Bali, Indonesia: Part 3

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I wanted to hold them, their wiry bodies so much like our own.

Those rascals whom snatch at tourists bags and fight over tiny bananas.

Watching them swing in and out of branches like wind.

Mothers cradling their babies.

Babies chewing on rolled grass like dope.

Oh and the wild wisdom that seems sunken into their eyes.

*Another encounter with the animal kingdom in Bali.

It was magic.

Bali, Indonesia: Part 2


Can you imagine spending day after day carving stone into intricate designs, faces, ancient symbols?

Can you close your eyes and imagine the sound of rock chipping away?

What is falling to the ground…

The long days of precise attention and labour?

The imagination to foresee all the possibilities!

Temple after temple exemplified a culture tethered by attention to ceremony and beauty.

It was all very tribal, humid, like living in a dancing body.

Perhaps a tired dancing body.

The holy places had these amazing trees made of roots intertwining like a praying pair of hands.

Volcanoes stood amazingly strong, distinct, dormant. Nature has a way doesn’t it?

Of reminding us of all that is capable in life.

So much was mossy, and earthy.

So much reminded me of a soul beating in all its messy painful beauty.

This land looked ready for healing.

Like it’s beauty is tired and ready to be comforted and loved upon.

Because underneath the discarded trash and old offerings stood a radiant landscape of rice terraces, waterfalls and temples.

Waiting and ready.

I agree with them, I am ready too.

Bali, Indonesia: Part 1

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A place of chaos and beauty, much like India.

Carved everything.

Doors, statues, temples.

Offerings every-which-way.

On the floor before every door step, every business and certainly at every holy place.

The air was thick with incense.

heavy with humidity.

The fruits were exotic and so were the beaches.

Layer-upon-layer-upon-layer of color, smells and sounds.

A place swirling around what is holy and what is tourism.

Water Nymph One…

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“My love for water,

my ever dying need to be in it and what it does for me..

When I’m in the water, ever since I can remember, I suck in a big breath..
I shut my eyes tight..then I dive…dive into the ocean, the bay, the local pond, mud puddle.
I dive deep into a world of my own.
I wonder endless streets under the sea that my mind has created!
Be it the city streets of New York to the back roads of the woods. I, like a kid, can live in my own fantabulous created world.
A world free of hurt, pain, and mean people (even sharks are nice)..a world of eternal endless beauty, I become a mermaid!”
-Megan Lee
- This past summer I received this letter from my dear friend Megan.
I had never known this side of her soul before. But once it had surfaced I desired to know more.
She and her story are what inspired a whole series of photographs.
Now entitled “Water Nymphs.”
*I can’t wait to show you much more. To continue this work of seeing the souls of woman shine.
Cheers to her: For her vulnerbility.
Much love!

When I said yes!

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Driving towards the sea.
Fog hitting our windshield like apparitions and hugging fields like a lover.
Trees are all shadow and silhouette!
Gas station coffee in brown cups.
The winding country roads eventually gave way to water.
Glorious stretches of Currituck.
We got out and I made a home of black and white blankets and began soaking in the atmosphere with photographing.
He sits quietly on blankets,
then stands quietly on rocks.
I don’t think to much of it.
It’s 6:15 am, he isn’t much of a morning person.
The sky by now has said hello, with some pretty brilliant Fuchsias.
The water was calm and collected.
He turned and scooped me in his framing arms.
And says:
I wanted your birthday to be memorable.
So I got you a present,
He says this all the while looking down.
He brought his eyes back to mine,
So I got you THIS.
He held it up.
I stood staring…
Question after question running around my blank stare.
“Will you marry me?”
This usually very articulate man, said the only words that mattered in that moment.
Then I hugged him for a long while not knowing what to say.
Feeling that I didn’t want to say anything.
That silence held in it everything we already knew.
He didn’t need to elaborate and neither did I.
I said yes while burying my face into his chest.
I felt far away and yet right with him.
We stood there for a great deal of time.
The pink has began to dull.
I feel his chest rise and fall with his breath.
We exchange many smiles and glances at the ring.
He went back to his words:
I want to carve out a path with you.
One neither of our families have taken.
I want to travel the world over with you.
I want to spend the rest of my life with you,
watching the earth come alive and building a place to call home wherever we go.
I know the doubts and risks and I want to do it all anyway.
I want to Marry you Ashley Alexandra Fielden.
Cars are passing by in blurs.
Birds are awakening.
The fiery sky is now muted and giving way to day.
My eyes are fixed on him,
they are misty.
I am still full of (I love you silence.)
We spend most of the day in this kind of silence.
Probably the most silent of all our days yet.
We felt as if nothing has changed between us and yet we know so much is shifting and will continue to do so.
But for today words are not very much needed.
What’s needed is kisses,
lots of kisses.
Forest walks,
Picking wild flowers,
Telling families
And much laughter!

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