i like endings because as sure as rainbows follow rain, a beginning is just around the corner. i'm one of those crazy women who loves a new calendar. the crisp, white paper screaming for me to deface its surface, with highlighters and off-the-wall colored inks, to make lists and appointments, followed by fruitful mark throughs and completed to do's. here lives proof i made a goal and its success [or failure, in come cases] is in black and white.
it's the last day of 2013 on mayne mill and the heavens are a little cloudy and i'm beginning taxes and finishing laundry. oh, the envy i sense in your eyes. i'm recalling a few of those lists and goals during the year that was and all of the good things that happened, the adventures taken that were not even anticipated this time last year, the children who broke my heart for the millionth time and those who stopped me in my tracks with utter amazement, friends who came and went and those who reappeared when my heart needed them the most. there were journeys to places i had only heard about from others and now, i stood on the same island where wild horses roamed, the same bridge where forest gump crossed, the same doorway through which a governor traveled each night. quite spectacular for this old coot.
remembering is a powerful tool, one that should be used for good. to learn. to change what went wrong. to build upon went right. however, don't let the past interfere with the present, i tell my children, for if we let it, it most certainly will take over today. i teach them that it is important to revisit the past for only one reason, as a reminder of what will happen if our actions never change. if we allow people to run over our emotions and thoughts, then they will. if we put ourselves in precarious situations, more than likely, we will fall. if we fail to use common sense, well, we deserve what we will eventually get. if we don't put ourselves first, no one else will. those are some fairly simple certainty's that took me a half a century to nail down. in the course of a year, i tend to forget them. but on this day, when all is said and done, i reflect and remember, and most of the time, i kick myself in the butt for not listening to myself. i like to blame it on menopause.
i look forward to a new year. i predict 2014 will be good. i'll share just a bit of my calendar ink with you:
i can feel a beginning on its way. i guess whatever kind of beginning is up to me. happy 2014 and here's to all the full calendars and fruitful mark throughs.
one of the best elements of our 'job' is that we get to meet people, photograph them and place their story within our collection of narratives - like the dalai lama, florida georgia line and lloyd carter. more than likely, our paths would have never crossed unless opal (our camera's name) or storytelling hadn't assembled us in the same space. that moment in our lives would have been forever blank, but now, it's filled with new faces and sparkling laughter that make our existence richer. sometimes, we click with people; other times, not so much, but that's okay. no matter what the end result, i firmly believe that every chance meeting leaves an impression.
this past weekend we met the haler family. in our short afternoon together, here's what we took away:
and in telling these stories, we have learned a truth - the eyes have it. always. the true story, the authentic story can be found within the eyes. the happiness. the sorrow. the anticipation. the desire. focus there and you'll always capture the true story. that's what we do - find that window of the soul and let the eyes do the rest - sometimes, it's not the story the subject intends on sharing; on rare occasions, the eyes reflect the words precisely.
our parents were great storytellers, not because they were intense talkers, but because they believed the importance of remembering. with no camera, the oral traditions became the record. mama, and especially daddy, would carve grins from ear to ear when the tales became too funny or tears would escape the eyes when the tales became too sad. they spoke with their eyes, their facial expressions, their hands. remember when mama said, "use your words." as a writer, by all means, but frequently, we need help to dig a little deeper. with 'opal' watching and our ears listening, we will strive to capture the entire story.
at the of end of our first year as an 'official' storyteller, and during this christmas season, we are thankful beyond measure for the eyes that have glanced our way and for those who have allowed us to share their story with the rest of the world. we are blessed. our desire for this season and all the days that will follow is that you will take note of the memoir your eyes are sharing. the stories your lips impart. for that is your story, the one that you share with others, and the one by which you will be remembered.
my uncle ivet, my mama's brother, was my hero, or my second daddy, depending on which day you asked me about him. he was a teddy bear, towering over me and his norwegian wife, sophia, and his hugs enveloped me so that i couldn't breath. i loved them and as i climbed up the steps to his living room, i would barely get in the door until he had his arms wrapped around me. the logan family never said the "i love you" phrase or held much affinity toward public displays of affection, so i craved this moment.
he was what you would call today, a picker. he had every do-dad imaginable. those 'dads' weren't just small either. they were bird houses, cars, even mountains. he told me of one auction where he purchased land in north georgia, a mountain, an entire mountain. crazy, i thought. then he told me of his dream to build an underground house on the side of his mountain. warm in the winter, cool in the summer - heaven in his eyes. then, he told me he had never seen it, but he was certain it was a good deal. he died still believing in that deal and wishing for his underground house.
lost without him, his wife sold most of the mountain, but gave me a lot as a gift. he would want you to have it, she told me. he knew the mountain girl that lived within me, and she would be always be at home here. this would be my resting place. whenever time came.
time has come. it's time to change the possum hollow sign to population 22. not sure the time frame, but everyone has to start somewhere. today, we start with a dream, a goal, and the dream of ivet pushing me and this mountain girl to make my mountain retreat a reality.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.