Coming soon…

Being born.

“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés

 

Maybe everything is a portal into clearer seeing and deeper knowing.  I think that’s part of why photography is so magical: it suspends a moment that would otherwise fade into the lush world of memory and imagination and says, in the most blunt and beautiful way: It was like this.

It’s almost too much to talk about it with words, but what else do we have but words — and music, and touch and art — to convey the ethereal…?  When we brush up against the Divine, we know it.  How we got there doesn’t matter; we’ve passed through a door into a truer world, and met a truer Self.

I’m foggy from last night, and rambling, maybe.  I can’t really talk about it yet.  But this morning, I feel the strong hand something reverent and sacred on my back, comforting me and whispering to me through the fog: You’re heading in the right direction.

 

Orange County Birth Photographer

 

 

Make a bonfire of your life.

Washougal River Columbia Gorge | Morgan Wade Photography

We spent the cold months of my first winter in Portland drinking a lot of boxed wine — the good stuff.  We pushed furniture out of the way, plugged in the twinkle lights, and started a playlist with only songs that say “butt” “booty” or “ass” in them.  We debated what it means when one is instructed to “drop it low like there’s money on the floor.”  (We never came to an agreement.)

We watched Dawson’s Creek in its entirety (and agree that Joey made the right choice in picking Pacey).

She nursed me through strep throat with homemade elderberry tincture.

Reading to me aloud at the Oregon coast one afternoon, she introduced me to the magic of folk and fairy tales; she read aloud the original story of The Little Mermaid to me while I got my first tattoo.

She showed me that the balance between the sacred and the profane is not such a hard line to tow, that you can tell a lot about a person by whether or not they think the name Terry is funny.

Washougal River | Columbia Gorge Photographer

“I didn’t expect you to answer,” she said when I answered the phone last night, “we usually have to play phone tag for like eight months.”

And then we talked for three hours, and we laughed so hard we cried.  We now have an inside joke about used bra dispensaries.

There’s a natural invitational quality to some people; they energetically hold the door open for us, asking us to be really good to ourselves while simultaneously imprinting on us what it feels like to be well cared for.  What I find, especially as I get older, is that there is a quality of spaciousness in these people that makes me want to draw near to them.  I get closer to myself the nearer someone else is to themselves.

Also: the ability to detect one’s own bullshit and call ourselves on it is prime real estate for any relationship.  It requires an inherent playfulness and candor — it means you can pee with the door open and invite one another into deeper spiritual maturity, just by showing up and being real.

These are the kinds of people I choose: the audaciously honest, the resilient, the kind and self-aware.  People who make bonfires of their lives: glowing generously from the inside out, whose warmth draws the world in, and whose love sometimes takes the form of Beyoncé memes.

 

 

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Let me tell you about you.

I spent most of the day going through images from years ago I honestly never thought I’d touch again, and remembering how, when most of them were taken, I wished I’d done something with them to honor them.

Mendocino Photographer | Morgan Wade

But, as with all things: timing is everything. I can see those images from years ago with eyes and a heart that know something about those moments now that I couldn’t have possibly known then.

This is one of those images, from a hike in Mendocino after camping in the rain. I’m happy to see myself as I was then: imperfect, with bed head and delighted with the simplicity of being in an old, wise forest with someone I love. I love knowing that these things (and all true things) remain timeless.

I think so often, we don’t really see ourselves.  If we’re fortunate and have taken good care of ourselves, we tend to be surrounded by people who will remind us that we could do to be kinder to ourselves; we are frequently less lovely in our own eyes than in the eyes of the people around us.

They who are tireless in their reflections of our beauty and goodness are steady mirrors; they are the tenacious few whom we are graced with who have the gift of standing far enough in their own space to see and know us clearly — while remaining close and tender enough that we are able to share true vulnerability.

But I think it’s important to practice witnessing ourselves, too, and with deep love.  To be shameless in our self-approval, acknowledgement of our goodness, and the tribulations our souls have witnessed.  To stand back the way a dear friend might, and say, “Y’know, you’re kind of amazing.  Sit back and listen while I tell you about you.”

 

 

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