Category Archives: Just because

New Jersey Photographer

Okay.  Usually I’m not all about promoting myself.  I like to try to let my work speak for itself and not force it on other people. However, I’m about to graduate from Monmouth University in less than three months with a degree that’s concentrated in Photography and I feel it’s about time to expand my audience.  If I don’t proudly promote myself I can not expect others to do so.  I take so much pride in what I do…it is my life’s passion.  For me, taking a photo goes so much deeper than just taking the photo.  The feeling I get from making images is one I equate with being in love, because that’s how it truly feels.

I am keeping this post short and sweet in the hopes that whoever comes across it can get a sense for the love I have for my art and will move along to the link I am providing and be able to then see that love. Enjoy!

As always, I am RJ and here is a link to my photography page: RJLennon Photography

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Filed under Just a thought, Just because, Just for fun, photography, Uncategorized

Here we go.

I keep trashing every blog I begin tonight.  I don’t know what it is.  Nothing sounds right, nothing is flowing properly, and I’ve backspaced the end of this sentence a solid five times already trying to come up with a third sentence closer.  Why do I need a third anyway?  I feel like I learned that in grammar school…if you’re writing an essay always have three ideas to touch on such as, “this, this and the other thing.”  Whatever, this isn’t an essay.  I’m writing a blog for the sake of writing a blog right now…and I know you guys have heard my “forced writing is bad writing” line before, so I’ll save it.

Lately, I’ve been turning to my dreams as my artistic inspiration.  The things I’ve written, the things I’ve shot, and the things I plan to shoot were and are all memories of thoughts that sped through my unconscious mind as I slept.  Dreams that I can’t get out of my head.  They’re imprinted there, stuck, as if they’re supposed to be there.

Remember our dancer friend from Language?  If not, go check it out…I’ll wait here…Okay, great.  Now that we’re all caught up, she began as a daydream and has followed me day in and day out, while I’m awake, while I sleep, my mind’s creative representation of what I long for.  These dreams, sometimes so real  I wake to a bitter disappointment that everything happened in my head.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to make it all real.

As always, I’m RJ and hey, a girl can dream right…?

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Filed under creative writing, Just a thought, Just because, Just for fun, photography, Uncategorized

Language.

Has anyone noticed that language has become so incredibly underrated?  It makes me sad to say the least.  We have access to such beautiful words and phrases, yet we take them for granted, ignore them, and overuse phrases such as “YOLO”.  Stop.  Of course, I can’t blame Drake for my generation’s complete and utter disregard for language as it began to fall away long before he decided to remind us that we do, in fact, only live once.

I miss long-winded ways to say simple things.  For example, when Shakespeare described Romeo and Juliet as “star-crossed lovers” he meant they were unlucky, but “unlucky” is so plain.  “Star-crossed”…I want to breathe that in, it’s sigh-enducing, his words are tear-worthy.  But in today’s society we’re all about the now, the fast paced, the send-a-message-and-go mentality.  In a world where “LOL” and “BRB” are taking over, how can I, or anyone for that matter, ensure that the underlying nature of our words are still beautiful?

Now, I’m not saying I don’t “lol” as often as the next guy, because I certainly do…but for each acronym placed ironically or otherwise I try my best to counteract with carefully crafted phrases because language means so much to me.  It annoys some people which I think is a sign of the times, but finding people who appreciate someone who takes the time out to think before they speak (text, email, you get the idea) is a special thing.

I’ve been a slave to the written and spoken word my entire life.  I’ve absorbed words and phrases like a sponge for a long as I can remember.  I love to talk, even more-so, I love to listen.  I love to pick up new phrases, meaningful phrases.  For me, the way you speak is just as important as the way you move.  A conversation is a dance, I move, you move, we repeat…sometimes we speak at the same time, sometimes one can’t speak until the other does, one may lead while the other picks up the cues, and vice versa.  I have this picture in my mind that I carry around with me almost every time I write and I’d like for you to see it too.

Breathe in deeply, feel the air filling your lungs.  As you exhale I want you to picture a light fog, and a naturally illuminated room with floor to ceiling windows as far as your eye can see.  The floors and walls alike are deep mahogany wood, and in the center of that wooden room: a ballet dancer holding an arabesque, seemingly frozen in time.  Her hair is pulled up off of her face, her limbs are stretched and stiff, yet she looks so delicate, soft, breakable.  She wears the palest pink leotard and of course the telltale sign of a ballerina, a tutu.  She is unaware of your presence, you are but a fly on the wall, and as she begins to move, your heart begins to break, unassured that you will ever see someone move with such grace, poise and beauty ever again.  She glides through the air as though she were meant to own her very own set of wings, and her movements leave you speechless.  She is lost in thought, this routine is nothing new to her, she moves with ease.  As she completes her routine, you see a faint smile cross her lips.  Though no one is watching she is proud of the show she has just put on, because she felt it in her very soul.  As you inhale, the light fog lifts, the dancer is gone and the shades draw themselves submersing the room in complete darkness.  And just as easily as the scene was painted by a breath, it is closed, only to be revisited if you so wish.

