on learning how to say yes

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I have to admit that it’s pretty funny that I’m writing my first true blog post here (peer pressure works, y’all!) while my dining room table is covered in all the crap I still need to pack before I board my flight for the UK tomorrow. But really, it seems like there’s no better time to pause, draw breath and reflect for a moment about what brought me here, ready to spend nearly two months in the city of my dreams.

It all comes from saying yes. Just yes. Yes to the unexpected. Yes to the improbable. Yes to the wildly out of character.

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I am by nature a homebody. I was so connected to my space, that people used to joke that my home was the source of my power. I liked it there. But something happened this past summer, when Cal was gathering himself to head to college. I came untethered. My sense of motherhood shifted and along with it my sense of self.

All of the sudden things that never seemed possible became more so. I said yes to hikes. I said yes to going places on my own. I said yes to travel. I said yes to trusting myself. I said yes to looking over the ledge into the pit and not flinching at what bubbled away inside. I deepened my friendships and enriched my life through music and art. All by saying yes.

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If you’d asked me a year ago what my empty nest would look like I never would have dreamed that I would have said Santa Fe, the UK, Savannah, New York City, my first show, and now back to the UK, this time for an extended stay. I never would have dreamed that I would have wanted travel, travel, travel and more and more and more.

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But you know what? You learn a lot when you say yes. About yourself and the world around you. Your heart expands and your vision does too. My friend Marianne gave me an early birthday card at lunch this week with an amazing quote from Ray Bradbury. “Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.”

That’s me all the way. After I finish packing.

The Story of Me, March 2019

Each month I join a group of women who are using words and images to explore their personal stories. You can follow The Story of Me Project on Instagram.


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My days all look the same
And I’ve know these wolves by name
’Cause my own devils are all heartless loves
And these sea legs tend to ache
Whenever I stay in the same place
It might be good of me to go

The Ballroom Thieves, Sea Legs

The Story of Me, February 2019

Each month I join a group of women who are using words and images to explore their personal stories. You can follow The Story of Me Project on Instagram.


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Don’t ask if I’m happy, you know that I’m not
But at best I can say I’m not sad

Lana Del Ray, hope is a dangers thing for a woman like me

The Story of Me, January 2019

Each month I join a group of women who are using words and images to explore their personal stories. You can follow The Story of Me Project on Instagram.


photo credit: Ashleigh Coleman

photo credit: Ashleigh Coleman

May the light be upon me, may I feel it in my bones
That I am enough, I can make anywhere home
My fingers are clenched, my stomach’s in knots
My heart, it is racing, but afraid I am not

P!nk, I Am Here

The Story of Me, December 2018

Each month I join a group of women who are using words and images to explore their personal stories. You can follow The Story of Me Project on Instagram.


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The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop, One Art

The Story of Me, November 2018

Each month I join a group of women who are using words and images to explore their personal stories. You can follow The Story of Me Project on Instagram.


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“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms or like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for answers. They can not now be given to you because you cannot live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you will need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”
Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

The Story of Me, October 2018

Each month I join a group of women who are using words and images to explore their personal stories. You can follow The Story of Me Project on Instagram.


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“All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity to being oneself, a wedge shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others … and this self, having shed its attachments, was free for the strangest adventures.”
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

The Story of Me, September 2018

Each month I join a group of women who are using words and images to explore their personal stories. You can follow The Story of Me Project on Instagram.


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“For now she had not to think of anybody. She could be herself by herself. And that was what she often felt the need of — to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone.”
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

one walk, one roll, August 2018

From time to time I'll grab my camera and stuff my pockets with quotes from the things I'm reading and set out on a walk. The following galleries contain images from those walks. Just me, one camera and one roll of film. 



"Islands of light are swimming on the grass," said Rhoda. "They have fallen through the trees."

Virginia Woolf, The Waves

The Story of Me, August 2018

Each month I join a group of women who are using words and images to explore their personal stories. You can follow The Story of Me Project on Instagram.


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"I have seen my sons and daughters, once netted over like fruit in their cots, break the meshes and walk with me, taller than I am, casting shadows on the grass." 
Virginia Woolf, The Waves

rock away

In August of 2018, our son left for college. These photos document the lead up to the day his dad and I moved him into his dorm.
 
All alone, nothing but the sound
Of crickets on a summer's night.
On our own, no one else around
I tell you that would be all right.
Oh baby, oh baby
Oh baby, oh baby
Rocky-a-bye baby, my best toy is real.
Nothing can hurt us, our loving can heal.
Climbing was scary, but soon we'll arrive.
It's getting as easy as being alive.
Rockin' away til a quarter to five.


Phoebe Snow, Rock Away