• Elizabeth Bartasius

Daddy's Sunsets: Overcoming "I Suck"

This winter my father started a new trend. He sent me pictures of the sunsets he and my mother enjoyed.

Each evening, or most evenings, they would take a glass of wine (or in Dad’s case, beer) and sit on the seawall behind their winter haven and watch the sky change colors and the light shifts its perspective.

Now, I’ve snapped pictures of sunsets before, but usually only when the sunset is particularly stunning, where a big ball of sun dips behind a horizon of orgasmic colors. These are the pictures I stop to take.

Rarely do I stop to capture ordinary sunsets or to notice the change in sunset from day to day, how it became brilliant, then went back to being cloudy and overcast, then bright again.

When I received Dad’s pictures night after night, week after week, I began to notice the variations in sunsets. Some were indeed brilliant! Others? Mediocre in comparison, but stunning in their own right.

This morning, as I walked the dog and smelled the damp palms leaves, I’m thinking we (you, me, human beings) are like the sunsets that others rarely stop to photograph.

Mediocre when compared to someone or something we think is far more brilliant, beautiful, and bold. Yet, we are stunning in our own right.

If we take the time to capture the images of ourselves day in and day out, week after week, we too may find the nuances of color, light, life.

As a writer, it seems par for the course, to think that each paragraph I write “sucks.”

Rather than self-deprecating, those thoughts are just an automatic response.

I’m not sure where they come from or why; I don’t even care anymore.

Years of a self-development archeological dig into the what-where-when have freed up some space and self-love for sure! But, at some point, the trick is to go forward despite.

To be in quiet and accepted companionship with that which refuses to leave, such as the voice that says, “You suck.”

So, I hear those words, sometimes I kinda believe them.

But, as my father’s pictures helped me to see, I’m a sunset.

With variations in color.

Changing with the tides, the wind, the clouds, the smog, the universal shifts.

However, what does NOT change in me is the need to set and rise, set and rise.

Wake and write.

Move and Create.

Clear and Create.

Muse and Create.

Nourish and Create.

Rise and set, wake and create, oh dazzling ones.

It’s our job.

Aren’t we magnificent at it?