I hope you carry the vision of our graceful dancer friend with you, as I do.  Use her as a reminder to paint a unique masterpiece with your words every time you speak.  Use her as a reminder that every phrase is a new movement, a brush stroke, a photo taken.  At the root of each art form is patience, you wouldn’t rush a painting, why rush your language?

As always, my name is Rebecca and I want to paint as many pictures with my words as humanly possible.

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Filed under creative writing, Just a thought, Just because, Just for fun, music

Book Coloring.

As of late, I’ve been seeing a really cool trend erupt.  One I have no name for and can only describe as “book coloring” or “blackout book coloring” both of which yield no helpful search results as far as Google is concerned…great.  As shown in the photo I have attached below, you take any book of your choosing and make your own phrases out of the already published work.

How interesting?  To be so moved by someone else’s work that you would like to use their words to create something of your own.  Conversely, how interesting to be so unmoved by a previously published work that you’d want to deface the book and make it something of your own.  Either way I find this trend completely fascinating as the possibilities are endless.  You can say however much or little as you’d like and the outcome is only dictated by the content already on the page as well as your own imagination.

Thoughts?  Would you deface a book for artistic purposes?  I for one would love to try this out.  Think about it…how many of us have books our professors make us buy that we probably will never look at again after college?  All of us.  And how many times is the return to the bookstore or the post on Amazon not even worth the effort?  Frequently.  See what you can dig up and get back to me, I’d love to see more of this happening.

I found this on http://www.tumblr.com and while I do not know the origins of the photo or by who’s hand the book was colored, I absolutely love this.

As always, I am RJ and if you’re anything like me you’ve strayed from this blog for a while.  If this is your first time here, welcome, and if you’re a repeat offender, welcome back, it’s nice to see you again.

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Filed under creative writing, Just a thought, Just because, Just for fun, poem

Anxious. (September 11, 2012)

“Come on, I’m anxious,” you said,

and we walked.

If only you knew how anxious you make me.

How long I lie awake at night,

memories rolling like waves through my consciousness

until the sound finally puts me to sleep.

Sleep. Ha.

Just when I think I’ll find relief…

a place where my mind can escape, rest,

but you continue to haunt me, unknowingly.

So there you are.

When I wake – a dream standing before me,

When I sleep – a nightmare destined to break my heart.

I need to learn to shy from your touch.

Your intention is not to hurt me, I know it.

Your touch doesn’t sting on contact,

but it lingers,

Sinks beneath the surface and travels through me,

Eventually finding its way to the depths of my heart,

It constricts the beating,

Which constricts my breathing,

So I am being quite literal when I say,

You kill me.

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Filed under creative writing, Just a thought, Just because, Just for fun, poem, spoken word

The more you complain, the harder it seems.

First and foremost, let us get the that’s what she said joke out of our systems…okay okay, out of my system, alright I’m good, and clearly I will never change.  Actually, change is kind of what this post is about.  It’s October, the leaves are changing, the weather is changing…sort of…and as for me, I’m trying to change some things about my life.  I’ve been trying to run more, and I’ll say, it hurts.  It’s hurts in my legs, and it hurts in my chest.  My muscles strain to do things they haven’t attempted in years, isn’t that pathetic? 21 years old.  But I’m working on it.  I’ve done this before.  I’ve gotten excited about exercising for a few months at a time and then I always let life get in the way.  But this time it feels different.  The exercise thing…it’s becoming a part of my life, a big one.  I think about it all day, everyday.  If I’m not running or swimming, I want to be.  I sometimes hate my life while I’m huffing and puffing along, embarrassed that I allowed myself to get this way…repeatedly.  But here’s the thing: I keep going back for more.  It hurts, but I like it.  I’m terrified of running, but I do it.  And maybe to some this will sound corny, but: today I had a breakthrough.

Today I went running with a friend.  I haven’t known her terribly long, but I feel like you wouldn’t catch on to that if you ever hung out with us.  Ever since we started working out together, she’s been motivating me, and even more than that, helping me motivate myself, whether she knows it or not.  I am grateful that she puts up with my whining and complaining, especially today when those were arguably at their worst.  Today I had the bright idea that we should run outside.  We had once before and I enjoyed it more than the treadmill, so I figured it was a no brainer.  We started off together, and as usual, everything hurt and I let her know it.  At some point we broke apart as we each found our own pace.  I was alone in my head, a place I find intimidating and overwhelming when I exercise or right before bed.  At these times, my thoughts have the tendency to race, and they can sometimes be overpowering.  I set myself up for failure before I even let myself try.  But like I said, something happened today that I’m not sure I can even explain.  For those that do not know, I have a teeny, tiny, inconspicuous heart-shaped tattoo on my left wrist.  I got it for my grandfather, Dante, because when I was in high school I would always pray to him and ask him to run on my left.  If you ever workout with me, take note of which side you are on.  I sometimes slip up, but I always try to leave the left side open for him, just in case.  Today my racing thoughts slowed as I ran and held an audible conversation with my grandfather.  I was answering questions no one was asking, I couldn’t breathe, but I kept going, asking him to stay with me.  And the best part of it all, is that I know he was there.  I’m not the only one in my family to experience this phenomenon, so you, reader, can think I’m crazy, but I know I’m not.  I asked him to help me, to take the pain away because I wanted to do this, and in no way am I kidding when I say, no sooner did I ask, was it received.  I cried because I didn’t understand, and it became harder to breathe but I didn’t care.  Finally I was done as I met my friend back at our cars.  Exhausted both emotionally and physically, I explained that I was crying like an idiot because I missed my grandfather.  Without missing a beat she said that she’d bet I was talking to him while I ran, mind you, we were so far apart on this last part of our run that there would have been no way for her to know that.  “Cancers are intuitive,” she told me.

