Motherhood with a Camera: Amy Grace, A Beautiful Life Photo



"if you have seen the snow
somewhere slowly fall on a bicycle, then you understand all beauty will be lost and that even that loss can be beautiful."

- dobby gibson

the pictures that take up residence in my heart are the ones i took while living them. they fall away and i try to catch them. they find their winding way to me. the very moment i think of making something for an audience is the moment i give up emotional rights. this has hit me not like a giant, sweeping wave, but rather as a series of hundreds, while my feet are planted, sinking into the sand, no longer free to dive. but i am so glad it has hit. i really do not know whether what i do is art to the world. and i am trying to sprinkle handfuls of salt into the pool of opinion, when i bear down and search out my own. what i do know is that i found a key to turning love into something magic for me, that i can see and hold, that feels as immortal as the feelings that drove it into being. and that feeling was enough reward to keep doing the dance.

my daughter wanted to use my camera yesterday, while we were busy living, on an afternoon when she learned to fly a giant butterfly kite, by herself, for the first time, when we had our favorite, secret park to ourselves, when her brother, for the first time in three years, felt the tug of gravity on his heart, and wind in his hair, and decided to really swing. she wanted to try because she was feeling big and free and strong enough. she wanted to try because she makes things; it's who she is. she worked the focus button, watched the bars line up on the meter, and it was that simple. and the girl i go to for all things aesthetic took this picture i cannot wait to put on a wall. and others. each one was a tiny statement about being alive, and there was pure joy and insight behind it. there was that spark of love that makes us all want to do what we want to do. a straight line through it all, everything else falls away, occum's razor, grace.

All of the feedback we receive comes from other minds and hearts and lives. whether glowing, harsh or silent. it can change what we see in ourselves. what we know of the world from touch and taste and memory. it can have us interpreting our purest instincts. it can taint the source. it can have us chasing the light at the end of the wrong tunnel, instead of digging our own. it can mean gambling away the filter of our own precious stories. inspiration seems to work in the same way. there is too much against which to measure the manifestations of our souls, while souls themselves can never be measured. finding your joy can be a risk and a release. i believe it should be both. but it is ours. it is a song that fits our voices perfectly, even when it is scratchy or searching or out of tune. it is the truth that everyone can love to sing. and all this, without someone confirming it. so find your joy, let it find you, and never give it away.

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