The story behind Cards to Understand

In this post, I wanted to explain the story of each of the photos that accompany the prompts in the Cards to Understand set. This was our first card set, and the first photo/prompt combination is how it all got started...


Prompt: what makes your soul sing?

July 2019, Honolulu, HI. My sister and I just landed in Honolulu on 4th of July. We were strolling down Waikiki watching the outrigger races and were headed over to the Outrigger Canoe Club closer to Diamond Head. It was my sister’s first time in the islands, which are quite the opposite from our home on the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. As we were strolling and talking, I noticed a man playing his trumpet in the waves. I can’t remember the sound the trumpet was making, but I can still remember standing there, thinking to myself: this man is doing what makes his soul sing. The waves were crashing on him, and he didn’t care. He didn’t move, he continued to play completely immersed into the moment. I took this photo in color and turned it into B&W (his super bright running shoes were the focus of the photo instead of him :) ) and wrote down the caption/prompt: What makes your soul sing? I have gifted this photo either framed or in a card to many friends, hoping it will help them reflect on what makes their soul sing and inspire them to do it more often. 


Prompt: Gratitude for a day well-lived. What does a day well-lived look like to you?

July 2018, Rovinj, Croatia. I had come to spend two weeks with my family on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in the picturesque Rovinj. One evening, my sister and I decided to go on a sunset cruise in a local sightseeing boat. The owner of the boat was a friend of our mother’s, just like everyone in that town. My mom seems to pretty much know everyone. The boat had a lower and an upper deck. We, of course, went straight up to the upper deck for an unobscured view of the town, surrounding islands and the sunset. Halfway on our journey, we came to the Sveti Ivan na Pucini, a working lighthouse where the boat turned around. In front of it, looking straight into the sun, I took this photo. I always love how everyone pauses to watch the sunset, no matter where they are in the world and what they are doing. It reminds me of the scene in the City of Angels when all the angels pause to honor the start and end of a day. Watching the sunset makes me think of the day that is ending, and inevitably makes me feel grateful for having woken up that morning and lived another day. Moment by moment, day by day is how our life happens. Whether you can see the sunset or not, honor the day and the things you have.


Prompt: A lighthouse can guide boats home. What are your guiding lights?

Newport, Oregon, November 2020. I took a quick weekend trip from my home in Portland, OR, to Newport. My first stop was the Yaqina Head Lighthouse. Standing there on the top of the cliff, so strong, straight up, guiding the boats into safety for decades, there it was. It is interesting to think about the lighthouse and how important it was back then when we didn’t have all the electronics to guide ships safely into the harbor. The lighthouse and its beaming light were the ships’ main guide to get home in one piece. Even as the ships and humans have an ever-growing amount of technology, electronics, reminders, radars and rules to “guide” us, it is interesting to think about what are those guiding values that are so deeply important to us that will guide us not to the next goal, but for our life. The lighthouse can remind us to think about what are those guiding lights for us that don’t change with the trends, winds and ups and downs.


Prompt: Above me, only sky. What makes you feel like you are standing on top of the world?

Hamilton Mountain, WA, November 2020. Another fun weekend adventure near Portland, OR. As it tends to be in November, it was a cloudy and chilly day. I remember walking uphill through a never-ending forest of fog and pine trees, losing hope that the view from the top will be anything but more fog. A few miles into the hike and nearing the top, the fog started clearing out. I remember walking to the top, immersing myself from the fog I was surrounded with until then, and seeing the sun above the clouds and snow-covered mountain peaks looming in the distance. What a view! It truly made me feel like I was standing above the clouds, on top of the world! Hence the prompt - what makes you feel like you are standing on top of the world? Do it more often!