Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Photography as a way to savor the moment

Anas Nin is quoted with saying, We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect. I feel quite similarly about photography. The first time I experience beauty, the moment is intense and rich with the stimulation of all of my senses. The second time it is more like an echo of that first experience, but all my senses are not stimulated to the same extent as they were originally.

Me, My Heart, and I :: Photography as a way to savor the moment

With photography, I have learned to savor that initial moment as much as possible by absorbing as much of my surroundings as I can, like the sound of the birds chirping overhead, the feel of the wind brushing against my face, the scent of the air swirling around me, and the joy I feel bubbling up inside of me. When I look at one of my photos, I am thrust back into the overall sensation of that moment.

I might see beauty with my eyes, but I feel beauty with my entire body. The effect that beauty has on me is so strong that it cascades through my heart, mind, and soul. Beauty has a way of uplifting me and my energy like nothing else. Every time, I am exposed to beauty, I am reminded that my ability to experience it is relative to the extent to which I am open to experience it. There are times when I don't experience beauty and I know it's because for some reason I am not open to it.

I delight in the details of the beauty around me, particularly the light, shadows, colors, reflections, and textures It's interesting how sometimes it is only in the photo that I become aware of certain details. It makes sense, however, because the present moment is continually shifting and therefore what I noticed only a minute before has already changed.

As soon as I notice something beautiful, my heart beats faster. I want to embrace the moment as fully as possible and hold it in my heart. I believe that's why I enjoy taking photos of the beauty I experience. It's so that I can savor that single moment and hold onto it for as long as possible. It wasnt until I signed up for Instagram a few years ago that I started sharing my photos with others. It warms my heart when people appreciate the beauty I was able to capture in a photo. Just recently, I created a second Instagram account, MeMyHeartAndI, in which I publish photos of the beauty I am fortunate to experience. In my main Instagram account, I focus mainly on Florence because my beloved city deserves to be celebrated and appreciated as much as possible.

No matter where I am, I navigate my way with an open heart. I know that beauty surrounds me and that its up to me to perceive it. I have come to understand that the more I appreciate the beauty around me, the more beauty I'm presented with. I learned that initially in Florence where I take time out of my day to open myself to her beauty. Its such a gift for me to not only see the beauty, but to feel it.

I enjoy taking photos so much because it is a way for me to remain as present as possible to my surroundings, savor the details of the moment, and capture it. Not only do I enjoy recalling that moment when I look at one of my pictures, but also sharing it with others so that they too may experience the beauty Im so blessed to find along my path.

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