October 2, 2007
It’s hard to write about the specialness of the retreat this weekend. In case you don’t know the retreat I am talking about, click here.
Julie and I were both teacher and participant this weekend. Writing is like bathing for me, and photography is just as natural and necessary to Julie as writing is to me. However, while Julie has taken my classes and always loved to write, photography has always eluded me…I actually thought that taking pictures was reserved only for special events– birthdays, weddings, bat mitzvahs or “first moments”, like your child’s first day of school or first time they ride a bike or climb the jungle gym. I never thought of photography as “art”, and I never thought I would ever have a desire to “just take some photos” for fun. So I was the most hesitant student at the retreat this weekend. But, then, Julie took us on a photo-walk this weekend as part of the retreat, and I had an epiphany, an opening, a change and shift about photography and what it meant.
Not too long ago Chelsea took to my digital camera, which was fine by me. My daughter NEVER breaks things. Seriously, she is a careful Capricorn, cautious, patient….Everything I am not. So she took picture after picture. The armoire in the living room. Her bear and blanky. My night gown laying on the bed. The maple tree in our yard. Our new car. Half of my face. Me, sort of sideways, in "tree pose".
I scrolled through the pictures when she was done, with her, and she was very excited and pleased with herself. I smiled and cheered as I do for just about any new thing she does. But inside I thought, I will delete these later when she’s not looking. I’m sure she’ll forget. Of course, she saw exactly what I was doing when I tried to delete them, sticking her chin on my shoulder and saying, "No, Mommy. Those are mine! I want to keep them!"
So, I did. But vowed that when the memory stick was full, those would get dumped.
But then I went on the photo walk and when we returned, Julie printed the photo we liked the best out of all the shots we each took. I took a close up of two leaves on the road and when she handed me the print not only I, but all the women gasped.
It was rich, soulful, gentle, vulnerable.
It was art.
When I went home that night, after this first day of the retreat, I scrolled through Chelsea’s photos again, this time on my computer and saw the same thing in some of the shots that I saw in my leaves.
Emotion, motion, beauty.
The next day at the retreat we did some more photos and writing, and this time I really felt a connection not only to the writing but the photography. Almost with equal intensity and desire. Much like I feel on a daily basis, I have to write, I felt, I have to take photos.
So, I don’t know if I have conveyed some of the specialness (I hate that word) but some of the awe and freshness I felt from this retreat, but maybe if you check out this blog over the next few days when I post the photos I took (some) and the writing I did (some). Maybe seeing what we did will convey the incredible journey I took this past weekend.
My Two Leaves
Our next retreat is February 2 & 3rd, 2008. Click here to register.