Hope & Healing Through Photography and Poetic Expression


“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”

~ Chuang Tzu

 and be sure to check out the sequel to this post here: Joyous Surrender (a sequel) 



67 responses

  1. I love this photo. The sky, the water, the sand, the single figure up high. Very awesome. Looks like the cover of an album (cd). Nice. 🙂 Sam Oh, and those clouds. And the quote too…nature is good for stilling the mind.

    June 4, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    • Thanks so much Sam. Yes – was actually quite an awesome vision. I hoped to spend an hour at the beach (live a mile away) late today and got there in time for storm rolling in. Gave me nice opportunity to be one with the raindrops, the deep dark clouds, and catch this shot of this lonesome lifeguard having his moment. Thanks so much for your compliment ~ cd album would be great 🙂 And yes — nature…my most important medicinal these days!! Warm wishes your way ~ RL

      June 4, 2012 at 12:53 AM

      • 🙂 Warm wishes, to you as well.

        June 4, 2012 at 12:58 AM

      • 😉 thanks Sam!

        June 4, 2012 at 1:03 AM

  2. There is an art to expression…and I think you’ve become a master!

    June 4, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    • Stan, thank you so much for that very generous compliment. I did feel I captured something special in this shot… a mood, a feeling, a message. Was very spontaneous… as the wind nearly blew me off the shore after only being there 5 minutes or so! Ever so grateful for your comment…Sending you warm wishes tonight~ RL

      June 4, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      • You did capture something special in this image Robyn..it’s called..Emotion. And with it, you also captured our attention! Awesome capture.

        June 4, 2012 at 1:21 AM

      • You are so kind Stan, really glad you ‘got that’ . Guess my own emotional state makes me and my camera lens a bit of a magnet for such, these days. That’s the ‘therapy’ behind this great little hobby I think. So appreciate your encouragement! ~ RL
        ps: stay tuned for upcoming shadow portrait …know you are a fan LOL! 🙂

        June 4, 2012 at 1:31 AM

  3. Who’s the person? Looks surreal – stunning post and photo!

    June 4, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    • The person is the lifeguard. I got there at about 4:30 hoping for a solid hour of escape, and the storm rolled in with me!! All the lifeguards (and most everyone) took off (wind and rain was more than the photo shows)… but guess this poor guy had to stay till 5 regardless. I tried to walk a bit, and nearly got knocked over by the gusts, but managed this shot of him, as it also struck me as surreal … against the choppy waves and deep blue sky. So glad you liked it Julie!! xo

      June 4, 2012 at 1:02 AM

      • He kind of looks like a shadow!

        June 4, 2012 at 1:18 AM

      • oooo…. that fits with my pain-shadow series then, will need to add him to the category. Wish quieting my mind could cure my ails though. Have really tried at that. Still researching Ketamine. Kind of scary stuff! We shells see…. Good day Julie (maybe lunchtime there?) xo

        June 4, 2012 at 1:42 AM

  4. very beautiful..

    June 4, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    • Nightlake, thanks so much for that. I do appreciate, and am happy you enjoyed!

      June 4, 2012 at 1:06 AM

  5. absolutely true… love Chuang, and Lao Tse who came after him – your photo does the saying justice

    June 4, 2012 at 1:10 AM

  6. Thanks so much Dean. Agree. Yes, I do remember you being a fan of Lao Tse, and then can see how Chuang would also appeal. Amazing the wisdom these guys had all that time ago (think I read Chuang Tzu passed in 295 B.C.!) So glad you thought the shot worthy of his quote! Sending good wishes~ RL

    June 4, 2012 at 1:23 AM

  7. Very expressive photo!

    June 4, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    • Thanks so much Cornelia – appreciate that a lot!

      June 4, 2012 at 12:30 PM

  8. A great shot – of the sea and a “chair” with a great view and probably time for reflection… 😉

    June 4, 2012 at 4:04 AM

    • so glad you liked ledrakenoir! Yes doesn’t the man look tiny in contrast to the giant “chair” and massive natural waterscape! Ahhh.. I bet he did have a moment of reflection (until he noticed little me behind him taking photos 😉 ~

      June 4, 2012 at 12:32 PM

  9. you take the most emotional photos….Of course they’re beautiful, but they evoke so many feelings…This one just has me all topsy turvy…I love it

    June 4, 2012 at 6:04 AM

    • Why thank you David. That is such lovely compliment to me, as this whole ” photography passion” is much more about emotion than the technical aspects. Tospy turvy is good 😉 So happy you enjoyed it!! ~

      June 4, 2012 at 12:34 PM

  10. ~Lady Day

    I just took in a huge breath from looking at this picture…the words just as soothing. Thank you:)

    June 4, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    • Thanks so much Lady Day. Huge breaths are a good thing too!! Oxygen is excellent 🙂 Yay ~ have a wonderful day! ~ RL

      June 4, 2012 at 12:35 PM

  11. victoriaaphotography

    Wonderful quote and love the photo (although I would hate to be out in that approaching storm).

