4.22.2014

dear little girl

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dear little girl who is scared of people,
you know what? there was a time when i was scared of people too. people can be intimidating. people can be cruel. people can be heartless, and cold, and insensitive. but you know something else? most of the time, those people felt exactly the way you feel right now. shrinking from contact, turning your eyes away, wishing you could disappear. everyone has felt that way, one time or another. sometimes it is the lack of what we seek in our own lives that defines and illuminates the things we have yet to become. people can be kind. believe me, they can. people can be gentle. there are those who will hold your heart tenderly between soft fingers, and whisper softly until flowers bloom out of the cracked ground of your soul. there are those who will laugh at you when you make mistakes. there are those who will laugh with you when you make mistakes. people shouldn't scare you. don't let them scare you. be bold. look them in the eye. speak first. smile at strangers, and laugh when you mess up. who cares what they think? i do. yes. so do i. but just because we care about what others think, doesn't mean we should be defined by their opinions and expectations. dear little girl, don't be scared of people. they're just human. they're just like you. remember that.

dear little girl who hates her reflection in the mirror,
tell me. why do you hate your reflection? is it because your hips are too wide, or your shoulders too narrow? because your pores are large, or your eyes are too close together? tell me. i won't laugh. dear little girl, what standards are you trying to live up to? who are you trying to emulate? the models you see on the front of catalogs with smiles pasted on their faces, and the perfect distance between their thighs? tell me. why are you trying to look like them? are their smiles any brighter than yours? are their voices any sweeter when they sing? are their minds more refined, are their hearts more beautiful? can you dive deeper into the ocean of their eyes, and touch the bottom, scraping up the bits of insecurity they hide beneath the waves? maybe what you really want to know is, are they more beautiful than you? sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. let me tell you the truth. no. it's been said a million times before. 'true beauty is on the inside.' it's cliche. it's repeated. it's become more of a loose saying than a standard to live by. your mother tells you that every time you're crying in your room, wishing you were accepted; or maybe just wishing that you were someone else. but beauty isn't a jean size, a height, or a hair color. it isn't a size, a weight, or a number. true beauty is found in who you are. the tenderness of your heart, the smile that lights up your face. the tears you cry when you're hurting for someone else. the books you read, the songs you sing, the mottoes you live by, the people you love. what you love says a lot about a person. love yourself - and people will see someone beautiful. 

dear little girl who is afraid to love,
pain is real. love is real. love is pain. sometimes the sharpest agony isn't physical; it isn't something that can be bound up, or stitched shut. it's mental - it's something that lives in your head, beating against the bars you've created to protect and shield your sensitive heart, dashed against barriers of steel. you feel fragile - as if someone could drop you, and you would shatter into a million pieces. don't let me fall. it is screamed in your head, constantly. don't let me fall. perhaps it is directed at others, or at yourself. can i tell you something you might not know? we're all afraid. yes, all of us. some push past the barrier, and find love waiting just on the other side. others fall down, and continue, holding on to hope with grasping fingers. and others are too afraid to even try; so they stay behind the bars - held by the barriers they erected themselves. here is something you should remember: something i hope you never forget. you are not alone. sometimes loneliness is an illusion we create ourselves - a mask we hide behind, woven and kept alive with fear. none of us are truly alone. love is beautiful. no, beautiful does not mean easy. but things that come easily are usually not worth having. loving is hard. it is painful. you see, we create images, ideas, expectations of how things should turn out, how people should treat us, how love should play out, and how life should be. life isn't fair. people will disappoint you. people will fail you, love may let you fall. but get back up. life is a war - sometimes we fight others over futile things that will be forgotten tomorrow. but usually, we are fighting ourselves - striving to push past the limitations we have set, and overcome the disappointments that immobilize us. to love, you must be brave. sometimes our love is broken, sometimes we fall under the weight of sorrow. but don't give up. try again. you may have lost the battle, but do not let that fact determine the outcome of the war. 

[some things that been on my heart for a while, released in letters.]

