When people ask questions about my work, they want to know how I can do this. Then they want to know why.
I write about both both of those elsewhere. What I’ve come to love about my story and journey is how so many things that don’t seem connected have come together. It reminds me of a gigantic drawstring running through the casual waistband of life - it touches every part of the full circle and when I pull it a bit all of those things snug against each other.
It comes down to a formula for me.
intention + connection = wonder
That formula is the foundation of every photography class, every art class, I teach. It started as just a formula about my approach to telling a story.
It has become the formula of my life. It applies to everything.
When I need to find myself, I discern my intention and then connect. In relationships with others, I figure out what kind of partner I want to be in the duo and seek connection that supports that. When I plan a day or a week, I consider what I want to accomplish and then focus on connecting with the people, places, and things that make it happen.
These two factors come together, they pull like that comfy drawstring, to cinch everything.
When mortality becomes a friend, these are the two elements of life that rise to importance. I’ve seen it hundreds of times in the past five years. When they come together, and that requires wholeheartedness, wonder happens. Comfort happens. Peace happens. Joy happens.
Any misguided efforts of past decades in chasing achievements or acquiring things fall away. Intention matters. Connection matters.
Who do I want to be in this moment? How do I want to show up?
What kind of connection to do I want to have here? How do I establish that?
It is simple and oh, so complicated. It changes everything for me.
When people talk about end of life experiences and health scares and how they push them to shift perspective, I think it comes down to these two things. These two pieces, both together and separately, are essential for a life full of all of those most desirable things we imagine. This is the stuff of dreams, and it can be real life.
I see a lot of incredible moments of the human experience while being with families in love and grief. From each family I learn, and those lessons and points to ponder are what I wish to share with you here.