Maybe it was just me letting go of the thought that there is no possible way I could ever be a runner.  Maybe I let go of the mental pain and the physical followed.  Maybe I really did experience some kind of spiritual phenomenon that helped me change my mind about myself and my goals.  Whatever it was, it sparked something.  It sparked something and now I’m running away with that spark and never looking back.

 

As always, I am RJ, and I am proud of myself.

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Filed under Just a thought, Just because

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

That’s the question they asked me in preschool right before my graduation so they could put it on my diploma. Without hesitation I proudly said, “I want to be an artist.” Seventeen years later, I am studying to be a photographer, a visual artist, if you will. I’ve been through hell and back to figure out that this is what I want to do and now that I’m finally here, I’ve never felt more in the right.

Initially, I was a Psychology major who adored everything Psych related. I love sleep and dreams, I love the brain, I love Freudian theories, Pavlov, Maslow and his hierarchy of needs, Erikson’s stages of development. I knew more about ole’ Siggy Freud, his family and home life than any one person would ever care to know. I love it all, but as much as I wish it could be, the passion just isn’t there. I could talk about nature vs. nurture for hours, but where is my creative stimulation? I would sit in my dorm room with my books spread out in front of me and I would think about my future in the field of Psychology and know in the pit of my stomach that something big was missing.

“Writing,” I said, “that’s what’s missing. Writing.” I’d blog to release my pent up creative energy, with RJtalks as my outlet. But it wasn’t enough. I knew I had to break away from the only thing I had ever fought for and try something new. So I went for it, and Public Relations and Journalism with a double minor in Psych and Creative writing was where I ended up. “I LOVE this! I love my professors, I love my classes, I love writing all the time! This is perfect.” Wrong. Being forced to write on a deadline killed me, I was miserable and my GPA reflected that. “Is this how it is going to be all the time?” That’s my problem, I love writing, I’m so passionate about it that it becomes this touchy subject where I all of a sudden turn into this overprotective mother, and beware to all those who try to pick apart my child.

Another minor switch came around (literally) when I dropped creative writing and picked up Photography as a minor. One photo class was all it took. I was hooked and it was obvious. My mind would reel with thoughts of photo project ideas and proposals. If I wasn’t in photo class, I was thinking about photo class. All writing ceased as I let photo hit me in waves, taking me under the surface, and like someone with a death wish, I did absolutely nothing to pull myself back up. Photography makes me sick. It makes me sick in the most incredible way. You know that feeling you get when you look at the person you love? That feeling of butterflies in your stomach, the nervous excitement, always on your mind and able to brighten up your darkest days? Yea, that’s what photo does for me. I knew I needed to know more about photo the moment I began learning about it. So after some begging and pleading in vain, I took it upon myself to just do it. I was told it was going to add possibly a whole year’s worth of studying to my schooling, my parents were not at all thrilled at first but I didn’t care. I took a leap of faith into the most subjective but freeing and creative major I’ve ever encountered and kept myself grounded with the Psych minor.

One of my friends recently said to another, “You know what you want to do, it’s just a matter of actually doing it.” I supported her claim by mentioning that I somehow knew what I wanted to do with my life from the time I was 4 years old, but by the time I was an adult, it seemed like such a fantasy. But maybe our farfetched, fantastic childhood job ideas aren’t so farfetched. Maybe it’s fear that’s holding us back from actually achieving our goals. Fear of failing. Fear of criticism. Fear of someone always being better, smarter, more creative. But we need to stop fearing and start achieving. Parents need to start embracing their kids’ fantastic ideas. If your kid says to you, “mommy, I want to be an astronaut.” Buy that kid a model rocket ship and a book on the stars. They say, “daddy, I want to be a doctor.” Break out the stethoscope and the tongue depressors. If you’re steering them in a different direction from what they are telling you they want to do because you want to protect them from rejection, I promise you, you’re doing them more harm than good in the long run. Eventually your kid is going to grow up and know for a fact what he or she wants to do, wouldn’t you love to know that you supported them in their decision from the very first moment the idea was born?

As always I am RJ, and I am thankful for my incredibly supportive parents.

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