I nearly called this post “Transcendence.”
On Friday afternoon, I saw the viral video about the first year of Ward Miles’ life. Miles was a micro-preemie (born before 26 weeks) and his father surprised his mother with a truly inspired video that spanned his early first days until he barfed rainbow cake on his first birthday. My warnings are that you will cry. And that there is barf in this video. It’s really cute barf, though.
And I’m..not one to say that normally.
(Link to video HERE.)
And I’m not one to be speechless by everything I see, hear, watch or read.
There’s a certain magic, for lack of a better word, that propels us as writers and artists when our own lives are involved. And I imagine that it’s always involved, at least somewhat, even when we’re writing and/or creating fiction. We take from our own experiences, our own beauty, our own love, our own pain. I cannot imagine that there is a famous creator out there who takes nothing from his or her own personal experiences. It’s the more fired up that I am, that the desire to create matches that heat. The more in love, the more in pain, the more in stunned awe, the more in paralyzed fear, you can see it. You can see it here.
It’s how I better process it. It’s how I better process it and send it along. For your understanding. For my own.
On Friday night, we watched the movie “An Adventure in Space and Time” and I don’t want to speak for Cassidy, but that movie pretty much had me hiding under a blanket – wondering whether I should cry or be really happy at the serendipitous nature of art and how it comes to be and grow. So many near-misses. So many light-bulb moments. The movie is a history of the start of the “Doctor Who” series and let’s just say that David Bradley kills it playing the actor of the first doctor ever – William Hartnell.
On Saturday night, we watched the new “Doctor Who” 50th anniversary show and I was once again, for the third time in a row in two days, stunned by the mind-work that goes into building just one video or show. One show is made up of a world. And they took care to build it into mind-blowing proportions. It intimidates me..to see such amazing writing and imagery. It intimidates me but I can *almost* see the place where it’s coming from. I can almost reach it. Sometimes I do reach it, when I care enough. I understand how we create such love and loss from experience and imagination. It fuels the fire. We set it to stay alight.
We pray that it’s received. Understood. Taken in.
Not that I’m comparing myself to the filmmaker who made his baby’s first year into a movie. Nor am I comparing myself to the filmmaker(s) who took 50 years of Doctor Who love and made it into a non-fiction movie. I’m definitely not comparing myself to the talented makers of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special. Yet I can see something in there that I’ve experienced before.
They care. They create with care. And they show it to you.
It’s something I strive for. I know I can write about my pain and photograph my love. Or write about my love and photograph my pain. I get that. I also get that there’s more. A lot more. And it’s an uphill battle I intend to fight, over and over again.
With more-than-occasional joyous joy.
And interruptions to play a little croquet with a princess.
And as long as no one steals your balls.. (dreams, fire, drive)
…you’re good to go.
And then I closed out the weekend watching Disney Junior’s “Sofia the First: Floating Palace” movie! Not…as inspired, really. Did anyone bawl when they wrote it? Did they channel their innermost demons and passions when they animated it? Was it made with blood, sweat and tears? Sleepless nights and nervous butterflies..scratch that..overly anxious hornets? Was it made with magic?
Hey, you never know. To my little four-year-old, nestled close to both of us on the couch, it certainly was.
Here’s a special kiss from Des to wish you a happy Monday morning. (if possible?) The photo is not recent (hair is more even these days) but the sentiment is recent. He just learned how to blow kisses over the weekend and it’s a pretty special thing.
So from Des to you.
From me to you…
…because I care.
I was bawling at video too! And laughed at the barf, and the drumming.
I think you should have named the post transcendence, because your photography is magnificent. It IS transcendence.
I cried at the video too! I mean, I'm sure everyone did it was so sweet. And yes, the caring has so much to do with it – everything to do with it. Love that last photo. My little guy is also all about the kisses right now and it's my fave.
Your passion shines though with every shot you take and then give to us. Transcendence indeed!
Right back at ya Des – smooch!!!
I haven't heard of that video, of the baby, but I'll check it out.
