These photos were taken a month ago, when my deario and I took a walk through our woods on my birthday. Doug has learned how to take photos with my ipod, and I made a point to ask him to snap some pictures of me when he could during our walk. You see…I noticed that when my sons left home, the photos of me dwindled down to almost nothing.
It felt a bit strange not to be seen, or to have evidence of it, in any case.
Tho’ as I reflected on it, as a rosehip, one feels less “seen” in general. Without trying, it is an easy thing to find photos of young women in advertising and elsewhere and blogs are full of creative, lovely women in their thirties and early forties, usually surrounded by children…but there. If you are in the rosebud or full-blown rose period of life, there are lots of places to see other women like yourself. There are, of course, older women…women in mid-life…out there writing and blogging, but we don’t usually “see” much of them. And the older women we do see most often are highly-polished politicians and television personalities, or so it has seemed to me.
It’s a practical matter as much as anything, I know, because we are often home alone with no one to capture us (if only the hens could handle a camera!). But it is also a matter of confidence, I think, as we find fewer angles and lights that show us as we would like to be shown.
Even in this post, I am much more comfortable with the photos taken from the back. Yet it came to me sometime this winter that what I would like to see is more women my age in the midst of their days, their homes, their lives….their everyday lives. I love to visit Soulemama and Small Things to see that…tho’ there are naturally more photos of the children than the mamas. The human element is so important…and harder to come by at certain seasons of life. When I saw this post, and especially the next-to-the-last photo, I had a sudden longing for such a photo of myself…with my books and notebooks and light about me.
Wouldn’t it be beautiful to capture ourselves deep in the midst of pursuits we love, as we capture our children and other beloveds?
But of course, there are the worries…will people think I am narcissistic? Self-absorbed? Weird? Will it feel false and contrived? And especially, how vulnerable will I feel putting more photos of myself on the web for all to see? Photos that reveal more and more of my mother and father in my face to me, and how strange that feels at the moment?
A few months ago I wouldn’t have put up the last few photos in this post….I have some unease with sharing them. But I also was led to choose them. And these days, I am trying to go more with my heart and spirit and less with my mind. For months I have wanted to start a conversation about this…and make a start with towards manifesting, however imperfectly, these small seeds of becoming more real with myself, and with myself in the world.
This season of the earth coming back to life seems a felicitous time to begin…