Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Be You

"Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it I must listen to my life telling me who I am. I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity not the standards by which I must live, but the standards by which I cannot help but live..."- Parker Palmer (taken from The Identity Project by Patrick Dodson.)

"After years of training to become a professional ballet dancer, artist Kylli Sparre realized it wasn’t the path for her and instead channeled passion for dance into photography and image manipulation. The influence of her past career is immediately apparent when viewing her conceptual photographs that depict posed figures, taunt with energy, at the peak of choreographed motion (taken from"

A common theme I hear when I talk to people is the struggle of having to choose a passion to focus on, whether they are just starting college and having to choose a major or whether they are out of school and now struggling with their choice and/or battling to find a career. Growing up we constantly have observers highlighting certain skills and advising a career path that expounds on those skills they've witnessed. For instance, in school I was really good at geometry and loved drawing buildings- I had multiple people tell me that I should be an architect, but I'm not an architect, that's not who I am; being good at geometry and loving old buildings are simply expressions of a very intricate identity, they are tells of deeper truths not direct lines to a future. Like I heard Patrick Dodson once say, "Who you are is not one thing, who you are is like fifty things." See it's not about finding that one thing that fits you, it's about listening to your life and bringing that uniqueness of you to the table and revolutionizing the status quo you face or have quite possibly erected yourself. "Letting your identity inform and reignite your passion grows clarity inside of you, which leads to ideas, dreams, plans and then choices that become a daily reality."- The Identity Project by Patrick Dodson

That's what I love about this photographer Kylli Sparre, she tried being one thing and that didn't work out (I'm sure we all can relate), but she didn't toss the one thing- she joined it with a melody of other passions creating something that is original, breathtakingly stunning, and uniquely her.

Don't just be another photographer. Don't just be another dancer. Be you.

*all photos were taken from

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The 5 Senses

If I were blind, I would rely on touch and sound, smells and tastes to guide me; I would be totally dependent on my other senses to communicate the atmospheric circumstances back to me. The sea would not be known by the picturesque scenery, but by the smell of the salty air, the sound of the waves crashing and the gulls cawing, the feel of the sand and the water, and the taste of sea's spray on my lips.

If I were deaf, the gap of sound would be filled with sights, sensations, smells, and tastes; true I would never know what wind would sound like, but I would see it and feel it in more ways than could be heard, perhaps I could smell the wind coming before it came and perhaps I could feel the birds sing when the sun rises because of the sensory song that it composes in me.

If I were stripped of my ability to feel, my eyes and my ears would be my hands, and my nose and my tongue my means of engaging and experiencing. True, I would never know texture or temperature, but I would know the fragrance of the grass and the taste of winter far more intimately than the simple touch of snow.


We say we serve an invisible God, yet we are made in His image. We say that God's voice is discerned and not heard, yet He speaks. We say that God is Spirit and cannot be touched, yet He touches us. We say that God is a heavenly being and is therefore not something to be tasted, yet He invites us to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. We say that God is a mystery and therefore incomprehensible to even think of smelling a Deity, yet He says that "we are the aroma of Christ" to Him.

If God is not to be experienced through the senses, then why give us eyes with which we cannot see Him, ears with which we will never hear Him, hands with which we cannot touch Him, tongues with which we cannot taste Him, and noses with which it is inconceivable to smell Him?

And if He is not to be seen in full glory, then oughtn't He be known to us as the sea is known to the blind? And if He is not to be audibly heard, then oughtn't the gap be filled with sights, encounters, tastes and smells? And if He is not one that can be touched, oughtn't we be looking and listening- knowing His fragrance and His taste far more intimately?

Yet it remains that eyes are for seeing, ears for hearing, hands for touching, tongues for tasting and noses for smelling; these are the tools given to us to perceive, connect, and engage with all that is around us. He is Emmanuel. He is God with us. Do you know what He smells like? Do you know what He tastes like? Do you know what He feels like? Can you call out His voice from a thousand others? Can you pick out His face in a crowd?

I think He's waiting to be discovered.

I think He's waiting for you.