Cute little kiddos playing croquet, Love that game 🙂
Janine Huldie says
I did see the video when you posted on FB Friday and definitely left me thinking. Oh and we totally closed out the weekend with Sofia's latest movie, too. My girls were nestled in between us and although, it was no masterpiece, still was great note to end our weekend on indeed. And lastly kisses right back to Des from Emma and I (she is sitting bed with me while I was reading it!).
It was kind of a masterpiece though! You know they put thought into it and Scarlet was wide-eyed and transfixed the whole time!
I suppose that's about all you can hope for – to play to your audience.
Thanks for the kisses, Emma!!
That video was so very special.
I love those times when I can feel the magic, the perfect creative connection, come together in my writing. That hope pushes me to dig deeper, write more, and create again and again.
Your pictures and words are beautiful. I love how happy and carefree your daughter is playing croquet.
I appreciate that very much. I can see it in your writing for sure. People blog for various reasons and I hope they all fulfill what they're doing it for. You can see the people who have writing brimming out of them!
Great post! I, too, saw that video the other day and loved watching it through my blurry tears. I think there is something so inspiring about seeing someone pour their love into making something beautiful for the world.-Ashley
I agree! And we don't always know things will go viral. I wonder if he did. He was making it for his wife. I know nothing about them, but you can so see the love in there.
Thank you!! That is so kind. I almost called it that because I feel like everything I saw over the weekend was really transcendence. Such inspired art.
Our little guys would get along as famously as our big girls do. I just know it.
Aw! Thank you! I try. Like I said, I have a long way to go to creating the kind of content that has millions of viewers/readers/watchers huddling on their couch.
I want to get there someday, though.
Thanks! I don't know that she knows how to play croquet (I certainly don't) but she definitely likes looking like she's playing it. Big Alice in Wonderland fan.
Amy @ Long Drive Jou says
Oh goodness. I don't know if I can handle watching that video right now, but I will watch it. I know what you mean about being in awe of something like that. That's the mark of a really GOOD movie, or book, (or blog). It's funny because I realize that not everything I write leaves me with that "I gave it all I had in this one" feeling, but the ones that do are so special, that they make up for the others ones. You can't have that feeling all the time, otherwise it's not as special, I think.
On a lighter note, I always feel in awe of the writing when I watch "Mad Men." I leave every single show just in absolute AWE of how one series can be so good in so many different ways. And I never get tired of it.
I so hear you, Amy!! When I write one of those "total oomph" posts, I get kinda weird after it. I think that the next post and the next post and the next, etc. should all be totally like that. Of course it's not like that. I blog three times a week! I'm not up at a lakehouse writing the next great novel three times a week! So some are less inspired. Some are intended to be light and fun.
You totally get it, though. And about the "Mad Men" effect on you.
Chris Carter says
I am going to have to wait to watch that video- leaving soon to volunteer at my kids' school. Not wanting my eyes to be puffy and tear-stained!! (I can only imagine tho)
As always you brought so much into your post- that's what I love most about your blog. It's never just one thought, story or line.
It's layers of love intertwined with light and sprinkled with grains of truth and pain and twists of questioning.
I just love soaking it all in. You have that "eye" for life- in your talent, your children, your perspective. I just love that about you, Tamara.
I always feel inspired to dig deeper, when I am here.
Yes, so glad I put the warning on the video, Chris! It will demolish you! All in good ways, of course.
I love your comments because I find them to be as layered and honest and questioning as my posts. And your posts, of course.
Nicole @ Work in Swe says
Oh dear, Des is going to be a heartbreaker! Too bad he's already promised to my darling Monkey. And those pictures of Scarlet? Wow, you are one talented photographer, and she is one gorgeous girl. And, yes, there is so much magic in our lives. Beautifully written, Tamara!
Des and Monkey will do us proud.
Thank you, Nicole! It’s hard to capture these kids because they move/grow so fast, but I honestly think I can do it at least part of the time. With a very fast shutter speed and a strong vision.
Christine @ Love, Li says
I'm not sure if I can watch the video right now. There's kind of this emotional container that opened up over the weekend with the end of my teacher training. But I do want to watch it. There's so much in this post and I think that's what I love so much about your writing and about your photography – the layers and how you layer things so beautifully and subtly and magically.
