Our fifth interview in this series showcasing fellow bloggers is Meri of Meri's Musings. Meri is an amazing photographer, writer, mixed media artist, digital artist and social advocate. The stunning images on her blog are often accompanied by a haiku or personal reflection that leave me wanting to know more about this intriguing woman. Thus this feature interview. I encourage you to visit Meri at Meri's Musings - a link is provided at the end of this post. All of the photographs and digital art images in this post are the product of Meri's imagination and talent. Let's move on now to the interview:
Meri could you give us a brief overview are who you are, where you live, current interests or preoccupations?
I'm basically a creative, intuitive type but also logical and goal-directed. Interested in collaborative, generative projects. Grew up mostly in the Pacific Northwest and find peace and solace in the natural environment: the boundary edges of land and water, the heights of the mountains, quiet forest spaces. Interests? Writing, photography, mixed media art. I'm rarely reading only one book at a time.
Could you name a couple of your strengths?
Creative vision. Intuition. A sense of humor or ability to ping on the absurdities of life, perhaps.
How about sharing one weakness.
Only one? There are many! I've never learned to love exercise. I stress if there is significant conflict in my personal life (funny for a lawyer, eh?). I tend to over-function emotionally in some relationships.
I believe I read in your blog that you are a lawyer. Can you tell us a bit about that?
I gravitated to law school as an extension of my women's movement activism. I saw it as a means of achieving social justice systemically. Unfortunately, the practice of law quickly disillusioned me; change was incremental at best and maddeningly slow. My practice eventually centered around family law. My favorite clients were women and children (though representing my male clients was more lucrative).
I loved the writing, the problem-solving aspects of law and creating outside-the-box individualized solutions. I also spent some time as a "substitute" judge and particularly enjoyed presiding in hearings because of the fast pace. Also, since I still had kids at home then -- preteens or teens -- it was gratifying knowing that the litigants, unlike my children, were legally compelled to obey my commands.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My adult children are wonderful, vibrant, caring human beings. Besides that, I'm proud of my advocacy for causes I believe in (including starting one of the first rape crisis centers in the U.S.).
Have you always lived in the Pacific NorthWest of the USA?
What quality do you value most in your friends? Big hearts, sharp minds.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Metabolism.
You display amazing digital art on your blog. What is it about digital art that appeals to you?
Digital art is a creative playground, not unlike mixed media art. You can layer things, move things around, and constantly wonder, "What if?" Possibilities are endless.
You are a stellar photographer. What camera(s) do you use? What is your favourite lens?
What is the best tip you could offer a freshman photographer?
How do you attend to your spiritual needs?
Cultivating silence. Being in community with members of "my spiritual tribe." Grounding myself by communing with nature.
Is there one thing you wish you had learned or discovered earlier in your life?
That just by being authentically myself, I make a difference in the world and that no one, including me, is "ordinary."
What do you still want to learn?
How to more effectively bring potential to fruition in my projects and visions. To really believe that I can have more than I dream possible if I don't demand a certain outcome.
How do you make your life meaningful? By owning and expressing my gifts.
What is your greatest fear?
That I will succumb to fear instead of allowing and embodying abundance.
Meri what sustains you through difficult times?
The example of other survivors; meditation; looking for meaning, no matter how meager it might seem at first.
What two or three pieces of advice would you give to a young person just starting out?
a. Eliminate the word "should" from your self-talk and be gentle with yourself.
b. Figure out what makes you excited and fully alive and make that your work.
c. Love like there's no tomorrow.
What brought you to blogging?
The discipline of writing regularly and a place to put my images and words out into the world.
What keeps you blogging?
The friendships I've made in the blogging community, the gratification of writing and learning that my words make a difference, having people love my images.
What have you learned from the experience of blogging?
You can't predict what will grab people's attention. So write close to the bone, post interesting images, and keep writing to please yourself.
What is your favorite word? Love
What is your least favorite word? Can't
What turns you off?
Political conservatism and religious zealotry. Racism. Sexism.
Oh yeah. . . and dating. Who knew there were so many men for whom I'd have so little time?
I once had coffee with a man who told me his ex had left him up to his eyeballs in debt and he was still rescuing her financially. And then he turned the conversation to crankshafts and drive shafts. Such a romantic. Now I know the cure for insomnia!
What sound or noise do you hate? Someone verbally abusing a child or spouse.
What sound or noise do you love? Laughter.
Thank you Meri for taking time out of your busy, creative life to do this feature. The images you shared will surely inspire some to try their hand at at photography and/or digital manipulations of photographs.
To enjoy more of Meri's many artistic talents and reflections, visit her at Meri's Musings by clicking here.