remnants

One of the things that brings me great joy is stumbling across nature's gifts; those things that have broken or decayed, or thrive in spite of their environments. I will always be the girl who is chasing after the skulls, the bones, the discarded shards of life's circle.

 

found turtle shell | © jennifer summer | 2018 | do not save or use without permission

found turtle shell | © jennifer summer | 2018 | do not save or use without permission

moths

"A luna moth emerges from its cocoon with not long for this earth. The average lifespan is a week, during which time they have no means to eat (no mouths). Their week (and life) goal is simple: to reproduce. To make love, the strongest of human emotions. Many observers believe this to be a reminder of the importance of seizing the day. Live and love to the fullest and enjoy every experience that gets thrown your way. That’s as the luna moth does."

 

luna moth | © jennifer summer 2018

luna moth | © jennifer summer 2018

 

 

 

52 weeks words + images | week sixteen

 

37

--

Thirty-seven and here's what I've learned:

Always say yes to dessert.
Enormous hills are meant to be rolled down.
Only do the drugs that grow naturally from the earth.
Kiss a lot of dogs. All the dogs.
You don't need to brush your hair every day or tuck in your shirt. It's okay to be a little wild.
When your child runs toward you with his arms outstretched your heart will feel like it's too big to stay inside your chest. It will.
You can find God when you stop looking.
Beauty will come to you. Just be still.

©  Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

 

52 weeks words + images | week fifteen

 

gardening

Life tells us to bloom where we are planted; essentially, to accept our fate and make the best of it, but the roots that we have are not like those that tether trees to soil.  Ours snake around the heart-line that we carry inside, intersecting with each curving memory, a bulky and tattered piece of luggage that we never put down.  This leaves our body free to roam.  If the sun stops shining its nutrients onto wherever we’ve pinned as home, we are able to move to the patch that is drenched in light.  The choice is always ours.  You are as fluid as the next whim after which you give chase.

 

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

 

52 weeks words + images | week fourteen

 

under seas

--

When I was a child, escape was crucial to survival. I would close the door to my bedroom and watch my entire reality fall away, the new one existing solely inside those four walls.  I took the stage, flexed up onto my toes, danced someone else’s life.  In hot Midwest summers I sank to the bottom of every pool, lungs full and taut, body curled in on itself, carving out a safe womb.  

Nana would dress me for these journeys; flaring skirts, sheer scarves to tie up my hair, long wisps of gauzy fabric that would flow behind me.  The carpet in my bedroom was a deep, turquoise blue and I imagined it was the ocean, my ocean.  I asked Nana for a mermaid tail and her skilled fingers delivered a dark orange one with a zipper up the side.  I layered her costume jewelry necklaces over my bare chest, leaned back on both arms, shook out my hair and whipped my tail.  The crash of my imaginary waves would drown the anger on the other side of the door, and I would let the tide pull me away to absolutely anywhere.

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

 

52 weeks words + images | week twelve

 

for her

I have a vast collection of shells, many of which I didn’t even have to look for; they simply washed up at my feet, poking at my ankles, nudging my attention.  Those that tend to just appear are always varying degrees of flawed.  Their color will have smudged, they’ll be cracked down the middle, have pointy edges, or sometimes even disintegrate upon touch.  These always end up being my favorite ones.  The people who have floated into my life are so much like these favorite shells.  They’ve been battered by the waves, split through their core, faded, missing pieces of themselves.  Yet, they still manage to find their way to the shore, reaching for the warmth of the sun, offering up their hearts again and again.  We find ourselves when we find those whose shells match our own.

 

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

 

composed dreams

 
© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together. - Anais Nin

 

52 weeks words + images | week four

growing out

It’s all still there, in your lungs; the living memory of every gasp you took in fear or elation or bliss; all those atoms that made up the physical response of a singular moment.  You swallowed them down and the seeds for these stories were planted. One day, that story will begin to grow.  It will wind its branches through your chest, creeping up the back of your throat, knocking tentatively at the door of your voice and it will wait to be told.  When you spin your tale, you flourish.  Those tiny moments become the roots that tether you to this life, this truth ripens into the breath of your song.

image & words © Jennifer Summer | 2015

image & words © Jennifer Summer | 2015