Learning to Speak

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.





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