And so it begins. The next chapter opening before me like a flower in bloom. I am calm. My usual state of letting my mind run on over drive, hyping up the rest of me, is strangely absent. I am focused. I am ready. Calmly waiting for it all to begin. Here’s to the rest of my life. Living, loving, with grace.
I am blessed to have shared many conversations lately, with people, about people. Especially about my love of finding out things about people you could/would never have guessed upon your initial meetings and sometimes even well beyond that. Things you don’t even know about people you’ve known for some time. I love the fact that we are all a kaleidoscope of life – lives even. Some we show to some and some we show to others and some we keep only for ourselves.
It is one of the main reasons I love photography. Being able to tell a visual narrative of (an aspect of) someone’s life. To select what you think best visually tells a particular person’s story. To all of my friends reading this, be prepared to receive a phone call from me in the not too distant future to ask you to allow me to document an aspect of you and your life. Please say yes.
We are all connected. We all share stories. It is how we know who we are.
All images Copyright Ketakii Jewson-Brown.
I am going to study full-time next year. (Finishing a course I started over 10 years ago). I am a mother of two small children. My husband is a musician. How am I going to manage? I have no f-ing clue. All I know is that I
really REALLY want to do this. My brain has been craving stimulation on an academic level since I knew that I was pregnant first time round. I realised then that I would soon be a mum and not a uni student who worked in a bar in Fitzroy, Melbourne. I was soon to be trading in intellectual thought-provoking debates for delighted squeals about poo and getting a good attachment on my right side using the “football hold”. I was now a watcher of day time TV. The only other time in my life when I watched daytime TV was in high school when I chucked a sickie and sat all day on the couch glued to the box. (We weren’t allowed much TV time as children so when the chance came I took it, firmly, and milked it).
I am a young mum by today’s standards. I was 25 when Lalita was born. I was still searching for what I REALLY wanted to do with the rest of my life. Sure I’d traveled – but by no means enough. Sure I’d partied – but I wasn’t completely sick of it yet. We found out about our bun in the oven 2 days after we were married. Jeez Louise! So any plans I had seemed to change in an instant. Not bad, just different to the timeline I had arranged in my head. We adapted. Steepest learning curve I’ve ever been dealt. Also the most rewarding. Like a good uphill climb, you’re puffed and your legs ache but you feel AMAZING!
After traveling around Australia in a van for close to a year (we left Melbourne when Lalita was 8 months old) we settled out of the city and away from all of our friends not yet having kids or even remotely thinking about it, and discussed number 2. (No, not in the toilet sense). Kioni was born when Lalita was 2.5 years old. My sister-in-law worded me up about the first year of 2 children being close to a living hell…… and despite lots of great times and little snippets of bliss it pretty much was. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture. I tried hard to remind myself of this often. Like when the dishes and the state of house in general would make me break down in tears from the sheer thought of having to try to do something about it. My other mantra was that this too shall pass…. this had less of a calming effect generally. I think because when you’re in it, it never feels like you’re going to be anywhere else. EVER. It’s amazing that as soon as you have no time for anything you get this drive to follow through with every idea (creative mostly in my case) you have ever had since kindergarten. Problem being that you can’t. You have 2 children who are wholly and solely dependent on you for their survival. AAAARRRGGGHHHHHH. I did my own head in so many times over that year, that when my 2 beautiful daughters started actually playing together I was too distracted to notice the 10 minutes of silence before it was all over. Lalita hitting Kioni over the head with a (paperback) copy of “When I’m Feeling Jealous”. Apt much?!
But those periods of silence started to increase, both in length and frequency. There was a small pin prick of light and the end of that very dark tunnel. And almost with every day that passed after Kioni turned 1 that light source got bigger and bigger. Kioni is almost 3. I have been harbouring this need to finish my course for close to 5 years now. I am ready. Even if I don’t know how to be. Said in the loud American accent of my sister-in-law Steph ” I’m getting it done!” Wish me luck. Or offer to babysit should the need arise. : )
“trust in the universe. manifest miracles. flavour fate. design destiny. choose your own adventure” – Ketakii Jewson-Brown
Today I am grateful. Actually most days, when I give myself time to reflect, I find myself truly grateful for many things. It is amazing how quickly you can transform your mind out of a negative downward spiral when you began to acknowledge those “things” in life that you are grateful for. It is one of the best ways to attract abundance into your life – realising your life is already abundant, perhaps just in ways you hadn’t given yourself time to pause and reflect upon.
Joy is inside you. Not in the attainment of things desired, nor in the achievement of goals made, but in the simple feeling that lies within you. Know that this joy is unaffected by outer circumstance and joy will be yours forever. – Author Unknown
My sister-in-law is American. Today for her (and many other Americans) is a special day. Thanksgiving. One of the few American celebrations we Australians have not yet adopted. I think it is a really nice thing to have a celebration for all that you’re grateful for. Especially in our modern society where so much gets taken for granted. I am a vegetarian, so no turkey for me. But in its place I will be partaking in a whole lotta gratitude! Stephanie Noah (she’s my sister-in-law) I hope you have a fantastic Australian thanksgiving celebration and let me tell you now how grateful I am for having you in my life and for the sacrifices you have endured to live so far away from your land of birth to be with the one that you love. Big ups girlfriend! You rock!
So here is a quick list of some of the myriad of things that I am über grateful for………… love, health, my kids, my AMAZING friends and their beautiful families, the supportive community of Maleny in South East Queensland, Australia, the internet, my husband and his musically talented ways (you can check him out here if you’re feeling a tad curious), Africa and the connection I have to that place in all of its dysfunction and glory and unrelenting happiness, good coffee, the recent rain that took our tank from a slush pile of leaves to a lush reserve of water for our daily use, the ocean, photography – without which the creativity would not have a visual way out, poetry, and those who read it, the blog sphere my newest addiction, chocolate, myself and my ability to be an absolute idiot and not give a rat’s ass (this is somewhat dependent on the company I’m in but I’m working on that not being a factor).
That’ll do for now otherwise it may never end.
Let us reflect on what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives and set our priorities on the basis of that. – Author Unknown
Go and write down 10 “things” that you are grateful for. My bet is that you will easily find more than 10. Big love x
Morning observations –
Few people shower
As soon as they wake when camping
Husband still sleeping
After a night of silence
Though I reckon his mind was on overdrive
I put mine to bed
Well before he his.
Our last day
The sun is beaming
Much earlier than it has been
We can blame the lack of clouds for that.
I have learned to enjoy cups of tea
That are no longer hot.
It’s just life. Evocative and evolving” Clarissa Pinkola Estes
The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker, reconnoitring, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes” – Susan Sontag, On Photography
The Delight Of Seeing is a fantastic photographic blog with posts of everything and anything photographic. Amazing source of information and more importantly, inspiration.
The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera” – Dorothea Lange
Who also is quoted saying:
For me documentary photography is less a matter of subject and more a matter of approach. The important thing is not what’s photographed, but how….. My own approach is based upon three considerations. First – hands off! Whatever I photograph I do not molest or tamper with or arrange. Second – a sense of place. Whatever I photograph I try to picture as part of its surroundings, as having roots. Third – a sense of time. Whatever I photograph I try to show as having its position in the past or in the present. But beyond these three things, the only thing I keep in mind is that – well, there it is, that quotation, pinned up on my darkroom door:
The contemplation of things as they are
without error or confusion
without substitution or imposture
is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
– Francis Bacon
Magnum Photo Essays– Beautiful and dramatic photographic narratives.David Birkin – Hold – One of many of his stirring photographic essays.