Adjusting the Trajectory

the curve that a body (as a planet or comet in its orbit or a rocket) describes in space

2: a path, progression, or line of development resembling a physical trajectory <an upward career trajectory>
~from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online

Janus sculpture in the Vatican Museum

Janus sculpture in the Vatican Museum

A new year. An opportunity to take stock, to reflect, and to adjust one’s trajectory.  In one sense, this new year is a change of calendar date, nothing more. But symbolically and perhaps tuned to some inner clock within the human race, it is also the moment in which we declare a boundary in time, a stepping over an invisible line between then and now. Janus, the Roman god of gates and doors who presides over all beginnings and transitions, is represented by a two faced head, looking in opposite directions; the month of January is named for him.

Diving Trajectory

Diving Trajectory

I love the idea of adjusting one’s trajectory – small adjustments leading to profound change over distance, in the case of moving objects, or over time, in the case of changing one’s life curve. I know from experience that small adjustments work well for me and now is the time to consider what those adjustments might be. “Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” (Ovid) The potential for a wonderful year lies before me – I’ve been granted a sabbatical from teaching in the fall and intend to spend most of the coming year in the fields and forests of western Pennsylvania, recording and photographing the fauna and flora for the resource material of my new musical project, A Year in Penn’s Woods, which I introduced in the post Wild Sounds.  Building up the stamina and strength required to carry out this ambition is the focus of this year’s resolve. I’ve already begun the adjustments, increasing my yoga practice, walking longer distances, changing some eating habits, and practicing using my camera and recording equipment so that it is second nature to manipulate it without hesitation.  Like Janus standing on the threshold of the new year, I can look back and see all the projects that have led me to this new and more ambitious one, and I eagerly look forward to connecting those experiences with the adventure that lies before me.

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpegA special thanks to Kerry of Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog for his year-end gift of the 2012 Blog of the Year Award. (you can read more about the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award here) Kerry is an extraordinary photographer who generously shares his experience and his adventures in capturing images of the American landscape. His work is exceptional and every post is a “must read” and “must see” experience. The care and attention that he gives his work is an inspiration to me and has challenged me to improve my photography skills to a higher standard. I encourage you to visit Kerry!

Since this is an award that is to be passed on, I nominate Ogee at Gardens for Goldens, “a Memorial Garden to help honor and rescue Golden Retrievers.” Ogee and her colleagues maintain a lovely garden in California as part of their efforts for the rescue of Golden Retriever dogs, whom they heal and place in new homes.  Not only is the garden a delight, the stories and images of the dogs strolling through the garden are compelling and heartwarming. Please visit Ogee and enjoy her wonderful and compassionate blog.

Finally, I want to thank all of my readers and followers. Your visits and words of encouragement are bright lights in my daily life, and inspire me to continue to think, to write, and to share.  I wish you all the wisdom and patience to live with joy in a world of change.

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” ― Aldous Huxley

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” ― Andy Warhol

A special thanks to for such a wealth of wonderful quotes.

38 thoughts on “Adjusting the Trajectory

  1. I love your idea of adjusting the trajectory. We seem to be on a similar path this year with wanting to make small changes, and to get in shape for big projects. Wishing you great success with each small change. I’m looking forward to all that you learn (and are willing to share) during your sabbatical. 🙂

  2. Like everyone else who’s commented here, I’m happy for you and the opportunity you’ll have to carry out your acoustic project in nature. Autumn in the Northeast is a time of marked transitions, so I’m wondering whether you’ll manage to hear a given animal making different sounds as the weather gets colder and the foliage changes (both in color and in no longer being on the deciduous trees). Time, as they say, will tell, and then you’ll tell us via music.

    • Steve, you are very much correct about the change in sound that accompanies the change in season. In some ways, I notice that more than any other element. I’ve been videotaping and audio recording winter for the past few weeks; a lot of wind, lonely bird calls in quiet woods, and falling snow. I’m starting to get a sense of what the music will be already. I plan to start posting samples within the next few weeks to track these changes, so your comment is spot on.

