This past week I had some tensions arise in a very important friendship. My friend and I are both portrait photographers. We have very different approaches to our business and to our photography. Tensions and insecurities built between us. Tensions on my side coming from trying to learn how to do right by myself and not make myself small while still being considerate. Each day my emotions would ride a hypothetical roller coaster. On Sunday afternoon, fear gripped my heart and I felt so overwhelmed with it.
Since I had talked the situation out many many times already with other friends and family, I decided the only relief I could offer myself that would really help, would be to pick up my camera for a meditative adventure.
First I went to a patch of wildflowers near the golf course near by. Patches I had driven by many times the past few weeks.
The golf course had mowed around the patches-leaving these 3 plots of wildflowers near the entrance to the parking lot.
Sitting in the grass and focusing my mind and heart on finding beautiful details, eased my mind and coaxed my heart to a better place.
This next photo is titled 'troy" from this portion of the song by Sinead
(Oh, I love you
God, I love you
I'd kill a dragon for you
But I will rise and I will return
The Phoenix from the flame
I have learned
I will rise
And you'll see me return
Being what I am
There is no other Troy
For me to burn)
I felt a bit restricted and distracted being between a parking lot and a road with a lot of traveling cars, so I decided to get back in my car and drive to the nearby soccer field. To feel the expanse and allow my heart to open as widely as possible.
I sat in my car and started writing on the only scrap piece of paper I had in my car:Sitting at the open field to feel the expanse. Do all the goals peppering the scene take all that away? Can I focus on the sky and all that is open instead?i spot a monarch butterfly on milkweed and ask myself if this is a sign?maybe I should get out of the car with my camera and capture th elesson it has to offer.Instead I reamain seated and taunt the faitfulness of it.i wait until my glance back finds no orange wings to land on.my eyes dart in searchnot accepting that I may have lost the chancethat opportunity is not so fragile, so fleetingmy pen glides across the paperi pause and glance againI catch the expanse of orange wingsshould I get out now?What if once I make the effort and approach it is gone?I get out of the car and approach the thicket that was left unmowed along the side of the field. The milkweed is about 8 feet into the thicket.
I capture these photos:what is sweeter, the nectar that feeds growth or the growth itself?The monarch opens it's wings when bees approach. i watch to see if it will move. Instead of moving it seems to stay embraced with the flower, which provides its nectar. Neither the wind nor another insect results in the monarch leaving what it settled upon. The bee settles itself on the same flower and begins to gather as well.So much fear and loss affects my inner perspective. I come to the flowers, the monarch, with camera in hand, to find my message, my truth. To allow my heart to burst open.
Two dear friends across the country also helped me see the focus was on scarcity and to shift to focus on abundance may change the whole dynamic.
many emails back and forth
time and reflection
messages from the flowers and monarch
insight from wise friends and family
love of a friendship coming from both sides
all lead to a conversation, an openess, truth, and understanding leaving us both feeling 100% supported, free and excited for all the abundance to come for both of us........
Have you taken a mediative photography retreat to get clear on an issue? I would love to hear about it and see the photos.
If you haven't, I ask you to try it and share it.
Every one who shares will receive a 4x6 photo of their choice from this post. You can share in the comments or email. make sure to leave your address and choice of photo.