I like that. Emotional container. And I understand that a lot and I'm so glad I put the warning on there! Monday mornings at 12 degrees can be tough enough.
Thank you for talking about the layers. You're not the first today! Definitely making me think. I think in layers, so it makes sense that I'd write in them too.
The passion with which we can write about our lives is a result of us being the expert about our lives. We're the authority. It sounds funny, but not everyone can say that. Say about us what you will, we blog writers, and no, we don't get it perfectly each time, but there's no one better suited for the job.
And it's ok to not get it perfectly each time. I'm happy with once every rare while.
Jen @ PinkWhen says
I can't watch the video right now because if I cry, my toddler who is hanging onto my legs will start crying too…so I will come back at nap time. Your photos are always so gorgeous, and LOVE them all. Always love stopping in here for a Scarlet and Des smile.
The crying is contagious chain! We can’t have that. And yes, you will probably cry.
Thanks for stopping in and making me feel great!
Manhattan Image and says
I haven't seen that video yet, but I will check it out. Your kids are so adorable and very photogenic!! I love the pictures!! 🙂
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Thank you! I feel very lucky that they’re photogenic or I’d be a little lost with my practice subjects.
Seana Turner says
My girls and I start crying at just about everything. We couldn’t handle a true, deep movie every day — too draining:) Tell Des a whole community blows kisses back to him!
Aw, Des will be so pleased! Little does he know how many people are watching him grow up. Loving, awesome people.
I love that you cry with your girls.
I want to watch the video but I'm sitting in a coffee shop with no headphones. Darn! Sometimes I like a good cry.
Those pictures capture so much –kids at play–outside, no less–is so precious and fleeting.
And you do tell stories with your words AND your pictures. Whatever you're doing works and resonates with your readers. Don't over analyze if you should be doing it another way! (that's what I read into this post. Maybe I'm wrong!)
Thank you! I was just saying I wanted to be someone like the writers of Doctor Who – never-ending good material that the whole world sees. It’s a lot to strive for!
Also forgot to add that my kids having been waiting for that Sofia movie. Well played, Disney. Why is there one new episode of Sofia like every six months?
haha! We caught on late so we had a lot of time to catch up. They do them every other Friday, seemingly.
Hahaha! I remember when JR first started really kissing! Guess how he learned? He learned because he watched me and Daddy kiss when Daddy comes home from work. So we do the same thing now everyday when Daddy comes home: Daddy picks him up and we all hug and then JR pushes me and Daddy's faces together so we can kiss and then he gives each of us kisses. It really is the most amazing thing! Side note: loved how you were able to appreciate such amazing work and intertwine what you experienced through the photos of your darlings 🙂
So cute! When Cassidy gets home here, he scoops up both kids and runs around the house singing with them. Tradition!
Kristi Campbell says
You are amazing. Your love and your hope and your caring and feeling come through in your words. In your photography. In everything. And it’s beautiful and powerful and I’m so so glad to be your friend.
That video is perfection. I didn’t even mind the puking. If puking is ever cute, it was cute enough to not be horrifying there.
Is the croquet setting your yard? Such an amazing view!!
I know! I’m totally a bad, bad puke-phobic and I could handle that without even blinking!
The croquet setting is sadly not our yard. It’s my father-in-law’s yard. If I had that yard, well..wow. I have a pretty unique outdoor studio as is. I just want more, more, more.
JDaniel4's Mom says
I think you more than succeed. Your words and pictures both weave wonderful moments in time together with great beauty.
Thank you very much. I think I just want more, more, more. I do need to pay attention to what I have the means to do as well.
Rabia @TheLiebers says
Love that pic of Des!! He’s such a cutie and you capture him (and Scarlet) so wonderfully!
Thanks! It’s kinda my thing. As I said above, fast shutter speeds and a strong vision.
I haven’t seen the video but I will check it out for sure! It seems like everything I see lately sets me off crying. Des is growing up so much! What cuties you have!
Thanks! Hope you can meet Scarlet next time. I think she’d like that and the older kids would love her! More like, she’d love them.
