Beauty in nature calms me when I am agitated, soothes me
when I hurt. I feel something I can’t name flow through all that is alive.
I suppose this is what, and also why I photograph.
Although it may be counter-intuitive, sometimes it is in playing with
multiple exposures, and intentionally moving the camera,
that I make pictures that reveal
more truly how I see the world; one moment flows into the next,
one form of beauty becomes another.
The movement in my images reflect my fervent hope
that life allows us, eventually, to become unstuck.
I deeply appreciate Valda Bailey, Susan Burnstine, and Doug Chinnery.
Their work inspires; their teaching, kindness, and generosity of
spirit nurture light into the shadows.
in my own skin
who do i love
the dying light
coming through the veins
of thin tissued
the blooming, living
full of color
who am i
in this skin?
i am the one who loves
the dying and the living.
i dream of
curling up with the familiar
hopes and dreams
moments lived that were good.
knowing there is darkness
in the shadows
some of the moments lived
were not good.
but resting now
with all of it
not needing any of it
to be not here.
I chose this project because I have been wondering about the meaning of home. Is it the me living inside my skin, or is it being inside a particular structure?
Questions about home began a few months ago when it appeared unlikely I would be able to return to mine.So I decided to try to make the place I found myself in the wake of COVID19, feel like home. The way I did this was to gather into my spirit what I loved about the place.
I learned to treasure where we sheltered, developing an affection I had only ever felt for my other home. We have been coming here for ten years for a winter holiday to give my husband relief from seasonal affective disorder triggered by winters in the north.
We traveled in February. In March, we realized it wouldn’t be safe to return home for an unknown period of time.
Although we have come to love friends in this southern community, it never felt like home. Until I started being grateful to be in this place, where I could sit in the garden, and breathe. Listen to the bird sounds, the breeze moving through the pines and palms, feel the soft air coming in from the sea.
In time, I didn’t want to leave. I had fallen in love, and was content to stay.
Family obligation required I make the terrifying trip north, risking COVID19, and now for me, leaving home.
We returned to another place I had loved, where for over thirty years, we have been raised by our daughter and our dogs.
Here we had entered young, and have grown old. Yet I felt like I had left my home in the south. It was not until the lilacs and iris bloomed in the garden that it began to feel like home to me.
And I am grateful to be here.
In the course of this project, I found myself following the advice given in “The Guest House” by the poet Rumi, welcoming different parts of my history in this house into my heart, and trying to invite them into the photographs I made.
“The Guest House
This being human is a guest house
Each morning a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture
Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
Jalal al-Din Rumi
I may not be able to laugh, I may be trembling, but I open the door.