Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017- We Rise Up

Sunrise in the Sonoran desert 

I am a lover of words. Poignant and powerful markers of character and intent.  Nothing is as satisfying as succinctly expressing  what moves the heart, what captivates our intellect and defines our curiosities. Yet, so much of 2016 has left me without them, speechless and muted.   I would love to read the words of  Steinbeck, Abbey or Whitman had they encountered  our country's current state of "transition".  

I was deeply moved by Michelle Obama's speech in New Hampshire earlier this year and I can't forget her words. Not words of a politician, not words of a democrat, not words of a woman of color, just words, woman to woman. Words that resonated and awakened. 

"I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted." Michelle Obama

I tell you as well, I can't stop thinking about this either. I used to pride myself by saying I was "apolitical" meaning no bit of politics has ever concerned me as I've been blissfully unaware.  Now, I can't afford to be and it's a bit sobering. The world has changed, we are in historic times. 

Call it intuition or whatever you want, but in my own shaken core, I firmly believe that an intelligent, strong and powerful new collective female voice will rise and transcend this political lapse in judgment that brought this to our feet.  My voice will be among them and my spirit will be with all of us who will hold ourselves with grace and dignity as we rise up. My hope is that your voice and spirit will rise with us. Hope is important. 

 "We can show our children that here in America, we reject hatred and fear and in difficult times, we don’t discard our highest ideals. No, we rise up to meet them. We rise up to perfect our union. We rise up to defend our blessings of liberty. We rise up to embody the values of equality and opportunity and sacrifice that have always made this country the greatest nation on Earth." Michelle Obama 

As a photographer, I'm distracted and I see it among many of my contemporaries as well. Blog posts about being uninspired or the loss of passion  Those seeking creative hiatus. I've felt it as well.  I would suspect it's the same for other like-minded individuals in the art-osphere. This is not the time to quell expressions, it's time to rise up and be heard.  

In spite of it all, I tell myself it's important to keep finding the beauty in our day to day life.  As Winter is upon us now, the days are short. I miss the morning sunrises as I walk Halo before work and the sunsets in the park commemorating the gift of another day's end. They've now been replaced with dark mornings and night walks and yet, I've found them incredibly beautiful. 

The air often hangs low in the park on the edge of the desert preserved area giving it an almost ghostly feel. 

The muted colors seem unattainable and the scent of the sagebrush in the evening is earthy and euphoric. 

There is peace here in the quiet rustle of the autumn leaves under foot. Cold winter wind on my face and the suburban aroma of fireplaces and home cooking. 

This is my sanctuary, my home away from home. My passion for photography isn't lost as I study the subtle lighting of the moonlit shadows and contemplate my next endeavor. 

Every evening, I'm grateful that I can be here... That I live in peace when so many on this planet do not.  That I have the comforts of daily life that so many do not. That I have the power, education and will to seek the change that others can not.

So as I wander through the dimly lit and surreal scenes of the urban evenings, I'm focused, but not without hope because we have all that is needed to change, we have our voices,  we have our words. Change is inevitable. 

Women's March Phoenix
January 21, 2017