Heart on the Street


She never knew when inspiration would find her.

A flattened soda can, discarded. Revealing its faded red heart. But only if she was looking. If she remained open to the possibility that inspiration could be at her feet.  Where she least expected it.

Head down, searching. The surprise and delight. A twinkle of metal. A flash of red.

Randomly tossed, thrown out as litter. Crushed but still whole.

A message of love. There waiting for her. A signal that she was on the right path. Camera in hand, searching for beauty in the tiniest details. The overlooked, the ignored.

That even though she has left behind one world – that of cubicles and projects, responsibilities and deadlines – she still has more to give, more to discover, more to learn.

A heart found on the street. Her heart responded.

An image captured. A story told.

She never knew when inspiration would find her. Its tap on her shoulder, its whisper in her ear, its gentle nudge – a precious gift she holds close to her heart.

Written for a “Find Your Eye” assignment: Intuitive Photojournaling


Posted on September 6, 2011, in Inspiration and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. It’s kind of strange how in sync we seem to be at the moment. I was sitting in my family room the other day working at my computer when some movement outside the window caught my eye. It was a pink heart balloon floating by the window. That would have been strange in and of itself but we live in the country with no young children close by so I had absolutely no idea where it came from. By the time I grabbed my camera and headed outside it was nowhere to be found, but it felt like a small gift meant for my eyes only.

    It’s amazing what we see when we open our eyes and really look.

    • Kathryn,
      What a beautiful story! A true gift from the universe. More poignant because you weren’t able to capture it and so now it resides only in your memory. Thanks so much for sharing it with me today – a perfect complement to my heart on the street.

  2. The story this photo tells is truly beautiful. Being on the right path, open, and finding a message waiting. Isn’t it amazing what lies in our images, as a reflection of our heart and soul? There is a connection there. It may not be obvious the first time we pick up our camera, but our excitement is the clue. I love seeing “you” revealed in your image and your words. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Kat,
      I had written a completely different post for this exercise. However, upon reading several entries by my classmates, I realized that I hadn’t really responded in an emotional way. So I began looking through my photographs trying to connect to something deeper – heart on the street was a photograph taken in the spring and I immediately knew what I wanted to say. Sometimes the words just come.

  3. How beautiful, Brenda!
    I love the simple photo with it’s lovely colors. And your words…oh, my.
    Thank you for sharing this.


    • Deb,
      Thank you for the story you shared for this exercise. It was from reading the personal, emotional voice that you used that was a big factor in the creation of this piece. I was inspired to look again and write something more personal.

  4. What a wonderful post.! You are a gifted writer and have inspired me. Thank you.

    • Gina,
      Sometimes the words come without my really knowing where or how or why. I guess that is where the “intuitive” part of this exercise comes in. All I know is that I found this photo in my archives and this post was the result. Kind of magical, really. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. This is beautiful and so true. Inspiration is all around, unexpected sometimes but there if we open our eyes and our hearts.

    • Leanne,
      Finding this photo again was a welcome reminder of this truth – that inspiration is all around us,even in the litter of life.

  6. Beautiful Brenda and inspirational!

    • Monique,
      Thanks so much – I am gratified that you find it to be inspirational. This was one of those posts that just seemed to write itself.

  7. What a rare find….and so wonderful for you to spy it. Lovely words, from the heart about finding your heart and “heart” in general.
    I too loved this exercise and could do it over and over again without becoming bored.
    I find too that sometimes the words just come-who knows from where-and when they do they are at their best. I’m sure pairing this image with your thoughts was one of those magical times for you.

    • Susan,
      Usually, writing a post is an all-day process for me – I struggle and edit and tweak, my trusty thesaurus at my side. This one just happened. I suppose that I should be grateful for the fact that this is a rare occurrence – that way it still seems magical when it does.

  8. I love this, you’ve written it so beautifully and described just how I feel about the whole photographic process – it is just like looking for treasure and such a gift when you find it. You’ve expressed it so well. Thank you for sharing.

    • Becs,
      Yes, I have often thought of photography as a treasure hunt – that adrenaline rush of joy when something mundane transforms into something special simply through the act of looking at it through your lens. A daily gift.

  9. Once again, your words are beautiful and add to your photograph. This is a very inspiring post – about inspiration, and your words are so true. Inspiration really is all around us; we just have to make sure we open our eyes to see/capture/enjoy it.

    • Laura,
      Sometimes in our daily frustrations we lose sight of that simple fact – that beauty and inspiration and creativity surrounds us. Photography has been my teacher in this and I am grateful to be a student in seeing.

  10. What a great image and story! I love the emphasis on beauty finding us, instead of the other way around.

    • Lisa,
      Unexpectedly, since writing this post, I have experienced an uncomfortable lack of inspiration; that feeling of just going through the motions. I have had to really push myself out the door, to put the camera to my eye, to frame an image, to snap the shutter. Luckily, I have this memory, this story to remind me that inspiration and beauty will come again.

  11. What a wonderful find, and what a wonderful, from-the-heart post you’ve written. Thank you for sharing the magic.

  12. Brenda —
    That happens with my writing too, the loss of inspiration and the feeling that I am just plodding along. I keep plodding. Pushing the words. Eventually, the flow returns. Good luck, and keep looking through that lens.

    • Lisa,
      I hate plodding. But, like you, I keep at it and evenutally, almost without realizing it, I find that I am skipping along, caught up again in the process.

  13. Brenda –
    I so appreciate how you’re pushing through, despite the struggle. The undeniable truth is that each and every time, you’ve given us something that inspires.

    I’m grateful that you keep surrendering to the Call and allowing Beauty and Metaphor to find and work through you.

    • Carole,
      It is rather ironic – this particular post seemed to flow out of me – it was so easy to write. But then, it was like I hit a brick wall. Everything was a struggle – my camera felt like it weighed a ton and I had no idea what to shoot or even why I wanted to shoot. Words are stuck.

      But what else can we do but keep putting in the time, knowing that on the other side of the wall inspiration will find us again.

  14. What a happy circumstance that you are in a place where you can pursue your inspiration and the artistic side of your personality. Even though inspiration had to find you on this particular day, you were ready and willing to receive its gift. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with us.

    • Wanda,
      Photography has given me that gift – the ability to find beauty in the smallest detail. Thank you for following along on my journey.

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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