Amy Grace, A Beautiful Life Photo : Motherhood With A Camera

ring the bells that still can ring
forget your perfect offering
there is a crack, a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in.

– leonard cohen


this has been a hard month, for reasons that seem to be coming together all at once, testing, running me down, then pushing me to look up…..this has been a time to home in on my memory. to turn off and listen and drink in the love in my life, mourn and celebrate this year in which so much of my core changed. i lost my brother one year ago, but it feels like time has looped around on itself. it was sharp and cold and felt like falling down an infinite well, with nothing to hold on to along the way. and then the love for him went nowhere, which was a miracle, his gift, it remained. so i open that special package, of aching and beauty and longing every time i get to look at my kids, wake up to their messy hair and scratchy voices, hear the witty, kooky things they say, watch them spill over with kindness and an adoration they mirror equally to each other. and somehow by just living this life, i am moved to dip my toes in the pool of memory, to be a mother and remember being a child and a sister. it’s a crazy symmetry we are making, loose and natural and heartbreaking sometimes. there is this sense that anything can happen, at anytime. it is as terrifying as it is true. and it is one of the consequences of love. one of the wonderful things about not controlling everything, is that we can only be here, doing our best, being decent, trying to get it right. the world will spin and we can only walk upon it.  we so rarely get to choose the best of circumstances, of ourselves, our bodies, the way the important stories play out. this is what we have, and we will remember and live the best we can.

my mom always told me that we cannot be perfect, we can try but we only must be good enough. i try to let this sink in, when i take pictures, or write, or make plans, or try to be patient. so no matter what the day, how bruised we feel, the hurts we may be nursing, the imperfections on which we fixate, this day holds a seed that will grow into the rest of our lives. every day this year, i have felt my brother saying “wake up, amy. be here, be you, be okay, don’t be afraid.”

there is nothing happier to me, than the end of the day here. not because it’s over but because it is wild, loud, hysterical, and full of crazy love. i cannot take pictures of that. but i can be with them with everything in me, making them laugh and teaching them new songs and words, broken and complicated and trying my best, cracked and scared and completely full of love. the cracks inside of me have been flooded with light – flooded places that i could hardly bear to look at before. when i see the pictures i have of them, from the past twelve months, i see that light right before my eyes. the light has followed us, almost like someone who loves us, and will never let us go.


About Amy: based in San Diego, CA / website / contact / facebook

  • Debbie W - Amy, I am so sorry. I didn’t know. Loosing someone who is dearly such as a brother must be very tough. Your affair with the light is something that so divine…and I hope you will heal over the time. Big hugs!ReplyCancel

  • Monika Eissenbart - Amy thank you for sharing your story. It’s very inspiring! It must have been very difficult and painful but at the same time I can feel your love and happiness when I look at your images. There is so much love. Beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Warthan - I will be forever grateful for our bond but I so regret it has to be because of this awful loss.

    We are still sisters… they are still our brothers and we will always have them in our hearts.ReplyCancel

  • Life with Kaishon - We can’t be perfect? WHAT!! ; )
    I love these pictures and I love the wisdom you share.
    You are one of my favorite deep thinkers/pretty picture takers Amy!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen Ceranic - Amy,
    I cry as I read this. We are in the middle of loosing a very close family member and I fear having those cracks in my heart, as I can already feel them starting to open. Each day is hard and I know it’ll only get harder, but I have hope. Hope that life will bring in light to those cracks to fill us up again and renew our spirits. I pray that the light will shine so brightly and that I will be able to see my loved one in it all. Thank you for allowing me to see that.ReplyCancel

  • Toni Burks - Amy, I don’t know you but your words touch me deeply. I’m sorry for your loss. Your art is an inspiration.ReplyCancel

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