another attempt

Motherhood makes us harder.

And softer.

And more confident.

And deeply insecure.

It leaves us content.

Exhausted. 

Longing.

Screaming.

Crying.

Laughing from the depths of our soul.

The embodiment of every cliche we ever heard before we lived them. 

Yet utterly convinced that our reality is extraordinary.

I don't think I will ever tire of trying to capture in image that which I can't grab with words.

This baptism through birth.

This new way of being that comes with creating a new being.

 

Also, if you aren't on my email list (or hanging out with me on the social medias), you might not have heard that I'm offering motherhood mini-sessions for a few select dates in May. These sessions will be done on film at Brownies Beach, in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. If you're interested in more information or booking a session, email me at brackishphotography@gmail.com. 

Also also, I'll be in Ocracoke, North Carolina the last two weeks in July. If you will happen to be in the Cape Hatteras/ Ocracoke vicinity during that time and would like to book a session, I'd love to talk. 

around here

I don't want to cook dinner.

Or fold laundry.

Or clean a single corner

I want to read books written in the South.

And take pictures of my kids standing in slants of morning light.

I want to listen to music.

And take walks.

And tickle the goodness out of little toddler armpits.

It is never quiet here.

They are jumping. They are fighting. They are singing Hamilton and Frozen and the Wheels on the Bus. And sometimes I'm singing too.

Alamae and Jettie are finally potty training.

And Gus and Sena seem to be nicer to each other.

It looks like we've survived the winter.

notes from a field trip

I've always been a student in my heart.

Those years as a teacher didn't sit well.

I like to learn things. To know things. To fill my head with sparks and starts.

And so I flew to the other coast for the very first time.

Met a stranger at the car rental desk, stayed up late telling her secrets and listening to some too.

Joined up with an LA local who showed us secret spots as we slowly drove north.

Made a home in a cabin with four other strangers. Told more secrets. Listened to more secrets.

Drank so much coffee. Drank so much beer. Drank a medium amount of tequila.

Learned about light.

Thought about breathe.

Confronted fears.

Asked questions.

Stared into someone's eyes for three long minutes.

Jumped into the Pacific.

Danced.

Cried. 

Laughed.

Made friends across the whole damn world.

Took far fewer photographs than one would expect when away at a photography workshop.

All photos by me except the one of me, which is by one of those new friends, Cathlin McClough

All film. All developed by Indie Film Lab

just around the bend

I can get bored with the most marketable love story. You know the one: a boy and a girl meet when they are in their physical prime. They're fit and their skin is clear and they both have full heads of hair.

And they date for a respectable amount of time before he proposes at a point that is both reasonable but still exciting. She hasn't started to drop passive aggressive hints and her friends aren't whispering behind her back.

And they marry at a point when their careers are well established and finances are stable, but not so late that their parents worry if grandchildren are ever going to happen.

The story continues after the "I do's", although the credits have rolled. We all know what happily ever looks like. They grow old together with only the normal sorts of disagreements, both content and healthy until they die peacefully in one another's arms in their 95th year.

It's the story I want for my children. A story that doesn't involve fear that love might never find them. The story that doesn't scare me for it all happening too soon. A story with no heartbreak.

But love isn't always pretty and it doesn't always come to us in a perfect package on our 25th birthday when we are fully recovered from the breakup that happened nearly a year ago and ready to start again. And love doesn't end without at least one person's devastation.

Love comes and goes. It must be fought for and worked at. And sometimes, despite everything, it evades us for a time.

But it can return. It will. In new forms and in unlikely packages, hidden in plain sight or found on the other side of the world.

And lightning can strike twice. Happiness can find you more than once.

You can be happily married for decades and suffer the deepest heartbreak, and on the other side, there is love for you again.

I want to honor all the love stories, in all their forms. Because sometimes when we don't see these stories or hear them, we start to wonder if they actually exist, wonder if they could ever happen to us.

They do exist.

They can happen.

Have faith.