"How astonishing it is that language can almost mean, and frightening that it does not quite." - Jack Gilbert
How frightening, indeed. At least to an English major.
It was the first day of my college creative writing class. The TA had passed out copies of a Jack Gilbert poem, The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart, setting the mood for all that we were going to attempt to accomplish that year. With our words we would try to mean, and at times it would be so astonishingly close to the human experience we could cry. Other times the words would feel hollow and frighteningly far away, and we would all acknowledge the bitter limitations of language.
Before then, it felt like a cop out to use phrases like, “words can’t express,” or even worse: “speechless.” How could anyone be speechless? How could they not find the right words when there are over 170,000 to choose from in the dictionary? Pick one!
But it was that creative writing class that introduced me to the beauty of failing language, of language that reaches out for emotion without quite capturing it it. As an English major, I was fascinated by the power of words to nearly express life.
As a photographer, I find power where the words leave off.
Photography is one of the most powerful mediums we have on this earth to express the human experience, to speak the dialect of the heart. To capture that love, and show it back to us to feel over and over again. Sometimes a single image can express entire moment at once, and so completely, that being “speechless” is probably for the best.
It's true that nothing on this side of Heaven is perfect, and any way we try to communicate love is vulnerable to failure. Words fail. Music falls flat. Sometimes a photograph could never do that sunset justice. But love itself never fails. I do my best to show love in every photograph I take.
An "about me" wouldn't be complete without acknowledging where all of this love comes from in the first place. God knew my heart and soul before I was born. He sent His Son to die to save my heart and body and soul. He blessed my family with so much love, that sometimes it's overwhelming. I couldn't do what I do if it weren't for my husband, my mom and dad, my sister and brothers, and my dear friends.
I am blessed to have found this pursuit, and to be able to use it to communicate the very personal experiences of the people I meet, to share their dialect of the heart. These folks believe in the power of love to communicate, they trust me to share those emotions through photography, and they give me a chance to be a part of their lives. I am eternally grateful for that.