Most of us tend to want our blessings to be wrapped in pretty packaging, leaving little doubt that what has been received is, indeed, a gift. I have found that many of my blessings come in the guise of old crumpled up newspaper wrapped around a stinky fish. My initial reaction might be, “Ugh! I don’t want that!”, but somewhere, buried deep inside, there is a blessing waiting to be discovered.
I recently developed a visual impairment due to the side effects of a medication. Surgeries have restored my vision, but for several months I was unable to drive, read, and, most disappointingly, work on my photography.
Photography is part of my “ness”, a term my kids use to describe the essence of one’s soul. Photography is part of my Mommyness, my Julieness; without it I wasn’t quite me.
I decided still attend an upcoming class in alcohol inks,
discovering a beautiful and vibrant way to express my creativity that did not require visual acuity. Ink paintings are supposed to be abstract or impressionistic. Perfect! Not only was it therapeutic to acquire a new set of creative skills, I’m incorporating alcohol inks into my photographic work, rendering hand-embellished images with a unique dreamscape quality.
Even though I resisted this particular newspaper-wrapped, stinky, dead fish—my temporary visual impairment—it brought gifts I never even knew I always wanted.
Thank goodness I didn’t throw it away.
About the Author: Julie Terrill
Julie Terrill is a photographer and writer with a passion for photojournalism. For ten years, she’s told stories of empowerment through the lens of her camera in an array of unique landscapes, environments, and projects – from a shelter for children rescued from trafficking Thailand to Faces of Courage, complimentary portrait sessions she offers to cancer patients in her community. She has been a photographer and facilitator at Beautiful You and has experience with commercial architectural photography, portraiture, and travel photography.
In addition to her professional experience behind the camera, Julie is the parent of seven young adult children, four of whom have special needs. With collaborative projects and thematic field trips, she has used her love of photography to help gain an understanding of their view of the world.
Julie is currently planning for a trip to Ireland, where she is looking forward to capturing the details of Ireland’s thin places and applying for Artist-in-Residence programs with the National Park Service.
Connect with her at: JMTerrillImages.com