Yeah. It’s hard work.
After sitting with the word for a month, I felt as though I needed to do something with the word. I’m an introvert. I don’t do things to call attention to myself. I much prefer to be on the sidelines. You know—just kind of blend in and let everyone else be the spokespersons.
But then, I had to DO something. I mean, the call is there, and I have to answer it. I have to be put myself forward and be in the spotlight for a bit. I have to “take chances; get messy,” as Ms. Frizzle encourages her science students in the Magic School Bus series on TV and in the books.
My first real dare to accept is to write and promote a photography curriculum. I am in the midst of that now. It’s called ReFrame: The Thin Places. It is contemplative in nature rather than technical. I’m not teaching anyone how to take better photographs, but rather how to “live in” the process of making images, of receiving the gifts the world has to offer—when we take time to see. Christine Valters Paintner calls this seeing with the eyes of the heart.
And as I take this dare, I find that I am reluctant. No, that’s not right. I’m just plain scared witless! The procrastination habit kicks in, and I find that I would prefer to vacuum floors, clean bathrooms, wash dishes, do the laundry, sweep the kitchen, clean out and organize the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom closets, go to the dentist/doctor/mammographer, etc, than write the curriculum for this class! (I hope I am not the only one who has this kind of crazy going on internally!)
In the end, though, the “dare” comes back, and I find myself drawn to that corner of the couch next to the window where I can see the birds at their feeders, see the pond in the back yard, listen to the wind chimes, and pull out my notebook and begin to plan and write. The camera calls me to pick it up and use it. And I accept the dare and take it on—until the fear and anxiety and reluctance to put myself out there for the world to see kicks in. Then, I will take five deep breaths and hold the oxygen in my lungs for a bit, allow “spirit” to enter, and take on the dare once more.
Join me for a journey to find our thin places where heaven and earth come close. I am offering ReFrame: The Thin Places, a free contemplative photography class on the Teachable website. You can join the ReFrame school and the Thin Places class here. I look forward to meeting you in the classroom!