Monday, August 21

self portrait challenge ~ enclosed spaces

boho, canon digital rebel xt

Me enclosed in waves.

It is a crisp morning here. There is a door to my studio upstairs that follows out onto a porch garden. I love to open it in the mornings and feel the mist dance its way into our home. The skies are overcast and there is a scent luring the promise of rain. I grew up with mornings like this and for me, they sooth my soul. I believe it was skies like this that lead me to living by the ocean. They call to my spirit.

I sit here with candles burning and the soft sounds of my visiting niece, Kelly sleeping down below.

While my thoughts were drifting to the ocean this morning, I thought about the two days I have spent swimming deeper into the ocean and diving under large waves. This is a brave new me and Kelly was there to inspire that bravery. You see...as much as I love our mother ocean, living near her, walking on the shore every day and sitting up against a rock watching her glory, I know of her power and therefore, have been intimidated by her waters most of my life.

I've always only allowed myself to get so close. Either on top by boat or if by foot, only comfortable with the waves that broke near my waist. Anything higher, I would feel overwhelmed and at her mercy.

The last few days, my dear niece has gently led me with her hand further and further and rather than cowering away from those waves over my head, I faced them head on and dove under. We'd come to surface, wiping our hair from our eyes and look at one another with huge smiles, squeals and then laughter. We did it again and again and again until our bodies were worn and tight with salty skin.

To me this was a new step closer to the intimacy I have always felt with the ocean. Not only have I admired her home but now I have entered in. I know she can be fierce but she was gentle with me in those moments.

I feel as though this was the prelude to many deep waters I am going to face and dive into. I am ready and willing to be baptized by their lessons and growth.

To see where others are enclosed, go here.

edited to add: i know i've posted this early, but tomorrow promises to be a busy day. i know you wouldn't expect me to bring my treasured camera out into the waves, so i am hoping this self portrait captures the feeling well.


Blogger Susannah Conway said...

Monkey, when i come to visit i want to do this with you, as i am scared of the ocean too.... will you hold my hand? this is such a soulful picture of you - i love it (and you, but you already know that) :-) x

August 21, 2006 at 11:39:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautifully captured, your sweetest siren self!

August 21, 2006 at 11:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger bronxbt said...

speechless, which i seldom am.

beautiful words.
gorgeous pic and subject of the camera's eye...

purrrrrr... kneed kneeed.

oi vey.. i'll be under my desk.

B & mr puddins

August 21, 2006 at 3:00:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Goddess Leonie * GoddessGuidebook.com said...

i call it the spirit wash cycle...
i remember when i was about 17, letting the waves pummel me over and over again, feeling ruptured clean and pure again...
they were big wonderous waves :)

August 21, 2006 at 4:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger ::Bek Geach:: said...

Mmmm.. the ocean.
I used to be scared when I was little.
My favourite thing to do is to *float*... floating in the ocean.
The best feeling.
I imagine you floating in the ocean.
Makes me smile.

August 21, 2006 at 5:44:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Darlene said...

Mmmmmm luscious you...
pretty smile
pretty lips

I just love all of you :)

xxx d

August 21, 2006 at 6:53:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Intrepidflame said...

I really enjoyed your written segment this week, but I must be honest, I would have loved to see some shots of you actually in the ocean. It was a bit of a tease to see you so dry. But I totally agree with you. I too grew up in California and appreciated the magnitude of the ocean from afar. A few years ago, I left the Pacific behind and discovered the Indian Ocean. Off the coast of Africa and now in Malaysia, I have discovered the calmer waters and the gentler side of the ocean. She has given me much confidence by allowing me to swim beneath her waves here. I also started scuba diving a few years ago, and I cannot begin to describe the sensation of weightlessness in the belly of the sea. I know that sounds a bit cliché and melodramatic, but it is truly one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. I highly recommend you take the plunge. It is a “hobby” that will change your life. It really helped me over come my fear of the ocean. Although, I still hold a special place in my heart for the awe it can inspire. I actually survived the tsunami, a few years ago. I was in Thailand. I have a short story about it. I can send it to you if you are interested and have the time. That goes for any readers here. I am curious to here what people think a few years later.

I wish I knew how to surf, but like you the waves keep me at bay. I guess my point is that the ocean like people has many different faces and personality. She is filled with wonder and excitement. I could not imagine living far from her. And for the record my daughter’s name, Kaia, means ocean in Hawaiian. Got me thinking about how I haven’t been to the beach in way too long of a time.

Great post. Sorry for taking so much space. I got carried away. I missed your comments last time. Make sure yo ucheck out this week's post. I am pretty stoked on how it turned out.

August 21, 2006 at 7:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Viking Womyn said...

MMmmmmm................Mermaids in Mother Ocean....swimming under father moon...............

Drifting past brother Rock.....


Pissing off sister shark....and swimmin the HELL OUTTA there!!!

