paying attention to the stillness of you, not doing but being, the moment as the end in itself. i wish i had known how to hear the current, like this, years ago. when we are young, we pay attention to the noises. i turned my head, darting, distracted, looking for what might be beyond me. i thought there was an end of the rainbow, but i see now that we are dancing in the colors. they are all here, all around us, waiting for the right light to show themselves. you, my sweet daughter, are that light. i love the rhythm of you like all of my favorite songs in one. i love that even when you are frozen, in a picture, i cannot help but feel you move.
some of the moments that our blinking eyes miss, are as gentle and telling and subtle and true as the ones for which we wait. there is the story of what we did, how we moved, smiled at each other, held on tight. then there is the story of the sky that looked down, the moments we sat still, wondering, the pull of the tide against our feet, the rain, in big, rich drops against the peace of the day. i miss the days like this, already, spent together in the heat, the sand, the water, the quiet. the color of it runs through me, liquid and soft. it has carved out a smooth path in my heart.
“to photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.”
- henri cartier-bresson
we pay attention, to lines, light, faces, movement, and the magic they make. the beauty of a moment, quiet, full, still, will never cease to astound me. i feel as if i am at the beginning of a long path, and i cannot see where it winds…but i am so grateful to be walking. this is a new poetry for me, and the music it creates in my soul is mesmerizing.
the more you let yourself be distracted from where you are going, the more you are the person that you are. it’s not so much like getting lost as it is like getting found.
- william stafford
we create a world with our kids as much as we prepare them for it. they can learn to frame life in a way in which they feel like the artists, instead of the audience. even as the camera comes out, there is an understanding that there is something so beautiful and worthy of record, in the simplest moments. on the smallest cansas, there are so many variations of color and detail. i feel us woven into each other, with light, water, voices, time. this is our summer so far, right here. i believe with all my heart that art can be born in the magic of a moment. we give ourselves freely to the glow.
i embrace emerging experience.
i participate in discovery.
i am a butterfly.
i am not a butterfly collector.
i want the experience of the butterfly.
- william stafford
i see with my heart. as a photographer this is my biggest strength and most humbling weakness. the images i take are a reflection of the world i love – feeling, moving, alive, changing every second. the light melts me, the way it dances, the way it rests, shines through like hope, but without emotion, it cannot make my pulse race. as i watch my children move through their lives, i feel like i am watching the most real and artful film play out. so many moments strike me as perfect. so many moments that i would have passed through just years ago, without this sense of being awake. the world is beautiful in itself. the way we move through it is magic.
the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.
today is such a
there is a perfect moment in every moment. sometimes, i see people as the coiling and unraveling of every version of themselves. all the ages, years, loves, hopes, triumphs, becoming, in one circle that loops around itself, spinning out, growing. i see my daughter as the perfectly pure infant, who grew in my body, and gave me the kind of pause that could stop a world. and more and more, i see her as the carnation of the dreams she is cultivating, by learning to engage, create, and listen. we are taught that we cannot be everywhere at once, but really, i feel that the more connected we are to ourselves, the people we love, our histories, and dreams, being where we are is just that.
it is impossible to tell from the shells we see of people, where they are in their own journeys of becoming. often people are stepping through something real and gripping, sometimes they may be unknowingly preparing for it. meeting the world with as much kindness and acceptance as we can conjure, remembering that we are all learning, spinning around this world together, trying to find the heart in every moment…it is a hope i can feel.
this moment seems to dance in the wind. it contains her, it is how i feel her, and it is frozen here, alive, beating.
i think and remember and feel in music. it has been my expression, my language, my filter from my earliest memories. there was a piano, a voice, a me. words came next and wove careful and rich details into my world, images came long after, though still frames of this beautiful life haunt me, persistent and welcome, even when i sleep. beauty often comes to us like a song, unexpected, new, raw, and curls up inside our hearts, taking up residence. it has been there all the time, but maybe we weren’t listening…we needed the quiet inside to really hear, the stillness of a moment to open our eyes. music has always built a stage on which i can see the world dance with color and light, the mundane turned to magic. there is a soundtrack playing at all times, and it lets me feel more beauty than silence could ever allow.
i remember, as a young teenager, visiting galleries with my proper, candid, charming grandfather, who preferred realist painters, but could wax poetic about the abstract expressionists i was drawn to, in all my youthful emotion. he helped me feel what i was seeing, and helped me see what i was feeling. the lush, symbolic, almost spiritual color field paintings of mark rothko swept me away. they were rich, primal, contained worlds in their subtlety, asked you to look within yourself for the beauty they gave off. to this day, i refer to those first impressions, standing with my living grandfather, learning how to see with a new lens…each time my heart yearns to take a photo. beauty can start with a sound, a color, a memory, or love. art touches us, in its order, in its abstractions, in its surprises. i hope to train my eye and my soul to keep seeing it, to feel it more deeply as i go on, to look for it when there seems to be nothing there. we all have rich histories and passions and vocabularies, which allow us to find our own meanings, which allow the everyday of life to dance before our eyes.
these images are not among a set i had planned to show. they are spontaneous, drenched in love, the magic of creation, the beautiful attentiveness and inspiration that my youngest child holds out to me as a gift. throughout this month, i have taken many pictures. many of them absolutely spoke the word pretty. but these days, freeing myself to see through my lens has been the sole form of therapy for my heavy, mournful, questioning heart. there is someone i am missing, in a way that carves out a hollowness of which i did not know existed. but in this cruel emptying, there is a new and perfect stillness. there is a fresh canvas that begs to be painted with meaning, authenticity, love, the rawness of imperfection.
the beauty of art is a mirror of intent and reception. the artist envisions, believes, forms, and the audience reflects back. in my mind and heart, art is very deeply about connection, as is the substance of our lives….i want to make art that is honest. i strive to create glimpses of the real life i cherish, that sweeps by with a motion that betrays the best of us. our lives are art, enacted with care, decisiveness, vulnerability,and inspiration. we all live within brilliant, moving films, of whose still frames are nothing short of amazing. i want my photos to say that i was here, i was searching, i was seeing, and i wanted you to see the beauty it put in my heart.