The first voice I remember hearing in my head spoke to me sometime in college. It was a writer’s voice. Quiet. A little fragmented. And all mine. In the many years since, I’ve used the voice to string into sentences all the words I write in.
In 2015, I started to understand how to speak in photographs too.
This year I learned I have a visual voice, and for the first time in my life, I’m thinking more in pictures than in words. I am not sure yet what I want to say or what I need to say. I only know I am aching to speak what I see.
Maybe my photographs speak when I can’t quite find the words.
The words I write live here when I’m done with them. I’ve got a few readers here and there – not many – but beyond this screen which stays dormant until someone, somewhere decides to view it, I’ve found no other way to share what I hear, what I write, how I think. My connections are limited. My words, passive. My heart … a little lonely, to be honest.
Not so with my photographs.
I’m learning to love with my camera as much as I’m learning to speak with it.
My teacher love shows in simple, black and white candids of my students at play. I gifted cellophane-wrapped, original prints carefully mounted on note cards and offered to people I cherish for Christmas. Flowers. Peaches. Mountains. Sunrise. Moonscapes. Barns.
These are photographs of love – my heart reaching and speaking, “Here … these images, take them … this is me … what I see, how I see, my new way of speaking … my new way of loving … here, take them … please. I love you.”
I cannot always extend my love in words, but my pictures, I can give. I am learning there is more than one way to speak.
I am a better dreamer than a do-er, and I have no real plan. But I know my voice needs to speak and so I’ll keep writing in 2016 … and I’ll keep taking pictures … and somehow find the confidence to speak, live, love, and share with greater clarity, purpose, courage, and of course … hope.
Here’s to one more hopeful year in 2016.
I’m sharing what I’ve learned in 2015 on Emily Freeman’s blog.