Featuring Photographer Michael Ahlrichs

     Today I am featuring a guest blogger, photographer Michael Ahlrichs. I recently came across some of his work and found it to be breathtaking. I asked him if I could feature him and he agreed. I hope you check out his work at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/michael-ahlrichs.html or on Instagram https://instagram.com/michael_ahlrichs/

     This is one of my favorite photos in his collection. It’s entitled, Divine Reflection. divine-reflection-michael-ahlrichs

     Here is Michael’s story in his own words.

     As an iPhone photographer, I am compelled to tell a narrative, a representation of my recent journey in life. My story documents a path that has taken me from hopelessness and despair, fueled by addiction, to a being whose life has blossomed into one of joy, hope and restored faith in God.

     God has breathed new life in me, a divine spark. He has inspired my eyes and my spirit. Through this transformative nudge from God, I have the desire and responsibility to explore the beauty of His divine tapestry, and capture it through my lens.

     My photography was once a solitary practice, fearful of judgment and inferiority. Through my awakening, I now believe that my talents and experiences are intended to be shared, and maybe even offer hope to someone else who may be struggling.

     Now that my eyes and spirit have been awakened, my faith restored, and my addiction and fear overcome, I share with you my journey through my lens.

Cocktails With Chaos

Cocktails with Chaos
It’s the last call on my ride with chaos. What have I done, concocting my life in this giant, rusted tumbler?

Awakened

Awakened
The gates have opened; it’s time to cross the threshold. My dreams are now accessible. With my mind, body and spirit arisen from the nightmare, clarity and purpose lie ahead.

The Path

The Path
A beautiful garden awaits me if I merely follow the path. Peace and serenity are steps away.

The Promises

The Promises
I have faith that this is the right path. I follow this path so that I may continue to be happy, joyous and free. It is a glorious and inspiring path, full of miracles.

Profile photo

     To discuss my IPhone photography techniques or my recovery, you may contact me at michael.ahlrichs@gmail.com.

My Big, Fat Greek Tragedy

MasksComedyTragedy     If there was any doubt that my life is a Greek tragedy in the making, this episode of “Mis-Matched to Miss Matched” should solidify the notion in everyone’s minds.
     This installment’s bachelor is a well-known businessman in this area. So, all I will say is that he was in his early 50s and had blond hair and blue eyes.
     Initially, when he contacted me, I turned him down. One of the descriptors in his Match profile did not sit right with me. And I explained in my reply that descriptor was why I was turning him down.
     He wrote me a long email in return, clarifying his position and dispelling any incorrect impressions I had. His arguments were good ones. So, I agreed to talk to him.
     We talked and hit it off. We wanted to meet. However, he was in Florida vacationing with his kids. We would meet when he returned. Despite him being on vacation, we spoke every day.
     Then, my dad had a heart attack. So, I was driving to New York as this intriguing man was about to drive back to Indiana.
     God just loves messing with me.
     My potential suitor understood, and we kept talking on the phone.
     Finally, we were in the same city at the same time. So, after talking for almost three weeks, we met for dinner. We got along splendidly. Our likes and dislikes were the same in just about all areas, including politics and religion. That, in and of itself, was amazing.
     He grew up on the East Coast, just like me. Loved to travel. Loved live theater and musicals! Yes, musicals! Where had he been hiding all of this time?
     Well, most of the time, he was working, networking or attending his kids’ activities. He had the busiest calendar I had ever seen. He could not plan out more than a week ahead because meetings and events were constantly being added to his schedule by his assistant and his kids. But he swore he would make time for me. And he did try.
     In the days that followed, we talked for hours on end, about everything and anything. The conversation never got stale or boring. The more we got to know one another, the more perfect we seemed for each other. The similarities were uncanny.
     Drinking and smoking were not issues. Awesome!
     His children were older. Another bonus.
     He had no pets and had no intention of ever owning one. Thank you, Jesus!
     Pinch me already!
     Anyway, everything was going pretty well until it was time to meet his friends. That’s when the bottom dropped out.
     While Mr. Seemingly-Perfect did not have any pets, every single one of his friends did. These friends were his work colleagues as well as his personal friends. He spent almost all of his time with these people. And from what he told me about them, they were the best friends a person could ask for. I’m sure I would have agreed.
     But the conundrum was that they all entertained in their houses. You know, where the animals lived.
     If you have not read my previous posts on the subject, my allergic reaction to animals is anaphylactic. So, I can not be around animals. Extended exposure to them could literally kill me.
     Meeting his friends out at a restaurant would have been fine. I suggested that. But in the long run, that would not have been feasible or sustainable, as they all loved to entertain at their homes. Each had an elaborate backyard oasis, fire pit, and/or boat, etc.
     Then there was his buddy’s lake house. I absolutely love lake houses because I love sitting by a lake, looking out at the water and listening to the water lap up on the shore. And there’s nothing quite like watching the sun rise or set over the water.
     That’s one of the biggest things I miss about living in New York. I really miss being close to a large body of water. Growing up minutes from Lake Ontario was a luxury I did not fully appreciate until I moved to Indiana, land of small, man-made lakes. But I digress…
     Alas, there were always animals at his buddy’s lake house. The owner brought his pets and allowed everyone to bring their pets too. Well, just shoot me now and put me out of my misery.
     I could not in good conscience ask him to pick between me and his friends. He’s known some of them for over twenty years. If I kept him from them, he would become resentful. And I would feel guilty.
     And if he always went over to his friends’ houses and to the lake house without me, I would become resentful. And presumably, he would feel guilty.
     We discussed the situation rationally. No compromise was suitable, and he picked his friends.
     I will not lie. I am extremely disappointed. But let’s face it; I could never compete with them, the lifestyle to which he had grown accustomed, the boats and the lake house.
     How pitiful is that? We can’t have a relationship because of other people’s pets.
     Heavy sigh.
     Animals are truly the bane of my existence.

Copyright © 2015 by Suzanne Purewal