I was sorting through mounds of countertop chaos from a family getaway. Piles of Christmas gifts and overdue library books and laundry (of course). Catching up and getting back into rhythm is never easy. We all know that. So there I was moving stuff from pile to pile more than actually putting things in their proper places, and I was stopped by an image of my son out of the corner of my eye. He was standing there staring, stunned. I followed his gaze to where baby sister was gleefully spreading hundreds of shiny, sparkly pieces meant for his birthday kaleidoscope project. She had found an opening in the small cellophane package and delightedly shook colors everywhere. A beautiful a mess. I reassured my son that I would take care of this. And then, rather than bemoaning the work that had just enlarged my task of chaos management, I picked up my camera and recorded my moment. I focused my attention on my little girl's innocent curiosity and love for beauty. At that time, that was all I saw, and it was enough to give me joy rather than sucking it from me. My perspective in that moment was pure and simple.
As I later looked more closely at the images, I saw a moment that reflected everything I've been sensing about this new year--about 2014. You see, I feel those tiny pieces of sparkly colorful paper are pieces and passions of my life. I've known for a while that they are beautiful and valuable in themselves, but they have never come together. I am ready for them to be put into a kaleidoscope that can transform them--with the help of a little light--into a beautiful, unified pattern. I am ready for my personality and my passions and my story to align into a collective vision that is clear enough to inspire me and give me the courage I need to walk confidently forward in it.
I have been wanting this ever since a year-and-a-half ago our family left our community and friends and sense of purpose in a little town in Uganda to return to America. I wanted everything to fall into place, but it didn't really do that. At the end of 2013 I felt more confused than ever. And then, less than a week ago, I began a photography class that brought me back to that longing for clear vision, and I feel now more than ever it lies just around the bend.
I have no doubt it will affect my photography and my home and my relationships. And I am excited. I am excited for my kaleidoscope.