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To Photograph a Morning

Living with a disabling condition is full of its own brand of challenges. I have dreams. I have goals and gifts I want to share with the world. It’s hard to do all that I want to do when my body demands so much rest.

Imagine that you just simply want to make yourself a cup of tea but your body is so weak and fatigued that even that simple act feels like walking an uphill mile with 100 pounds strapped to your back. It’s exhausting. Some days I don’t have the strength to get out of my pajamas.

So I take my joy where I can find it and I use my body carefully on things that bring me joy. I relish the days when I can go for a simple walk without my legs giving out or my body collapsing from shortness of breath.

On an August morning last summer, I awoke at 4 am. That’s pretty normal for me and I’ve learned that it’s easier for me to shop when the stores aren’t crowded.

So I found myself on my way to a 24-hour store at dawn. The sunrise captured my attention! It made me think of my dad and our many outings to capture nature in stunning photographic beauty. My dad passed away in 1996. He was many things to me:
my sometimes abuser and hated enemy
my childhood entertainer with magic tricks and funny stories
my fellow philosopher on this strange ride called life as we shared moments of rich discussion on life, happiness, mythology, and spirituality
my photography teacher
my friend

He put my first camera in my hands when I was four years old. I loved that little pony camera. Photography became an important part of healing our relationship and remained an important part of my life until my first divorce. My creative woman shut down and died for many years after that.

I eventually regained some of my photographic enthusiasm, though never with the same vigor I enjoyed on those childhood summer outings with dad. I was the creative genius and he the technical guru. I would tell him what I wanted to accomplish with a particular shot. He would tell me what f-stop I should use, etc. Together, we created beauty.

As the sun rose and thoughts of my dad drifted through my mind, I drove back to the house to grab my camera. Thinking of my dad with every frame, I recaptured some of the joy I found with him. I hope you enjoy what we created together on that hot August morning. Thank you, dad, for everything. I still create beauty in your name.


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