Thank you so much for coming along this week and sharing your responses to the prompts in Chapter 2 of Inner Excavation!
As I write this, I am tucked in a house on the Oregon Coast surrounded by women who are connecting and sharing stories and remembering the dreams of the little girl who still lives inside them and sharing their inner light as they show up as themselves again and again.
Then I peek in at the Inner Excavate-along Flickr group and am again surrounded by women telling their stories. You are rocking my world with your responses to the prompts. Yes. Yes. YES!
And then I come to this thought: Each time you (yes you) share pieces of your story you give others the gift of knowing they are not alone.
Thank you for this. I can't wait to see what unfolds next week!
Today, Kat McNally is sharing her response to a prompt in Chapter 2. My hope is that you will be inspired to seek the senses through your camera lens as you experience the simple moments that make up your true, real, beautiful life.
I can’t help but smile at the incredible timing of this week’s Inner Excavate-along prompt. I seek. I seek to understand where I have come from. I seek the truth about where I am. I seek the light that will illuminate my path forward.
My beloved grandfather, who also happened to be the last of my living grandparents, passed away last week. He lived on the other side of the planet from me. As I write this, my parents and my sister are over the other side of the planet, supporting our family as they prepare for his funeral.
It’s fair to say that the stories of where I have come from have been in sharp focus for me this week.
In the second chapter of her wonderful book, Inner Excavation, Liz gently encourages us to use our senses as a way in to our stories. Knowing that I would be sharing my response to the prompt today, I paused for a moment yesterday morning to set this as my intention.
I expected to be flooded with sensory memories of my grandparents. The sight of Greek dolls in national costume, arranged on the dresser arms akimbo, skirts flared, amber-coloured worry beads weaving around their feet. The light of the vast moulding terrarium, which had always seemed so mystical to me as a child but seemed sad and abandoned to me as an adult. The touch of the green corduroy sofa, the shine of the glass-topped coffee table with a doily squished under the glass. The faint smell of chicken broth.
Instead, I found myself looking at my daughter.
Yesterday was a very ordinary day. I’d taken the day off work to look after my sweet little three-year-old, who was battling a viral fever and hacking cough. It was a day of weary grouchiness, endless DVDs, entreaties of paracetamol, lots of sippy-sips, more sweet treats than usual. I found myself looking at my little girl and wondering, “What sorts of sensory memories will she have of her young life? Of her family? Of me?”
Suddenly I knew that it was these questions that I wanted to capture.
And as I look at the photo series today, I see that our family is written all over them. Our preferred method for doing up and undoing buttons. Our predilection for sweet treats. Our songs, the ones I sing to my daughter, the same ones my Dad sang to me, and that his Dad probably sang to him. Our never-ending delight in back scratches. Our hearts.
Today I see the deeper wisdom of Liz’s words. By sinking in to our present – this moment – we can unlock the gifts of our past. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn this, and to share it.
Kat McNally is a writer and artist who is learning to trust that the journey is unfolding exactly as it should… even if this makes her dreams seem elusive at times. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and daughter.
Every Wednesday, Kat posts a reflective prompt based on something she has learnt during her journey with worthiness. She hopes you will join her along the way. You can also follow her on twitter at @kat_anew.
All photos copyright Kat McNally.