Monday, August 13, 2012

A Piece of Me


Because of a family illness, it was necessary for me to fly to Pennsylvania the weekend before last and be there until mid-week. The weekend that just passed saw me in Indianapolis for another family outing, this one more fun. The three days that I was home, I knew I'd be caring for my granddaughter during the day. To say my head was spinning in a crazy attempt to conjure up a post for today would not be the slightest exaggeration. To say that I was being wildly successful would be an outright fib. So I seriously considered asking my Life Sisters (as we call ourselves) to find a substitute for me today.

My Life Sisters. Yes. When I emailed them to tell them the reason for my trip and that I would likely be "out of the loop" for a few days, their responses were warm, caring, heartfelt, supportive. Mind you, these are nine gals I've never met but who are nonetheless like sisters to me. How did this happen? Well, it just so happens that I have a theory. (This and one dollar will get you a Coke at McDonald's.)

We all "met" by sharing our photos and comments with one another in online classes and forums. This allowed us to see one another at the very core of our creative centers ... we saw one another's hearts. When we share our art we're making ourselves vulnerable, sharing pieces of ourselves. To know that other photographers out there "get us" is to blend together the very essence of our creativity. Only by making ourselves vulnerable can we find love and acceptance. This is true not only in photography, but in life.

When we share our photos and our posts with you, we're sharing pieces of ourselves with you. Sharing a self-portrait is quite possibly the most threatening thing a photographer can do, nothing makes you feel more vulnerable. When we do this, we hope very much that you'll "get it" and my guess is that if you're reading this post you do. YAY!!

We're so honored that you've chosen to be part of our FOL family. It gives us great joy when you spend a moment with us each day and when you share a piece of yourself  in the comments section and on our Flickr page. I have two assignments for you today, if you wish to accept them. Share a self-portrait on our Flickr page just for fun. It needn't be a full face photo like mine. It can be a close crop, a smile, an eye, your new pedicure ... just a piece of you. And also, while you're there, post some more wonderful "Barn" creations. You are rockin' this theme!

PS -  We ARE accepting new readers ... so if you like us, spread the word to your friends!


41 comments:

Deanna said...

Perfect, just darn right perfect!! You hit the nail on the head about us and what we are all about!! Big squeezie hug!!

AFishGirl said...

What a perfect way to start this day. Yes, what Deanna said, bingo, nail on the head. You really put into words the magic of the whole experience. I nod vigorously agreeing with every word you wrote. Yes, to the vulnerability, yes to the bravery. It reminds me of those trust exercises people do at workshops or retreats where you fall backwards and everyone's arms catch and hold you and help you afloat. Amen to the all of it, and to the heartfelt warmth of it all. Great post, Dotti. I'll get a self portrait rolling and keep looking for a barn... big hug from Seabright too!

leigh said...

Amen sista! Such great words that ring so true. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's self portraits. It's so difficult to turn the camera inward, but so much easier when you have a loving community around you. Beautiful photo of you!

heyjudephotography said...

Well Dotti, you could not have said it any better! This is such an amazing post. As AFishGirl said above, "you have put into words the magic of the whole experience." So proud to be one of your Life Sisters! :)

Kim Stevens said...

Oh Dotti, I'm feeling a little teary. . . yes this is such a wonderful post and the essence of what this blog is about. I'm so honored and humbled to be part of this journey with all of you! XO (And I love your P.S.)

Oh and P.S.-there is a reason you didn't have another post written, this was it!

Terri Porter said...

Oh, Dotti, what a wonderful post to wake up to on a Monday morning, not to mention your smiling face! I often think how amazing it is that the ten of us are so close without having met each other, how we share our lives and ourselves with not only each other but with our readers on a daily basis. But being with people who you know "get" you is such a freeing thing, makes you want to be open and vulnerable and not afraid to do so. I would never have believed this would all have been possible if I hadn't experienced it and I hope our readers can see and feel the "realness" here and begin to feel they "know" us as well. I feel blessed every day for all of my "Life Sisters" and that we have created this place of acceptance and understanding for ourselves as well as our readers. Yes, it is truly "magic"!

Robyn Greenhouse said...

I only have brothers, and live in a household of all males, if I don't count my 2 dogs, so I think you all are so fortunate to have found each other!

Cathy H. said...

A beautiful post, Dotti!! And such a beautiful lady your are!!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Im glad you are home and back to your life w/ you doll of a granddaughter. She is so blessed as well as we are.

I am looking forward to cute photos from our readers. Nice post.

Hugs.
claudia

Linda said...

(sniff) love you Dotti!

xo,
Linda

Dotti said...

Deanna - I think it was you who really helped me understand this, in that magic Picture Winter class that we all did together.

xo
:-D

Dotti said...

Thank you, Pam! It's so wonderful to know that you "get" us and I'm so tickled that you're part of our FOL circle. You bring us joy!

xo
:-D

Dotti said...

