Friday, November 29, 2013

Loving Life. Living Love.

Salutations to all, whether friends or kin I am just tickled that you stopped by to read my electronic diary....Actually, I'm not sure my audience will consist of either of those two addressee's. Most of you actually may not know me. I've spent the majority of my life living a very low profile. Mainly in attics and basements. The occasional car trunk. The past several years wouldn't be quite what I would call glamorous, but I've always had a roof over my head and a place to call my own.

The thing is, I used to be content with my simple little homes. Darkness was often my only constant companion. I became quite accustomed to being not seen...or heard for that matter- part of the background's background so to speak.

But one day something happened. I don't quite know how to explain it, but it was as if a well that I thought was forever dry and without life, bubbled up inside me. I found myself bursting forth with a renewed vigor and excitement to see the world! I had always heard of colors and sights and sounds outside attic windows, but suddenly I had this unspeakable urge to wake up and find my own story. I was tired of imagining. Tired of dreaming.

So I took action. It's like this. I figure that even if I shoot for the moon and least I will land in the stars... even if I fail! I want to dance like no one is watching and seize the day, because You Only Live Once. These are just some of pieces of profound gold that I am just waiting to unleash to whomever will listen. Keeping quiet and secluded for long periods of time allows one to really ponder the mysteries of the universe. And boy have I got some real mind blowing knowledge bombs. So stay tuned for more of those free bees. In the mean time, enjoy these fantastic images from the amazing city of Rockford in November!!

Classic landmark!! I think this was just built in fact! There must not be a lot of people around because word hasn't gotten out that this beut of a sculpture is open for photographic business. Check out that color red! I could just eat it up! It's a fantastic reminder to each of us to stand up for what we believe in isn't it?

Ah yes! And look! Just a day into my new life and I am already finding friends! This young gal and her pup were just too for cute. She is a real firecracker of a gal though I tell you-wouldn't even scoot over to let us take a picture together. She has such a passion for life at such a young age. Children, you are the light of the future. We could all learn a lesson or two from beauties like you. Keep on reading girlfriend and shine bright like a diamond!

After a full day of excitement I have found that there is nothing I enjoy better than sitting down at the kitchen table with a mug piled high with honey milk and whip cream. Life is sweet but there's always room for it to be sweeter in my opinion!

With that said I will leave you all with a few of my new found favorite things!! Keep on going for those dreams! They are golden just like you friends!!

Favorite new artist: ENYA. She is fantastic and sounds like a heavenly angel! She also has a real variety to her musical skills and I find her to be TRES inspirational. (TRES is French for Very in case you guys didn't know).

Favorite new drink recipe: Honey Milk with Whip Cream:

Take one cup of milk and put it on the stove.
Then take 4 scoops of honey and mix it in.
Then heat it up until it's frothy.
Then put it in a festively fun mug and load it up to your hearts content with whipped cream.
Mmmmmm. Yummers.

Can't wait to share next week's adventures with you all!

Peace and Love and Your New Friend Forever Forever,
Feth Bontana

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day Seven.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But I don't always agree.

You could have a really great photo, with textbook composition and lighting and just the right shutter speed, but something might be missing. Words on the other hand can tell of a time in history that is worth revisiting. And if it's done correctly, the words themselves can become an image.

Take for example this snapshot that was captured on our last traveling day in Japan. To most browsers they may just see it as a girl in a river, enjoying the beauty of the scenery around her. No extra words needed.

But what you would walk away not knowing, was this...

A small town just outside of Hanno, nestled between mountains and covered in towering pines was where my Dad spent his high school years. To my sisters and I, the only thing we really knew about his time there with my grandparents was how they lived next to a river that occasionally flooded with heavy rains. We grew up knowing about this house and how he spent a summer gathering rocks from the riverbed and building a retaining wall with the companionship of his golden retriever Boss.

Which is why I was so surprised when we arrived. The town was not at all what I had pictured. The very first thing I noticed as we stepped out of the taxi was how quiet it was. You could hear our footsteps on the gravel as we walked down the small street, winding back towards their old home. At first I could only catch glimpses of the water through the overgrown brush, but then suddenly there it was. It took my breath away for a moment and we stood silent beneath the trees.

In that instant I could hear the sounds of their summers. Grammy calling out "Steve, time for lunch!" from the kitchen window. Grandad whistling over a project in the yard, and Boss bounding into the water as my Dad called him to come get one more rock.

Standing there was like being in church witnessing something that you know is sacred and you feel blessed just to be an onlooker. But something tugged at my heart that afternoon to go beyond the beauty of simply looking back on a memory, and to instead, make a new one.

So we took off our shoes and went further in.

The water was ice cold and the rocks were grey and smooth.

I stopped for a moment to look down and catch my balance, and what I saw stopped me dead in my tracks and brought tears to my eyes.

There they were. My feet. My bare feet, in the same riverbed that my Dad stood in as a teenager with his bare feet. Long before he ever knew what his career would be, who he would marry, how many kids he would have, or that he would even be able to take those kids back to this same spot, he stood where I stood and felt the same mountain water run swiftly between his toes.

It was a sincere and profound moment for me. It was as though I got to hear the very voice of God say to me, "You see? I am bigger than time. I know what your father did not know when he stood here, and I know what you do not even know as you stand in this same place. I am bigger than all of this."

He is so much bigger. But the other thing that struck me about that day is that regardless of how big our God is, He is still so loving and specifically good to each one of us in exactly the way we need it.

I say this because as we waded down to the swimming hole, I urged my Dad to make a new memory and swim again. And he did. And as I sat on the bank with grateful tears streaming down my face I could swear I was watching a 16 year old boy, arms flailing and wohooing into the crystal blue waters. Sitting there taking video and listening to him laugh was one of the best gifts that I have ever been given as a daughter.

It was a day so extraordinarily rare.

As we rolled our pant legs back down and put on our socks over cold, damp feet, I took one of the stones from the riverbed and slipped it into my pocket. It sits on my desk even now as I write this. At any given moment when I look at its smooth lines weathered over time, I am taken back to that perfect afternoon.

The one where I had the opportunity to get a glimpse of the depth and love of my God, and witness the richness and spirit of my dad.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But I don't always agree.