  3. Excited to hear about your sabbatical and plans for its trajectory…great joy in the preparation, unfolding and fulfillment of these dreams, Lynn…I know we’ll all be blessed by your creativity, as always. Joy and gentle peace to your New Year!

    • Thank you, Kitty; I always enjoy your visits here. The sabbatical leave is such a rich opportunity, not only to spend more time in the beauty of nature but to explore new ground in composing. Have a wonder-filled New Year!

    • Thanks, Frank! Oh yes, I find myself looking both forwards and backwards at this time of year – I suppose I’m in good company, with a classic mythological god doing the same 🙂 No wonder they named January after him. Sorry it took so long to reply; for some reason, your comment went into Spam (!) and I just found it now.

  4. Happy New Year, Lynn. Your blog has been a thoughtful and sensual garden window into the blogosphere. Can’t wait to read more. Much love, M

  5. First of all Happy New Year! Several great ideas to ponder today. Changing trajectory is a lovely idea. Love the photo of Janus God of Doorways. And A congratulation on the Blog of the Year Award!

    • Thanks, Carol! I always love the idea of doorways and passageways as well as adjusting my life aims, so this was a natural for me. Have the Happiest of New Years! BTW, I just found your comment in the Spam filter and “released” it – not sure why that happened, but I apologize for the tardy response 🙂

  6. Hi Lynn – all the best for a great new year, a productive sabbatical (lucky you!!), and continuing wonderful blogging for the rest of our enjoyment.

    • Thank you, Ehpem, for visiting and all the great wishes. I am so excited about the sabbatical – a great opportunity that will provide the time and energy to pursue this new project. Have the happiest of New Years!

      • I have been looking back in your blog for some mention of what kind of camera you have got, without success. The techno part of me would like to know. I am sure it was purchased with a view to video as well as stills. I hope you are enjoying it, even with the uncertainty of how to use all the settings. You have very wisely given yourself months to get comfortable with it – I think that is the kind of timeline necessary.

      • Oh, sorry! I started with a Canon Rebel T4i this summer but just could not get used to using a Canon after years of using a Nikon. I sold it recently. When Nikon released the D600 this past fall, I jumped on it – a full frame camera that was a big step up from my D80 and the ability to record great video too. I bought a normal 50 mm 1.8 lens that has incredible bokeh and I can still use my Nikon DX zoom lenses though they are adjusted from 3/4 to full frame. I used the D600 on some of the fall leaf photos (Shadow and Light) with great results and I just did a lot of testing on the video features this week with our beautiful snow falls. I LOVE this camera!

      • You probably mentioned it earlier in the year and I forgot. That camera has a very good reputation (though the T4i does too, especially for video). I totally understand the familiarity of controls. I doubt I will every leave Canon now that I know my way around their setup. You might want to consider, for video work anyway, picking up some old manual Nikon lenses – they are more affordable and optically excellent. I use 30-40 year old Nikon lenses on my Canon (gasp!) as well as similar vintage Pentax lenses. The bokeh is fabulous with some of them as well. But the manual controls, especially the ability to change aperture in mid-shoot is very valuable (my Canon won’t let me do that with the electronic lenses).

      • That’s a great idea, Ehpem! I will have to investigate that, since I prefer a single focal length manual focus lens with a big aperture for video. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. All my best wishes for a smooth ‘trajectory’ change! I’ve been through both small and tremendous changes in my live and looking back I can say that in the end they only made it more interesting and worth living it! I am sure your project it’s going to bring us some great pictures & music in the future!

  8. The pups of Homeward Bound are I are so grateful for your recognition of our efforts to rescue, re-home or provide sanctuary to more than 500 dogs each year. Thank you, Lynn – with sincere gratitude, Ogee.

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