Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Exactly One Year Ago...

By Carol H.
I traveled to an Oasis in the desert. A gathering of women who use a camera to express thought and feeling, to share a moment of beauty, to elevate the everyday. It was a 5-day ‘camp’ hosted by Shutter Sisters. I had only discovered them a few months before, but the words and imagery on their website touched my heart. When they announced Camp Oasis at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, I knew I had to go. I knew of some of the women who would be there through e-courses and social media sites, but I’d never met any of them face to face. Normally that would have been enough to deter me from going – but not this time. I knew I would be there.



And I was. It was a profound experience that my words fail to describe, which is why I have not written about it before now. It wasn’t about photography, though we did take a lot of pictures. It was more a gathering of souls that spoke the same language. Our eyes gazing upon one another, with open hearts and gentle smiles. We were patient and kind to one another with mutual understanding.


At the time I didn’t realize that experience would mark the beginning of a transition for me. The women I met there were inspiring and their work continues to touch my soul. Some of the women I met would become my Life Sisters right here on this very blog where I have had the honor of being a regular contributor.

My photography has evolved as well with my heart and my eye learning to sync with one another. I still struggle with my writing, crossing out this word or that phrase, but there are more moments of clarity these days.

The Shutter Sisters organization has experienced a transition as well. The group has joined forces with The Cameramen to form Our Collective, and a new chapter has begun. And this is fitting because life moves forward and change is inevitable. We need to embrace the change and trust in the mystery that lies ahead. But…

Those of us who were there know that we had an experience. We had a moment in time that was larger than us all, yet each and every one of us were a key ingredient to that magic.

We were
Beautiful.
We were
Kindred Spirits.
We were
S H U T T E R  S I S T E R S

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Our Theme this month is Fall and all of you have been posting some absolutely breathtaking pictures of this beautiful season. Please continue to post to the Focusing On Life Flickr pool and remember to share your mobile photography images on our Phoneography Flickr site.





11 comments:

kelly said...

carol, how beautiful. i did not go, but i can only imagine what a special time this was. i love how you described it..." a gathering of souls that spoke the same language." thank you for sharing.

Dotti said...

Yes, yes, yes! You said it so well! My feelings prior to the trip mirror yours: I'd only known some of these people online, I'd never actually met one of them, not even the Life Sisters who were there. But I swallowed my fears and made the trip and Oh. My. Gosh! It's exactly as you said: Kindred hearts and minds met in that little hotel in Palm Springs and you felt like you'd known those gals forever. Just the other day, I was marveling that it had only been a year since I actually met and hugged Terri ... but I feel like we've been friends forever. And now I feel that way about all my Life Sisters ... and each and everyone of our readers. We. Are. Family. {Now you can all go around singing that song all day long!} :-D

Linda said...

Yes, Carol! It was such a magical time. I can't believe I was actually there! I watched it all unfold before me and it has stayed with me and continues to impact me! It was wonderful to meet so many online friends! And make new friends! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and helping me relive those wonderful memories!

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

I know it had to be a corner turner for all. If there ever is a next time, I will be there. (Your writing is just fine, I struggle with that too.)

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

Carol, I must ask you, how did you transform the cover of your ipad?

terriporter said...

How wonderful to get a chance to relive this magical time through your post, Carol! I know what you mean about not being able to write about it before now. It was an experience that was so hard to put into words for all of us but you have done a wonderful job doing just that. I tried and tried to explain it all to friends when I returned but never felt like I really captured the essence of what it was. Your words about it being "a gathering of souls that spoke the same language" come closest. One of my favorite memories was from the first night when I recognized you and introduced myself. That led to your joining us here at FOL which has been a gift to all of us as well as our readers. Thank you for bringing back such wonderful memories with both your photos and your words. And I am asking the same question that Roxi asked -- how did you transform your iPad cover? :-)

Viv@within the Frame said...

Wow such an uplifting experience, it was one of those moments you will never forget and I think we all wish to have one of those moments.

CarolHart said...

For those who are curious about how I altered the iPad cover shown in the picture above, I simply used acrylic paints applied with a wet brush, then used baby wipes to blot up the excess. Then used gel medium to apply some decorative tissue paper here and there, and rubber stamping using Stazon permanent ink pad. I also hand wrote a couple of phrases using a simple ink pen. That's it!

Sarah Huizenga said...

What an amazing experience, something I would love to experience someday.

Katie said...

what a time you must've had. i've always been curious about such a gathering. maybe one day . . .

Karin said...

You are crazy talented, Sister! I dream of attending Oasis someday. XO, Karin

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