    June 4, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    • Thanks Victoria! Yes – was a bit disappointed when the storm came in. Was a bright sunny day up until I got there! There was something spiritual though about being there alone with the forces of nature doing their thing. .. and hey — got to enjoy this moment with the lifeguard 🙂

      June 4, 2012 at 12:37 PM

  12. Kathy

    Great photo. Did not see the lifeguard at first-his presence pales the storm. another great one!

    June 4, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    • Kathy, thanks!! Yes – he appears so small in the image, yet he probably stood at 6 feet tall! Pretty surreal.

      June 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

  13. What a picture Robyn! The wind would bother me but otherwise, to sit and just watch those storm clouds and the churning water…I love stormy weather. That poor lifeguard though!!

    June 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    • Aww, thanks Jeannie. I did not realize just how dramatic the image was until later, as I was nearly blinded by the sand blowing in my face 🙂 Yes the wind was not great, but It was kind of cool to be part of it … It was funny how all the other lifeguards packed up and disappeared within 5 minutes of the first raindrops… and this guy stayed on. He just put on his hood and took it in. Kind of nice to see!!

      June 4, 2012 at 12:42 PM

  14. Ahhh…stillness the antidote to my post today…:) love the image…you captured that turbulent sky yesterday! Beautiful ….

    June 4, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    • Yes — the antidote!! Very synchronistic posts we have today!! Glad you liked the image, and I just commented on your ‘Spinning’ post as well… It is another favorite of mine, as I’m such a lover of spinning (since childhood). It actually “stills my mind” a lot… and I may have to spin some today 😉 Thanks much Meryl…

      June 4, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      • I love when synchronicity (sp?) like that just happens…gives me so much faith…<3

        June 4, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      • 😉

        June 4, 2012 at 4:50 PM

  15. A storm looks imminent! What a captivating photo with the black of the skies, the green of the water and the light sand. It looks almost unreal. The contrasts are so powerful, yet the feeling of this shot is so calm, like there may not even be a whisper of wind. Love it!

    June 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    • Thanks so much KT! Yes, it was pretty amazing sky…actually a very very dark blue which was sort of unique. You are so right – major contrast (especial since my drive there 10 minutes prior was bright sun and light blue sky)! This storm came in out of nowhere…and did not last very long, but long enough for me to appreciate the moment of natural wonder and take some photos – and then escape in fear of being gobbled up by a churning ocean 🙂 There was lots of wind btw… but did the image does not reflect it. I liked the mood of this lonesome lifeguard watching. So glad you love it too!! Sending good thoughts your way today KT!

      June 4, 2012 at 12:53 PM

  16. This photo and your words are so powerful. I so enjoy your images and words! And I appreciate your creativity more and more with every post. Thanks! Blessings, Erin

    June 4, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    • Erin, I’m so glad you enjoyed. Thank you for your very thoughtful feedback… always welcome and appreciated here. Blessings your way today and always! ~RL

      June 4, 2012 at 12:55 PM

  17. WOW! This is great… Thank you, with my love, nia

    June 4, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    • Well, thank you so much dear nia!!! You are so kind to say, and I ‘m very happy you enjoyed. Have a lovely day 🙂

      June 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM

  18. Another wow from me. I first saw the words on my email, then opened it to see the accompanying photo.It also tied in with the reading I had just read from A. It is a good day.Enjoy!

    June 4, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    • So happy to hear this Jane. Flattered you liked the image, and even happier that it was timely for you (the A reading)!! enJOY your day in every way!! 🙂 RL

      June 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM

  19. But what happens when we surrender to the universe?
    Is that when storms still?
    Do we call storms to us?
    And like this man, do we guard only our own lives?
    ~Pondering, Dan

    June 4, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    • Oh gosh Dan…. your comment has swirled my tired head !! Not good for stillness, you know? Ok — Perhaps when we let go and surrender, we achieve the perfect place of stillness? Maybe our surrender comes first – and then the universe returns the favor….?

      Hmmm… I do think we may be capable of “calling storms” to us — in a subtle energetic way, but I also believe sometimes those storms are just going to happen no matter what, and it’s the way we deal with them that is the determining variable then? (just pondering too ….)!

