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Thursday, July 19, 2018

land and see 2018

How do I adequately put into words, what going to Land and See means to me? It's really hard to explain it all, but I'll try. 
For 3 days (5 for those that took the whole workshop), I was immersed into a world of photography, creativity, deep conversation, and real connection with other artists. It was an experience unlike anything I've done before. Something so far away from my regular every day. It was pretty damn amazing. 
On a practical level, I was able to work and learn along side some of my very favourite photographers. I was able to shoot one on one with a particular photographer, Joni Burtt, who I greatly admire. As well, I was able to collaborate with other photographers, and it was such an enriching experience. 
On an emotional level, it was quite a profound experience. For 3 solid days, I had the time to create, to be able to listen to other photographers, and just to be able to hear myself think. I was able to write notes about my ideas, things I wanted to remember, and not once was I interrupted. 
Going to Land and See is a gift to me, from my family. Winslow had to take time off from work, and we budgeted our limited resources so that I could go. The children, while sad I was going, were at the same time supportive and happy for me. It truly felt like this experience was a gift to me. 
It was a gift of time. A gift of opportunity. A gift to learn, to expand, to create. As I did 3 years ago, when I last attended, I felt such a huge amount of gratitude for this opportunity to go to Land and See. For some, this type of thing (professional development, workshops, education) is a regular/common type of occurrence, but for me, it is not- and I think, this I why I feel such an amount of gratitude for it all. 
It will likely be another 3 years before I attend Land and See again. The truth is, there are other things that I hope to do over the next few years- travel is one of the main ones. But this time that I had recently, is something that I hope to carry with me for a while to come. While I may not attend this specific workshop again, going to Land and See, helped to get me refocused in my goals (specifically towards photography) and I am going forward with new ideas. I'm excited to see what will come next. 
A selection of some of my images from my time at Land and See 2018, on Prince Edward Island. 

P.E.I. memories

Summer snippets...

Tents with twinkle lights, painting sea shells, camp fires, Mi' kmaq drummers and dancers, watching as many sunsets as we could dip into the ocean, seafood, making memories with family, splashing in the Atlantic, finding sea glass, a date night with hubby in North Rustico at the cutest seafood café, the sounds of waves crashing, heard from the tent at night time.

We had a beautiful time camping in P.E.I., at Cavendish NP with our Ottawa family (Winslow's side). It was just what we all hoped for. We wanted the kids to build beautiful memories together- and that is exactly what happened.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

for sarah

It's taken me a few weeks to gather my thoughts on what happened, when we received the sudden news that my sister was gravely sick. 
In less than 24hrs, we went from thinking that my sister Sarah, had acute pneumonia, to being told that she wasn't going to "make it" through the night, to being told that she had a very aggressive form of cancer. 
When we got this news, Winslow and I scrambled to get me a  flight out to Edmonton to see her. My sister and Dad found flights from Ottawa.  We didn't know if we'd make it in time. 
Upon getting there, we found her in such a scary state. In ICU she was hooked up to so many things, and we were truly scared for her (although tried so hard to hide it). 
I could only stay for 4 days to see her. It was painful to say goodbye, but I left with some peace of mind, knowing that we had time on our hands ... but just how much, we weren't exactly sure.
After 4 weeks of intensive treatment for Sarah, she received the good news that the chemo was working, and that the long term prognosis is good! It's going to be a long and hard road for her, with her treatment lasting at least 2 years, and follow up after that, but she has a second chance, and that is all that we can ask for! She is one of the strongest people I know. She has always had  a strong and determined mind, and I am certain that this is what is helping her fight this beast. 
Lately, I've been walking through my days, with an overly heightened sense of wanting to be present. While I've always considered myself to be a fairly present and grateful person, this experience has had me want to slow down and be in the now even more than ever. I feel like I owe it to Sarah, to truly feel the sun on my face, to smell those lilacs that are growing in my back yard, to make witness to my kids, friends, husband when they ask for me. 
My senses feel heightened, I want to take it in ... but I don't feel the pressure that I used to take it ALL in. I truly am enjoying this newfound permission to move slowly. Camera in hand, all expectations off, and taking in this glorious life (and that means all of it- the good and ugly) that has been gifted to me