The other evening as I was driving down a country backroad on my way home from a shoot, I passed by a little marsh right after the sun had dipped below the horizon. It was beautiful… stunning, really… and the conversation that so often goes on in my head began:
- Me: “I should stop and take a picture of that…”
- Other Me: “Seriously. Your kids are at home waiting for you and there’s a decent chance they’ll be eating graham crackers and sugar cereal if you don’t get there quick and figure out dinner…”
- Me: “True. But it’s just amazing. The color! The reflection!”
- Other Me: “Do you think you can just stop and take a picture of every pretty little thing you see??? You have grown-up responsibilities, girl!”
- Me: “True story. Who has time for that kind of silliness? No one, that’s who.”
I ignore that last little plea ninety-nine times out of a hundred, and (as usual) Other Me was literally begging me to keep driving and get myself home to all The Things, I did what any girl on a newfound quest for her own creative soul would do:
I hit the brakes, did a three-point turn, and started back up that empty country road.
When I got back to the place where my schitzophranic conversation began, my heart swelled with inspiration and joy… the sky was still ablaze and the marsh doubled the impact with it’s wavy reflection. I grabbed my camera, scrambled out of the car, and parked myself at the top of the little bank above the cattails. I shot a few frames, switched lenses, shot a few more… then sat in the wonder of it all until the entire sky turned deep, dark blue and the stars began to appear, one by one.
By the time I got home, the kids were in their p.j.’s, fed (didn’t ask what…) and snuggled up with Jonathan watching the Cubbies take down St. Louis. No one had really even missed me. Not really.
But I came home renewed and restored, having soaked up something so glorious that I felt I’d seen a glimpse of the throne of God. I laid in bed that night, heart beating, thinking about what had happened… pondering the value of listening to the voice that begs us to explore our creativity & passions. The voice that tells us to turn around. The one that says, “Yes… your responsibility to others, to life… it’s all important. But please, for the love of all things holy and beautiful, don’t forgot your responsibility to your soul.”
And who knows better than you what it’s asking for?
PS… If case you’re interested, here are some books that have been instrumental in my recent pursuit of creativity (Disclaimer: all the books are linked to our affiliate account, meaning a small percentage of the resulting purchases goes back to our business… but obviously I’ve read and LOVE them all or I wouldn’t be sharing!):
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (This is an amazing book for everyone… photographer or not. We are ALL creative and this woman can prove it!)