Love Your Everyday Life » Angela Giles Klocke, Southern Colorado Freelance Writer and Photographer

I really feel like this session took a long time to get to. That is, connections were made quite some time ago, and eventually! our chosen date arrived. It was a beautiful day…to begin with. Right smack in the middle of everything, it suddenly grew windy and super cold, so we rushed through and decided to make this Part 1. Further, we decided Part 2 would happen in a warmer season, and on a day without football. (Rex!)

We’re troopers, though, and we made the most of our short time, slowly and miserably freezing to death, but laughing all the same.

Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE
Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE

You know, I thought I should mention that Katie warned me ahead of time that they might be very nervous, but I thought they were pretty natural in front of the camera —

Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE

Especially when I asked them to kiss…

Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE

Kissing in front of someone can be awkward. Kissing in front of someone you barely know can be even more awkward. And kissing in front of someone you barely know who’s going all paparazzi on you, well…they handled it all like pros! And they handled the almost-kiss just as well, though we won’t talk about how many kissy-mouth faces Rex made. Men!

Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE

I’m a big fan of Love on a Bench. Sadly, I rarely find unoccupied benches or benches with a view. So, this was my lucky day!

Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE

You should know that by this point, I was doing the Part 2 bribing to keep Rex in the game, and we were officially freezing. And Katie’s second outfit was short-sleeved. Yeah, we moved even faster at this point, hiding in small tree enclosures, hiding from people and the wind. (And I think Rex was whispering something to Katie about how much he just loved that I wasn’t done yet…)

Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE
Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE
Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE

There was a wee bit of me reminding them to stop shivering and “Pretend you’re not cold!” Just so you know, telling someone they aren’t cold doesn’t change the fact that they are indeed cold, especially if your teeth are chattering when you say it.

Alas, it will be some time before they are officially Mr. and Mrs., but we are patient. And we have Part 2 to look forward to!

Rex and Katie Are Getting Married!PINIMAGE

See ya when it’s finally that season we in Colorado like to call, NOT COLD.

Would you like me to photograph YOUR love?

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I Am Good at This by Angela Giles KlockePINIMAGE

Snow is gently falling as I wrap a sleep mask around my head, blocking daylight, choosing dark instead at 2:00 in the afternoon. It’s time to nap. Time to rest my body, mind, and soul from the rigors of life. Even on this, my day off, I have worked, because I love my work, and because even when I’m not “on the clock,” I still have to fetch groceries, fix meals, and balance life. Fielding texts with plans and ideas, praying for friends, laughing at the dogs, going for a ride, and just being are all activities that can still wear a person out. So, I slip into my bed and speak calming words over my body, and I sink away into a short slumber that is interrupted as planned 20 minutes later.

I peel the mask off, turn off the alarm, and sit with the quiet. The sun has come out and the snow has ceased for the time being, promising to return shortly. I breathe deeply and feel life wash through my body. The short nap has refreshed me, but I’m also breathing in a certain kind of joy that I have recently stumbled upon.

Contentment in my work. In my life.

I’ve done the work in recent months to return where I began — back at writing, photography, art. I’ve let the world know I’m open. And I’ve spoken truth over myself: I am good at this.

It would be easy to add an asterisk to that statement, to make a disclaimer that I’m not trying to brag, or that I know I have more to learn. That’s all true for anyone, but just as I learned to say “thank you” and “I’m sorry” without a “but,” I’ve learned to embrace truth without watering it down until it doesn’t mean anything.

“I am good at this” doesn’t mean I don’t stop growing or learning but rather that I stop making excuses and just do the work. That I stop comparing myself to others and instead do my thing. And it means that I stop the desperate scratching around with my hands snatching at whatever should come my way, hopeful to get paid no matter what. I am more intentional with my time, with my focus, with my art. I don’t feel less than in the middle of others who are good at what they do, but instead feel inspired. “I am good at this” means that I see truth in what I do and believe truth about what I do. I stop looking for the other person’s disclaimer as well, the kind that used to look like, “Oh, I like your work but you should photograph me for free. Otherwise, I do NOT like your work.”

