a thousand words? Or do the stories we hold onto shape the narrative a lot more? My Mom always told me that as a newborn I possessed a striking resemblance to Winston Churchill. I can’t tell from the photo and I don’t actually really care. I find it funny. However, I’ve always held it to be the absolute gospel truth.
What other stories of greater consequence have I never questioned that I was told as a child?
Last week I was in South Dakota for a funeral and a wedding. In between those emotional events I found some time to drive back roads with my husband, see the stunning late August countryside and find some much needed quiet. I’m always reminded of how much the prairie landscape resides in my cells, bones and heart.
This landscape gives me clarity, helps me understand my choices and guides me back to my personal True North when I get off course a bit.
South Dakota is my interior geography, no matter where I am in the world.
Recently, I had to draw a compass at Courage Camp in Bristol, Rhode Island. I laughed at myself because the way I still figure out directions is to imagine I’m standing on the front porch of my childhood home. It’s there that I’m most confident in knowing my directions. (photo below)
Standing on the porch I know which direction the sun sets and how to get to Nebraska. With that knowledge, I can find my way most places.
I often think of my intrepid ancestral homesteaders who ventured West, uncertain of what they would find in the Dakota Territories. However, and more importantly, perhaps they knew they could handle whatever the prairie offered them.
I understand that now, at the tender age of 50, in a way I didn’t when I was younger. I don’t know what’s next, but I know I can count on my interior geography to help guide my way.
I’m taking my daughters and a friend to a benefit for the Vermont Women’s Fund tonight. We are viewing the film Dream, Girlabout women in entrepreneurship. Then we get the privilege of a Q & A with some bold, female leaders in our community.
I created these images today. I’m beyond compulsive about my South Dakota two-lane images. I’m all for a good creative obsession if it isn’t hurting anyone else. Here’s the Dorthea Lange quote I love. I wasn’t kidding.
“Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion… the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.”—Dorthea Lange
Today as I searched through my images I kept noticing shots with girls & women and shoes & boots…four of my favorites subjects. All of these girls and women possess character, strength and a certain moxie.