Winter Solstice. Connectivity. Balance. Peace.
I began the day by setting the water for coffee, preparing my son’s breakfast & lighting a candle. I burned a bit of sage as well, walking around & smudging the house. We moved into this home in March of this year. I was elated to shift to the home’s specific type of spaciousness & historic quirks as well as the very walkable, leafy & busy neighborhood. As I write this, I pause to survey the space around me- memories accompanying many pieces of furniture we have carried with us through multiple & distant moves as well as many items newly acquired right here in Connecticut. All must go as we prepare to move overseas, back to Europe, a move we have been waiting to set in motion for years.
2016 has felt in some ways like so many moving pieces & for our family, on a very personal level, there has been a great deal of uncertainty that we are very hopeful to see shaken up as the year turns. I won’t quite believe any move is happening until we are at the terminal checking in next year, the long laundry list of ‘to-do’ items (selling & giving away items, closing accounts, address changes, preparing animals for flight, securing accommodations at destination, etc etc etc…) is behind us & a new list of to do items unfolds before us…..
A key theme for me this year has been about connectivity & balance. I sometimes joke that I should probably work with social media in some professional capacity & it’s true. I have so much communication & social connective energy & I have known for a long time it would be productively used in a capacity like that. On a personal level it can become overwhelming to constantly share (as some of us are compelled to) on various platforms, particularly when it may involve so many different realms of life. I am always thrilled to be able to easily share travel & family posts with other family & friends as well as the joys of motherhood & times with my son. I also greatly value social media as a very powerful & relevant tool for advocacy work & of course I enjoy using it for my photography, as I did from almost as soon as I began freelancing in 2011.
But for multiple reasons, by Summer of this year, I knew I needed to take a break. It felt incredible to walk away from & close down some accounts, not because I didn’t like them (in fact it was the social media accounts that I liked & used the most that I shut down) but because I felt the day & more importantly my attention would become more expansive without using them for a time. I stopped thinking of every moment as worth of a FB or Instagram post (as sign, to me, of addiction).
Disconnecting from so much use led to not only a rewiring of my focus but also communication patterns & habits. In this ‘Fire Monkey’ year, by Summer my key focus was perhaps very much about working with my ‘Monkey Mind’ & changing my way of relating to people in order to create more harmony in relations, my mind & life. Disconnecting encouraged me to sink into the intimacy & love of my family even more. I became closer to my writing, my cooking & was reminded that photography, for me, is as much a craft of seeing as it is an art to share.
This month I returned to using social media more & the connectivity feels wonderful. But I also know this is because months of disconnect in one realm led to enhanced connection in others, allowing me to find a balance within which there is greater peace.
To the Light
To the Dark
Winter Solstice 2016