Sorry....I got carried away.......I know this is supose to be serious.....I just get ''silly goose attacks''.......


August 21, 2006 at 7:14:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I just wanted to be in your studio, feeling the breeze, and looking at your garden porch. How lovely that would be and how lovely you are in your picture.

We all have oceans of some sort to swim, yes? My son {Matty Moo}is in the middle of his ocean right now trying to stay with the waves. He will make it he just needs a lot of encouragement---like your niece gave you. What an awesome story you told here. I am using it as an example to him for encouragement! Thanks you gorgeous girl.


August 21, 2006 at 8:06:00 PM PDT  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

boho, you are right on. i love your bravery. something about facing inner challenges makes me also want to face external ones as well. after my miscarriage, i stood high on the cliffs above big sur and threw rocks down angrily with my eyes closed. i am so afraid of heights (and ocean too, virgo sister, it just isn't our element..).
physical bravery directly translates into inner courage. i love witnessing your process. just beautiful and amazing.


August 21, 2006 at 8:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Brave you-I always feel so much safer with both feet on firm ground.

This photo is beautiful- you are so delicate and such a classic beauty.

I love the idea of diving in the waves.

You are just wonderful darling.
Lovin you

August 21, 2006 at 8:14:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boho, i loved this post. when i was little, i wasn't afraid of the water or flying and now i am afraid of both. it's funny how that works isn't it? it seems like i am accumulating more fears as i grow older...that's why i must fight the good fight, i suppose...

August 21, 2006 at 10:08:00 PM PDT  
Blogger a m y said...

This is beautiful. Good for you...conquering all sorts of new territory.

August 21, 2006 at 10:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Alex S said...

I hope your niece knows how beautiful she is. Too many teen girls just don't see themselves in all their magnificence and strength. My relationship with the ocean has been similar. I cherish it, love to be near it, but just yesterday, Laini and I drove to the Oregon coast for the day, and I was aware how awed I felt in front of it, and yet intimidated because I am reminded of the parts of me that don't feel powerful. I want to have the same sense of confidence and power that the ocean has in itself.

August 22, 2006 at 12:27:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so relate to this. I love the Ocean. She truly is our Mother, that primordial soup we all were and are birthed from. There is deep treasure and mystery down below, and although I like to go in the Ocean, straying to far from shore has always been intimidating.

A couple of years ago I went to Miami for a girlie vacation. I hadn't been back there in so long I had forgotten the Ocean there. She is a very different Ocean then our beloved Pacific. Green, alive, warm, soft and rolly. We are a bit colder and choppier here.

I couldn't stop floating out there! She would take me in deep, then roll me back out to shore, then back in and out for hours! It was such a healing dance that recalibrated me. That rythm that we all know so well...

Dive in girlfreind, there is much medicine there for you! For all of us!

August 22, 2006 at 9:21:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Darlene said...

I clicked here a couple of times just to look at your picture...it reminds me of how you often look in the twilight of our days together, sipping tea and going over the day, having really deep life talks and then a little peck for a good nights sleep....

I miss you

xxx d

August 22, 2006 at 10:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger LeS said...

Although I grew up in the ocean I do have the 'helathy' fear of her power. Having said that, I am so very glad that you are allowing yourself this new pleasure.

She is mighty and healing and so very awesome.

(and, yes, yet another beautiful picture :)

August 22, 2006 at 12:42:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i so miss the ocean though i don't like being too far from the shore, kind of scared too :) but it's so powerful and healing...

can't wait to be there!!!

August 22, 2006 at 2:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Georgia said...

The photo is of course beautiful, but I would so love to see actual pictures of those waves!! :) I too feel a kinship with the ocean. I would give anything to live just a teeny bit closer... Stupid Arizona!

I am about 5 hours out from San Diego and as soon as I can I am planning a little weekend out there to get my salty, refreshing fix. :)

August 22, 2006 at 5:10:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. On our recent trip to San Diego, my little girl and I jumped waves for hours. It was incredibly refreshing and took me back to when I was a child.

Beautiful photo (of course!!)


August 22, 2006 at 9:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger claireylove said...

you write so powerfully of the ocean as both a real, mesmerising entity and as a powerful metaphor. absolutely beautiful. your post makes me want to lower myself into the waves and surrender myself to a higher power...

p.s. i've been trying to post you an email in reply to your comment chez moi yesterday - but it keeps bouncing back from your v. full email box :-(


August 23, 2006 at 12:07:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Letha Sandison said...

Another beautiful photo my dear.

I am glad you and Kelly are having so much fun and pushing eachother beyond boundries!!

I wish I could come play in the surf!! It is grey and sprinkling rain here today. I think Fall is coming, where did this summer go?


August 23, 2006 at 10:16:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Tammy Brierly said...

This was a beautiful post I could relate to. The ocean is a powerful beauty :) Beautiful portrait of contentment.

August 23, 2006 at 6:35:00 PM PDT  

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