Sunday, December 19, 2010

CHARLEE



Today my little niece Sumaia made a kissing sound that my brother used to make. The sound alarmed me- I could see my brothers lips pursing to send us kisses, I could hear the noise he would make and I could see his smile.  I fought back tears because my Mom was behind me and I didn't want to fall apart in front of her. Our memories are so powerful.  I was so happy to hear that little noise and to have that memory.  A little Christmas joy.  A real gift.

This innocent little gesture reminded me how short life is and how we shouldn't take a minute of it for granted.  That got me thinking about what I do with photography which is a great passion of mine.  It reminded me not ever stop doing what my heart leads me to do which is a nice reminder when I start to think how'd I'd love to make my living doing photography in one way or another.  I start to consider different avenues of photography that will permit me to make money and photograph at the same time albeit not my ideal kind of photography or format.  Isn't life too short to sell myself short?  Shouldn't I just passionately and unabashedly create what is somewhere within me regardless of whether it will grant me success, status or monetary gain?  Yes, clearly I should.  The artists I admire the most put so much emphasis on doing what your heart desires and putting aside trends and what may be commercially viable.  That makes me think, aren't the artist that get recognition the ones doing something different? - not imitating what's already been done or what is popular at the moment?

My heart says shoot polaroids like they weren't barely in stock.  Make books because you want to and forget whether they will be accepted by many or anyone at all, make them because you can't not make them.

I want to live life to the fullest. To be thankful.  To be thoughtful.  I want to breathe in life every day.  To smile and brush those little things off my shoulder.  I have such high hopes for 2011.

My brothers name is Charlee Adiexen Norman.  I haven't written that in more than six years because it's easier to say "my brother" than to breathe his name.  And I've been afraid to write this in a public place because I'm not looking for sympathy and I don't know if this is too intimate but he was and continues to be such an inspiration to me that I think he needs the recognition as an important person in my life that he deserves.  My brother, Charlee passed away six years ago and his life and death have affected my every day life.  His love is the purest and most selfless that I've ever known and I miss him every day.  My every wish is that I could see him again for ten minutes.  To feel his hands, to see his smile and to hear his voice just once more.  I want to live more freely this year like he did.  I don't want to take anything or anyone for granted any more and I encourage you to tell someone you love them.  Not to put off that picture you wanted to take or that song you wanted to write. Do it and do it with everything you have and remind me to do the same.

xo

12 comments:

  1. Youre such a beautiful inspiration. Charlee was so lucky to have you as a sister.

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  2. This is such an amazing post. Really. Thank you so much for sharing such personal thoughts. xx

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  3. thank you for sharing your story. i can't even imagine what it's like. all the best to you in 2011.

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  4. so moving... it must be so difficult.
    sending you warm thoughts.

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  5. i am in awe of your strength and your vulnerability, and your insights. this post brought me to tears as i approach the 5th anniversary of losing my mom. and it reminds me to be thankful for each and everyday and all that i have, most especially, the gift that is my sisters and my brother. thank you for sharing your heart. this is one of the best posts i have ever read.

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing - such an honest post. I'm sure your brother is so proud of you!

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  7. i'd like to hold you to this.

    very beautiful, az. and a real challenge to me. definitely needed this--the idea of doing things that make you feel alive, that are congruent with your heart. right on.

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  8. Thanks for sharing. We forget the little things. We move busier and busier convincing ourselves that everything else matters. When really it's the people and bringing them closer. I'm following you now- I like your thoughts.I know some believe that those that have gone before us can feel us, they see us, they are still there. I am one of those people that believe this. I've seen too much death to believe otherwise. It gives me hope. Besides the scientist in me really believes that matter is neither destroyed or created- it merely changes shape. He's there for you- you have your 10 more minutes.

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  9. Thank you all for your warmth, comforting words and for reading this. It's amazing what community, relating to another person and simple words can do to the spirit! xo

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