home

Home means something different for everyone. For some of us, home is a safe place where we were nurtured and loved and allowed to grow into ourselves with confidence and a fierce sense of self. For others, home was a scary place that needed to be avoided. There wasn’t a sense of safety or compassion. For some, home wasn’t a place to discover all that we were meant to be.

While the girls were growing up, we tried to create a home that would nurture and protect, love and defend, and care and empower. Our house was a place that you could feel safe and be shown compassion and grace. As girls grew up, they began returning this gift of compassion and forgiveness to Andy and me. We weren’t perfect, but perfection wasn’t a goal, kindness and compassion were. Our kids are no longer kids, they are all adults living their lives and chasing their dreams, but this will always be their home.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Kodak Portra 400

My oldest daughter has recently left our home. She got married this April and moved out with her darling husband, and they are beginning to make their own home. And while our house isn’t the place that they live, I hope they still consider our house, a place they can come back to when life feels harsh and unkind.

Each of us needs this place- a place that we can come back to when life is harsh. A home within themselves that they create that is safe and nurturing, even if it is your own compassion that makes it so. This takes work. Just as it has undertaken work for my daughter and her husband to create their new home, many of us will need to do the job of building a new safe home within our own hearts.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Kodak Portra 400

Some of us didn’t feel cared for or nurtured in our childhood home. Because of this, we might not be sure of our own needs and wants. We will need to learn of our needs and learn to nurture ourselves. Some of us didn’t live in a home where it was safe to feel all of our feelings in a constructive and compassionate way. We will need to learn how to experience our feelings with grace and curiosity. Some felt so unsafe that the world seemed like a fearful place with dangers around every corner. With bravery, we will need to see that while the world holds some risks, it can be a place we can move around with more curiosity than fear.

As we recognize the places of our hearts we need to reorganize and find healing, we will begin to create a safe home with ourselves. And as we learn to feel comfortable and secure within our hearts, we will become safe spaces for others as well. We will have created a home that others can come and visit and experience the safety and love that we have surrounded ourselves with.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Kodak Portra 400

I recently came upon this poem.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

— Derek Walcott

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Kodak Portra 400

Give back your heart to yourself.

Read those words again, slowly.

Give back your heart to yourself.

It sounds so simple, but it takes courageous work. But it holds such promise. A promise of a home that we can be our whole and beautiful selves in, a whole and beautiful self that this hurting world needs.

How are you creating a safe and sensitive home within your own heart? What practice do you pursue to show self-compassion and care? How are you giving your heart back to yourself?

 

I am thinking about the word home with my friend, Melissa.  Journey to her blog for her thoughts on this word.

 

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

I have been busy scanning my rolls of film from our trip to New York.  When I started to scan my roll from our trip to Brooklyn, I was reminded once again how much I love Ilford HP2.  It is definitely my favorite black and white film.  It is so flexible, you can shoot two or three stops under or over and it will still deliver beautiful results.  I put this roll in at 2 in the afternoon and the last shot was taken around 8:45pm after the sun had set.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

While I have visited New York several times in my life, I have never crossed the bridge to Brooklyn. Luckily for us, we have a wonderful friend there who wanted to meet with us and show us around.  I fell in love instantly! What a beautiful city.  The views of New York’s skyline can’t be beaten!

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

I am not a fan of the tripod (something my husband would love to rectify this year) so this last shot of the New York skyline was handheld.  And while my Hasselblad is much easier to hold steady than my Mamiya 645, I was still impressed with the results. I thought for sure the last shot would have been rubbish but I was pleasantly surprised.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

 

I had so much fun exploring Brooklyn, and for me, exploring is always a little better with a camera in hand.

For more from some of my photographer friends and what they have been up to this month, hop on over to Alison and Vanessa’s blogs.

simple prayers

I am enthralled with the New Zealand Prayer Book lately.  It all started when my church posted The Lord’s Prayer in the liturgy.  The quickly had me down the lovely rabbit hole of reading and reciting the prayers from this beautiful book.  You can find a copy of it here online.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Fuji Pro 400, pulled one stop

A Call to Worship

Holy One, holy and eternal,
awesome, exciting and delightful in your holiness;
make us pure in heart to see you;
make us merciful to receive your kindness,
and to share our love with all your human family;
then will your name be hallowed on earth as in heaven.

Lord God,
when you give to us your servants any great matter to do,
grant us also to know that it is not the beginning,
but the continuing of it, until it is thoroughly finished
which yields the true glory.

