A few months ago, I remember seeing a question float across Twitter that said something like, "Why this obessession with taking photos of our feet everywhere?"
I don't recall if I responded, but I know I wanted to say, "Because it helps me to really notice this moment and where I stand in my life."
This could be literal:
Standing barefoot in the backyard for the first time in the spring while peeking over my 8-month pregnant belly.
Or much more abstract:
Standing in the backyard after my two-year-old daughter handed me flowers she found in the midst of a really difficult day. Words I paired with this photo:
i am leaning into this life
It helps me capture the feelings underneath:
taken in april 2009 in the front yard of my grandparents'
home after my grandfather died
121 gerow avenue
just before leaving for the last time
It is another form of self-portraiture that helps me to find myself in the midst of all the roles I play, it creates space for me to connect with the ground beneath me, reminds me of where I am and where I've been and where I want to go.
In her book The Wisdom of No Escape, Pema Chodron talks about how we are "the ground" of our practice. These photos remind me of this too.
Who I am, with all my beautiful, wacky, gorgeous, silly, realness, is where my practice begins. And pausing to notice where I stand, where I am right now in this moment, helps me to unearth that truth again and again.
Over the next few days, find your feet beneath you and snap a self-portrait. Maybe put your bare feet in the grass for the first time this Spring. Take a walk and find flowers blooming or the snow that still insists on arriving or a feather and stand right next to it and capture that moment in your lens. Write the words you most need to remember on a sticky note, put it right down by your toes, and snap it.
Find where you stand in this moment.
And then come back here and tell me all about it. Leave a link in the comments to your photo or just let us know how the experience was for you.
You can find more about this prompt and other juicy self-portrait prompts in my book Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry, and Mixed Media. I'm delighted to share that I'm selling copies again, this time at a special discounted price of $18. Read more about the book and order it from me right here. (I'll even sign it for you and include one of my poem note postcards.)