There are echoes inside me. Millions of resounding chimes.
That speak of rising futurescapes and tempermental climbs.
These eyes reflect my vibrancy.
This laughter, my starlit song.
Each dimple writes a symphony.
That sings my soul along.
These echoes, they enfold me.
Time slips from my embrace. These times may melt and mold me.
But, these dreams are mine to chase.
I consider it the highest blessing to have soo many wonderful people in my life. I’m surrounded by authors, poets, craftspeople, photographers, artists, inventors and adventurers from all over the world.
The greatest part of being surrounded by creative people is the synergy produced from just being nearby and witnessing their creations as they discuss or complete them. I get fired up and inspired just by hearing or seeing their current projects.
Recently, I posted one of my older poems, which I had found lurking in a forgotten Dropbox file, and shared it on my Instagram. A dear friend commented on it and stated that she wishes she was as good at writing poetry as I.
This just astounded me. Here is this amazing photographer who’s work makes me go heart crazy (the Instagram version of likes) on all of her shared photographs, telling me she wishes that SHE, could do something that I do. What!!? Get outta here!
I told her as much, and her response was that we should collaborate on a project. Her photograghy and my poetry. Immediately I responded YES!!!! I’M IN. If Picasso offers to let you write a poem about something he’s painted, you DO NOT turn Picasso down! Know what I mean?
She asked me what kind of photography theme I am looking for and my immediate answer was “Pickle”. I didn’t hesitate for a single moment. Pickle..is amazing. A-ma-zing!
“Pickle” is the nickname used by Paula’s (and my) favorite subject. She is Paula’s precocious, spunky, creative, and vibrantly active daughter. I cannot tell you how amazing Pickle is, because you just can’t express Pickle with mere words. If you tried, it would need to be accompanied by explosions, giggling, rock music, dancing and copious amounts of brightly colored paint.
Pickle is…herself. The most herself kid I have ever seen. She’s the kind of kid who, if encouraged to freely fly, will grow up wearing aviator glasses, fingerless gloves, and a feather boa, accessorized with metallic glitter and a brightly colored tu-tu..in other words, someone amazing! One-of-a-kind. Unforgettable. Irreplaceable. That’s our Pickle!
Pickle is to be treasured and protected. She is The Neverending story. The Narnia. The Harry Potter. She is childhood and winsome melodies not yet written. She is….alive. Pickle-power on full blast.
The amazing thing is, Paula has captured Pickle’s soul in her photography. Every photograph I see, with Pickle as the subject, reveals more of her emerging self. Her lifetime story.
Paula has an amazing eye. She is an artist of the highest standard. Her heart is displayed in every photograph she takes. Even more so, with this particular subject matter. After all, to produce vibrancy one must start with vibrancy. Paula Wallis is vibrancy on a Technicolor level. I am proud and delighted to collaborate with her on this very special project.
Now, I just need to write a poem to go with this amazing photography. Pickle can’t easily be expressed in words…but, I’m gonna do a damned good job trying.
Check out @Paulawallisphotography on Instagram.
Or visit her website here: Paula Wallis Photography
October 9th, You’d have been 74 this year mom. We miss you. We miss you soo soo much.
Shay made rotisserie chicken and lemon-lime cake. Damn, that girl can cook! Cooking was the obvious way to celebrate, you never passed a day without cooking something.
Memories of you never die, they just become more and more tender.
Love you, Mom.
Sometimes the funniest memories are in the comments. I’m such a goofball.
There was a time, a moment, when I was a kid. That I discovered I had a voice. I could be anything I wanted to be. I was convinced that I was like Punky Brewster and I could do anything. I was unstoppable. I was soo happy, so unbearably delighted, that I’m pretty sure, my mom thought I was completely hopped up on sugar. I wanted to roar. I wanted to roar loudly and boldly, so I did, and it was glorious!
Then, as I grew up. Things happened to me. Things that told me I wasn’t all the things I thought I was. I wasn’t strong. I wasn’t enough. I needed to apologise, often, for being female. For being bold. For thinking my voice mattered just as much as everyone else’s.
I heard it shouted into my face, whispered into my ear. I felt it shoved to the ground and held still. People telling me I couldn’t do things. Always with the reasons. Reasons that changed as I aged. Because you are poor. Because you are weak. Because you are a woman. Because you are Dyslexic. Because you are married. Because you have a child. Because you aren’t pretty. Because you aren’t skinny. Because you are too old.
When people tell you no often enough, and sometimes with accompanying “lessons” in what should be your proper place. You tend to eventually give in and do what is expected of you. To make peace. To appease everyone.
When I finally woke up to my truths. My simmering anger and furious heart filled by the betrayal of realizing I was never going to be enough for people. I was only ever going to be enough when I did what I wanted. Forced respect instead of expecting compassion and fairness. Found my voice. Found my place because I did what my heart called me to do. It was all because a voice inside me said No.
Just no. Over and over again.
“This is YOUR life”, she whispered. “Do you plan to die never being anything you dream of being?”
That voice sounded suspiciously like that Punky Brewster version of myself from long ago.
That was the day I found my voice. It had been lost, but I got it back.
It took awhile..but, now I am where I was meant to be…at the start of my new journey.
Today. I released all the words. The baggage. The pain and the anger.
Because I don’t need those things anymore. Good or bad. I have become.
Despite all of the things. I am here. I am become.
Despite all barriers I have fought for 10 years to finally land here. Ready to just roar my heart out.
Time to roar Motherfuckers!