Happy Anniversary Month to Sunrise Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude!

MIAMI HERALD – one year ago!
October 26, 2014
Author interview: Kim Weiss on ‘Sunrise Sunset’

Local author’s book pairs inspirational quotes with gorgeous photos.
Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude. Kim Weiss. Health Communications. $10.95 in paper.
Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude. Kim Weiss. Health Communications. $10.95 in paper.

By Connie Ogle cogle@MiamiHerald.com

Gratitude is popular these days. Scroll through your Facebook feed, and chances are you’ll see some friend listing things for which they’re grateful (family, friends and chocolate tend to rank high on many lists).

“Gratitude is a hot topic,” says Kim Weiss, director of public relations for local publisher Health Communications, which specializes in self-help titles. “It’s been selling well in self-help for a while. … I think people need little reminders that kind of break them out of their busy day. Unless you’re already involved in some kind of practice that allows you to stop and smell the roses, not everybody does.”

Weiss admits that like most of us, she’s not always in a sunny mood (“I’m not exactly Pollyanna”). But she definitely has something to be grateful for these days: the publication of her book Sunrise Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude (HCI, $10.95), which she’ll discuss Thursday at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

The book is a collection of her photos of sunrises and sunsets — all shot from her home in Boynton Beach; fortunately she can see east and west from her terrace. Each photo is paired with an inspirational quote.

Weiss first started taking pictures with her iPhone, then graduated to “a real camera,” she says.

Publishing a book with the company where she’s worked for 20 years has been a treat.

“I actually wrote a book that never came about, about relationships and finding love in midlife,” she says. “It just didn’t happen. But my theory is you push over here, and something pops up over there. I’m not a visual artist, and here I am doing this visual book. It’s all funny and ironic to me.”

Weiss has built a following on Facebook; others are starting to post their own sunrise and sunset photos on her page. Seeing the day begin or end isn’t something she takes for granted.

“Even if I’m in a crappy mood — which I am a lot — that moment when I go outside … how could you not be amazed?” she says. “I think, ‘How lucky am I to look at this?’”

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Sunrise Sunset takes to the walls of Boynton Civic Center – My first actual photo exhibiton

If I could tell you how excited, frightened and out of my mind I am about displaying my photos at an art exhibition, I’d have to jump out of my skin into some kind of video and just spend an entire minute SCREAMING!! For joy, for wonder, for awe & gratitude. How my little book got me here and where it’s taking me is a ride I never anticipated. I can’t explain it. I can only allow the adventures to keep scooping me up and flinging me into the wonders of the unknown!! As I twitch and tweet all day, I’ll leave you with a couple weeks worth of images and inspirations. I hope you love them. And, I hope you’ll share them and let hear from you – on my Facebook page and here! Wish me luck, sun people!

boynton art exhibit 1 boynton art exhibit 2 boynton art exhibit 3

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Late spring and the slippery, sneaky sunrise…

All these photos, all these inspirational quotes, all these moments inspired by my terrace view. Never for a moment do I forget how lucky I am. But more than lucky I realize how much I am spoiled. I realize this each spring when the sun decides to hide from me. How my apartment is blocked and situated just so and If I only had that east facing corner unit I could see the full glory of the sunrise EVERY day of the year. How will I deliver real time photos to you when this happens? What a wonderful problem to have.

Every routine, no matter how divine, can become stagnant and mechanical if we don’t have these interruptions. What the absence of the sunrise causes me to do is look elsewhere for beauty and that pursuit of awe that seems to sustain me. Clouds to the south and west become more interesting. Their tips infused by the rising sun’s light in the distance. The shimmer of the ocean in great expanse in front of me and the pinks and oranges in smudges across the sky. I am pulled out of automatic pilot mode and thrust into the moment. Into the presence of now. Cliche as it sounds, it’s these testing moments that cause growth.

I’m told that my beloved sun will be back for daily snaps very soon. Until then, I’ll enjoy the shows of Mother Nature in any and all of her surprising and wonderful permutations. And, in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this edition’s slide show. I made it just for you!

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Spring has sprung and the sun showed off all week!

Nature is definitely toying with me. Soon the morning sun will disappear into the horizon obstructed by the building I live in and everything in front of it. I don’t remember what I did last year but I’m sure I’ll find a resourceful way to stay current in my sunrise postings. Or find a way to quell the shimmy shakes when they start to jar me for the lack of morning camera events.

