Be unapologetically you.
All your squares and contradictions,
with your growing parts and pieces
all at once all right here.
Be Mom and Dad
and Young and Free.
and untamed hair.
Learn to dream through your worries,
and raise pit bull babies, too.
See the world through my eyes, and the eyes of my people.
My grief has emerged in many ways over the past two weeks. Spitting rage. Infinite sadness. Numbness. Laughter. Wonder. Insomnia. Exhaustion. Grief has thrown me to the ground like a rag doll, spun me like a top, and left me with a sense of disorientation even when I seem ok.
But the thing I never expected is the way that grief has reached down and scooped directly from my other open heart-wounds. Wounds from childhood. Wounds from early womanhood. Wounds more recent. Self-inflicted, externally inflicted. Every wound I've buried, ignored, failed to notice, failed to love...now all rising to meet the light, rising to meet ME.Read More
I ask everyone in my life, and my community, and my work…to lean into being human, into vulnerability. In return, I have always promised you mine. That’s why I need to share with you that for the past week, I have been in the midst of grappling with bone-shattering grief.
I've never experienced grief quite like this, this endless hammering in my chest, the feverish sweats, the inability to sleep, the listlessness, the bottomless tears, the sudden sobbing, and desperately trying to drown out an alarm in my head that keeps screaming "DO SOMETHING! DO SOMETHING! DO SOMETHING!"
I know that all of this is a sign that I am very, very lucky, a sign that at nearly 36 years of age, I'm only just having my first encounter with the Deepest Grief of the Soul. I don't feel very lucky.
It's been an exceptionally hard few years for anyone that isn't a white, straight Christian. This month, in particular, has been painful for the Queer community, as the United Methodist Church voted to ban gay clergy, and components of the Tr*mp military ban on transgender service members began to go into force. Sometimes, when I feel my chest tightening and fury rising in my throat, I like to look out at the mountains and remember that humans are small.
My beliefs include divinity, in a rather complex form (I'm Hindu, our ancient concept of Ātma is as complex as Time and the Universe itself). So I wanted to write a quick reminder to everyone:
Here's something I can promise you - if you're not actively scrabbling towards healing, then you're being run by trauma.
First off - I'm directing this to YOU, overachievers-that-look-amazing-to-everyone-else. Before you go delightedly pointing to that "sad sod that can't seem to get it together," I want you to see that I'm looking RIGHT AT YOU.
For Brian and J.P. (and every sacred Queer Child)
It’s hard to imagine
when you’re young and afraid…
how much life can change,
how fear can be lifted.
You can’t know the way
that the world can expand…
once you decide
to make space for yourself.
This past weekend I said something to a friend: "Your Truth is never here to hurt you. Your Truth is always here to hold you."
When I talk about Truth, I don't mean it in some external, religious sense. I mean Your Truth - the things you see and understand, in brief moments of clarity. Maybe it's something that comes to you on a walk, or in the shower. Maybe you have a sudden "Oh, shit" flash of insight. Something you need, who you are, what you want or something you need to face. It's always grounded in the things that make you Whole. Who you are. I call these "Clarity Points" and they are some of most important things that drive my life.
I'm blessed to be married to my soul mate; so it's always an incredible experience to work with others who have also found their soul mates - to see what that's like outside of my own relationship.
A soul mate isn't the "perfect" partner or human...it's a person whose presence somehow grounds you so deeply that your partnership opens you up to new possibilities, to evolution and expansion within yourselves and together.
If you know me - in any way - you know my husband, Eliot. You know him in person, or you know him through a million anecdotes and stories that begin with the phrase “Eliot and I have been talking about…” or “Eliot recently said something…”
Those that are fortunate enough to know Eliot personally know him for his astonishing kindness, his amazing way with kids, his generosity of spirit, his unexpected love of South Indian food, for his absurdist and dry humor, for his advocacy as an educator, his strange love of running (strange to me, anyway, as a profound lover of NOT running), for a million other things I simply couldn’t list in full. The way he joyfully assists at and contributes to nearly all the weddings that I photograph. His protectiveness. His patience, from which I’ve learned greater patience. His very particular way of stacking the dishwasher to “optimize space”. (Y’all.)Read More
Dogs say I love you constantly
and every day.
They are the best of us, covered in fur.
But today, the day of your wedding,
Socrates doesn’t poop in the aisle
and if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
And he spent the day wandering
with a cheery grin and slightly manic eyes,
because dogs may not understand all our goings-ons
but they sure do understand what happiness feels like.