Tonight my little night owl was once again trying to sneak into my makeup at bedtime when she was supposed to be brushing her teeth. Ahem. Any other night I would have said something grumpy and dragged her away from it. But tonight I looked at her and I couldn't, didn't want to say no. I scooped her up and sat her down on the bed and proceeded to put her hair up and put makeup on her. She sat very still for me (pretty amazing for a 2-year-old) smiled and chattered away at me in her little sing-song voice, and just generally enjoyed the hell out of the experience. (So did I.)
Then she wanted to look in the mirror. I watched her engage with her reflection, smiling coyly and giggling. I realized just how great the light was, and (after setting her down on the floor) I ran to get my camera.
"Look Mom, it's meeeee!"
It was so magical for me, watching her. She was pure joy, pure enjoyment. She doesn't look in the mirror and see flaws, as I so often do. The idea of "me" is so new to her, she's still in awe of it. Self-awareness without self-consciousness. When she says, "I'm Arya!" it's with an excitement that carries with it the suggestion of, "Isn't that GREAT!?" It's not pride or arrogance, just..... joy. As if she truly cannot imagine what could be better than just being Arya.
There was also an element of the surreal inherent in watching her interact, face to face, with herself. The experience was so obviously an intense and very REAL one for her. And one that she delighted in.
This was an accident, actually, but I am trying to allow myself into my work a little more, so.... baby steps, right? I like all the layers in it... she's looking at me, but through the lens. I'm looking at the reflection of her in the mirror, through the lens. Her reflection is looking at mine. And round and round ;)
I can't really say much about this one except that when I opened it up on my computer, I instantly burst into tears.
I feel like I'm waking up more every day. Sometimes that heightened sensitivity is so raw that it really hurts, but somehow when I start shooting, it's like the whole world falls quiet and time stands still for me. I think maybe.....it's because I can't doubt where I am in my life, or what I'm doing, or worry about the future, when I'm standing there and the light is just so and the beauty of it fills me up....I'm so happy to be there, right then. It's perfect, it's everything I want. I can't doubt anything, because... look at this perfect moment happening in front of me! And what a gift, this thing we call a photograph--- to be able to hold onto that feeling, or even let someone else feel it..... all by freezing it at the right moment, and showing how the light was just so.