Perhaps to prepare me for the troubling event of nature aka the inconvenient revolution of the Earth, I was treated to some magnificent sunrises this week. (Giving a whole new meaning to the universe revolving around oneself, no?) Whereas I awoke to predominantly gray skies, by the time I paged through morning emails and sipped the last of my Italian roast, a very pink-red sun plopped out over the sea and wooed me no end. Without killing either of my cats, I was fast enough to just catch the shots that some Facebook posters thought I’d doctored with color enhancements. Not that I’m above doing that, mind you, these shots needed almost no help. Maybe just a left-side crop to minimize the terrace balcony. I’ve included the shots in the slide show below so you can see for yourself.

The week of pink-red sunrises also leads up to the opening of a new season, spring is springing precisely today, and what we call a new moon (no moon) is begging for wishes to be made and dreams to be dreamt. I have plenty, all right, and hope who’s ever reading this does, too. Many of them are happening in real time, and my little bookie book keeps motoring along both with publicity and public events. First for Women, the mega-grocery store tabloid gave it a sweet review and a story of mine was published in Nothing But Good News magazine.(make sure you go to page 30) To round things out, I’ve been asked by a bunch of PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS to make a presentation on Tuesday, 3/24 at their photo salon in West Palm Beach. I was thinking of stopping at Sports Authority to pick up a catcher’s mask, but maybe they’ll go easy on me. What I’d almost prefer is to have a Q&A session with ME asking the questions. However it goes, I’m looking forward to it. (Maybe I should bring my guitar?)

As the sunrise perspective slips away I do have my sunset accessibility back and am thankful for that. Nature is so good at keeping things in balance and after work bike rides and terrace sunset shooting continues. And, my humble Facebook community of 8K + grows daily and the picture posts and the comments tickle my heart.

Wishing you a wonderful entry into the season of abundance, love, and hopefully much joy. Your roving (raving?) sun reporter saying, over and out.

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And, all I had to do was wake up!

How to literally Emerge Spiritually from Slumber (into your new day)

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How much more obvious can it get than a magnificent star rising every morning on our horizon to wake us up to our own magnificence? So obvious that it’s easy to miss. This giant gift we’re given every day escapes us in our busy lives; who takes the time to drink in the blessing that warms our planet on a daily basis, keeps us alive?

I do.

Every day.

Okay, so I picked a home in the sky, a high-rise apartment with a terrace on the 14th floor where I can “emerge spiritually from slumber” quite literally by filling my vision first, even before brushing my teeth, with the blessing of a sunrise. We talk about the dawning of a new day, we cite the magic of the rising sun in spiritual text, acknowledge the sun’s vitamin D powers in our scientific literature. Could it get more obvious?

I’m not suggesting the sun to be a false idol of any kind, but surely it’s one of the more miraculous orbs of creation from which we can draw spiritual sustenance. There are trees and roses, azure waters and many miracles of nature all around us, but the rising (and setting) sun is a constant that we can universally access from almost anywhere. The places where darkness seasonally prevails (around the North and South poles) notwithstanding, most of where humans choose to reside come replete with daily doses of sunshine.

weiss2What about it makes the rising of the sun so spectacular — so often photographed, painted and used in poetry and song lyrics? Its beauty is constant but its visual manifestation is different every day. Just like us. So much of who we are is made of the same predictable stuff, but a space seems always left for the unexpected, for change, for untold beauty that’s never before been seen. We are like the sun in our penchant for showing up, but our rays of expression vary from day to day, moment to moment.

Maybe we love the sun so much because it reminds us not only of the divine, but the divine in ourselves. We can “stop and smell the sunshine” or we can sleepwalk through our day and make the motions of a fluid, forward-moving life.

I choose to remember my divinity as I jump out of my bed each morning, peer through the blinds and make my way onto the terrace, cats at my feet and camera close at hand. My tribute is to document what I see and share it in pictures. The moment of magic enters my eyes, concentrates in my heart, then is absorbed and embraced through the lens of my camera. When I “develop” my pictures onto the computer screen, it’s like opening a door in my heart. From this place, I hope the feeling I experienced is conveyed to the person admiring the photograph. I’m less after the technicalities of a perfect shot and more about the magic of the moment stirring inside of me. Keeping it all to myself just doesn’t seem fair.

Seven, almost eight years, of snapping these photos morphed into a serious hobby, then a book, now a growing Facebook community of backyard shooters who send and post what’s greeting them on the horizon either morning or sunset times. Or both. I feel blessed to be a part of this grand circle of appreciation. Taking a moment to look at what is always around us can cause waves of joy and well-being exponentially throughout our day that ultimately spill over onto the people around us.

What could be better? And, all I had to do was wake up. (emerge from slumber).

(story from The Edge – the link:http://bit.ly/1zT3xQ8)

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