My friend, I’ve got nothing this week. I’ve stared at this screen for what seems like hours, and my mind keeps getting distracted by the way my heart hurts.
It’s been a tough year so far. The pandemic. So many lives and livelihoods lost. So much fear and anxiety. And now the murder of George Floyd, the subsequent protests in the U.S., and all the painful feelings that have accompanied this. It’s just too much and the idea of coming up with something clever right now about photography is overwhelming and just feels like the wrong direction to me.
I said I’ve got nothing, but that’s not true. I’ve got so much. We’re healthy. We’re safe. We’re undeniably privileged to be where and who we are. And I’ve got gratitude. So much gratitude. I’m thankful I can still do what I do. I can still serve people like you and though this weekend I’m calling in heart-sick, I’ll be back at it soon.
I’ve been asked for my thoughts on the riots and #blacklivesmatter, but I think now is a time for listening, and I hope it has long been abundantly clear that I will always fall on the side of compassion, justice, the oppressed and the broken. I just don’t have words right now. But I don’t want to be silent, and like so many of you, when words don’t come, I use pictures.
It’s probably nothing more than a token, but I want to give you a digital copy of my last coffee table book: Pilgrims + Nomads, which you can download here.
Why Pilgrims + Nomads?
Because there’s not a white face represented in those pages and they are filled with people of beauty, creativity, wit, great love and kindness, wisdom, and everything the best of humanity has to offer no matter what colour the packaging.
They are filled with people I know and love, and also many with whom I’ve only shared the briefest of moments. And they are the ones I think of and stand with as best I can, my heart filled with sadness that the whole world doesn’t yet see them as they are.
I’m expressing this incompletely, I knew I’d struggle for words. I’m hoping the photographs show them the way I saw them. I’m hoping there’s a reminder in there that we are all pilgrims, and all of us nomads.
And because I believe the best response to gratitude is generosity, I’d like to give you a chance to win one of 3 copies of the signed limited edition printed book as well.
I wish I could do more, but if you’d like a chance to win one of the few remaining copies, just leave a comment here on this blog post (be sure to leave your email where it asks for one so I can get in touch with you if you win) and I’ll do the draw next weekend on Sunday, June 14.
I’m sorry I don’t have more for you this week, but if you know me at all, you know I won’t waste your time faking it. Our connection means the world to me. Thank you for your support and for your patience. I hope you and yours are safe and well.
If you’d like your free digital copy of Pilgrims + Nomads, click HERE.
If you’d like to put your name in to win one of 3 signed, limited edition printed copies of Pilgrims + Nomads, leave a comment below. (UPDATED: this is now over. Nancy Hunt, Todd Beltz, and Deborah Kauffeld are the 3 lucky folks getting a copy of Pilgrims & Nomads. Thank you all for your very kind words in the comments.)
Courage and love to you,
PS – If you are new to my work, would like to support that work in a more tangible way, or just have no idea what I’m talking about, you can get your hands on more information–or one of the few remaining copies of Pilgrims + Nomads, limited to a signed edition of only 500–here.