Tag Archives: photography as art

Awakening to the Pilgrim Inside of Me

Corcomroe Abbey, County Claire, Ireland

I am becoming more present to a new voyage of life.  

During this shelter-in-place time, I realize I am a novice kind-of-traveler.  My pilgrimage spirals me further down my internal landscape – that sacred container inside –holding all my possibilities.   I am more awake to this path of curiosity as I become skilled at accepting the future uncertainty with gloves of expanding experience.  

Oh I make plenty of blunders along the way;  however, I take those missteps as signs –  knowing I am learning and making twisty trails of memories.  

How do I meet this pilgrim inside of me?   I practice staying in awe.  I go beyond asking how are you.  I witness an opening of a new story of the kind clerk serving me coffee.  I take a step back – or is it forward? as I become in service to the story she shares with me.  I recognize an opening.

It’s a portal – a doorway – to a new uncharted territory of being in community with a stranger and greeting that unknown part of me at the same time.

I experienced the above portal of Corcomroe Abbey on my travels to Ireland a few years back with David Whyte teaching a Poetry, Myth and Music workshop. I witnessed this portal – as the light drew me in — and later took in the reflection of my self to consider its meaning.

It was a moment of invitation.  

I get that all of life is an invitation to become.  My camera, my companion, helps guide me through the lens of my eye to travel to those unknown parts of new territory inside and outside of myself. On surface, it may be an image of an event, or a person, or simple a tree. It all serves me and pushes me further into a new experience.

Today, this remarkable new reality for our collective, is chaos. It is also understanding, opportunity, a new learning time and basically being uncomfortable with the unknown. If I can be in those moments feeling fears of uncertainty, sheer joy and utter discomfort, I can hold the balance and see how it all serves. And then I see that the Pilgrim inside of me steps forth to witness it all.

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The revealing message of my out-of-focus landscape


I discovered this word several years ago and it keeps circling back to me.  It helps me put a name to the fluctuations of my mood and my being. I bend far in one direction, catch myself, reassess, and then shift to another reality.

Liminal.  It comes from the Latin root, limen, which means “threshold.”

For me, it’s the process of being in free float – open and airy, free to be however I wish. There is no negative to my positive.  It just is.  

I treasure the photographs I take “in the liminal.” I admit it’s the work in my computer darkroom that trails me into that abstract arena. My brain takes a side step and my eyes – my vision — are front and center. I’m guided by what my photograph could be as I allow expansion in this ethereal technological space where color goes into all sorts of visionary explosions. Here, in this open field, is where new images surface.

How timely during this pandemic, to be open to new awarenesses, even if they surface in abstract form. I wake up and do a daily body check.  I stretch my physical being to see where pains might surface as I scan my emotional being for heart tugs. As I do this it helps me recalibrate so I can support my mental state through mindful meditation and writing. Then, my brain is fresh for the day.

I am privileged to have my camera as my accomplice during this tumultuous time. When I gaze on this landscape of ocean and trees, I envision all sorts of possibilities. And later in the darkroom, a new form begins to emerge as I react to color and shape, giving birth to a new visual.

My devoted comrades — my tools– my camera and my techno darkroom, work in unison with my inner guidance nudging me to move towards this threshold of an unknown trail.

Truly, I feel transformation in the liminal.

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A New Year to Mark

I tend to make intentions rather than resolutions these years.  I do keep the list and reference back and am happy to know I met my challenges and goals and oh sure there are those that fell to the wayside.  That’s okay.  It’s all okay.

A highlight of last year was being trained as a Friendship Line volunteer to answer calls from mostly seniors who basically need a friend on the other end of a line.  I have one amazing 96- year-old-woman who regularly states her wish at this stage of her life is to keep learning and to keep reaching out to make new friends.  She lost several of her best buds last month and I can feel the heaviness of her heart as her voice quivers talking about their treasured times.

And then there’s a young chap making his way through his disability and still holding hope high in each of his days.   He shares his poetry with me.  We laugh together, trade stories and basically feel a human being right there through a telephone.

This year I want to keep showing up and stretching and moving to the rhythm of what is before me and inside of me.  I’d like my art to take a dive into a new layer in my heart perhaps to reveal a hidden landscape.  Wonders abound.  It is a New Year.

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