      Actually, I do think this man would have guarded more than his own life …. so say I decided to float away into the ocean…and lost myself in those churning waves – I think he would have saved me (or tried) … after all that is why he was still on duty (notice he even has his walkie-talkie by his side). And so, I think we all guard more than our own lives in many ways during our stay here on planet earth.

      ahhh…once again Dan…you know just how to get a girl thinking!! Thank you kindly — and always happy to have you here planting these thought-proving seeds. Keep up the pondering will ya! 😉

      June 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM

  20. Dear Robyn Lee,
    I am nominating you for the Beautiful Blogger Award. If you choose to accept the award, please go to my post for details. Congratulations!

    June 4, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    • So flattered and thankful Arjuna. This is one I have already accepted, but means a great deal to me that you found my blog worthy. Welcome and please visit here often. Love & Light ~ RL

      June 4, 2012 at 4:54 PM

  21. As always, a beautiful picture….I am thinking we should “co-author” a book. 🙂

    June 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    • Thanks Jeb — do appreciate as always… Yes – we may have a partnership in our future…one never knows!! 🙂

      June 4, 2012 at 4:55 PM

  22. buckwheatsrisk

    it’s really making me feel something but i’m trying to figure out what that feeling is?

    June 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    • Oh so interesting buckwheats! Check in later if you put your finger on the emotion that came up for you. Did my Master’s in counseling psychology so always really interested in this side of life. I think this image provoked a lot of feeling for many here based on the comments…so you are in good company. Surreal was one description and someone said “spooky” – but actually not sure anyone ‘named’ the emotion…. so you may just be the one! Sending Love your way today ~

      June 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      • buckwheatsrisk

        i think it is evoking a fear/panic thing, but i don’t know why, i can hardly breathe when i look at it.
        please don’t take that the wrong way, it is a beautiful shot

        June 4, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    • Oh no!!! Though I can see how that might occur, and actually – I posted this before bed yesterday (early am actually) and I had an unrelated mini-nightmare that included panic reaction (and woke me). I wonder if it could have been responsible. Perhaps we can feel vulnerable and small, looking at this massive force of nature setting — and then the little man in the chair? How can he protect us from ‘that’?? Oh gosh…. really wanted it to be about stillness and have a meditative (tranquilizing) effect …but we humans are so complex in the way our psyche’s work…there are so many levels. Thanks so much for sharing buckwheats… I am very happy you did – and may that panic be washed away, now that you have released this. hugs – RL

      June 4, 2012 at 5:17 PM

  23. I don’t find it fear-evoking, for some reason this beaiutiful shot is telling me of the strength of nature but still in a calm, relaxing way. You caught a perfect light and the colors are perfect, Robyn.
    If there ever was a need to prove you don’t need expensive and bulky gear to take great shots this is it!

    June 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    • Davide, thanks so much for your input. Very happy you don’t think it requires bulky gear to make quality photos. I really prefer to live light!! Also glad you did not find it fear-evoking, despite the natural forces of storm that was about to take place. I think there were several who did feel it had a spooky quality though….so am planning to put up a part II in a few minutes so that nobody has bad dreams tonight 😉 Stay tuned ~ may provoke a chuckle… ~RL

      June 4, 2012 at 7:47 PM

  24. Jill

    Stunning!…the photo and the approaching storm.

    June 4, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    • Thanks tons Jill…was kind of surreal as others have said ~ at least I got out for a few!

      June 4, 2012 at 9:35 PM

  25. williamricci

    Love it, great moment that you captured. So much stuff going on.

    June 4, 2012 at 10:01 PM

  26. Thanks William! So much and also so little at the same time 😉 Glad you enjoyed!!!

    June 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM

  27. Really love the picture! And of course, Chuang Tzu is always a good quote. 😉

    June 5, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    • Thanks again fotografzahl! Yes – this one had a whole different feel than ‘Joyous Surrender” – but was taken only moments after.
      Can’t go wrong with Chuang in this setting – I agree!! 😉

      June 5, 2012 at 12:12 PM

  28. love the colours! 🙂

    June 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    • Thanks so much Poojy!!! Appreciate your saying so 🙂

      June 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      • you are very welcome! Just said what really touched me 😉

        June 7, 2012 at 7:45 AM

      • 🙂

        June 7, 2012 at 9:41 AM

  29. This is great….I love how you captured the man in his solitude…
    I have always loved the energy of an approaching storm….beautiful photo….
    I wrote a poem about a storm I experienced once, I think you will like it….here is the link…
    love and light

    June 8, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    • Thanks so much Celeste… glad you enjoyed and have been enchanted with your blog today as well. Thanks for the link to that poem — beautiful!!

      June 8, 2012 at 10:07 PM

  30. dianne

    i never heard this quote before, absolute beautiful along with the photo.. : )

    June 10, 2012 at 7:01 AM

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