Sometimes I read your posts and I don’t know what to say. I read, I love, and I let the words and photos settle into my heart and mind and nest there. But I can’t come up with anything to add to what you’ve said, and I don’t know how to respond adequately with my own words. So I’m just going to take your writing and carry it around with me for the rest of the day, and maybe peek at it again once or twice. Is that okay?
That made me smile. You have my permission to just write, “Amen, sister!” Or, “You go, girl!” haha. No, just knowing you’re reading it is great enough for me. And your comments are always well-received and honest. And I love each one.
Okay, I totally cried in the first 60 minutes of the video! Yes, life is an inspiration for our creative works. I love pulling from personal experiences to develop my work. I’m glad you all enjoyed your weekend!
Yes, it was very moving. I haven’t been able to watch it since.
Shana Norris says
“And I imagine that it’s always involved, at least somewhat …”
I couldn’t agree more with this, Tamara. I think it’s more obvious for writers, but as someone who is married to a painter, it’s fascinating to see how *life* is involved in his art. I suppose sometimes – many times even – I see it when no one else does since, ya know, we live together 🙂
These pictures brought back fond memories of playing croquet in the yard with my sisters and cousins. I wasn’t much older than Scarlet last time I did it.
I used to play croquet in the yard too! I don't even really remember where or when but I think it was always special occasion lawn parties.
And so interesting to be a writer married to a painter!
I've never watched Doctor Who, but I hear so many people rave about it that I would love to catch an episode to see what it's all about. Problem is, I have no idea what channel it's on!
And Des- thank you so much for the Monday smooches! Right back at ya!
Yeah, it's cool! My husband has been into it since the 70's so for him to see other people in America get into it is unique. It's on BBC! I think?
Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says
Well, apparently I need to get wight he program because I haven;t seen that baby video and I don’t watch Dr. Who, BUT, I do understand what you are saying about he “magic.” I don’t really think of myself as an artist, but I am beginning to think of myself as a writer. By now, I shouldn’t be, but I am still always amazed by the magic of your photos.
Thank you! I hope the magic doesn't wear off. Boy do I hope that.
another jennifer says
Oh my gosh, that last photo of Des. I want to smooch him back! So freaking cute.
You totally create with care, Tamara. And we see your emotion and what you put into each post and photo. That's why we come back.
As for the video, I keep seeing it come across my stream but I have not been able to watch it. For some reason, I'm not ready. I will get there. I'm just too emotional about kids. Gotta prepare myself.
Thank you so much! I really do. If I didn’t care, well, I’d just skip a day or something.
Let me know when you see the video!
Jodi Flaherty says
I have to be totally honest here. I find it difficult to comment on your posts…. you are thinking WTF? No it is a compliment. Your posts are so breathtakingly beautiful and I get wrapped up in the the amazing tale you tell… by the end I am relaxed, smiling and thinking….”I got nothing as good” to add to that. 🙂 Love visiting you Tamara
haha! WTF?! Just kidding! You can see my friend Dana above said something similar. I'll tell you what I told her – it's all good because it's you (or anyone). You can say "Amen" or "You're wrong!" or "You go, girl!" Or just tell me that you stopped by. That's all good. I left the lamest comment on your post today telling you how badly I wanted to win your giveaway!
Well, it's true.
Suzanne @AndMyHouse says
Your words and photos are artistry in the making! I totally get the notion of being moved by film, because I happily cry watching all the Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel!
You and me both. Man, you and me both. I think I favor Lifetime more. Fa-la-la-la Lifetime! Then they changed it. It’s a Wonderful Lifetime, I believe!
I need to watch that video. I think I shall after I comment.
I have not seen the latest Sofia. I’m sure I will soon. And apparently the new season of My Little Pony started.
Whoa! This is big news! Thank you!
I see beauty and art and love in every single picture you share with us!!!
I will have to watch the video later (after a bit of sleep – when I’m really tired my emotions are haywire so I don’t want to watch something that will make me cry).
Love Des’ kiss!!
Thank you!! That means a lot!
Yes, the video is a bit tough to get through without crying. Probably impossible!
Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama says
I’ll be honest, I was going to say some deep meaningful words in this comment, it was going to be filled with insights and understanding. Then you rendered me speechless with that last photo of Des. Can we just sit and chat about this cuteness overload? Omg. Made my whole night.
I know! I want to eat him!
And that’s all the meaningful comment I need right there.
OMG that video. It takes me back with so many memories. You have a true gift with your photos and your written word…and the combination is always beautiful. (BTW, Sofia just seems to fall flat in our house. T was SO excited for that episode, but she made me turn it off before it was over. Not the artistry usually present in Disney work)
Sofia falling flat!? I didn't think that was possible! Dora kinda falls flat here. And Sesame Street. I guess we've become a Disney Jr. family? We don't actually have Nickelodeon so that might have something to do with it.
Such beautiful pictures! I just love that floral head piece your daughter is wearing. I saw all of these ads for the anniversary of Dr. Who and I haven’t seen it yet. It’s one of those movies I hear so much buzz about and need to see!
Thank you! We got the headpiece at a Renaissance Faire near Boston. We love that one!
Growing Up Madison says
Once again a most inspiring post! I just reading your posts and looking at your photos, especially when I’ve had a long rough day at work. I will be checking that video out and I have to say that Des is too cute blowing kisses. Madison gives it and then when you kiss her back she wipes it off. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!
haha! She’s already learned to wipe off kisses. How adorable. I’m so glad you find comfort here after a long day of work! I love seeing Madison’s posts too. They soothe the soul. Have a great Thanksgiving week!
Cam | Bibs & Baubles says
How sweet. That made me smile. You and Des.
To some extent I get what you were describing. It’s something to be in the creative process and you want people to get what you’re offering. I was in that place as a writer and producer. It was a daily struggle to fight for your vision and try to make other people get it. When it works, it’s magic!
A daily struggle – sounds about right! I think it’s so interesting to be in the creative process as a career. Difficult and interesting!
Fashion Sky Fall says
I saw the video, amazing… Love your photos of course and your children are adorable! The last photo is top <3
Thank you! It's my favorite. The video is just so mind-boggling.
Kim@Co-Pilot Mom says
I know what you mean about touching that something that is in a story that moves you. I so often find that in my family's stories, in our everyday moments.
We recorded An Adventure in Space and Time but were so anxious to watch the Anniversary special that we haven't watched the it yet.
PS – Did you love the appearance of 13? I may have yelled and clapped. 🙂
I did! His eyes! 13 has some eyes. I can't wait to talk more with you about it.
Geeze, someone hand me a tissue! Love that video and your photos are so breathtakingly beautiful. You are very talented. Writing fiction is definitely the craft of magic.
Kenya G. Johnson says
I’m getting ready to run out – so I don’t feeling like crying first 😉 Love your little creations and you capture their personalities so well.
Understood! You don’t want to be that crying woman in public on account of me! My warnings came in handy.
Joi @ Rx Fitness Lad says
Awh! Thanks Des! That is super sweet for this week!
I knew nothing of that viral video. I watched it! So breathtaking! Thank you for sharing!
Yay, Joi! I'm so glad you watched it and appreciated it. It's so beautiful.
Wow just wow…lovely post and so true. And the video? I couldn't help from crying!
I know! I felt it welling inside me like sobs! I haven't even watched it since the first time.
Thank you! And I so agree. I don't write fiction, and I kinda want to try.
Ginny Marie says
You touch so many people with your writing and your photos, and even more so by your interaction with everyone who sees your work! You don’t just post it and then sit back. You reply to everyone’s comment and encourage real conversations, plus I’m betting you’ve visited everyone’s blog in return. You’re amazing!
Well I don't know about amazing! Crazy, maybe. Yes I do visit everyone! And I try to keep relationships going. Sometimes it doesn't work and sometimes it does. Mostly it does and I find all of you amazing writers.
Oh and I meant so badly to say thank you. Thank you so much. I actually needed that. I have some hefty down-on-myself days lately.
