as i look at these pictures, i have tears streaming down my face. i need to tell you that, because you need to know how powerful they are to me. it's a feeling i could draw upon at any moment, almost taste it, sweet and pure and nostalgic. you are huge and deep and brilliant inside of me. i became someone else from the moment we made that journey together, you entering the world, my heart spilling over, my body shaking, my soul still. as i sing to you every night, "you are the best thing ever happened to me." and i mean it.
you are every age you have ever been, and ever will be, when i see you. and i want to see you for everything you are, i don't want to make you into a person or subject or memory that you were not. you deserve my respect. you deserve everything, but i can start there. you have taught me about being behind the camera - how to look with my heart as much as my eyes, to really listen, to look for what is inside of a person, to photograph a soul. you gave me the gift of finding my camera, finding my voice in a different way, using pictures to remember feelings, to write a new kind of poem with light.
i feel you growing up too fast, spinning in a beautiful circle. some days you feel tiny, others i see you dipping your toes in the pool of your future. it aches and fills me up at once. i take these pictures for both of us. i want you to see how special you are, i want you to see that work and love can be one and the same, and that i want that for you like i need my next breath. this weekend, you were on a creative bender, and i was so proud. the world in your mind was calling to be unleashed, and you made drawings and designs and words come to life. "you understand" you told me. at the end of one of your books you wrote "being an artist is about what you feel inside. i spent many years practicing and practicing. and i also wanted to be a painter, an architect, and a dancer. but i realized that being an artist is all of those things. so i chose an artist. and i do not regret choosing to be an artist." sometimes the life we need chooses us. i feel that you chose me, and we are both choosing art and love, together.