Leigh - I'm right there with you! I hope I don't cry at this big meet up!!

:-D

Dotti said...

Judy - I'm so happy that we got you on board ... a perfect fit!

:-D

Dotti said...

Thank you, Kim! This is a phenomenal journey and experience and I'm so glad you're right here along side me.

xo
:-D

Dotti said...

You're so right, Terri. More than anything I hope our readers can feel the love we share and become part of it. It will only get better!

:-D

Dotti said...

Well, Robyn, I was happy you're part of our FOL family before but knowing you're in a male-dominated family, I'm even more thrilled to have you throw your lot in with us! So glad we found one another.

:-D

Dotti said...

Thank you, Cathy! And you are one of the reasons FOL has this special dynamic. I love having you share this journey with us.

xo
:-D

Dotti said...

Thank you, Claudia. So lovely to be home. I missed you all when I was "out of the loop"!

:-D

Dotti said...

Love ya back, Linda!

xo
:-D

Natalie DeLuca said...

Dotti, I really loved your post.
Could you please tell me how to post a self portrait?

terriporter said...

Natalie, I'm popping in here to answer your question in case Dotti doesn't see it for a bit. Just go to our Flickr group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/focusingonlife/ and post your self-portrait. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Dotti said...

Hi, Natalie! You will need a Flickr account if you don't have one and it's free. You can upload to the group during the upload photo process by typing in the name or after you upload your self-portrait to your photostream, hop on over to the link Terri gave you (or click on the highlighted blue "Flickr" in the post) and choose "Add Photos". Your Flickr stream will appear on the right and you click on the photo(s) you wish to add. Looking forward to seeing you!

:-D

Carol said...

There's your beautiful kisser! If I may generalize, I think you guys write the very BEST prompts when you have no ideas! I loved Steph's vacation blank out and I love this no-time-to-deal prompt! What fun!I tried to upload a composition that shows the complete me!

Carol said...

Are you kidding? I've been crying all week at the Mom's ads in the Olympics, and I don't even know those people! Can you imagine our meeting???????I haven't got a chance!

Carol said...

OK Robyn - we'll be addressing you as "sister" , and telling you to "go girl" from now on.....

Carol said...

I can't wait to see you!

Carol said...

And BTW, I agree with everyone above. I would never have imagined all of my wonderful friends sprouting from such a solitary hobby! But your right - it's the kindred spirits, the expression of your true self in your work. Well, I won't even go on because you have already said it perfectly. But I truly love all of you even tho we've never met. (crazy huh?) I'm so grateful for this experience! Never say no to a new experience!

Maria said...

Beautifully said, Dotti! Love your photo.

Dotti said...

Aww, Carol! Gee, thanks! I'm so happy you're part of this team. And I'm so looking forward to the day when we meet in person. Until then sending you a virtual hug ...

xo
:-D

Dotti said...

So kind of you to say so, Maria! I'm so glad you stopped by today and took the time to comment.

:-D

Dotti said...

Hmmmm ... maybe I'll just wait until Sunday evening to write my posts from now on. Actually, this one was written while I was traveling using the "Notes" app on my iPhone before I put it on the FOL site.

Natalie said...

Thank you Terri and Dotti.

Naomi said...

It's so true that we put ourselves "out there" on our blogs... our most personal and vulnerable selves. To be understood is the best gift to receive back from our readers. I definitely get what you are saying and am so happy I read your words today. :)

janel said...

What a heartfelt and honest post...connections are made in amazing ways...and the photography thread binds it all together. Thinking of you!

Marilyn said...

What a truly beautiful post, Dotti. Your photo is so authentic, I feel as if I can reach right through the screen and touch your heart Thanks for allowing yourself to be so vulnerable.

CarolHart said...

Lovely post Dotti. It is good to be reminded of just how magnificent we all are for putting ourselves out there.

kelly said...

dotti, this really hits home for me. i have had the wonderful opportunity to be part of some of these classes with you and many of the other ladies who have commented. and along the way on my journey with photography i have been the recipient of some of your lovely feedback. and the inspiration! my goodness. i remember the first BPC class i took (picture fall) and seeing your photos and thinking "now that's the kind of pictures i want to take!"

i believe the support and encouragement of this creative community has been a huge part of my learning curve. and given me the courage to really put myself out there and share my vulnerability in photos. it's a wonderful place you and the other ladies have created here. thank you for sharing it with all of us.

sherrygaley said...

Wonderful post, Dotti. You all have something special here in FOL!

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

Dotti, you have beautiful brown eyes. I've been enjoying your group blog.

Melinda said...

I have to say I am THRILLED to have found your blog! Some of you are MY AGE! Grandmas! I got here through a circuitous route- Texture Tuesday to the photographer that just was mentioned for her wonderful barn photo (already forgot her name- oops). I'm thoroughly enjoying all the photos and posts by your group- maybe I will join your Flickr group! Lovely blog!

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