October 12th, 2019
In Search of Roots - Light as Source and Destination
I've worked as a nurse all my life and know myself as a lover of the arts, always in awe of the creative process. Having grown up in a large blue-collar family with the central question, "What are you going to do to get a job?", I graduated from nursing school in 1972 with the impression that I could get a job any where. I did not honor my interest in the arts until after working in nursing for over three decades.
The return to school for an art degree as an older adult brought overwhelming challenges coupled with blessings beyond belief. After completing study at the University of Art, Poznan, Poland, I ventured to Croatia in search of my paternal grandparent's roots. Photography and writing became my travel companions. Without a smart phone or laptop with me at the time, my point and shoot camera and I frequented internet cafes so I could download and copy images to CDs in route.
One of my most meaningful photographs was taken on the island of Krk, Croatia. I learned from a man in an internet cafe in Zadar, Croatia, that my grandmother’s maiden name, Srsic', was common in an area of Krk named Draga Bascanska. I intended to plant a tree in honor of my heritage but had no idea how to accomplish that. Word got out that an American was in search of her family history. As fate would have it, I was taken in by kind and generous people who had the Srsic' name, although we were not as directly related as I had hoped.
The elder woman granted my wish by planting an olive tree sapling in the small grove beside her home. She dug the soil with old tools, none as movingly beautiful as her own hands. I photographed her sweat as she toiled for me and for my family and saw centuries revealed in the lines of her face. My need to belong to something or someone was met by my shadow looking up at me from the revealing image of her hand superimposed over the area of my heart. Those strong hands held all my fragmented parts as she set that olive tree in the earth.
In that fleeting moment, I felt the union of my physicality and spirituality. My shadow, coupled with such sweet intention, transported me beyond earthly roots to another experience, a place of true belonging, of source and destination.
My photographic signature remains that of reflections and shadows; a spiritual practice that evokes a sense of familiarity and wonder for me.
To quote American photographer, Minor White, " I graciously accept the gifts that come to me through my camera."
May the photos that I have been gifted with bring you good medicine.
September 9th, 2017
A COLLECTIVE RAGE
A day of prayerfulness, in humility toward Mother Nature reflecting a collective rage, our enormous swirl of activity and force.
I pour a holy light on all the areas of my life in conflict, and send that Light out across the lands in great stress with hurricane strength storms.
I bless that which I feel I can make a difference with and all else that remains a mystery to me.
I value standing tall in my life, honoring all within myself that can’t or doesn’t stand tall, but believes it’s all-good and possible.
It’s human to sometimes feel weak and vulnerable.
It's also human to vacillate somewhere in between complete contraction and overarching strength and vision.
Living prayerfully, is loving of this planet and all living beings.
May the story of our lives hold dear our struggles, our triumphs and may we be mindful, compassionate and generous toward the journey of others.
April 4th, 2017
The Light Within
Have you ever been awe struck by the beautiful light in the eyes of a one year old or a ninety six year old?
Have you ever witnessed a scene in the natural world so beautifully lit, it took your breath away?
Highlights, low lights, no light, bright light, color saturation (sounds like a hair appointment).
That moment when no photograph will ever equate to the transcendence you just felt?
I know what you mean.
Photography can visually record the milliseconds and decades of our lives. We witness aging through changes in physical appearance, but what reflects our wisdom, our innate beauty, the eternal flame, our light within? I believe God's love for us is far beyond my comprehension.
I honor the Source of this love in its expression called light through my photography. Reflective images often-observed in water, glass, metal and the translucency of fabric, spark wonder about coexisting dimensions for our viewing enjoyment. What is really expressed in the play of opposites, light and matter, spiritual and physical, the organic and industrial?
Honoring the light within is honoring the Source of all light, all love, our life, creativity, intelligence, healing capacity, mercy, grace, kindness and words worthy of this context to fill the rest of this page. The camera is a tangible means of connecting as witness and witnessed, of acknowledging and being acknowledged.
For me, to be in awe of light is to be in awe of God and the miracles of the natural world, we humans, included.
I'm reminded of a quote by Dr. Rachael Naomi Remen. "We are not here to fix life because it's not broken, we're here to serve life because it's sacred."
To photography as a witness of the sacred and to your own conversation with the Light within.