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Posts tagged ‘hands’

The Dance

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As I continue in this direction with hands I keep being drawn to… I have found myself suddenly at a powerful intersection of both my work and my life. Since the earliest days of the “Still, Life” series, I have held this image in my heart. It was always meant to be a continuation of the stories told in Hope and Desperation (below). It first came to me at a time when I was seeing a variety of images that included a second figure… a man. Some of these images were meant to speak of a connection to my late-fiance in the spiritual realm, while others were meant to speak of someone else… someone new. I decided hiring a male friend just to capture these stories wouldn’t work. It needed to be real. It needed to actually be the next man in my life. And without even a remote glimpse and no feeling of even desiring someone new yet, I put these ideas aside to wait patiently for that day to come.

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And here we are, arriving at the day this image finally came to be. It is precisely what I imagined for all those many months… except for one thing: the story on the other end. That I could have never known.

The Dance depicts a meeting of souls. That pivotal moment in time when two paths cross in the darkness and a bond is formed. It is the story of brothers, of sisters, of soulmates and friends… each has met desperation and hope in their own way – making them unafraid to see one another in the darkness. In this way, something very powerful and solid is created from the dark places inside us. Such meetings are sacred. For it is the darkness that bonds us to one another in ways we cannot ever bond in the light. It is the tests and trials found here that reveal the truth of a person’s character, integrity, and loyalty. It is the place that changes us, and the place that unites us.

There is something I cannot describe as anything but magic when I think about this image. To have spent so much time with this visual in my head and heart – with no idea when I would ever meet this person or be able to create it – and to now see it made real. And not only to see it, but to now know both stories. To know now what I didn’t know a year ago – that this man’s story would end up being just as important as my own story to the shot.

This soul, who I didn’t even know existed just 4 months ago, matches my own dark journey in a way I could have never imagined. A way I will always wish didn’t exist… because he also endured the death of his love. His beautiful, bright-shining, courageous wife of twelve years. To an agonizing long-term illness. A journey very different to my own sudden loss, but a journey through the darkness nonetheless. As a relationship has begun to unfold between us these past months, I came to know with certainty… he is the one I have been waiting for – to tell this part of both of our stories, and to live this part of my journey.

The Story of Hands

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As a symbol, hands have begun to fascinate me lately. They have so much power to tell the deepest, most primal stories of our humanity. Fear, survival, love, belonging, safety, evolution, history, ability… there so many stories contained within this single element of our bodies.

These images were shot at the end of my last shoot with the calf’s heart, just experimenting and going wherever intuition takes me…

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Week 7 // Hope

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Hope is an incredibly small thing when you are in a very broken place in your life. I don’t think it is something that looks bubbly and enormously bright and fills up the room – not when you are in total darkness. At the beginning of this journey through grief, for me, there was not even any room for hope. I was in total despair almost entirely for the first six months. But there were, in those early months, small glimpses. It did not come rumbling in with bold splendor, but instead appeared in small, subtle ways. Like the first time I was able to take my camera out and photograph the sunset and ENJOY it, about a month after he died. Or the first moments that real, honest, laughter happened. Or in the sharing of painful stories with another wounded soul and helping each other feel less alone. Or going art galleries and filling up my soul with inspiring and beautiful artwork that somehow made my incredibly broken soul sing for a few moments.

Hope isn’t always easy to see or find amidst the debris of a broken world. It can be easily overlooked when you are so tightly focused on the pain and on keeping things together. I have learned in my grieving that to find it, I must try to always keep a part of myself reserved – assigned to the job of looking only for hope wherever it can be found. The rest of me can wallow and cry and scream – all 98%… but that other 2% of me must always be looking for hope. No matter how small, no matter where. Find it.

Hope is the most powerful thing you can have in your hands when you are going through a deep loss. When you have fallen into the depths of grief and there feels like no way out will ever come… even the smallest proof of light can entirely reframe your world. Even if you cannot see the sun – even if you don’t want to open your eyes and try – to have some small piece of evidence that it indeed still exists somewhere creates a visual in your heart of a place you want to be. And that visual, if you hold it with you as often as possible, eventually, will get you to the sun.

If you’re new to this project, you can read more about it in this post.
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.

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