little golden poems

 

My goal as a photographer is to see you. And to hear you. And to understand you, so that when I send you a gallery of photos you recognize the best parts of yourself. And you celebrate them.

 

So there is something about my relationship with Sarah and Sue that makes me feel selfish. Because when I work with them, I feel seen and heard and understood. They have supported me over and over again this past year. They invite me to keep coming back to create with their family, and it is a relationship that is deeply fulfilling. Their support gives me confidence, and it challenges me to grow and learn in an effort to bring them my best. I want to be be the person and artist they make me believe they see in me.

 

wild shore

I love the water in all her iterations.

I love it when she's steamy and the shore stretches on forever.

I love it when she's calm and still, a glass castle bouncing off the sounds of children and birds and fleeing fish.

And maybe I love her most when she's moody. When she eats the at the earth with an insatiable appetite. When she is wild and free and full of life. 

And we get to stand at her edges, soggy and silenced, completely aware, and maybe slightly afraid,  of her power. 

knowing a place

When I was young, I thought I would see the world. I thought I would fill my passport with stamps and collect stories of adventure.

But that wasn't to be my story. 

I ended up back in my small town immediately after college graduation, and here I've stayed.

The stamps in the passport are few and the adventures are of a different variety. But what I've come to discover is that there is a beauty in learning a place well. Learning your home. Knowing it in and out.

The small stretch of beach a couple of hundred yards from my door has become my study. I have learned how the light works in each season. I watch the way the cliffs fall. I pay attention to what blooms and who lives there. I observe the tide and  notice the changes in the creek. 

I don't know many places. But this place, I know well. And the more I know it, the more I know there is to learn.

And now I get to bring new people there. I get to watch as they search for the teeth of ancient sharks. As they clammer over fallen logs and as they slip and slide on the wet clay . And sometimes, I know they see the murky magic in this place too. 

what she teaches

I'm hard on words. Especially words for labeling. Even more especially words for labeling that people use to describe themselves.

It is completely unfair, as my wise twelve-year-old daughter pointed out to me. We need those words, and even though it can be uncomfortable to use them, it's all we've got.

One such au courant label being creative as a noun. In case you aren't familiar with somewhat self-involved arty circles, it's basically used to mean artist. However, in my own mind, it also seems to leave open the possibility that you may or may not have to have any particular skill or talent, but rather just want to be attached to a certain vibe/group/ idea. 

 

Again, I'm not really being fair. Because as much as I hate the way the word is being bandied about, it is sort of useful. I think there are a whole lot of us out there that feel like we are artists somewhere deep inside, but we don't really know how to bring that desire to light. We like to make things and play with words. We notice light and pay attention to color. We try our hands at different mediums and want to think about what it all means, but we would never really feel comfortable with the word artist. So maybe creative feels like "artist lite",  but it also feels like at times it is "artist who has yet to settle into a few select mediums".

This second possible definition is my daughter Sena. In November she wrote a novel. She art journals every day. She designs spaces in her mind. Memorizes monologs. Is teaching herself how to sing watching youtube videos. She acts in plays and practices yoga. She studies medicinal plants and challenged herself to write 30 scenes in thirty days. Her newly launched Instagram melts my heart.

She is a creative, whatever that word means, but stripped of all artifice or pretension. She does this stuff because it is central to her being. 

What just might be most touching of all is the way that she encourages her wannabe parents. The way she makes us want to keep creating and experimenting and exploring.