I have found myself sitting in traffic, staring at all the cars going through the intersection, hundreds of people, and I have whispered sometimes, “One for me, one for you, one for you, one for you, and now another one for me, and one for you, and one for you…” There’s enough to go around, I mean. My style of art isn’t for everyone. Not every person will love my words or my pictures. But some will. My people will. And the ones who do will choose me.

For so many years, I’ve lived with a mindset of scarcity. Digging at this, I learned that it seems to have stemmed from childhood, when there never seemed to be enough. Not enough food, not enough friends, not enough daylight before we had to burn kerosene lanterns. This I carried with me, not understanding why I constantly felt anxiety when approaching a buffet or a party table. I would decline food instead of attempting to get a plate, sure that by the time I got to the food, it would all be gone. The same with money. Spend it when it comes because if not, someone will take it. Or the reverse: hoard it and hide it and never spend it at all. No healthy middle ground.

And so this idea carried itself over into my arts. Not enough time to write, or not enough people to read, or not enough clients…might as well just give up. Might as well not hope. Just quit first so I don’t look like a loser.

Ah, what a hard place to live. And yet, so many of us choose this desert, this desolate place, all the while thirsting for more, hungry for what others have, disregarding the very notion that we could have it too.

I can have it too.

I am good at this and there is enough for me and I can have this joy.

I am ready to do my best work now. And this is why I can take a nap in the middle of the day. Because I’m not desperate for work, for time, for what someone else has. I’m content with the life I’m building on this side of healing, and I am open to the gifts that have been waiting to come my way.

I can have this. Now.

You can too.

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What seems to be the problem? by Angela Giles Klocke at MiddlePlaces.comPINIMAGE

“My dreams have been messed up lately, full of emotion and weirdness. I wake up frequently, almost as if in an attempt to reset the scenes playing out. I’m carrying three really hard stories right now. None are mine, but I am on a journey with the people they do belong to. It’s heavy and complicated and scary sometimes when I realize how little I can do to fix anything.”

Continued at MiddlePlaces.com

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So, we started a new series. New baby girl, new Grow Into the Dress photo series, right!?

And yes, this is how far behind I am… Grace to me!

We learned from Aurora that a bigger dress was necessary for Aliza. At the rate Aurora is growing, we’re going to have to add to it before her series ends. Gracious. At any rate, Mom found this one for Aliza and it’s just gorgeous…like Aliza!

As you can see, she was clearly not amused.

aliza2PINIMAGE
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aliza1PINIMAGE

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What it means to practice art by Angela Giles KlockePINIMAGEIt has really only been in the last year that I have fully embraced the title of artist. Previously, I’d break it down to writer and/or photographer (depending on which stage of “I quit!” I was in). But never artist.

I pictured an artist as someone who paints or draws or sculpts or molds. Never someone who takes pictures or puts down words. When I dressed up as an eccentric artist for Halloween several years ago, some of the comments I received were, “But you don’t paint” and “You can’t even draw.” Let us set aside the whole point of Halloween and dressing up as anything you like to address those statements alone.

By its very definition, artist means, “a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.” {Dictionary.com}

Aesthetic? “relating to the philosophy of aesthetics; concerned with notions such as the beautiful and the ugly.” {Dictionary.com}

How does writing and photography not also fit?

All the same, I never saw it myself, so I can forgive anyone else who wonders. Yet, I believe every act of creation, whether it be a book or a piece of paper with doodles, is art. Something created where nothing was.

What it means to practice art by Angela Giles KlockePINIMAGEThat’s what I do. I create. I arrange words where a painter might arrange colors. I seek light and composition where a sculptor might twist clay. We all see what could be and then make it, swaying along to the music that is creativity.

Sometimes I hear the call to try something new. I feel a stirring to branch out, or to change something in color to deep blacks and whites. Sometimes words call out to me in whispers of poetry, begging release. And sometimes a whole new medium asks me to just play, give it a try, have fun, no pressure.

So I swing by the crafty section in the store and grab the first thing I see that winks at me, flirting for the chance of meeting and seeing if we could connect. Watercolors this time, the kind packaged for kids, with its tiny paintbrush and no instructions other than how to get the paints out of the clothes they will inevitably find themselves bound to. I bring them home and set them out and wait for the inspiration.

