"life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: you're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself."
- madeline l'engle, "a wrinkle in time"
when i write about my children, i get to be totally honest and feel nothing but beauty at once. which is miraculous. it teaches me to always try to be truthful and kind in the same breath, when i connect with anyone else in the world. they ache and overwhelm me, they push me from the inside out, to make space inside for them, for everything, for hope. i will tell you nothing that is not true. i am not interested in creating a world from what we are, but just understanding more about who we are. when we are able to look inside, to see the lines and arcs and movements and harmonies, they begin to make sense. and when we take photos to match the stories we are weaving, we add illustrations to our open book. so as i pay attention i see, and as i see i understand. and that is a gift that grows with the love that spurred it.
when i frame them, i want it to be their truth, frozen and honest and right. if i can see them at five months and at twenty five, all in one look, it haunts me and pays me more than money could. and then this magic happens within me, that i start to resemble the reflection in their eyes. i become better. i soften and deepen and loosen and offer more than what i have. i try to untangle the knots of me and make the story that made them count. when we see, we learn. in being this wonderful "we", in writing a love story in pictures, my mind and heart come together. so much is going to swell and sting our souls at once. i am beginning to understand the fullness, the dichotomies, the love and worry and pain and beauty that come in one breath, in one picture. this is the story of our lives.
there is at least one point in my day, these days, in which i question the path i am making. i am better at feeling than making business decisions. vulnerability is part of my strength, but it comes in a circle, and hurts as it heals. if sharing the soft underbelly of my days, my motherhood, myself will help one person be gentler on herself, then the question is answered. so often our truths could belong to someone else. we all hold up mirrors to each other. i want to see the real me. i want to see the real them. it may not be the easiest direction to walk, but it is where i will always start.