Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known.
- David Wagoner
it seems we have developed a habit these days. we, the collective movement and web and ways that sweep us out of our own specific lives too much. we talk when we don't know what to say anymore. instead of catching our breath and closing our eyes, we look to our neighbor. the marks on their paper, the pictures on their desks, the clothes that make them comfortable, the rhythms of their lives. all of these inspiration boards and so little of the real stuff.
or we will just show the beautiful. because everyone loves to see that. because it's the outside, and we are all drawn to it's power, it's safety. we check in and nod and compare and feel resolute on the path we should be walking. the end game. what is worthy. we are assured of what we should be hiding, what versions are allowed to be told. while the inside is the only picture worth framing. how do we take a picture of that? maybe sometimes we don't. maybe we watch it evolve, live it from the inside out.
over the past couple of months, i decided to put down my cameras, my intent on seeing. and to live the pictures, let my eyes run wild and untethered with my heart. I decided to watch. to be in them as they happened and to lock the feeling in the deepest places of me, where memories are home, where my soul is a lens, where love softens it all.
it wasn't something decided or extreme, but a gradual and consistent reflex to the tugging truth that had me reaching for a spot i could not scratch. it was a promise i was making in whispers to lose myself in the crazy, grateful love that wanted to be reborn as art. to find it with eyes that didn't have to answer to anyone. without thinking about what it would become. to find it with the spark of new bravery, like growing my spine. to put myself in a quiet room where i had only myself to reckon with. as a mother, as a fighter, a streak of independence across my small piece of sky.
my kids and i have been feeling our roots, mapping them, laying down new ones. a full plate, a cup spilling over, a clear head, a real life. i made peace with the phone that used to pull me like a magnet too often. it gave us the kind of pictures i could almost breath out. after breathing in deeper than i had in too long. so i will measure this precious time in breaths, instead of against everything else, outside of us.