The treasure will likely be his death.
Living on the devils dime.
Moments before we watched two eagles fly towards us, through a gully. Like acrobats they tumbled in the air, as they fought over a fresh caught salmon. We all had cameras on us and none of us got the shot...
The scars became the lessons, but I only got love for you now.
The surf was small this day so I decided to write in my journal and make a fire while my friends paddled out. That's when I got chatting with Henk here. He is one of the infamous 'squatters' that were evicted from their commune back in the 70's. He told me stories about the homemade saunas he and his friends would lounge in naked, the empty waves, the music, the trek down and the isolation. Once again I thought to myself how the 70's here would have fit like a glove. The next day I walked down the muddy path with my board, through the trees but this time when I got to the beach there were six long haired greasy gals and guys running around naked in and out of the water. I stood there laughing at the serendipity and thought of my new friend Henk.
Threw a stone and waited.
“My mom was and still is my biggest support and hero in my life. In the midst of her fighting and struggling with how to help me find the proper professional support, she wrote on a piece of lined paper "balance, variety, moderation." I still have that piece of paper 11 years later which is crazy, but in some ways I think that was a start of entertaining the idea that someday I would want that in my life and be "better" or have a "normal" relationship with my body in regards to control- but mostly mentally rather than physically. At first I started addressing this piece of paper in regards to food, then exercise and then as I got older I thought about social life, sleep, work, partying etc. It is 3 words that are far too simple for some to probably believe, but for me it’s a little reminder, or piece of hope."
Words by Natalie to finish off your "Running On Empty" story.
Once Natalie committed to her health and well being she started doing yoga, and began a daily meditation combined with a mindfulness practice. It calmed the negative voice in her head, and it gave her a safe place to exercise without judgment, both physically and mentally. Years later she completed a pilot program for mindfulness cognitive behavior therapy based course for youth (19-24 year old's at St. Paul's hospital) but as she was exited from the program the doctor asked her to join their team. Three years later Natalie is now in her first month involved with leading a mindfulness group, where she teaches others about being aware of their present thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
From our Running On Empty story.
By now I had stopped what I was doing, grabbed my notepad and replayed the passage Natalie left on my voicemail. "For the first time in human history, we are faced with real, tangible threats to the existence of our planet, our earthly body. We find ourselves asking questions just like the mother of an anorexic: “How could things have gotten so out of control?” How could we have ignored, for so long, the symptoms and cries of this beautiful body? How can we now, after so many wounds and scars and toxins have been dumped into the blood and air and tissue of this earth, turn it around? Is it even possible to change the ingrained beliefs and behaviors from unconscious, destructive, and life threatening conscious, creative, and life affirming? Can we come out of denial and realize that our lives depend on it?" (It’s Not About Food- by Carol Normandi)
Natalie had left me a voice mail as she read a page from one of her favorite books, "It’s Not About Food" by Carol Normandi. "We cannot ignore the parallel trend of disrespecting and disconnecting with our human bodies and our earthly body. Our world has forgotten how to listen to and honor the feminine- the intuitive inherent wisdom of mother earth and our bodies. Our egoic mind takes over, and in the race to be “good enough, thin enough, rich enough, successful enough,” we conquer, control, intellectualize, linearize, categorize, and go for the goal no matter what the process, even if the process is starving, cutting, stapling, polluting, destroying, or causing extinction.
From Running On Empty
“I was really good at running and eventually the love for it was lost when all I focused on was training and being the best yet I wasn't fueling myself properly so it was like running on empty or hitting a brick wall in a way. I was my own worst enemy by not having realistic goals or a sense of balance and what happiness was for ME not anyone else (coaches, parents, teachers, etc.) The first time I was told to lose 5 or so pounds was in grade 9 and that was the first time that had been said by a coach, I used that as permission to keep a certain size because it was for my "sport.””
Shot for "Running On Empty"
Natalie turned to the scrapbook. Here was a picture of Jessica Alba, a Roxy bikini ad, and a Sports Illustrated photo of Olympic runner, Marian Jones. “That was my goal.” She said, “To be her. The strongest least feminine athlete, and pure muscle.” Next to her objective was a poem and a handful of photos of Natalie crossing the finish after winning a number of races. One year after Natalie created her scrapbook, Marian Jones would admit to steroid use and return all 5 Medals to the Olympic committee.
From the "Running On Empty" story.
Natalie spoke confidently while reading the personal information, but as I watched her focus on the writing, I couldn’t help but wonder what she was feeling as she began to go further into detail. She continued while not skipping a beat. ”You decided that the risks of taking it are significant enough to motivate you to stop taking them.” she burst into laughter with her adolescent past. The fact she had lied to the nurse and had continued on using the pills was funny to her. I enjoyed the dark humor so I laughed as well. Yet, Natalie was more interested in easing her mind, so her body would continue to suffer until she found something simpler.
From my "Running On Empty" story.
A pretty girl, pleasing her audience.
I am so proud of my girlfriend Rachel for getting accepted into Med School today at Bastyr University for Naturopathic medicine! Among many things, Rachel is my number one teacher when it comes to learning about the complex web of body, mind, and soul. Cannot wait to see where you go from here. Congratulations. xo.
She's concentrating on her breathing.
My good friend Wild Bill moved back to Canada after living down south in his car for the past season. He's been sleeping under my kitchen table for the past month. Like many of my friends he's looking for a job to gain permanent residency. Glad to have you back.
Leica M2 | Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 | Ilford HP5 | Pentax Digital Spot Meter | Self Developed | Epson V700 Scan
Yoga, meditation, and zen philosophy, has play a key role in shifting my thoughts with anxiety and depression after losing my dad. I'm not alone when I say the reason I started yoga wasn't pretty. It has since been a stream of both frustration and inspiration toward my photography, whether it's visible or not. I owe a lot of love to all my teachers like Brittanie Firth Yoga and homies who've practiced beside, and in front of me. Jab Bless and Namaste Mother f(praisinghandsemoji)ckers!
Check out the rest of the shoot here http://www.alexguiryphoto.com/brit-yoga/