The truth is, when it isn’t your regular medium, the inspiration may only come as a gentle call: “Let’s play.”

Several months ago, I bought a larger art journal. I am not by nature a scrapbooker, despite my photography and absolute love of story-telling, but I felt called to its wide, thick pages. I felt I would do something with it involving pictures, but without a clue, I simply sat it on my bookshelf and waited. It was this journal that I pulled out, ready to add to its stark white pages, ready to play, ready to just practice art.

I had already written hard words for the day, and blogged, and processed pictures for business, and cleaned the kitchen. I wasn’t bored, but rather I was feeling a need to delve into something new and beautiful. And really, I just wanted to prove to a part of my negative brain that I could make art and it didn’t need to be sell-worthy or loved by ANYONE. I just needed to practice, to get outside of my head of “make it perfect!” and just swish colors together until I felt it was finished.

What it means to practice art by Angela Giles KlockePINIMAGEThat’s all. A half hour spent swirling and dipping the tiny, cheap paintbrush into color, sometimes not sure at all which color I’d get (Oh, that’s orange, not red at all!), all for the sake of art – just practice. Just nurturing that side of me. Just taking care of ME in the way that I needed to in that moment, in the middle of work, in the middle of life.

The end result is by far not what anyone would classify as brilliant art. But I love it. Because it’s a reflection of my heart, the way I see the world, all colorful and bright and beautiful, even in the midst of hard things, even in the middle of clouds that turn everything to grey, even in the middle of continued healing. The colors speak to me in a swirl of happy, a reminder to keep living this beautiful life, to keep hoping in the best of people, to stay open to the possibilities of possibility.

Creating for the mere sake of creativity is one of the most nurturing things I can do for myself. Practicing art is permission to seek, to experiment, to listen, to be still, to journey onward. It is good for my soul, for my heart, for my life in the day to day hustle that is keeping up with breathing. When I write, when I take photos, when I experiment, when I paint, when I see, I am reminded to live, to press on fully and as brilliantly as I can.

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  • Elise - My youngest is an artist. I am not an artist but it has been so interesting to watch/observe her. She happens to be very talented in drawing as well as photography but it is not really about that. It is her personality and the way she sees the world. I don’t think she realizes how good she is at photography because she doesn’t seem that interested in it. But that is where I see the artist in her really come out. She will sometimes take my Nikon camera outside and just take pictures. The camera has the ability to operate manually or just point and shoot. She only uses the point and shoot – including the up close option (I don’t even know what it is called – lol). When she does this I get to see the world through her eyes. She occasionally will take a picture of a beautiful flower but usually it is of the wilting brown flower. Or she will take a picture of a leaf that has some sort of insect damage on it. It makes a person see the beauty in these things. She loves taking pictures of bugs doing their bug things. I think once she got a picture of a spider attacking a fly. It is so hard for me to explain that seeing her pictures is like me getting a glimpse inside of her. She sees things that the rest of the world would pass by. I don’t feel this way about most photographs I see but she’s got that special something. And I know it is because she is an artist. Like I said, I am not an artist but I have so much enjoyed being part of it through her. I am having so much trouble putting into words how I can see some aspect of her personality and know it is because she is an artist. I guess the way I am relating it to your post is that I don’t feel it is about talent or the medium, it’s just something about how the person sees the world. The people who you take pictures of get a glimpse inside of you. They get to see the beauty in themselves that you see. If you ever feel sensitive to people’s judgement I bet it is because you have shown them that part of you. It’s actually quite courageous to share that. I don’t think it’s that way for a person that is not an artist.ReplyCancel

    • Angela Giles Klocke - So, I’m just seeing your comment because it wasn’t emailed to me. Psh.

      I love every word. I also love hearing your thoughts on your girl. I like how you can see a side that maybe we don’t see ourselves.ReplyCancel

When it hurts to write by Angela Giles KlockePINIMAGE

“Three hundred words. In just under an hour, I only manage to write 300 new words on my book. I should be annoyed. But instead, I hit save and close my laptop, content, happy with those mere 300. It was a hard scene, a memory that I rarely talk about. I sit with the emotions, tasting the memory, breathing in the safety of now as I visited the danger of yesterday.”

Continued at Writer, Mom, Etc. –

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