In my efforts to encourage my friend Vanessa in her daily writing, a Fierce Practice, I wrote this little message to her.
I would argue that it is precisely these times, when we feel that our showing up is somewhat superficial and really a kind of halfway effort, that are necessary for the long run. Not every day provides a revelation, and on these days it is our challenge to dig deep, to look hard, and to examine. Sometimes we come up short. There have been days on my picture taking journey when I've pointed the camera at the ceiling, my foot, a spoon - really anything, and called it done - skimming along the surface when looking seemed too hard.
Your showing up is a profound legacy.
And she absolutely made my day when she responded.
Your email just made me laugh out loud. Literally.
I know this feeling, and the way you have translated it into words is so precise and also hilarious. Hope you share one of those foot photos one day.
And glad to know I am not alone.
Lots of hugs,
The point of all this was brought home by Henry Lohmeyer in his recent comments on truth and photography.
I needed my life to be lived without shame, vulnerable and truthful. I’ve not been perfect, far from it, but with photography, it’s served as a beacon that guides me each day.
This is so in my life and it must be so in the photographs I make. How do I keep my work truthful? How do I find beauty in those broken truths?
For me, I simply took photos of, not ones I went looking for, but rather those ones that were right in front of me.
Not exciting, but they were my life and they were honest. And, in that, they were precious to me.
I often, maybe you too, catch myself asking that harsh question, “Are my photos any good?” We must remind ourselves that that is not what is important. The only question we should be asking ourselves is...
Are the photos I'm making reflecting my truths and leading me closer to my own voice?