Creative Excursion Diary #1: The foggy bog

Excursion Diary

As an urban dwelling wild woman, I have had to make due with what I have. I have had to shrink back from some of my more wildish dreams of photographs to capture. I don’t have a vehicle, which in all frankness would totally solve this dilemma. But for now, I prefer to bike, walk, and only when necessary take the bus to locations.

So when I recalled a magical garden a few blocks away, I had a feeling it would be the perfect winter shooting location. A garden in winter is a beautiful sight to behold. An elderly Japanese man, an organic engineer pruning the orchard tree’s told me that many photographers come here but they only take pictures of the branches- never the soil.  There is no soil like this soil in the world he said, bending down with the surprising grace and scooped up a handful of lush dark earth. “Mother earth,” he said. She is what gives us all life.

Hell’s to the Yes old Japanese man I don’t know! Thank you, that’s what we have been saying. Totally engrossed in caring for beloved trees, many with new limbs he grafted with his own two hands, he left me to my creative business.

I came here, on a foggy Friday during the first week of December because it is my therapy. I can’t afford a therapist and since I have stopped working to take care of my mental health needs, I have to bloody well do something that is good for my mind, body and soul. Getting out into nature- even just for an hour brings vitality back to stagnant spaces in our bodies. As we move, we purge, we release.

I was inspired by the fog, and not knowing how long it would last, wanted to capture as much of its magical atmosphere as possible. Last winter I had a strong vision of the city being over taken by thick smog. It was a mix between fog and fire smoke. We had our fare share of smoke this summer, which often sent shivers up my spine.

So when I watched the fog descend over the North Shore Mountains during Jaime Peterson’s session, I sense that something powerful was coming. The complete disappearance of the city is like a spell that may just send us into full on collective madness. Sometimes I wonder, as I move through the city, if we have not already arrived. I escape into nature because I feel safe there. I tell stories about what I find there because it brings me both solace and reverence.  

The Story

Mother Gaia Earth, the one and only. She lends me her sanctuary and I perform her rituals. I put on my power. I wear it with pride.

I am humbled. I am humbled. I am so fucking humbled.

These images tell a short story of a woman who has an undeniable brightness to her soul but is afraid to show it to the world. She has run to the edge of her edge and is ready to jump of that last cliff, she is ready to let it all go. But she stalls. She finds herself surrounded by sharp thorns. She grows afraid that someone(s) may try to take from her what is hers and hers alone. She is afraid to loose her roots. So she waits.

But she is patient; she knows her light burns bright. She knows that even in the fog, she draws the lost and confused towards her. She knows that she is beholden to help those in need. She knows what she can offer, her gifts are as bright and beautiful as her soul, but they are not her soul. They are merely her will to be apart of the healing of others.

Jen Holden