Earlier this year I was sitting at my neighbor's table while she made fried pies. We're both from Arkansas and although almost 60 years separate us, chatter can pass between us like we graduated high school together. We both moved to the neighborhood in 2009. I asked her that day what brought her to Jefferson City. "To die," she answered with a small wry smile. I came here to grow up, I told her. But I've thought a lot about that moment that brought two drastically different lives to intersect over moving to Stonebridge in 2009 and a desire to eat fried pies.
Bessie has been a faithful member of my church since a few years before I moved to Jefferson City and has become one of my dearest friends here. We love Taylor Swift and babies and coloring and just hanging out. She’s one of those quiet, steady friends who I can enjoy silence with as well, which is a rare and beautiful thing. Her mom passed away pretty suddenly last month and is now starting a […]
When she bore down to push, I looked around the room at the seven of us. I thought about each generation before us, who labored out the next, and on and on, that brought us here, to a darkened hospital room to bear witness the birth of this little one. Tamika grabbed Ryan’s hand and I thought of my own mother’s soft tan hands gripping a cold hospital rail and my dad’s arm, as if it eased any sort of pain. It is crazy how humans can love each other that much without the slightest clue of who they are bringing into the world and the heartache tethered to them. It is crazy knowing my mom –like many others- would do it all over again if she had the chance.
"I've had a lot of time to mull over the year as it has come and gone and I've come to grieve the wasted opportunities to lean in my disappointment and turn it back to joy. This is especially hard for me to realize, when looking back at my birthday, which was an unexpected highlight. The word often spoken over to me by my closest friends on that day was the word "joy". I wanted to own that word last year. I would like to think have been content to know I had become an utter delight inside and out regardless of circumstances. I was not. God bless my small community being pulled in and out of my wake."
Last night I sat in the kitchen and talked about finance, religion, and every other uncouth subject with Julie until 11:00 PM while she prepped meals for my fourth summer of craziness at the MBC. Matt stumbled in from an evening nap and cracked a few jokes; then they both gave their semi-frequent “rah-rah-ree, we’re team Bri!” pep talk before we all went to bed. Today I woke up in my brightly lit bedroom, where […]
Here's the thing: anything worth something requires hard work, doing the right thing, and denying ourselves for the sake of our little homes our soul longs to dwell in. I can point to the home shattered in a million bits and say "no thank you," but who can control when disaster strikes and how can I believe that too will not also be my lot? I can point to the established home and say "yes, that one" but I cannot see the routine work and effort that must be pumped in everyday, whose strength and vitality has been built over time and careful attention and weathered many storms. I cannot point to the beautiful home on the best piece of property and say "I want what they have" because if I only knew the sort of decay happening to its foundations and structure, my home would not stand long.
Yesterday I left my office around noon and walked the four blocks to the capital to welcome the NAACP on their 120 mile march from Ferguson to Jefferson City and to stand with them, pray, and listen as they called for change, accountability, and justice in policing and racial equality. My heart has been unbearably heavy the past 120 days since the killing of Michael Brown, as it’s torn a part a community I love […]
Growing up is complicated business. This is not a new discovery for myself as I’ve jammed ear buds filled with angst-y music or woken up in the middle of the night with searing growing pains in my legs, or sat on the lawnmower controlling what felt like the only thing in my life: several million subservient blades of grass, wondering if I will ever get to experience the big world out there, away from Greenbrier. I […]
Dear Church, Have you forgotten why we gather today in our sanctuaries, auditoriums, strip malls, college campuses, in homes, or satellite campuses? Sometimes I wonder if we’ve gotten in the habit of gathering to meet with friends, or have an hour with your spouse kid-free, or have a place to dress up, or dress down, because maybe it gets you up and out of bed, or it’s a place to grab some free coffee, or […]
Being a photographer over the last six years has allowed me to meet and interact with people in a way I never would. Most of the time I’m the first person to smile and hug a bride and groom after they’re married and congratulate them, I’m the one who gets to witness the raw emotion of a couple’s first look before they are married. Sometimes I’m one of the first to hold a newborn, or […]