A Weekend of Dualities: Freedom and a Free Spirit

This weekend, a duality exists. We remember those who have given the most precious gift, their own life, so that we may know the greatness of freedom. At the same time, we revel in the glories of a free spirit that summer evokes. So, I began to think of those places where we gravitate to freely connect, rest and renew – those spaces/experiences which ground and enliven us.

Last weekend, I photographed at a Bar mitzvah. Not being Jewish, this was a completely new experience for me. As we were doing the portraits, the Rabbi brought out the Torah (the five book os Moses). He held it to his heart, laid it out and unrolled the sacred parchment scrolls. One is not permitted to touch the scrolls in reverence for the word of God, a pointer, called a “yad” (meaning “hand” in Hebrew) is used. There are those spaces where we go to drink in the stillness, to follow rituals of reverence and tradition. We have the freedom to be able to choose different paths, enter different thresholds to connect with something larger than ourselves.

This weekend, I was out on the water kayaking with good friends…laughing, relaxing and doing that universal “Summer is finally here” dance! The freedom to sleep in and stay up late. The freedom to come and go and happily this weekend, it was under sunshine!

For others, they felt drawn to connect with a father, mother, sister or brother to place a flag on the sacred ground and reach down to touch the dirt in order to get as close as possible. Wondering at times if their loss was worth it…for all our freedoms, I join my voice with so many others giving heartfelt thanks.

Memorial Day

While at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, all visitors are asked to observe complete silence. Silence is such a powerful tool in that it asks one to draw the experience inward without trying to search for words to speak.  I was very grateful that was required because there were no words in my vocabulary that could ever convey the depth of that experience. I sit here in silence and remember my father, my uncle, my friends and all who put the freedom and safety of others before their own…there are no words.