Saturday, January 23, 2010

Storms and Love and Cameras

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." – Nelson Mandela

Last Wednesday these words played out for me in vivid experience. I had the immense good fortune to be photographed by Adam Bouska for the NOH8 Campaign.

In case you don’t know: NOH8 is a silent, non-violent protest against Proposition 8, using the medium of photography. Prop 8 is the referendum that, by a narrow margin, struck down marriage equality in California, and made it illegal for gay people to marry; a right they had enjoyed previously,albeit briefly.

I’m straight, and support the rights of all people to marry. To me it’s not appropriate that the State discriminates in this way. Churches can do whatever they want; it isn’t my place to comment on them. But it is my place to speak out when I see State action that goes against the nature of my work of helping people to heal and nurture their spirituality and thereby lead more fulfilled lives of love and productivity. Adam and his partner Jeff are speaking out through their art. They are not playing small. Their idea has grown from a 2:00 am whimsy to an incredible project with thousands of people presenting to become a part of this growing art piece.

So after a long day of work, errands, and appointments, I headed to a rendezvous with Adam and Jeff. There was a violent storm raging that night with torrential rain, winds, and even hail. Accompanied by my friend Laura and her daughter Kat, I arrived a block away from the venue, scampered down the alley and ducked into the entrance of one of the fabulous old offices in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. Little hallways and stairs slowly led back to Old Spanish style rooms that were absolutely fabulous in spite of the wear and tear of decades of use. As we wended our way up and down and all around the puddle soaked path we met people leaving the shoot; every one of them in jubilant spirits, and all wearing the proscribed white shirts and face paint. Even though we were strangers we’d smile conspiratorially at each other and say warm words of greeting. And then…we were in the offices and part of the shoot.

It was magical. There was so much love in that room. While Laura and Kat were being photographed I noticed a lovely man and his partner in the next room, cooing to their toddler and playing with him. They were a family in all but the State’s eyes. People were happy and laughing and making conversations with new acquaintances. Everyone was of one accord. There was great diversity in the room; diversity of age ( I may have been the oldest, though!), of race, of economics, and yet we were all one group. And there was nothing but love. And as the flash bulbs popped, the Lady Gaga music played, and Adam directed my every twitch for an amazing few minutes, I felt overwhelmed and almost started to cry, because the energy in the room was so intensely positive and beautiful. I had come from an exhausting workday, a week of tonsillitis, and a missed stylist appointment from the previous night. I looked like a wookie from being out in the rain, and yet I felt beloved and welcome. The storm raged overhead, yet we were warm and in the heart of love. I felt like I was at home. I didn’t want the feeling to end; I didn’t want the experience to stop.

And it didn’t, because later, after more driving in the continuing storm, I finally arrived to my snug home and to the above Mandela quote, provided by my friend Taylor in stunning synchronicity to my witnessing of Adam and Jeff’s work. (Taylor has a knack for this with me). I laughed and cried at the flow and amazing serendipity of the entire evening. Bless you Taylor, Adam, Jeff, Laura, Kat, and the people whose names I never got.

I wish you all evenings like this, whatever the origin of the flow, and however the company comes about. The more we can stay in love; the more we can stay in joy and happiness, and at time silliness; the more we keep our lives magical. And by staying in that energy, we can create anything.


  1. the feelings of love, selfless commitment and the power of pure truth just ran through me like a lightning bolt as i watched this. magic can happen, does happen, is happening. thrilling to the senses, love is. love is. love IS.

  2. This is wonderful, thankyou for sharing with us...

  3. That's a great blog, Deb!! The day sounded amazing, despite the tumultuous weather! The video clip was great too... I would love to be able to get a photo taken (although I am quite shy about having attention on me... I would feel so nervous...) but what a great idea, great cause, and great way to make a statement!! I Love it!!

    Vy xx

  4. Vy - you would make for a beautiful subject! Your eyes.... those eyes of yours.... oh consider it. Adam and Jeff would take such good care of you that your nerves would go away. And if you look at the portraits on the NoH8 site, you'll see that everyone is beautiful. Which is the point.