There may be no greater gift than to be able to use our cameras to document and reflect back a moment, a feeling, or memory for the people we love most in the world. As for this Story, I get chills every time I play it because I am taken right back to the magical weekend we spent together celebrating love, babies and our sisterhood.
Just wanted to share an update from the nest. I think this says it all. If I were still doing Best Shot Monday, this would be the one from the past week. Hmmm. Maybe we should start that up again.
If I had to categorize our Spring Break trip to Mexico, I’d have to call it a color experience. Cool blues of the sea, vibrant greens of the palms, and swirling yellows and oranges of the golden hour were all vying for my attention, begging to be captured through my lens. And even still, as I sift through all the amazing color of hundreds of shots, it’s these few black and whites that stop me in my tracks. And so, I offer you the images from the past week that captivate me, enchant me, and give me reason to pause with no distractions.
The Shutter Sisters escape to Oasis was a truly magical experience. I have a million things to say about it; about how amazing the energy was, how awesome all the women were, how exceptional the venue was, and how truly inspired I was by just being there. Spending an entire week in the desert was exactly the change of scenery I needed to come back refreshed and rejuvenated.
But I was quickly reminded that not all change of scenery is good. A few days after I got home from Oasis, our new neighbors decided to change the whole landscape of our entire neighborhood by removing three of the most well-established, recognizable and beautiful palm trees in our community. It’s not that blame them for wanting to wipe the slate clean and start to build their new home from the ground up, so to speak, but I can’t help but be affected and well, a little upset. I think I said it best as I turned onto our street and watched as the last of the three trees come crashing down, “My heart is breaking a little.”
The collage of the images above were taken over the last few years from my front yard, my driveway, my bedroom window and on my walks with the dogs. I cannot tell you how much those trees fed my soul. And now, this is the view from here:
Can you hear my heart breaking? I still can.
To write my book Elevate the Everyday, I had to go back. I had to revisit the archives of my life; of being an artist who found photography as the medium that fit and of being mother who used that medium not only as art, but as a lifeline.
Perhaps no better expression has been coined than Art Saves. Because it can. Because it will. Because it does.
The window to the past is funny. It comes in and out of view, with the curtains of time being blown gently back and forth, keeping the truth of what things really looked like faint and faded. But I don’t need to see it clearly to remember how it felt to be frighteningly out of control and overwhelmed. I still carry it with me. When it comes up (as it does from time to time) I am right back there to that place again. It’s like muscle memory of the body and soul. It’s uncomfortable and scary but I know that it will pass. It did back then, and it will again.
The beauty of looking back is tracing the path of how you made it from there to here; from then to now. For me that road is lined with photographs. Beautiful, poignant, celebratory, photographs that represent all the parts of my life that have mattered most. Ironically enough, the stuff that felt heavy and overwhelming , I was seeing through my lens with a lightness and eloquence. Those images are like poems, recalling the past beautifully, hauntingly, authentically. At the time, I’m not sure I knew how much my photography practice was pulling me out of a fog and shedding so much light. But I see it now. I give credit to my camera, my craft, for giving me vision. When, with the simple click of my shutter I could frame just a small snippet of all the life, activity, chaos, color, stimulus around me into one image and have that highlight something, anything that mattered to me at that moment, it gave me purpose, focus, perspective; all of which were and still are precious gifts.
Since then, a lot has changed (I have grown older as have my children for instance) and yet a lot has stayed the same. I am far from the woman I was 20 years ago but, I still can see the things that matter most, even if some days are harder than others. I seek out and can find beauty in even the most mundane parts of my life and that helps me celebrate it all…through success and struggle. I have never been more aware that art— photography—saved me once and continues to do so every day.
Something tells me, you can relate. I would love to hear how art has saved you.
I’m honored to be a guest curator for a week of inspirational goodness over at Crescendoh, starting Monday, May7th. I would be honored if you popped over to say hello.
It’s been an inspiring week of making a difference together. The Shot@Life inspired #shot4shot project has been a huge success with shot after shot of amazing images that have helped raise awareness around this vital cause.
Personally, I have been inspired by the power (and satisfaction) of working together on this with so many great people. The further I travel down this crazy awesome super-highway (you know the one I’m talking about) the more I see my worlds all coming together in ways I could have never seen coming. From meeting and working with amazing activists at the Shot@Life summit, to collaborating with Kristen, to gathering friends both online and in real life to support the cause, to working closely with my teen-age daughter (Teens 4 Vaccines has been officially launched on Facebook), I have been delighted and inspired by how much good can come from togetherness. It’s not that I haven’t known it all along, but sometimes the power of it all takes my breath away. The money we’ve been raising is awesome and it affords more children with the vaccines they need!
Thanks to Paper Coterie, Epiphanie Bags, Shutter Sisters, and Green Mountain Coffee for their donations. Thanks to Big Picture Classesfor donating a percentage of Picture Black & White registrations to Shot@Life and thanks for Mom It Forward for their feature today. And last but not least, thanks to all of YOU. All of this support is deeply appreciated!
Today is the last day to participate in #shot4shot if you want a shot at the excellent prizes we are giving away. Don’t forget to tag your coffee inspired images #shot4shot & #vaccineswork. We will be announcing the winners of all the amazing prizes this week as a thank you for joining us in raising our collective voices; vaccines work and all children everywhere deserve a shot at living a healthy life!
Please don’t forget to shoot us an email if you participated in #shot4shot. I don’t want you to miss out on the complimentary photo journal, courtesy of Paper Coterie. Today is the last day to submit a link via email.
I’d love to see your favorite shot from this past week. After all, among everything else, it’s Best Shot Monday.