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Week 13 // Frozen

Portrait_Week13

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Something incredibly deep happened with this week’s portrait. I honestly do not think I can put into words how this image goes straight to my core – and how shocked I am that it came out of me. As I got further into processing it today, I found myself with tears wilting down my cheeks at least a dozen times. There’s no doubt in my mind something outside of me was channeling through.

Quite often as I bring my images into the computer, a certain song begins to play in my mind. I normally don’t share the songs that accompany the images, but I felt very strongly compelled to share this one, so I hope you’ll listen as you soak it in and think of this song in the light of loss – where a life shared with someone so dear now often seems as though it were a dream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ44x0GnKh4

My idea was to capture the feeling of being trapped, frozen just on the other side of where life exists so lush. It is the feeling that my fiancé’s death gave me – being so completely surrounded by vibrant and beautiful life and being so unable to reach it or feel it. Essentially, for me, it is about navigating your daily life with an empty, haunting, deep pain that prevents you from experiencing the beauty right before you.

It is a feeling we will all experience at some point in our life – whether for years or fleeting moments. It might not even come from the death of someone we love. It might come from another darkness we are in that slowly freezes us below the surface just the same. Some of us might spend years here. Some of us might not ever make it out in our lifetime. It’s true. But here is one good thing I do know about this state…

Even in the hardest winters of your life – when you cannot feel a thing for how cold you have become and you feel as close to dead inside as possible – you are still alive. You are hibernating. And if used wisely, this can be a time which gives you incredible strength. A time in which you can come to know yourself to depths of which you have never known existed. And one day, there will come a moment when something will warm your life again. And when that day comes, you will be stronger. You will be wiser. You will be more deeply present to feel every touch and smell every scent of it. And it will be ten thousand times sweeter than anything you knew before the winter. I have known death. I have known abuse. I have known pain and darkness most of my life. And if there is one thing I know for certain, it is that life is always waiting just above the surface. Keep your eyes open and your heart fearless… your spring will come.

“Still, Life” is a year-long self portrait series about living on after loss. If you’re new to this project, you can read more about it in this post.
Please share
 with anyone who you feel can relate to the imagery, my hope is that it gives many others a visual for something they are going through in their own lives.

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Laurie #

    Beyond anything I’ve read that so completely describes what we are going thru. You are truly an artist. You have my deepest admiration and thanks for putting my (our) feelings into images and words.

    Laurie

    >

    Thursday, May 8, 2014
    • Laurie, My deepest wish is for anyone who is unfortunate enough to know such pains to see themselves in what I share. That means to the world to me. Thank you so much for your comment. Much love!

      Thursday, May 8, 2014
  2. Very moving Sarah, beautiful photography and a very eloquent and meaning post… I loved the addition of the haunting song!

    Thursday, May 8, 2014
  3. Incredibly powerful and profound in so many ways.

    Thursday, May 8, 2014
  4. So deep and profound, Sarah. Thanks for sharing.

    Thursday, May 8, 2014
  5. Thank you for your continued production. Producing is so important, and you’re making it look easy. I love the artist’s drive to produce, not because one wants to, but because one has to. Keep it up!

    Saturday, May 10, 2014
  6. Just saw this video about grieving and loss. At 7:40 someone spoke of photography as her means of processing grief.
    http://melissadaltonbradford.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/on-loss-and-living-onward/

    Saturday, May 10, 2014
    • Wow, this is SO beautiful. And such important work that she is doing with this video and the book. I so agree with that one woman, photography helps me in that same way! I’m sharing this everywhere I can. Thank you!!

      Monday, May 12, 2014
  7. One of my favorites so far! I want to know more about how you captured such an image. Is it real ice?

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014
    • Thank you Rachel – it is definitely my favorite one so far. I’m going to write a post soon to share the process on this one, stay tuned! =D

      Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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