My word for 2014 is BECOME.  When making a list of what I want to become in 2014, closer to my Creator and grounded in truth topped my list.  I started pondering how I could make that happen. 
Then I remembered how I became a better photographer.  I surrounded myself with photographers that were better than me.  I watched how they shot, what equipment they used, and how they saw light.  I decided I would surround myself with women with strong spiritual lives that I respected. I would watch how they live, see what they surround themselves with, and learn to see how they see.  For 2014, I will be doing a blog roll project with these four amazing women.  We will pick a theme to write about and post to our blogs once a month.    
For January we chose the words new or beginning.   I really love new things…. new journals, new shoes, new crayons, new days,  and new lenses.   I don’t, however, always love new ways of being or thinking.  If I am out of shape, I don’t want to do something new by working out and eating right.   If I am finding myself surrounded by junk and piles of unorganized papers, I don’t start finding a proper place for things. If every person that crosses my path pisses me off, I don’t want to find a new way of thinking.   If I am dry spiritually, I don’t want to do something new by slowing and quieting my mind and heart. Habits are hard to break, even if they are bad habits. When I do start making new habits, things slowly begin to change.  I find my body moves better and feels stronger.  I no longer stress about where I have put this or that.  I find patience and grace for others, and ultimately myself.  I hear the Comforter tell me I am His beloved and I am surrounded and filled with His love. 
If these new habits bring good things, why don’t I always see new with excitement?  I think I expect perfect change and quick results. I need to remember that I don’t need to change all my bad habits quickly.  I liken it to waking up in the morning and not wanting to turn on the light because it will hurt my eyes.  New doesn’t need to be like that.  New doesn’t need to turn on like a switch.  It can be a slow, steady thing… like the dawn of a new day. 
I had the pleasure of shooting a roll of film during the dawn.  As each minute passed, I clicked one more photo.  I was reminded of the gentleness of dawn.  I was reminded of the hope a new day brings. I was reminded how she slowly surrounds you.   
As you travel through this dawn, I would encourage you to be just as gentle with yourself this year as the dawn is with the day.  We don’t need to lose all the extra pounds by February. We don’t need have our house Pinterest organized by the end of the week.  We don’t need to love each person perfectly by summer. We don’t need to feel like Thomas Merton by Friday.  We can move slowly into the new.  

I am doing this project with some amazing women.  Please visit my friend Cheryl’s blog then roll on through to the others.   
Photos taken with my Mamiya m645 1000s, 80mm extension tube 1, Kodak Portra 400. 

Staci Lee

I like my cameras old, my shoes comfortable, and my whiskey neat.


  • Ohhh, the luscious exquisite longing of these photos. I actually started crying. The feel of newness unfolding around you and you just have to wait for it to overtake the darkness. Dawn never strives. It fulfills its promise. I am so grateful for this opportunity to wake up and read all these amazing words from amazing women today!!! Thank you Staci, for being an embracer of the new and becoming and becoming and becoming. You amaze me.

  • This post made me LOVE you even more, and how is that possible Stacey, how? I thought I loved you so much already? I feel like we are great friends moving through this life side by side and I learn from you, just as you mentioned in your blog by surrounding yourself with people who are experienced in areas where we are not and how much we can learn from them, I love community and I love being a part of yours. I look forward to your project with your spiritual friends, and I feel honored to be in hours with you and I will continue to support your personal blog and I hope with all my heart to see you this year at least once if not more. I love you friend, Love Tracie oh and before I forget, your images, they are so special and quiet and slow. I love them.

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