Back to Myself

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     After many years of battling multiple health issues, my dear “Antie” Rosie passed away in January of 2014. She was, among many things, a brilliant creator- by dipping gleefully and resourcefully into multiple mediums, my Aunt had that rare and profound quality of being intimately connected to the world in a way that allowed her to turn everything into art. I grew up in awe of her short stories, pen and ink drawings, poetry, egg designs, but perhaps most of all-her photography. And, from the time I myself could physically hold a camera, my Aunt was the first one to point out that I had “The Gene”- a golden thread that connected us in how we were able to see, capture, and feel the world.

     I’ve spent years documenting the moments around me, watching and learning through the lens, building a storybook of memories, but never really pausing to believe that I was blessed with a similar gift. It wasn’t until my Aunt died that I finally took a look around and realized that I wasn’t a photographer because she said I was- I was because I am.

     It is not easy to embrace the parts of ourselves that take courage to acknowledge, the parts that require being brave enough to stand up for, to listen to, to share. I wish my Aunt were around to see that I’ve finally connected with myself in this way- but, as with all things, it takes time.

     I recall a question I asked when I was still a wide-eyed little girl- and an answer that echoes and transcends space, time, and photographs:

          Antie, how do you take a good picture?
Always look for the light.

     Okay Antie, I hear you now- and to that end, I am happy to (bravely) share with all of you my very own journey: back to myself.

                                    ❤ ElenaBear

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