4.17.2014

today was a good day.


today was a good day - the wind wasn't blowing and i went outside and took some pictures with my 35mm 1.8 for the last time, because i ordered the 50mm 1.8 lens and i'm super excited but kind of nostalgic. i saw myself improve so much with the 35mm lens, and i took so many pictures with it. thousands. had my first paid photo-shoot with it, shot my first wedding. 

and today was quiet - i got to stay home alone for a while, and silence is something i always treasure. when my family is home, even when people are being quiet, there is just always a feeling of noise - almost as if i can hear their thoughts, and sense their emotions. i love sitting down to write when there is no one around, when the light is being filtered through the curtains at 3:00 in the afternoon, and falling across my fingers like ribbons of memory. when the dog walks up to me, and lays her head in my lap, and just looks at me - knowing that everyone else is gone. she doesn't ever like being alone. it's just the little things, funnily enough, that add up to something that i want to mark down - something i want to remember. the older i get (older i get. *coughs*) the more i realize that the things we remember aren't going to be the big planned trips, the magnificent outings, the bright lights of six million people in a city. it's going to be the whisper of wind in the trees, the spontaneous adventures, that time we went out and climbed a mountain, even though the wind was blowing 65 MPH, and i couldn't see because my hair was wrapped around my head. the moments of silence, the looks exchanged, the feelings that won't release your thoughts. 

little things. sometimes we think they're hardly worth mentioning. but sometimes, they are the things most worth remembering.

4.09.2014

celebrating family

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“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.” ― Lisa Wingate
These folks are visiting from Oklahoma. (My brother, sister-in-law and nephew, Isaac.) Tomorrow we're all headed down to 'the valley' for a (very) late New Years party with almost the whole family. "It's a little late for celebrating New Years," I said yesterday. "We're celebrating family," mum said. "It's never too late for that." And, of course, she's right. And isn't this little guy the cutest? xx.

4.04.2014

i thought of you

untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled every night i see the sun set,
every morning it rises warm
sometimes i think i see you
walking with your back to the storm

the wind blows memories away
the sun bakes the ground dry
i've given up on wanting you back
my eyes are empty of tears to cry

your ghost lives in the corners of the city
cracked and crumbling beneath my feet
i thought you were stronger than you were
because you melted when exposed to heat

i still remember your face,
i wonder if you've forgotten mine
you left everything behind so quickly,
cutting out fragmented pieces of time

i've blocked your memory from my mind,
i've erased your love from my heart
i wish i didn't remember you,
when all you've done is forgotten from the start

i wonder why i think of you
when the wind begins to blow,
when the grass begins to wither,
when the skies begin to snow

the past doesn't matter,
what matters is what we see
we all hide behind masks of desire
there's someone else we want to be

i see your face in my reflection,
like a shadow of the past
i wish i could forget your presence
love, unlike your memory, didn't last

your memory lives in the corners of the city,
in your words that still ring true
it doesn't really matter why, what matters is
i thought of you.

3.24.2014

caught between winter and spring

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B E T W E E N   W I N T E R   A N D   S P R I N G

untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled There are moments, ridden with frost,
 there are fingers, warmed by the sun
and rough with dirt, caked under fingernails.
The sky fluctuates between brazen blue and
grey, the color of storm churned waves.
There is a time of stillness between the
transition - days where you can't feel
the air on your skin; times when the air
seems to take on the likeness of a cloud;
silent, weightless, intangible. 
Our lungs release warmth into the air
that shimmers between ice and sun,
the wind fans our cheeks rosy after
a winter of sunless skies and hollow sounds.
We're caught between winter and spring,
waiting for one to leave, so the other can
rush in the door. 

xx.

3.17.2014

moments in march

untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled untitled // Leaves are bursting through the brown ends of bushes, and trees are stretching their cold arms towards the sun, like someone embracing the sun rays after the darkest night of their life; we've all been inhaling the scent of flowers, and the earthy smell of mud. It's amazing how many memories those simple scents bring back.

// My computer died (again), but I find I actually have had more time to read since it died - and I've made up for lost time by reading 5 books in a week, including Divergent, The Hunger Games, and Of Mice and Men. I'd forgotten how much I love reading.

// School is... school. Brutus decided he was going to help me with my school. By laying in the middle of it. I am forever indebted to him for his brilliant support and advice.

// Bees are such happy creatures - I remember when I used to be terrified of them, but now I like standing underneath the tree with my head among the blossoms of the lower branches and hearing the bees zooming around like miniature fighter planes, and feeling the brush of their tiny wings against my skin when they fly by.

// Trying new things: I tried free-lensing the other day. Apparently it doesn't work so well with Nikon models, but I managed to capture a few shots that I liked. Also, double exposure. So. much. fun. 

// There are toys scattered all across the house - I think I stepped on two legos yesterday, but it's just another (happy) way of remembering that the kiddos are here for a visit. Clutter used to bother me, but now it's just a slight annoyance that reminds me of happy little faces. About those legos, though...

And lastly, dang, 2014, slow down already. 
xx.