Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Life Is Messy

This is what happens when I try to create a photo in the "soft and dreamy" style that seems to be all the rage right now. Or, when I'm given an assignment, like I was recently, to create a photo where "less is more." It makes me want to laugh out loud... because for me, in just about every way possible, I've always, and I mean always been a more is more kind of girl.

It's sobering, really. And not so little heartbreaking. Because I've also always been judged, shamed even, for that. I came into this life with big energy. Big passions, longings, feelings, needs; I drive fast, walk heavy, laugh loud, crank up the music, think, feel, and love deeply. There is a huge thirst to live life to the fullest. Growing up it was never okay. And I did my darnedest to change myself; shrink and twist myself into all kinds of shapes and sizes to try to fit in the little box that I thought would bring love and approval. And of course, as all kids do, I internalized the message, and learned to detest the very things, the powerful, and actually pretty awesome things that make me who I am.

And so, as this photo was creating itself (really... we so think we're in charge...!) I began to see it as the symbol it is... We are all made up of layers and layers and layers. As is life. It hits me that this is probably why I've fallen so in love with processing with layers; it is such a beautiful representation of what is. The messier this photo became, the more I fell in love with it, and the more I saw myself in it. Especially the soft inner core, because here's the thing that most people don't know--because I'm afraid to show it and therefore it is most often not seen--that inside this big rough-around-the-edges exterior, lies an exquisitely tender and vulnerable being.

Thank goodness we are not one size fits all. Try as I might (and believe me, I've tried), I cannot create those dreamy images. And that's okay. More than okay, even. In fact, the messier this photo got, the happier I got; the riskier it felt, the more excited I began to feel.

At retreat this weekend with my teacher Isaac, I watched as more and more of the trying to be what I'm not fell away, growing in it's place, a bigger seeing, acceptance, and appreciation for what I am.



  1. Thanks so much for sharing your inner thoughts, Debby. I think down deep many of us have these same feelings. Your image is absolutely spectacular! Who needs soft and dreamy? It's kind of overdone anyway. Great texture you used with this.

  2. I am happy to read you had a great time with Isaac ...
    and I love the textures you added to this photo and the comparison of layers in life and photography.
    Our art expresses who and what we are ...

    As always, I admire you for your openness as it's not easy to show our vulnerability ... and you do it in every post on this blog. Showing us the real you, sharing the things you struggle with, ... That's not so evident in today's world.

    Miss you and hope from the deepest of my heart you are ok ...



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