What IF. . . .

This morning, I made my creamer with a little coffee (you see, while I like the way coffee smells, I don’t really enjoy the coffee flavor, so I add LOTS of creamer and flavored syrups and honey), and I sat in my corner of the couch where I can see the bird feeders and the birds. I picked up one of my favorite fountain pens and my nearly full journal to write my morning pages. Last year, I made a commitment to myself that I would follow through with three handwritten pages a day, and I can honestly say that, for the most part, I have maintained that commitment. Most of the time, my morning pages are just drivel, but, as Julia Cameron discusses in her book The Artist’s Way, as well as in other books, those morning pages sometimes lead me to nail down some rather vague ideas. Or at least, the writing brings out and makes concrete some things that are floating in my brain, capturing them and forcing me to scaffold them.

And that’s where I am this morning. I woke earlier than usual, started writing earlier than usual. I know I need to concentrate on the third prompt in my ReFrame Pilgrimage series. I think I know the direction it should take, but that’s not where my morning pages directed me today. I found myself daydreaming a little bit.

What if I turned these prompts into an in-person retreat for women who needed to reframe the way they see things?

And I began dreaming. . . .

I also read an article this morning, “25 Things Creative People Do Differently.” These articles are really a dime a dozen out there on the Internet, but sometimes, I need to read them again because they remind me that I’m not so screwy or zany after all. There were a couple of points that relate directly to this dream I’ve been contemplating.

The one that struck me:

They daydream. Creative people let their minds wander, and don’t ask any questions until later. They simply enjoy traveling to new lands and thinking up new concepts through their imaginations, and know that daydreaming can lead to the most profound, unparalleled ideas.

And that’s what I’m doing now, if you will allow.

I dream of a retreat

for women who love photography but who are not necessarily professional photographers.

For women who see the value of capturing the everyday in its good, bad, and ugly forms.

For women who want to see the beauty in everything.

Why a retreat? Why not just create this as an online retreat or a class or even write a book about it? The reason is simple: even though creative women like their solitude, they also crave community.

We want to be with other women who share our same ways of thinking, to connect with flesh and blood, to build a tribe who will support each other through the journey, to find others who will understand why we receive images through our lenses of bands of sunlight on black scarves hanging on door knobs, of images of aged ivory piano keys, of died roses long past their prime, of spider webs, stumps, peeled paint, or painted toe nails.

We want to share lives.

We want to learn new things.

We crave inspiration when our wells are dry and we feel empty.

We want to bring beauty into our lives, to learn to see through “new” eyes. Sometimes, we want affirmation that we are beautiful ourselves.

This is what I envision for my ReFrame Pilgrimage: A retreat to take us out of the ordinary so that we can re-enter into the extraordinary. A pilgrimage takes us out of our comfort zones for a time, but then returns us “home.” And the result is that we see “home” differently.

This is a ReFrame.

Will you join me?

By Olivia Fulmer

I am the OliviaIrene of OliviaIrene Photography. I am a photographer, a teacher, a story teller. I use this space to tell stories of life, family, and faith through words and images. I'd love to share your stories as well. Join me in this journey.

I love conversation, the close, intimate kind amongst friends. Won't you join me? I look forward to a good coze.

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