Yesterday was another day filled with the amazing magic that happens around Soulumination, not that any of it was a result of what we are doing, just that things seem to fall into place with such care and compassion. I started my day with a shoot for our wonderful young administrater, Auni and her family. I then proceeded to Children's Hospital to record some moments of Barry Simon's twelfth birthday. In the group that had assembled were two young adults that no one seemed to know but they were fun and attentive and the guy could sing Happy Birthday like a pro. They proceeded to have Barry open a gift, which was a wonderful laptop computer--just what he wanted so badly and needs for his studies. I chatted with the two of them briefly and they just heard about Barry's need and were able to give in this most generous of ways. I hope they will contact me and give permission to post photos that I took of them with the birthday boy. The next gift Barry received again brought tears to my eyes-- local master chef Tom Douglas, who so generously provided savories for our opening at St Mark's, had heard that Barry wants to be a chef and he is going to cook him a private lunch. Truly there is so much good in the world and I thank the givers of the computer and Tom from the bottom of my heart.
My next stop at the hospital was to view the new offices for the Palliative Care unit, which has been my guiding force throughout this work. It is always such a pleasure to be with this great group of people and I only worry that my frantic pace and energy sometimes is a bit much in their calm and thoughtful environment.
From the Palliative Care office my next stop was the ICU to work with a family who are down from Alaska with a most beautiful new baby girl. This little one was surrounded by so much loving family that we could not all fit in the room. The two older brothers and the exchange student that is indeed like a third loving sibling were just so perfect to record as they looked adoringly at their little sister. The parents have that thing flowing from them that is just so palatable, so intensely pure. I guess you call that unconditional love, but it's so powerful to be in a room where the intensity of that love is not to be missed. The wonderful grandparents were in attendance, plus an uncle and his wife and family that just couldn't quit smiling when it was their turn to be near this adored baby. A charming older cousin was there for his turn with the lovely one and I heard that an aunt and her daughter were flying in from Alaska later in the afternoon. I left that room to walk across the hall to meet briefly with the doctor that heads this unit as well as the NICU at UW hospital. What an honor to be able to take time to chat with him. This whole experience was orchestrated by a most charming new social worker. I thank Katie for calling and trusting me to work with such an inspiring family.
I am busy trying to pack for Washington DC and to form the words I will share with the group of photographers who will be hosting the exhibit. Any minute now some long-term clients will arrive in my courtyard to have updated photos of their third daughter. It's a balancing act, as I love my clients so much and need to give them complete attention, plus the pull toward my new art space is so strong as it's just a haven for me in my busy life, not to mention my husband and daughters and friends with whom I so love to spend time.
I started this missive this morning and now it is later afternoon. I feel so thankful for the fact that I do for a living that which is my passion. It was a hard day though, since my long-term client/friend shared with me that she has breast cancer. This lovely woman having to face some of the hardest decisions that life can bring makes me ever more dedicated to the future fundraiser for women's cancer research.
The second couple of the day was a new family to my business, but one that I met at a Children's Hospital fundraiser as they had me scheduled to take photos of their daughter last year only to have to cancel when they found she had a brain tumor that was so deadly that there was no time in their life for photos. They lost their precious daughter, but today I had the honor of working with their new baby son and talking to them about the work of Soulumination and how they wished we had worked together in the hospital. When parents are faced with the loss of a child I often hear that they can't imagine a photo shoot, but those who do invite me in always say they are so thankful. If you share the work of Soulumination with friends or potential families, please remember to emphasize that I am devoted to capturing the beauty and love in each child. I feel I have some ability to transcend the hardest of scenarios to capture lasting images of love.
I close with the entry from a favorite booked, entitled Offerings : THE THINGS THAT MATTER MOST IN OUR LIVES ARE NOT FANTASTIC OR GRAND. THEY ARE THE MOMENTS WHEN WE TOUCH ONE ANOTHER, Jack Kornfield.
Below find the brief job description for the new hire at Soulumination. Please share with anyone you think might be interested in applying. In love and peace, Lynette
Soulumination, a young, Seattle-based non-profit, seeks an individual to
take the administrative reins of its compelling mission in support of
families with children facing life-threatening illnesses. We're looking for a Program Manager to work closely with Soulumination's pro-active Board and creative
founder, whose photographic gifts to these families have attracted national
attention to Soulumination in its first year. Key responsibilities encompass day-to-day systems and records, event planning, public information, volunteer coordination,
fundraising efforts, etc. This is a flexible part-time position offering a focused,
full-hearted challenge. Please send your resume and salary expectations to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1, 2006. For more information about Soulumination
please visit www.soulumination.org