07 January 2011

life stories: self portraits.

there just aren't many images you'll see of my face. you'll see my hands. oh, yes. you'll see my feet, of course.

i'm not sure why that is. it's the hands and feet that i enjoy taking photos of. i love seeing feet mid-step or pausing in the spot where they stand. i love seeing photos of hands holding objects at work, or at play.

i feel that you get a glimpse into my soul more through the work of my hands and the steps of my feet than you would seeing my face. though, it's the face-to-face interactions that i yearn for with my kindred spirits. i want to see you. to see you that sits before me and to see the you that is more than the skin and bones. the you that is singing, dancing, delighting within.

maybe that's why i know my studio is for me but for others, too. maybe that's why we believe in sharing family meals with folks beyond our family of three, but to our larger family and friends. maybe that's why i love leading retreats, facilitating small groups and worship services. maybe. just maybe.

and there are spaces where i hope to connect: in the studio, here on the blog, via FB and twitter. there are spaces that seem to take a lot of time and energy, but just don't. i don't let them overwhelm, but let them lean into my day for a moment and the i move on.

i make the bread. i bake the bread. i chat over coffee. i create art. i do a lot of things in a short amount of time. and i've learned a few things about myself on the way that i have a feeling might be of service to you.

i begin the day. whatever mood, whatever day. it begins. there's a time and space for the day that's at hand. all i have is the present and i need to be awake for it, whatever happens in that moment. then when it's time, i end the day. i close my eyes and rest, allowing my mind + body + spirit the time and space it needs for a fresh start. {repeat}

rather than dwell, i breathe deeply. breathing in, breathing out. releasing whatever anxiety or stressor that's set me into the spin cycle mentally, i exhale that churning out into the world. for instance, if someone has entered into my brain, like the inner critic, i listen and release. then move on.

i open my eyes. rather than ignore the pain of others, deny that death happens, hold my breath when fear begins to show up: i open my eyes wide. when i was a child, i believed that someone, something was in the room after dark with me. instead of hiding under the covers, i let my eyes adjust to the darkness so that i could see everything in the room. then i'd inventory what was there to make sure it was in its place. i believe i do the same now, in real and present ways.

as jayme and i were on one of our many walks & talks, i tried to articulate that i'm not good with drawing people, but i'd like to be. what i've realized recently is that i'm pretty good at drawing people out of themselves, shedding light on some of the goodness that radiates from them. while i'd still like to create lovely portraits of folks, i'll accept what i can do well and move from that space. hopefully by allowing you to see me through my inner workings & processing i can see you more clearly.

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