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A Single Day

In the past 3 years, I have become fascinated with the beauty of ordinary life. As I struggle with anxiety and depression, writing in my journal every night has become an important practice for me. The act of intentionally documenting my daily life through journaling, poetry, and photography,  reminds me that every day is worth living. 


After discovering the power of documenting to acknowledge the value of each day, I wanted to help others see the beauty in their own everyday lives. I connected with 8 different friends and family with unique life experiences, and spent a day with them, photographing their experiences as I observed them and writing poems as I reflected on my time with them. As I embedded myself in their lives, I connected with them on a deeper level; from experiencing new things like trying pickled eggs for the first time, to reminiscing with childhood photographs, to weeping together at the recent grave of a beloved husband and friend.  


In these intimate images, viewers find a sense of holiness, mundaneness, and feeling in ordinary tasks. They reflect on the humanness and individuality of the subjects as they all share the one parameter we each share, a single day. Each subject’s natural color palette, the things they choose to surround themselves with and the things that are forced upon them, visually tell the stories that connect us in our web of humanity, endurance, and joy-seeking. With every new day that truly is the blessing we are told it is, we each have the choice to see the beauty and record it.

Subjects Below:

(left to right)

Megan  Purcellville, VA

Kaylene  Purcellville, VA

Teah  Purcellville, VA

Allen  Hamilton, VA

LaRae  Beltsville, MD

Alicia  Rexburg, ID

Erwin  Elkdridge, MD

Shae  Rexburg, ID

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The Fall


I fall

And no one’s there.

So I sit, 


He’s gone and I’m here 

On the cold concrete,

Nothing to grab and no place to roll 

And a tear or two may fall

But I pull myself up,

Victim to none

But the 

Cruel necessities of life,

Greater purposes of which

I am not partial.

But trusting in the Omniscient

I pull myself up,

I find a way.

Do You Know?


Do you think when the birds sing,

That they know we love their sound?

And when the red sun rises

That there’s beauty all around?


Does the loyal dog who loves us

Know we love him too?

And when the flowers blossom

That the barren world feels new?


Does the fresh-baked crunchy bread

Know how delicious it tastes?

And that at night our soft warm bed

Is the coziest, safest place?


Do you think when Mama smiles

She knows she looks like home?

And when little brother hugs me

I don’t feel so alone?


Oh, the strong humility

Of the great green earth

She must know of her magnificence

But, still, she doesn’t boast

Simply waiting patiently

For those who truly see

And all the while increasing.


Do you know that when you’re here

Everything is right?

And when you open your heart and hands

The stars seem to alight.

Trails of Light


You never know the lives you touch

The hearts you’ve held

The wounds you’ve healed

The tears you’ve dried

The smiles you’ve born

The love that you’ve helped others feel.

We often go throughout our day

Leaving trails of light along the way.

But when it’s time to stop and rest

We feel that we did less than our best.

So glance behind you, I implore

Your trail of light shows you did so much more.



In the quiet of the night

Somehow the world is very bright.

Artificial light it seems,

Bounce of windows, frosted gleams.

But, if you can look inside, 

Oh the faces do not hide.

Smiling, frowning, tears stream down,

Every home within the town.

Each gives light of varied hues,

Each regrets each other’s views.

No one wants to see within

The private moments of their kin.

But there’s one who sees them all,

And to each He gives His call:

“Bring your sorrows up to me,

For all of you I truly see.

Every window in every home,

I see you, you are not alone.

Hidden faces feeling pain,

I will bring you peace again.

So, please come on bended knee,

For, I have much awaiting thee.”

There Is Still


And now what is my life?

Divided into Before and After

I must still live, 

Though my half is gone. 

I must still smile

In the after, for life goes on

And there are still people to love

And music to hear

And hands to hold

And flowers to admire. 

There is still.

And And And


I wanted it here.

Here in the peaceful place 

Where you can see all four seasons.

Because even though 

One season has stopped,

Life goes on,

One season passes 

And another. 

Flowers bloom

And big green leaves turn 

Orange and red and yellow

And fall

And die. 

But somehow, 

It lives on

And new leaves grow and flowers blossom and petals fall and colors change and fall and die and live and and


Touched by Sadness


There is a light to someone

Who’s been touched by sadness.

A constant, soft, warm glow.

Like a candle left in the window of an old house.

Visitors always welcome,

But the depths of which you may never know.

For they have felt more,

They have felt stronger,

They feel the earth as it

Swallows up the night in darkness

And continue to shine their light.

And, oh, the joy you see in a person

Who’s been touched by sadness.

And you would never know.

Because they choose to let their candle grow



Like the sun rising over the horizon

In brilliant colors and hues

That you could never create yourself.

But at the end of the day the sun always sets.

But their light never goes out.

Always a candle in the window.

They are home,

These people

Who are touched by sadness.




Sadness Warms


Have you noticed that when you cry

Your face gets warm?

You’d think the wetness

Would cause a chill. 

But, no. 

All the love you have fills up

Because it has no place to go

So you cry.

That’s where it goes, 

All down your face. 

And I think just maybe,

Your love gives you little kisses

All over your face.

Salty, warm kisses

To mend the pain

And make you warm again. 



The happiest I’ve ever been 

This blessing

Growing inside me

Gave me life

A reason to live

A reason to eat

And leave behind the smoke

Of horrific pasts

That I did not choose. 

But here, now,

A kick is a kiss from within

That heals my hidden wounds.

Burdens Borne


Oh what gentle strength in humility,

In taking what is given

Without complaint or regret.

How bold is the silence of 

An aching soul

Who in themselves and God find rest.

Pay attention to those around

Whose silence is a greater sound

To tell us they might need our help

If only we will listen

To their silent please

And ease their heavy load

As gently as they float on by.

Look, See!


Look, see!

It goes on the wall.

The neighbor girl drew me this picture

20 years ago. 

It goes on the wall

In a Frame

And look, see!

This doily that my mother crocheted

Too many years ago. 

It sits on the table

And look, see!

My daughter made me this pretty blue dress

A few years ago. 

It hangs in the closet 

And look, see!

All around. 

They go on the wall

So I see that I am loved.

The Mystery


The magic’s in the mystery,

The wonderment,

The “is it me?”

The hours of viewing hidden truth,

Forgotten gestures,

Unabashed youth.

You want to know it’s entirety,

But scared it’s not what was thought to be.

So is the magic worth the wait?

The anxious nights,

The looming heartache?

Or is it better now to know,

To get it over with,

Your cards to show.

For once you know the magic trick,

You can move on,

A new one pick.

Yes, there’s wisdom in patient stance,

But perhaps moreso in taking your chance.

Appreciate Yours


Appreciate the laughter

That fills the night time air

The playful words of teasing

That show they want you there.

Appreciate the quiet smiles

As you lock with someone’s eyes,

The moments of connection

When someone drops their guise.

Observe the thoughtful gesture

Of a friend who comfort gives,

Or the one that loves all those around,

They’re the one that really lives.

Appreciate the people

That God put in your life

Because they each are there for you

When joy turns to strife.

But from each one you can learn

The lessons that you need.

Of how to take but one step more,

Each helps you to succeed.

Peace Now


Peace is found in a solemn bow,

A friendly smile and gentle vow.

Peace comes through connections made

With long time friends or new found aids.

Peace erupts when God is near,

His calming blanket releases our fears.

Peace is found from deep within,

A comfort in our holy skin.

Peace is not a circumstance,

Not something come by lucky chance.

But, peace is found where we are now,

When we just begin without wondering




And I have to do 

Things I never thought I would

Have to do, because. 

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