visiting capri, living in rome, 2001
You are all awesome. Thank you so much for your golden insights. I treasure each of your comments. It is amazing, humbling and also powerful to experience the energy that can literally be felt and known when we share.
My friend elizabeth wrote something in the comments that caught at me: 'Once I learn something about me or my truth, really learn it, I know it in my body. Slowly, from that point on, it becomes a part of me and my choices.'
I went through my box of photos last night just revisiting myself back in the past ~
All my self-portraits at that time were very warrior-woman. Very strong and solitary figures. I realize now that most of them are near water or woods, and there is a lot of jumping. I wanted to hover or float in the in-between places.
I had a little point-and-shoot camera, and I swam with it and propped it on rocks and car hoods, or I handed it to a friend and told them how I wanted the picture to be. I had it all figured out how I wanted to look. Who I wanted to be, what I wanted to feel ~ an iconic figure which wasn't me, but whom I felt drawn towards.
ontario, canada // ostia, near rome
If I could look like someone who was strong, maybe I would turn into her. Even though I felt unsure, I was filling up with possibility. Self-knowledge was filling up and leaking out. Looking back now, I think I must have been that woman, strong and flexible, even though I didn't feel it at the time.
I think that we are always more than we believe.
Things I was learning back then:
- pain can drive you and be a catalyst
- nature heals
- travel will explain more than any person ever could
- find out what makes you happy
- trust your intuition
I had a few like-minded friends and when I took photos of them, I saw their strength ~
Over a decade later, I feel strong and flexible and decisive. I feel open. I want to pull out my film cameras again and take self-portraits, and see myself through the lens. I want to be near water and woods. I have grown up. My hair is growing longer again and my pants are linen and the road beckons. I have choices now. I can call my soul my own. And if I'm not feeling it some days, I know how to cope. I know what the flip side of suffering looks like, and it is compassion. I notice when I stop breathing and I can start again. I have let many things go, and life feels no longer like too much, or too little.
I am so glad to have met so many of you, and to hear your stories as well. What have you found to have brought with you from your younger years?
*photo by kat
**photo by jenna
**photo by jenna