May, 2014 Archive
on intensity | our different sameness
May 30th, 2014

“I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.”

– Mary Oliver

It has been a difficult month. A month of intense emotions. A month of deep connection and a month of disconnect. Sometimes, when the world becomes just too much, I shut down. I choose to exist in the space between (between connection and solitude, between peace and pride, between a thoughtful silence and a life lived out-loud). This space isn’t an optimal one. It’s dullness whispers of all that is missing. Life is meant to be lived with intensity. The heart is meant to be broken open.

With the birth of my children my heart was broken open. In them and in their lives lived in community with me there is an intensity that is heartbreaking. My contribution to our project this month attempts to provide a visual to these thoughts and feelings. In this image, my daughter stands amid a wild nature just out of focus and just beyond my reach. Living my life with my children is crazy beautiful. It is being needed and needing them. It is growing them towards independence and fearing the independence I see. It is knowing that they are always – in so many ways – just out of focus and just out of reach and being both overjoyed and deeply saddened in that knowing. It is intense. It is alive. They have broken me open so that I may never close again. For this, for them, I am intensely grateful.

crystalhardin (1 of 1)

Our Different Sameness is the combined effort of a group of photographers seeking to explore our human connection through images and words. In our attempt to authentically capture what may prove to be intangible and elusive, we seek only to journey together honestly. Every month, we will explore what it means to be human, and how we experience life as part of a collective. Our goal is not only to explore these themes, but to celebrate the sameness we find within them. To learn more about the project and view our work, visit us here.

When great souls die | Maya Angelou
May 28th, 2014

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

-Maya Angelou

these two sisters | a project in 52 weeks
May 25th, 2014

“Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventure.” – L. Drachman

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week 20

To see previous weeks, go here.

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