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Hashtag I see wonders

One of the things I really want to try this year is take more pictures with my iPhone. It’s a very capable camera after all. And always with me as opposed to my big-big-heavy Canon. I have an Instagram account and I’m constantly in awe at the kind of stuff people are able to shoot with their phones. I absolutely want to up my game. Also, just play a bit more. But, most importantly I want to teach myself to notice the little wonders of life and practice gratitude on more regular basis.

Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live. – Anna Quindlen

I want to make a conscious effort to notice. To slow down. To pay attention. To choose gratitude.

And I was hoping you’d like to join me.

For the next two weeks I’ll be tagging my Instagram photos with #iseewonders. If you have an Instagram account (if you don’t- get one!) and would like to play along, simply tag your photographs of the small wonders in your life with #iseewonders You can also hashtag photos on Twitter and Facebook.

It doesn’t have to be anything big and super amazing. It actually shouldn’t be ;) Small things that maybe would normally annoy you, but instead you decided to smile. Like fingerprints on a window :)

You will be able to see all of them here and my bet is it will lighten us all up.

At the end of the month I will select a few to post here, on Halituli and link back to your Instagram feed. There will be also a giveaway from my newly opened print store.

Are you in? Hope so!
Wishing you a day full of wonders :)
Follow me on Instagram here.
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Feed the white wolf, hug the black wolf » halituli - […] our distinctive voice and sharing it. It means helping others. It means staying in the present, looking for beauty, light and wonder in our lives. Actively looking, eyes, ears and minds […]

I see wonders: March » halituli - […] wow. This has become a truly… spiritual experience. “Look for wonders” is on my daily to-do […]

#iseewonders April » halituli - […] was the second month of looking for wonders. If you are not sure what I’m talking about check this post and then March. Apologies for posting April so late, I promise to post in the first week of the […]

Where stories come from

That book. Really, if you have a chance and it was translated to the language your kids know, GRAB IT. Åsa Lind “Sandvargen”- the original is in Swedish. We read it in Polish and as far as I could gather from quick search on Amazon it’s been translated into German and French.

The main character is a little girl named Zackarina (Karusia for Polish readers). She reminds me of Ingrid SO much. I guess maybe that’s one reason I love this book and can read it on repeat for days. Zackarina lives in a little house by the sea and when her parents don’t want to play with her she goes down to the beach to play and talk to the Wolf of Sand. He always has time. He is sparkly and sandy and has been around since times immemorial. He is a teeny bit philosophical and explains stuff that Zackarina doesn’t understand. Like why Dad always wants to read a newspaper when she wants to play. Or where was she before she was born. Sand Wolf can also explain why there is no need to be afraid of monsters and darkness. Or how bruises are in fact medals that you get when you’ve done something brave (and a bit reckless). It’s really a wonderful gem of a book. One of my favorite chapters is about stories (translation is my own, forgive the imperfections):

Stories are hidden everywhere said Wolf of Sand. In leaves and sticks, dragonflies and screwdrivers and lost mittens.

‘My breath brings stories to life – he said – I make them more visible. So visible that even people can see them’

‘All right then. But how do leaves or mittens turn into books?’ – asked Zackarina

Wolf of Sand answered that it is very simple. It only requires someone to notice that leaf or mitten. And it’s got to be someone who can see stories. Someone who understand stories and can tell them to other people- by writing a book for example.

‘But some people don’t see or hear stories! – said Wolf of Sand – as if their heads were all corked up.’

‘I saw a story! A story in a leaf! – said Zackarina – I saw how it begins.’

‘Yes, children are gifted like that- said Wolf of Sand’

Camera wakes up my inner child. When I look through the viewfinder I see stories everywhere. I don’t think I will write a book anytime soon though. I have this one funny lens, it’s so light and plastic it almost feels like a toy. It’s called a Lensbaby and you can read more about it here. I have to say this lens, especially when I screw on the macro kit is probably the most effective in waking up that kiddo inside of me. Maybe it’s because it feels like it’s a toy? I just stop and stare at each plant, stone, bug and flower that I come across. What would be a one hour walk with the dog turns into two and a half, easily. Have to say holding the camera still with bouncy baby on my back is definitely not the easiest task :D

“Cuddle me I’m freezing”

Over the past few months I’ve enjoyed photographing nature more than I ever thought I would. Always considered myself “people photographer”. But maybe a better label would be a “storyteller”? You can find more of these small snippets in this gallery. Some of them were sitting on my hard drive for a long time. But the Wolf of Sand convinced me stories only become stories when you share them with other people.
Some are available for purchase as beautiful photographic prints in my newly opened store:


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Talking about death

Probably every kid goes through a phase when they are fascinated by death. Dinosaurs are dead. Uncle is dead. Trying to wrap their minds around this. And it almost seems to me that after that period of fascination and trying to understand we do our best to forget that death is there, part of life. Which means that death is an incredibly taboo subject in our culture… Nobody wants to talk about it and in terms of parental embarrassment it’s probably only rivaled by the sex question. It feels really vulnerable and private and intimate to talk about death in presence of other people. And of course for kids asking “when will I die” or “when will you die” is a question like any other. Like on a recent flight from Poland. Just before landing Ingrid started a discussion, totally out of the blue. I freaked out just a little (I mean, come on…  discussing death just before landing?) and then I sighted with relief that nobody around us speaks Polish, so I can ramble on. I explained how no energy in the Universe is created or destroyed, so even after we die our energy is still around. All that we once were will remain in this world. Our bodies will decompose and become parts of something else- some particles will become a tree, some will be grass, some maybe a bird. Maybe wind that other people will feel on their faces. Some particles that were once us could maybe become part of another person. She took it in like it’s the most natural thing in the world. But truth be told, it will never be my favorite topic to discuss.

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?” Richard Dawkins

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Participating in the Childhood Unplugged collective has been awesome on so many levels for me. This last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about one aspect of “unplugging” in particular. It’s a difficult balance, being a mother and a photographer. There are so many beautiful moments that I want to capture. On some deeper level I’m afraid I will forget them and that taking pictures equals making memories. And on an even deeper level I know that oftentimes my lens is my shield. I’m hiding behind it, being an observer instead of active participant. Which removes me from the situation a little bit (a lot?). I virtually never manipulate the scene that I photograph, it’s just not my style. I don’t tell my subjects to move this or that way, do this or that. But still. It’s observation, not participation. So yes, it needs to be somehow balanced. Most often I’m the last one to notice that I’ve been hiding for a while already and it would be a good time to put the camera down. Sometimes it takes my husband or Ingrid to tell me firmly that it’s enough picturetaking (oh yes, they say that. quite a lot I think. I often pretend I didn’t hear). And then I put on my rubber boots and walk in the puddle. Making memories.

Kito the Dog has issues with people stepping into water. Puddle, river, lake, any water. He thinks humans are incredibly silly doing something so wet and dangerous. So he stands on the shore and barks. That’s pretty much the only time we hear him barking in fact. And then he shakes his head in disbelief.

To see which image I chose to be featured for this month’s edition of Childhood Unlplugged, head here. Also, check out Childhood Unplugged on facebook and play along on Instagram by tagging your unplugged moments with #childhoodunplugged.


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Childhood Unplugged – March 2014 | - […] Karolina Baszarkiewicz | Halituli Photography […]