Amber Day Hicks says
Sweet T, I love you! I love your post! I love your babies & their photos! That video had me BAWLING!!! Holy JEEPERS!!! Crudhoppers, I mean I understand because is a NICU baby (no where near as long) but I get it… the phone calls in the middle of the night, getting to hold your baby for one of the first times, is SO precious! SO those emotions all flooded back, holy crap… That video was amazing… I wish the best for that family! XOXO, T! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving.
Yup, NICU for six days here. Those phone calls. Bone chilling. I wish it on no one, and yet, it's amazing what they can do.
I wish all the best for that family too!
Amber Day Hicks says
Kens was 21 days… SO amazing, NICU staff is amazing!!! XO, Sweet T!
Aw! It’s all bad. Any amount of time there. Glad she’s so awesome and healthy and SMART!
I just watched the video. I was so worried about which way that video was going to go. I was amazed and thankful that modern medicine helped that the sweet little boy! Oh and I love the kiss from Des – I could have used that yesterday, although today is a much better day! Thanks for sharing!
Oh I should have mentioned that! It's happy. It's ok. Sad, but happy. Mostly happy.
I know you said that the photos weren't recent but I have to say that Des is looking like such a big boy in these pictures. For all this time I've been looking at these beautiful pictures of your baby and suddenly you switched it up on me. So fun!
I want to be an artist, to think I'm an artist, and to have those feelings of sharing something with the world in a wonderful and unique way but I don't think that's me. I'm not saying that I'm totally without talent but I don't see myself in this wondrous light. I'm always the one looking at awe at what others have created. Never the creator. You, my friend, are always the creator. I look in awe.
You're very WITH talent, but I can understand finding your own way to shine. I think that way of many of my blogging friends – that I'm in awe of what you all can do, but not all of it is me. Like all of the fitness stuff! Whew. Amazing.
And now I'm wondering – did you watch it yet??
Blond Duck says
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
You as well! Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!!
"It’s the more fired up that I am, that the desire to create matches that heat."
Babe, write your OWN book. You have such a way of putting raw emotion into every single word you weave into a beautiful post. They make me reflect in so many ways. You need to write your OWN book.
And then make a book on photography. Or you can do both! Do it. xoxo
I will, Kim. I really will. Thank you. And you’re back! Holy cow!
Perfect! Simply perfect. Your compassion and connection to those that care is what makes everything that you write, do, and say so perfect. You find that special, you connect with it, you find the emotion and the raw of it all. I am blessed to know you and yes, that last picture of Des – sheer gorgeous example of pure love!!
Thank you so much! I just write how I feel. And photograph how I feel! Unless I'm on a paid job and they're very specific with what they want.
Tenns @ New Mama Diaries says
Oh my goodness, I saw the video Friday as well and it was just too much for me! I definitely bawled my eyes out. I hugged and kissed me son a little bit more and harder that day. It made me so thankful for him, and that he came into this world full-term (41 weeks) and that God blessed us so much in that regard. I really hit close to home for me having a 5 week old. I was so happy to see little Ward thrive and grow into a toddler. What a story!
As always lovely pictures of your little ones! 🙂
My son was 38.5 weeks! Very nice and sturdy. He did have to go to the NICU to monitor a potential virus, but he looked so big and healthy in there that I was so thankful for that. It was a perspective I didn't want to notice, but I couldn't help but see it.
I’ve got to watch that video but haven’t had a chance yet. I love to cry – I love to feel that emotion – the one where all you can do is cry – weird I know:) But your posts often make me feel THAT emotion too. The one that just touches your soul and you cry because it is just too beautiful – everything you write, photograph, create (those kids are pretty spectacular).
Have you seen the video yet? It won’t disappoint. It’s a good kind of cry. I appreciate so much what you said about my posts. That’s how I feel when I hear Tori Amos music. It’s like a beauty you want to touch, but are afraid you’ll never be able to.
Ginny Marie says
Okay, then I'll tell you again…YOU are AMAZING, and I mean it!
Betty Manousos says
man, your little ones are the cutest kids ever!
and des is so adorable!
big hugs to you all!:))
Thank you!! Des is such a squish. Big hugs to you too.
catherine gacad says
yes, i saw that video of the preemie baby. i just bawled and bawled!
I know! It’s so amazing.