Joy // A River Story

I have been hesitant to post anything on here because after the redesign of my website, my blog images got kind of tiny on me. I thought it would be a quick fix, so I was waiting (and waiting) but it turns out it's a whole thing and I guess it's all a lesson in wabi sabi creating! There's no point in waiting for perfect, because then, I'll be waiting (and waiting) forever. 

I think I have also been hesitant to post because my relationship with the online world needed some reconfiguring. The internet has brought me some of my very best friends and experiences through online classes, workshops, and just connecting over social media. I can't say that it is all bad, because it's not. But, there is a certain point where it becomes too much for me. I am a girl who needs her feet in the mud, and her hair in the water. I need to be outside, talking with actual people and connecting face to face, and I think often times, in this business, we become so concerned with being "present" online, that we can forget about the other side of things. For me, at least, I needed to step away and fill my lungs with fresh air and just regroup. I'm happy to date the online world, but I don't want to marry it. 

Now that I am back, I can think of no better session to share. This woman embodies what it means to declare your needs and wants. She is the definition of confidence and faith. During her stay in Austin, I learned so much about the parts of my own self that need more tending and attention. The parts of my own heart that need love. And I think that's what real teachers and healers do; they teach and heal without even realizing it. Just by breathing in an out and moving through the world with a passion unwavering, they touch the lives of all who they pass. 

But perhaps the thing I love most about Joy, beyond her angelic gifts, is her ability to be a human being. To share the parts of her life and herself that are broken or hurting or challenging. She shares this, not for the sake of spreading negativity, but for the sake of creating links between people's hearts. Because she understands, like me, that we are all carrying burdens and we are all walking with a bit of fear BUT when we can let those parts of ourselves be shared in the comforting presence of sisterhood, that's when the real healing can begin. 

And that's what this work is for me. The truth is, I do River Stories because I need sisterhood to sustain. I need friendships and memories (in real life) with women in order to feel complete and content. And I know other women do too. And the best way I know how to manifest those sacred bonds is by getting silly and brave and muddy and wet and vulnerable and ridiculous in the waters together. And then, somehow, these images are created and it's like I can finally hold something up to women and show them how I see them.

So, Joy, I want you to know how I see you. I see you as a gentle spirit with a fierce heart. I see you as a gorgeous healer with a resilient determination. I see you as a Mother who is willing to do whatever it takes for her children, and a wife who loves hard enough to say she is sorry. I see you as a hilarious friend who has made me laugh in times when I couldn't even see straight from crying so hard. I see you as a brave soldier of faith who got in freezing cold waters with a smile on her face because she finds the value in everything; even in pain. I see you as a gift. To me, and to the whole wide world. And I am so grateful for our time together at the river... 

There are a lot of images, but I guess I have some making up to do. And plus, I'm in a season of my creative life where I am ready to stop holding back.