• Meka

Beauty of Beginnings

How do you feel about deadlines? I’m fine with the idea that some things should get done within a certain amount of time… or whatever… but a deadline is such an ominous sense of ”this is the completion date, and anything done afterwards is irrelevant!” I’m an artist. Most creatives I know agree with me when I say that there is indeed an afterwards if I need there to be, and, yes, it is relevant. True inspiration has no timeline.


I’m voicing these thoughts here, now, in July, as I’m writing about something I wanted to share in January. I missed my self-imposed deadline. Turns out, my deadline didn’t matter. We look for beauty in clever places, not expecting it to be obvious, but often it shows up right in front of us and we have to refocus our perspective to see it.


The last four months… mind-blowing. Right? Our history books have sprung to life. On a personal level, the physical doors of my small biz closed for 90 days, like many. Coming back into the Silk Studio in June, back to my sublimely happy place, back to the work I feel is essential, back to the world that centers and grounds me, felt like the beginning of something new. And that breath of newness brought January back to mind.


On the first day of January 2020, I walked into the studio with so much gratitude for both the way the last year ended – by honoring the profound beauty of wizened elders – and how this year was beginning – by celebrating the beauty of innocence with two mothers-to-be. Sessions like these keep pumping my blood full of dedication to this art.


Here they are, the family of 10 women which earned the very appropriate title: Mighty Matriarchs.



Mother Mimi in the middle led the charge and lit up the room with her wit and charm. She sent me two letters afterwards to say how beautiful the experience of our portrait party was, and to share a poem that she felt spoke to the message of the day. Both notes brought me to tears. I share the poem with you now:



SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL...


...but she didn't know what that meant. 

When she was a little girl 

    they told her she was beautiful 

but it had no meaning

  in her world of bicycles

        and pigtails

and adventures in make-believe. 


Later, she hoped she was beautiful 

   as boys started taking notice 

of her friends

  and phones rang for

              Saturday night dates.


She felt beautiful on her wedding day,

     hopeful with her

   new life partner by her side 

but, later, 

    when her children called 

          her beautiful,

she was often exhausted, 

     her hair messily tied back,

no make up,

    wide in the waist

        where it used to be narrow;

she just couldn't take it in.

Over the years, as she tried,

    in fits and starts,

       to look beautiful, 

   she found other things 

to take priority, 

    like bills

         and meals,

  as she and her life partner 

            worked hard

                  to make a family,

    to make ends meet,

        to make children into adults,

            to make a life.


Now, 

    she sat.

 Alone.

Her children grown, 

     her partner flown,

and she couldn't remember 

    the last time

       she was called beautiful. 


But she was.


It was in every line on her face,

   in the strength of her arthritic hands,

 the ampleness that had

      a million hugs imprinted

         on its very skin,

  and in the jiggly thighs and

                 thickened ankles

        that had run her race for her.

She had lived her life with a loving

   and generous heart, 

         had wrapped her arms

      around so many to 

            to give them comfort and peace.

  Her ears had 

             heard both terrible news

      and lovely songs,

and her eyes

      had brimmed with,

  oh, so many tears,

       they were now bright

           even as they dimmed.


She had lived and she was.

   And because she was, 

        she was made beautiful. 

~ Suzanne Reynolds, © 2019

Photo credit: Nina Djerff

Model: Marit Rannveig Haslestad



This poem is everything.

. . . . .



The other two sessions were both Mother-to-Be, but could not have been more different. The first was Christine.



This lady is nothing less than a tower of strength… that I couldn't wait to wrap in tulle. Her story can be followed on her beautiful Instagram @boldbravelovedenough.


Then came Kristina and Sim on New Year’s Day. They were expecting their firstborn.


Forget fireworks. Forget sequined dresses. Forget balls dropping in city squares. There was no better way to bring in the new year than with this precious couple and the blessing they gave me entering my fifth year of framing moments like these.


It’s important to hold close the things that inspire us and make us feel like hope and growth are still present in the middle of chaos or uncertainty. I recognized the symbols of wisdom gained and opportunity ahead when these three special photo sessions happened. I’m holding onto those things now.


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