Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thanks to my work with Soulumination I had a most amazing experiance on Friday morning. I was invited to join Ann Curry and the crew of NBC to photograph and witness Ann's interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would end up face to face with the man I consider to be the spiritual and world leader of the highest order. We had waited 5 hours on Thursday for the interview, but His Holiness needed to rest so we returned Friday morning for this amazing interview. I think what struck me most was his humble and approachable manner combined with his brilliance and clarity of purpose. I hope to take the grace and honor this man displayed and make it some part of my efforts. The time flew by and the interview was cut from one hour to 40 minutes and it left no time for me to really even have a second to photograph him without others hovering with sound and lighting, but I felt so priviledged to snap shots as was appropriate. As this man of compassion left the room he touched my left arm and I put my hand on his and he gave me a squeeze. I have a photo of myself with Nelson Mandala from a similar moment and I hold these two times in my heart as messages that each of us has a purpose that can make a difference.

Yesterday, Sarah and I shot a wedding on the record setting spring day. The bride and groom had a social conscience that led them to me from an article that they had read about the work of Soulumination. I was struck deeply by the fact that this bride had purchased her dress from an event that is called Bride's Against Breast Cancer. The gowns are donated and sold with the money going to support legacy work for those suffering from breast cancer. This bride showed such caring and compassion in her choices that it seemed fitting that it would be her wedding I would record after getting to see the Dalai Lama and after losing my mom.

The priest at Holy Rosary where the wedding was held was so kind. He put my mom on his prayer list and told me that they run a grief counseling program that we will share soon on our resources page.

I want to thank Jodi Rosen for an amazing shoot she completed for a family who was losing a most beautiful little son. His face so tender and Jodi's images just so perfect. I send her hugs for this incredibly moving shoot and for the lovely note and sunflowers that she left for me. Of course, most of all we send the family our caring support and want them to know that we are thinking of them at this time of loss.

It was with great sorrow that I received the word that the little girl that I had worked with from my home area of the Olympic Peninsula died this week. My heart breaks at this loss and I know the social worker that introduced us is feeling the same. We all work to maintain professional dignity but that does not mean that the loss is not deeply felt. I applaud the nurses, social workers, doctors, palliative care workers and our photographers for willingly opening their hearts to these amazing children and their families. I will try to talk to this family soon and I hope that I can find words that will make any sense at this crushing time.

I gave Ann Curry, the cameraman and the sound engineer that worked on the Soulumination piece a set of prayer flags. I hope they find it a nice combining of our mission and the Tibetian tradition. I close in love and peace and will share photos soon if NBC agrees. Lynette