Like many of us, I can start to feel overwhelmed with despair at the condition of the planet and the suffering of the life upon it. Of course we cannot succumb to fatalism, we must keep doing what needs doing. We may never feel that it’s enough, but we must just keep doing what is in front of us, helping in whatever way we are called to help.
“Don’t be discouraged by your inability to dispel darkness from the world. Light your little candle and step forward.” – Mata Amritanandamayi
Focusing on beauty and truth and love can help us to do that. This is what photography does for me. Often people are surprised that I volunteer to do remembrance photography – I photograph stillborn babies as a volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. People think it must be very emotionally difficult. It is quite sad, of course – but the thing I focus on when I enter the hospital room is the love that fills the space. Sometimes it is just the parents and the baby they do not get to bring home, sometimes their whole extended family is there to support them. But always the room is full of love. Loss is the thing that really shows us the depth of our love – it really is boundless, and the love of a mother for her child is such a pure expression of it.
Portraits of people expressing love fill me with joy. Looking at them reminds me that there is good in the world, and if we nurture it and spread peace, there is hope yet. Images like these are one way that I recharge with hope and purpose – so thank you for letting me bear witness to your love. Wishing you love and blessings for 2018.