at the end of the day

I knew I wanted to get my 5pm for The Hours while away at June Lake. I had my Mamiya 645 loaded up with Fuji Reala and waited for 5pm.  My sweet husband was driving me to a spot I had seen the day before. There was one problem.  We were in a huge fight.  Not the kind where there is a small misunderstanding and we can work it out quickly with some patience and explaining.  The kind where old wounds are rubbed raw and we both are sitting in pain.  We needed one of us to be brave and vulnerable, but stubborn suffering wasn’t allowing any heroes.

When Andy finally got me to the location I wanted to shoot, I was in tears.  I didn’t want to shoot while so upset at him. I didn’t want to look back at my 5pm and remember this moment. However, my image was due when I got back into town and I had no other choice.  So wandered the area, shot a few frames, and got back into the car. The short time away from each other had allowed both of our hearts to be softened.  We talked.  We understood. We apologized.  We held each other.

Last week at my compassion class my teacher read this poem.  It reminded me of my 5pm image. I had not loved perfectly, nor was I loved perfectly.  Still,  I know the freedom that comes from a real and vulnerable relationship. I know the beauty of being completely known and completely loved.  I know that I have the grace not only from my husband, but from my God.  I know that every day that ends with pain, I have the hope of a new morning.   I decided my 5pm wouldn’t just remind me of the pain and imperfection of that day, but of the love and grace that was given.

May this prayer bless you as it has blessed me.


I seek your presence, O God, 

not because I have managed to see clearly

or been true in all things this day, 

not because I have loved perfectly or

reverenced all those around me, 

but because I want to see with clarity, 

because I have tasted freedom, and joy, and healing

and I desire to love as I have been loved. 


Renew my inner sight, 

make fresh my longings to be true

and grant me the grace of loving this night

that I may end the day as I had hoped to live it, 

that I may end this day restored to my deepest yearnings, 

that I may end this day as I intend to live tomorrow, 

as I intend to live tomorrow. 

From the book “Sounds of the Eternal”, by Philip J Newel


To read more on prayer, visit Susan’s blog.


  • How beautiful that this moment could be flipped that you could find a message in this moment and your images so beautiful as always and the story behind it, wow. So glad I could read about it here. As much as I love photography and images and I do believe they have the ability to tell stories I will always be a fan of written word and lessons and stories just like this one you have shared.

    Love your friend

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