God of work and rest and pleasure,
grant that what we do this week may be for us an offering
rather than a burden;
and for those we serve, may it be the help they need.
Amen.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Fuji Pro 400, pulled one stop

The Lord’s Prayer

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever. Amen.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Fuji Pro 400, pulled one stop

 

Do you have any new prayers or poems that have been illuminating your days lately?  I would love for you to share them with me.

~Staci Lee

New York in Polaroids

My darling husband had a business trip to New York, so I decided to stowaway with him.  While he was at meetings, I adventured around New York and met with some friends I have only known online.  I took my Polaroid OneStep 2 along with me.  I had so much fun capturing this beautiful city with this fun little camera.

I had time to wander the city alone and I also was able to hug the necks of a few of my friends I met years ago on Flickr.   One friend, Amy Drucker,  took me to The High Line.  It is a walking park that was built on an old, raised train track.   It was a wonderful afternoon.

12 on 12: February

My family had a rough start to the year.  My husband’s beloved mother died.  While the family was together and we all were able to say our goodbyes, it was hard and painful and made us all pull in closer and hold onto each other.

One way our family deals with hardships is long family days.  We clear the calendar and head out for adventure for the day.   Because the ocean is holy for us, we decided to head to Santa Monica and breathe in the fresh sea air. I loaded up my Canon N1 with Kodak Portra 400 and headed out for the day.  First stop was our favorite pub, Finn McCool’s.  We had lunch, played cards, took some pictures, and maybe had a drink or two.

After some time at the pub, we took a walk around town and visited the shops.  Santa Monica is filled with life and color, just like my blessed mother in law.

As the sun began to set, we headed to the sand.  We watched the sunset and said our goodbyes to Andy’s mother, Barbara Jeanne.   We miss you.  Thank you for all that you gifted to us, especially Andrew.  We will love him with all that we have until we all see each other again.

 

To see what Vanessa was up to last month, head on over to her blog and then continue through the blog circle. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

red

We decided to change our normal 5 on 5 blogroll this month. While we usually look back and find our five favorite images, we decided to find red in the month of October.    I went through my Iceland film images and found little pops of red.

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

Mamiya 645 | Iceland

It was an interesting practice to back and look for one color.  I wonder what would come up if I looked for others colors within my images I have taken throughout the past year.

Have a look at Vanessa’s blog for more pops of red.

 

rainbows of love

Today is Coming Out Day. And while there is more freedom to come out that there was in 1939, it still isn’t safe for many of our LGBTQ friends to simply be themselves.  Here in the US, they can face discrimination and hate from their very own family and “friends”.  In other parts of the world, they can face death.  In honor of my LGBTQ friends and family, here are some poems that were written by LGBTQ poets and some rainbow photos.   While there are many who don’t understand and are cruel, hateful, and discriminatory, many of us see you how you are- loved, worthy of equal rights and treatment.  To quote an old rector from my church, “… being gay is a gift from God.”  You- all of you- is a beautiful gift to this world.

 

red

Frank Bidart, 1939

Queer

Lie to yourself about this and you will
forever lie about everything.

Everybody already knows everything

so you can
lie to them. That’s what they want.

But lie to yourself, what you will

lose is yourself. Then you
turn into them.

*

For each gay kid whose adolescence

was America in the forties or fifties
the primary, the crucial

scenario

forever is coming out—
or not. Or not. Or not. Or not. Or not.

*

Involuted velleities of self-erasure.

*

Quickly after my parents
died, I came out. Foundational narrative

designed to confer existence.

If I had managed to come out to my
mother, she would have blamed not

me, but herself.

The door through which you were shoved out
into the light

was self-loathing and terror.

*

Thank you, terror!

You learned early that adults’ genteel
fantasies about human life

were not, for you, life. You think sex

is a knife
driven into you to teach you that.

 

orange

 

yellow

Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place

 

green

 

blue

 

Reinaldo Arenas

As Long as the Sky Whirls: For Lázaro Gómez

As long as the sky whirls
You will be my redemption and my doom,
magnetic vision,
lily in underwear,
salvation and madness
every night waiting.
As long as the sky whirls
no infernal could be a stranger
because I have to take care that that would not harm you,
No joy would go by inadvertent
Because in some way I have to reveal it to you,
As long as
the sky
whirls
you will be the truth of myself,
the song and the venom,
the danger and the ecstasies,
the vigil and the sleep,
the dread and the miracle.
As long as the sky whirls . . . but perhaps the sky whirls?
Well: as long as the sky exists.

 

purple

Love is love is love is love is love.