with a whisper

I’ve been reading an inspiring book, Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon.

I have the wonderful advantage of being an amateur – an enthusiast who pursues her work in the spirit of love, regardless of the potential for fame, money, or career.

Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results. They take chances, experiment, and follow their whims.

. . .

Amateurs might lack formal training, but they’re all lifelong learners, and they make a point of learning in the open, so that others can learn from their failures and successes.

. . .

Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.

I’ve been listening to an inspiring podcast, The Grand Opening, by Seth Godin.

Seth discusses the faulty reasoning behind the notion that we need a Grand Opening for our work. Sometimes we think, “If you can’t have a home run, you shouldn’t even try.”  But we don’t have to launch our project with a bang.

Instead of a grand opening, it’s okay to start “with a whisper.”

“Here, I made this.”

I’ve been deep into an online learning experience from Illuminate Photography.

The Class : Project Development and Fine Art with Deb Schwedhelm

We had an assignment to create an artist statement and our own body of work, a personal project.

I’m showing my work. There’s room for improvement, but it feels good to just start.


Little Altars Everywhere

Created during the heart-wrenching season when my mother began her downward spiral, these photographs saved me. My mother has dementia. The added trauma of a broken hip and surgery became the catalyst for a cascade of health issues that sent her quality of life plummeting.

On long days when it seemed all I did was travel back and forth to sit by my mother’s side, to the hospital or nursing home, I found solace and comfort in my photography practice.

Whether coming or going, I took the long way. Driving slowly. Taking different, less direct routes. Weaving along side streets, up one and down the next. Stopping the car, getting out. Walking aimlessly along sidewalks, through neighborhoods, treading gently on garden and forest paths.

At first, I simply took pictures of things that interested me, things I loved. But, as the days turned into weeks and then months, I began to see the whole of this experience, and what I’d been seeking . . . little altars everywhere.

With each press of the shutter, I offered up my prayers.

“Please let her come home. End her suffering.”

Each image is an altar where sacrifice was offered and grace received. These photographs are my epiphany, revealing the essential nature of what it means to live in the world as both beautiful and broken.