There was a real magic about this shoot. The day I came back down to the beach, the water was eerily calm… the tide was unusually low. More so than I’ve ever seen it growing up. The sand bar – which is normally at least 10-20 feet out in the water was up out of the water entirely… and just on the other edge of it the water washed up steeply. As the sun laid low into the west, it created an unmistakable line in the sand that seemed to go on into eternity. I was mesmersized, and knew instantly this was the place for the next shot.
I’ve often heard the idea of grief being like waves of the ocean that ebb and flow in our lives. I’ve certainly found this to be the case too. But what this image showed me, was something of the opposite… how life will ebb and flow in and out of our grief. There will be times when we are able to reach out into life again. Moments when we will walk up to the edge of a new life and begin to take that first reach into it. How this image depicts to me that when we do, life will flow right back into us, and back into our grief. If we let it. And when we are ready.
It may take years before we are ready to venture up to the water’s edge – to the rushing flow of life. But there will come a time, as I am coming to know now, when we will see life with curious eyes again. It is where I have been as the new year has come. A curiosity to explore has begun to return. I do not feel as if I am leaving the landscape of my grief, but rather that I am further out on the edge of where grief and life meet each other. I am allowing life to flow in, to wash over the edges of my grief and soften them. Indeed the edges are beginning to feel less sharp. It’s a miraculous thing to begin to see, and even more so to be experiencing. There was a time I never believed this could be possible. But here I am, beginning to lean into life, and letting it flow back into me.
“Still, Life” is a year-long self portrait series exploring the journey of grief. You can read more about the project in this post. To see the full image gallery visit 2014 PROJECT. Please share with anyone who you feel can relate to the imagery, my hope is that it gives many others a visual for something they are going through in their own lives.