On being out of your element...

I'm taking a conceptual photography course with Catherine Just right now called Begin Deepening.

It was one of those invitations that I saw and, before even reading the full description, jumped on board. I knew, from that immediate, unquestionable moment, this was going to be important. If my past knee-jerk reactions were a true indication of anything, I also knew on some level this would be life-changing. That's the way I find and follow threads of interest and invitation to dive deeper, so it makes me chuckle (and sigh) that the course is called Begin Deepending...because dear God if I'm only just beginning... 

But, I am. 

This photo is the response to capture what we feel like on the inside, outside. 

And so there you have it. This is me: I am the goldfish. I am the water. I am the antique vase sitting on the old, mossy rock in the middle of the forest. Out of my element, certainly, but also in it. Surrounded by the wisdom of the trees and the rocks. Sustained by water. Captured in a fragile container that's a little bit chipped and worn, but exquisitely crafted by an unknown Artist. 

Aren't we all? 

I have to believe I'm not alone here, even though, conceptually, I am. 

I have to believe that when I separated this fish from the other four in the bowl, that was an important moment, too, as was the moment when I placed him back among his buddies and watched them all do a victory lap in honor of his return. 

So this feeling of being out of my element is really just a feeling that I can accept or deny. Something funny happened when I finally acknowledged it in this photo and that funny was that I was able to accept and deny it all at once. 

Yes, it's true. But also, it's also what makes me, me. 

I am wondering what makes you, you? If you had to visualize what you felt like on the inside, outside, what would that look like for you? And what would that mean, when you finally saw it with your own two eyes?

Tell me that story. I'm all ears. We can do a victory lap when you're done. 


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