Friday, July 18, 2014

Gentle Mornings By Alexis Szoke

A morning in the late September brushed through the air like the callused leaves that scathed the ground. Stillness was hushing the rousing world for the sky to finish its show. We were awake, her and I. It seemed as if this quiet time before the day begun was made for us to have. The porch lights were still lit and all that could be heard were the gentle noises of the grass shifting wispily with the dawn. All was still. In the distance I could hear the jagged sounds of china from the kitchen. Mama was preparing our morning tea. As she approached from behind me, I listened to the way each one of her shoes gracefully touched the ground; cautious, but with purpose. Silently she rested a cup before my palms, directed her attention to the sky and took to within her own thoughts, as was I. I like this unspoken conversation we have with each other. There is no need for narration or question, just silence. Mama tells me there’s not enough of it in the world these days. She tells me there’s no good reason why people talk as much as they do. It’s just compensation for all of the quiet mornings they’ve been missing out on. Maybe that’s why she favors the morning sun over the evening- because there are more quiet conversations like ours happening. Mama teaches me things like all Mama’s do- how to comb my hair and fold my bed. But its times like these where Mama teaches me about all the best parts I like inside myself- my thoughtfulness, my contemplation, my gentle side. It was as if when we looked at the same beauty somehow could connect and tell each other of all the quiet things we noticed about life. We don’t stay too quiet for long though. Just as the slow rise pushed out, a light kissed the horizon and Mama and I gasped. It has never stopped surprising us how brilliant the sun looks against the hazy pastels of the open sky. The sun was so small. But in a second, the moment passes; the roaring ball begins to swell and life overcame the stillness. “What are your hopes for the day, baby?” she prompted, but I could tell her attention was still focused on the sky. As I thought briefly about the day ahead, a nervous buzz began to rattle through my chest. “Well I want to ace my science test today… but I don’t know, I don’t think I will.” “Now don’t say thoughts like that. Why not?” Mama’s disposition remained even, though the slight cringe of her face showed that it was being challenged. “I don’t know why, Mama. I just get nervous all my thoughts are gonna fall right out of my head; like my mind’ll go blank.” She didn’t say anything for a long minute. She just looked at me; let my words hang in the air, dissolving right before us. I was sure the conversation was over at that point- Mama doesn’t like to talk about don’ts and can’ts, so usually she just doesn’t talk anymore. But, a gestured nod, her face shifted off of me and back to the sun, “You see that right there?” I nodded hesitantly, wondering where she was going with this. “That sun right there is about the only thing we used to worry about, long ago. Hell bent on trying to figure out where it goes. Every day was like a new blessing, when the sun rose from the sky once more and warmth began to bring the world to life again; nobody cared ‘bout anything else!” Mama stopped and thought about this for a minute, then placed her gentle hand over mine and looked hard at my eyes. “Baby, don’t be afraid of that sun. It’s never as hot as it feels or as small as it looks. Life is gonna tell you otherwise sometimes and it might even make you scared a little bit….. But God, that sunrise right there,” in inhaled in reverence; her eyes glistening at the reflection of its beauty, “that’s about the only thing that matters right now, don’t you think?” I felt her words mending my nervous bones as the sun embraced my body with warmth. Nothing else truly else mattered besides the miracle between that sun and my beating heart. How lucky was I to spend another day on this porch, breathing in the morning’s wonders, with Mama by my side to show me the world. “That’s the only thing that matters,” I repeated her soothing words back, trying them out on my lips. They tasted like stillness. Her palm grazed my back and rested around my shoulder, “Then so it is.” And with that, so it was. The day had begun. At first still and quiet, then all at once. Even amongst the ignition of day, calmness still resided through my body; like the smooth spooling of water down a crystal clear glass. These mornings with Mama, our conversations- both spoken and un- were what kept the stillness coating my bones, relaxing through the strains of my mind. I was able to take on the day with the assurance that the whispers of the grass’s breeze and bits of morning sun stuffed inside my backpack could always ground me. With a subtle gesture, Mama and I stepped down the porch, graceful and light. The gentle notes of shifting grass still billowed through the air. Sun was rising. And so was I.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Mama!!

Happy birthday to the sweetest, most inspiring, most supportive, crazy mama I am so blessed to have apart of my life! If I could learn to do things with half as much heart and integrity as you've shown, this earth would be a better place. Honestly, the world is a much freer and much more incredible world with having you apart of it. :) The Leslie thumbprints that you leave everywhere you go, glow back with a quality that is so uniquely you, it's amazing to see. Happy 29th celebration of life ;) - you really are someone worth celebrating!! I love you!!! oxox Bitty

free spirit from LOTLEO Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Our Love Affair with San Francisco

Alexis and I share a love for the city lights, tall buildings and big city flair. With this video, she does a great job capturing the lively colors and vibrancy of one of our favorite California cities on an evening drive through San Francisco

san fascino from LOTLEO Films on Vimeo.

Monday, September 16, 2013

szőke summer from LOTLEO Films on Vimeo.
Spending a leisurely, nostalgia-inducing summer with my jovial Szőke family. Holidays, birthdays, travel days and pool days illustrate the dog days of this lazy summer. Starring Sutton, Saxton and Staten (brothers) with guest appearances by Steve, Stephani, Alexis, Papa and Grandma, and Sable Szőke (zoh-kee) n. village in Baranya county, Hungary n. unique familia of love and fun

Tuesday, September 3, 2013