Monday, December 29, 2008

Today's beautiful post is written by our beloved intern Brenna Fallon. I am spending some quiet time writing letters of recommendation for her and she has prepared this touching missive:

To start off, I would like to say that I feel honored to be asked to write the blog at such an important time of the year. During the holidays, losses are always felt more acutely; it seems as though everyone has someone they wish were there to give them that traditional ugly sweater, kiss them under the mistletoe, or be their present wrapping companion at 1 a.m. on Christmas Eve. This is a season of love and tradition, of loss and remembrance, and of hope and new direction. With the New Year coming and with graduation only 5 months away, I try to notice the little things more often. Everyone has those perfect moments ("infinite moments" I like to call them) when the world seems at peace in some simple way. My mind is a wonderful clutter of memories and moments. I would like to take this time to remember a few snapshots.

I remember 5 years ago, the last time my dear Nana was able to come to Seattle for Christmas. Previously, I never got to stay up late with my mom and Nana since I had to be in bed before Santa arrived. My Nana was already getting creaky in 2003, and I believe my dad carried her to our basement – the traditional wrapping area. By 1 a.m., my mom's and Nana's wrapping had deteriorated considerably. My Nana is notorious for her lack of wrapping skills and this eve, she was wrapping a CD for my brother, yet she miscalculated that amount of wrapping paper she needed, leaving a 3 by 3 inch square unwrapped. So she simply covered it with scotch tape and called it good. I remember her laughing and laughing, and her knees creaking like old trees whipped by the wind.

I remember my first day at Soulumination. I vaguely knew Lynette from a photo shoot when I was six, but I honestly didn't remember much except that she got my little brother to make a t-rex face. Rather than the glamorous blog-writing of today, that summer day in 2005 I opened film canister after film canister. And then I left, not consciously thinking that Soulumination would become the huge part of my life, yet somehow understanding that my simple job had helped.

I remember my Nana's face three nights ago when I gave her part of her Christmas present: a trifold filled with pictures from our family photo shoot with Lynette. Her little face crinkled up into a smile when she saw the picture of me kissing my mother. She giggled when she saw my brother's reenactment of his four-year old t-rex pose.

Soulumination is built on memories, snapshots if you will, of lives. Each photo shoot is an hour of joy and tender love that builds our communities and our relationships with one another. My family and yours are built on memories. We are built on those times at 1 a.m. when we are so exhausted that we laugh till we cry. We are built on those times when the doctor tells a grandmother that her sodium level is too low or that a son's test came back positive. We are built on those times when the wrapping paper doesn't entirely cover the present. We are built on simple smiles and hard work. Love holds us together. Thank you Nana, mom, Lynette, Sarah, Kari, and all the other people who make this world work. You're wonderful.

I hope you have a wonderful day and rest of the year.

I completed taking down our tree last night and realize I have been hiding a bit during the holiday season. Without my mom, something was off with me even though I had great times with family and friends, got to skype with Mac and Ian on Christmas morning in Australia, received touching emails and cards acknowledging that this first year would be hard, and got so many wonderful gifts, especially the rubber peacock cowboy boots and the plate that I will share once its fired , the hoodie from Mac that I rarely am without and the tools from Doug that will allow me to finally create the tin luminarias that I have been imaging for years. I now hope to engage more fully in the social part of my life, but hope to balance that with some days of solitude at our cabin. In love and peace, Lynette