the look of love

I’m typing this from thousand of feet above you. I don’t mean that in a metaphorical sense, I mean I’m literally in a plane flying High above the world. (look at that! I can be literal!) (disregard if you happen to be reading this while on a plane yourself. In that case, we’re probably eye to eye, and I don’t want to lie) I have an aisle seat, which I like on this long flight because it means I can get coffee from the flight attendant and not feel bad about having to go to the restroom 5 times during a 4 hour flight. But, I really love the window seat. I’ll never get over the way it looks like you’re looking down at nature’s quilt, patches of colored earth coming together in seams and streams, it warms you right up! Or when there’s a cloud cover, and you’re above it. Perfectly diffused light bouncing back off of natures perfect reflector. I always pretend I see Aslan out pouncing though the clouds and wish I could go join Him. I’m headed to new York for the first time in my life. I’m so excited, it’s something I’ve talked about and wanted to do for so long… (leave it to CJG. That boy’s always making my dreams come true.) I am struck by the feeling of complete excitement… Nervous feet, sweaty hands, shaking fingers dancing on my lap in anticipation of being back in their favorite place to rest. I’m a lucky girl.

I just finished a book that that perfect man I mentioned above recommended to me. It’s called the alchemist, and it has a lot of wisdom to impart. A few things that particularly stuck me:

“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’
“Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.”

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked, when they had made camp that day.
“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”
“But my heart is agitated,” the boy said. “It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I’m thinking about her.”
“Well, that’s good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say.”
“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go on.”
“That makes sense. Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”

“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

and this last one, which is not in The Alchemist, but from the same author:
“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel. It hurt when I lost each of the various men I fell in love with. Now, though, I am convinced that no one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.”
― Paulo Coelho

It was this lovely couple’s two year wedding anniversary yesterday. I had the honor of shooting their story from engagements, to Amanda’s bridals, attending her bachelorette party, and finally, shooting their beautiful wedding. One day, a long time ago, I asked to use them for a lighting experiment, and having been satisfied with learning the technique, I imported the photos and then got buried in a whole host of other projects. In a divine intervention, I happened to be looking on my server 3 days ago and saw the folder. At this point, I didn’t remember their anniversary was coming up (I’d like to pretend I’m just that good of a friend, but I’m not quite there yet…) but I felt compelled to put them onto my working hard drive and retouch them for fun. Then yesterday, seeing Matt and Amanda’s sweet posts about one another and their amazing marriage, a light bulb went off and I realize that that gentle pushing toward that folder was as close to an omen as it gets. I hope y’all enjoy these photos. Matt and Amanda are so great together, she with such a beautiful understanding of his work, and him with an amazing knowledge of how to remain connected when he has to be far away. I’ve been very blessed by this couple’s friendship, and I wish the two of them a lifetime more of anniversary (and consequently, maybe yearly Photoshoots? Y’all are just so dang photogenic!)

Thanks for setting a great example and for being lighthouses of people.
:)

“Love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love.”

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