|Brittlebush bloom past prime, Grand Canyon|
My friend was giving me notes on an article I wrote yesterday for the Yarnell Regional Community Center about the environmental benefits of resale shopping. I’ll post a link on Facebook as soon as its up for those who are interested.
She had several suggestions, all of which worked, but one of them didn’t feel right. After a bit of thought I realized that the sentence just wasn’t in my voice. Its not something I’d say or write. Though this sounds like a small thing, I felt a need to go with my original wording. I’m grateful, though, because I had a chance to think about the concept of our voices, literally and figuratively.
I write with a distinct voice. Here its rather casual but there’s a thread that runs through all of my writing. At least I hope there’s more consistency than just my rampant parenthetical phrases.
Really, though, the concept is most relevant to me in my photographic images. There’s a voice there, too. I do my best work alone and even in a group of photographers I tend to wander away to find what’s calling me. After a group shoot, we’re all typically amazed at what the others have “seen,” in the artistic sense, thinking “I never saw that.” Photographers’ processing (“Photoshop”) styles tend to set them apart as well. We each have a distinct voice.
The integrity of our voices in the world are important, and the struggle to be heard relevant and emphatically worthwhile. Women, and especially younger women, can be prone to giving this effort up.
The first of Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements is “Be Impeccable with your word.” Words are powerful, and a fitting metaphor for communication with images. I appreciate the opportunity to reach people with my work. Each fall I make calendars as gifts for loved ones. I treasure the dialog that they start about beauty, nature, and travel. This is one way I hope to leave the world a little better than I found it. I am unabashedly, as my Instagram heading says, a wanna-be do-gooder. I want to use my voice for that.
Two notes on this post;
I’ve been digging through thesauruses and have not found a satisfactory synonym for this use of the word “voice." Do you have one? Anyway, I’m sorry to have over-repeated it.
I’ve chosen some favorite but unusual images to illustrate this post. I offer them as examples of… well, you know.