It was during my journey to Italy with Lisa Dahl to create the photography for her best selling book (to be) The Elixir or Life that I fell in love with the olive trees and everything OLIVE! The Tuscan countryside was rich with an abundance of these glorious live sculptures and groves. When I returned from Italy, I was on a quest to understand more about this beautiful fruit that has been with us since the beginning of time and it's not just the fruit that is so special; it's the way they touch our lives and our families and communities. Olive oil was referred to as the Elixir of God here on Earth and it is indeed a golden treasure for us to enjoy with all we hold dear.

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

"The purpose of life is to discover your gift. 

The work of life is to develop it. 

The meaning of life is to give your gift away."

...David  Viscott

The Olive - Metaphor for a Life Well Lived - (Click to Preview)

My recent endeavor is a book about the love I have for the olive, and really everything associated with it.  I knew there was such a metaphor to living life well, that dates back to the time humankind began eating and drinking, and the insights and attributes that are associated with the olive were over the top glorious is my opinion. I invite to to take a peak into this book; for a beautiful experience and wonderful insights.  

I love creative process and a few years ago, 1990, to be exact, I had the wonderful opportunity to take a creativity workshop in Ojai, with the late Dr. David Viscott.  It was a transformative experience and I really feel it laid the foundation for my creative work as a photographer (this was also the year I went into photography full time).  

During this workshop I learned the value of creating a form of action board for myself - where you take an open folio, which you can place post its into, to chart your creative process for a project or idea.

The structure is you begin with an idea; a seed; something you're passionate about; you then ask yourself  "why do I want to do this?"

You then set an intention.  These three things were the jewels; for when they are created together they lay a foundation that cannot be thrown off course by other situations, people or events.  

You then create an action plan where you develop resources and information needed to help you take the necessary steps to bring your idea or project through the creative process into manifestation.

You may have many projects in this folio, and  it's a good way to keep track of your ideas.  It's also great to review this folio on a regular (even daily basis), because it's really amazing what  your mind activates, once it knows where you want to go.

David also said that your action board should have a project for the world - which would make our world a better place.

I have used this process many times, especially when I need more clarity and understanding of my projects.

"Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky." 

Kahlil Gibran

"All our wisdom is stored in the trees." 

Santosh Kalwar

Trees have always held a wonderful fascination to me.  I remember starring up at these wonderful giants from walks with my mom at night when we were in Los Angeles, going to meetings we attended,

sometimes in the evening. They graced the streets with their majestic forms and I always felt no matter what, they would always be my protectors.  That may seem pretty silly, because trees don't physically move (or maybe they do, as in the Lord of the Rings); yet there is so much I'm learning from these amazing friends.  I am a pretty avid hiker and for a while Ami (my Collie) couldn't hike so far, so I decided to hike for a short distance, and take time to meditate in the red rocks, which is also plentiful with beautiful trees.  I found that when I asked a question of nature or the trees, I would receive a beautiful insight.  It's almost  like a whisper on the wind; yet so very real.  A designer friend of mine, Carol Haralson, creates for Sojourns publication; she knows my love of trees and sent me the attached PDF of an article dealing with The Hidden Life of Trees, which I hope you will enjoy.

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