The Culley Family at Home

Sometimes when we lay down at night Lucy asks me for stories about her life. We talk about her birth, about how quickly and grandly she made an entrance into the world. How we shielded her eyes from the bright hospital lights and tried to guess her name. We talk about our first trip to the grocery store, how I carried her in a sling at my chest while she cried violently through every aisle. I walked tall anyways, so proud of myself and of her, the new and screaming life we made. The big stories. They are few in number now. Memories have a funny way of being fleeting and mixed up. I try to think about every moment gone now, every tender thing about the way things were, the secret whispers of babyhood and the wild, ferocious life of toddlerhood. I dream of the snuggles over morning coffee, bare-foot and exhausted, with constant reminders that what I had in my cup was HOT, HOT HOT. Don't spill! I wish I could hold onto every handful of dandelions, every jaunty dance move and the vision of chubby fists rubbing tired little eyes. I look back on what's left. Memories have shifted from thoughts to feelings. They exist now as open spaces in my heart. They are ineffable and formless. They are gifts that rise up as stories and make me weep. The way life was. How time goes by moments marching next to next and next. It's perfect in it's creation. It's perfect because it's real and also so very temporary. That temporary-ness lays me bare sometimes. I'm guessing it does the same to you.

This is why I shoot stories like this. This is why I try to see you with my heart. It's the place where my stories live. It's where I can honor your stories. If I could make a plea to you, it's that you have bits of your life documented in a way that is real. Let the messiness of love take over. Because what is love if it's not a giant glorious mess of hope and chaos and togetherness? If you feel moved even just a little bit right now there's a contact form above. Let's talk. I'd love to honor your story.