I write to capture my thoughts…
“People have forgotten how to tell a story.”
I thought I had forgotten so much of my childhood but then I started to write my story, and those memories came flooding back. They were much closer to the surface than I had thought. I had not forgotten my life experiences and yet I struggled to write them as interesting stories. So I researched how to write memoir. I used some writing prompts. I revisited Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (adapted for Covid heroic journeys), and also found an updated version or two of the Heroine’s journey. My memoir writing journey has just begun. I hope to record those memories I thought I had forgotten. Watch this space.
“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
A little story about coffee. Alarmingly, we run out of coffee so had to do the 120 kilometre round trip to town on a Monday – not our usual habit. Finally, we arrived home after a fraught day of road blocks, delays and overheating in our masks. I unpacked the groceries (yes, we bought so much more than we had planned) and noticed… HE had bought beans not espresso grind! That HERO had to return the very next day as HE was not popular – he will not forget again!
Life is about creating memories – and art!
“So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.”
I’m playing with art again. Practicing my creativity through daily pencil sketches and creating art journals. I put on some music, and immerse myself in paints, pastels and crayons. Out comes the water paint, the felt tips and the stencils. I have rediscovered the pure joy of messy fingers, and scribbling with charcoals and ink. I’m having fun! I have not forgotten how to do that.
And just like that, all my hobbies are back on my playlist – and are remembered.
“Trust that little voice in your head that says, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; and then do it.” Duane Michals
So with these encouraging quotes in mind, here I go with my favourite ways to relax….
PLAYING WITH ART: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Either John Lennon or Laurence J Peter – the jury is out on who said this first!
My latest foray into creative expression is when I started a 61 day ICAD (index card a day) challenge from 1st June and ending 31st July – and of course I am still playing catchup. I made a bargain with myself – 30 minutes on the exercycle first then I am free to play with index cards, paint, crayons, stencils and gel pens. I even made a home-made gel plate for printing I put on my music and relax into my art. Here is a small selection from June and July. It is working so far.
READING: “You can find magic, wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr Seuss
This is most certainly one of my ‘go-tos’ for relaxing, pouring myself a cuppa, curling up into a comfy chair and getting lost in a good book – and there I am – relaxed into the magic of words and other worlds. There is a reason I have always loved reading fantasy, science fiction and time travel – it is such an amazing form of escapism. It will be interesting to see how many books I have read by the end of the year – I’m up to Book 54 so far.
I have my favourite genres, and then I have my “impossible to put into any specific genre” genre.
Some books just require you to read, re-read and re-read again. And it is not because you can’t remember the stories, its because they are so good, so full of complexity, twists and turns they need to be read again to catch even more details with each read through.
I’m currently re-reading books 1 – 8 of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon in preparation for the release of book 9 in November. There is an online book group doing a read – along and is great excuse for me to re-read. It is very interesting how much more detail you notice on the next journey through the ‘ stones’.
I enjoyed reading the first book Crosstitch (which has since been renamed as Outlander) when it was published in 1991. I swapped some of the next few books with my sister in law over the years until other work-life priorities intervened. Luckily for me, I not only rediscovered the series a few years ago but also realised I could download the rest of the books onto my kindle. For those that are not yet familiar with this series here is Herself’s description.
Alternatively or as well as – there is the tv series to avidly consume – seasons 1 -5 to date with season 6 scheduled for release early next year. I have to admit to being seriously addicted to Outlander along with several million other readers. I’m not sure if this addictive reading behaviour is actually relaxing or not – hmm?
Whilst waiting for the next book, there is a selection of novellas based on individual characters and a Comprehensive Companion guide (or two ) filling in some background history. It keeps me relaxed.
“Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity.” – A. Edward Newton, author, publisher, and collector of 10,000 books.
By the look of my piles of books which I can’t seem to fit into my bookshelves, and constantly struggle to let go of, it could be said I might be afflicted with this ecstasy too. It reminded me too of this bit of lighthearted relief found online during last year’s lockdown. Read the titles which have been placed in order by a librarian with a sense of humour. Always look for the bright side of life – and stay relaxed.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Relax and trust, knowing the universe has set a banquet of abundance for you”
I found this quote chalked onto a blackboard outside the Langford store in Golden Bay last year. I’m not sure who authored it. I do like the emphasis on “relax and trust”.
Wandering with my camera is when I am truly in my relaxed and happy place. There is always an abundance of subjects to capture – and it keeps the brain active.
WRITING: “It is how you see life that matters, rather than what you have done.” – Patti Miller, “Writing true stories.”
Writing for me is a way to record my inner thoughts and to make sense of the feelings and thoughts that wander through my mind. Playing with words is a form of relaxation for me. It can also be a trip down memory lane.
Elizabeth Gilbert writes that: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to discover those jewels – that’s creative living… I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
So now I have written about creative pursuits I enjoy, I’m feeling rather chilled out and RELAXED