When I was a little girl my father would close the house like a tomb. So silent and dark I could hardly breathe. A stage for music, cinema and slide shows without ever letting the world in. On an occasional warm Sunday he would open one curtain to run a small air conditioner. The sunshine would spill into the room settling into a steady flow. I would slide my little body underneath the ray of light, fan my hair onto the carpet, only to catch it, that ever so warm and decadent feeling... Pulling at each strand, carefully combing with my fingers and counting the gold and red highlighted waves that would glisten from my dark mane... A youthful form of self adoration only beset to a child. I would reach up to the stream of slow moving dust particles just above my head gently poking and changing their path as I drift into a daydream with my father asleep in his easy chair only two feet away. The hum of the forced air would lull me to sleep and sweep me away from my siesta ritual.
All my life I never stopped reaching for the light. It was always there to bend it, to flirt with, to paint it... like an old friend. I will always be a lover to its illumination. To consider it a benevolent gift to give and one to be had. Just one very long day ago a dear friend, gentle and new, found me in a dark place... my eyes swollen with tears my head throbbing with pain. I don't know where she came from, she must have been an angel because she took me in her arms from the unknown and promised me light in the morning. A gesture I hold in my heart.
I've come to realize that light can be fleeting, for one to forever chase.
There to warm you from within... To shed all possibilities and at the same time perpetually breeding new life. I'm no stranger to what people think of me. Warrior is not the word that comes to mind for some... Perhaps, a sensitivity that can often be misunderstood, a sentimentalist at best. However, I like to think that strength comes from places far more complex than most people realize.
Noted photographer Joyce Tenneson's exemplifies the spiritual and visual aspects of a woman's life and her direct and indirect relationship with the light in her book 'Light Warriors'. "what fascinates me is life's complexities, the darkness as well as the light." Perhaps we are drawn to people as we are the illumination of light. The imagery she puts forth is quite strong and one can't helped but be moved by the portraits of these remarkable women who give themselves over to you. I know what draws me to people, the wonder of that person the way in which I was stirred and forever touched. I believe some people are like fireflies... they just aren't meant to be caught they illuminate you from within. That's why I know I will always reach for a source of light...of wonder and ultimately. . . well. . . the possibilities are endless don't you think?
All photography by, Joyce Tenneson
Written for Imeem, May 20, 2009.