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  • Iliana Kazi | Photography

Late Summer Walking | An Afternoon With Writer, Laura Jane Riley

Laura is a dear friend of mine, and happens to be a talented writer, and while she was visiting for the weekend I convinced her to jump in the car with me and head west with my camera--no specific reason or goal in mind. It turned into a collection of photos that really captured the state of her soul in the last summer of 2016, so I asked her to write a piece to go along with the photos to complete them. There is something so divine in taking a long pause to dance in the last sunlight of the day and get creative with a woman who is so inspiring. Look around in your life and find the women who inspire you-- hold their hands tightly.

"I find a lightness to misery in late summer when the sunflowers erupt prolific on the slanting plain. I feel the weak in me becoming strong. My heart might be soft--I know, I am lucky to have a soft heart. I’ve been loved all my life, I’ve been safe. Maybe I’ve even been spoiled.

Are we naturally unsatisfied? Is it sabotage to demand more when the world has given us so much already? Sri Krishna tells us many times over that pleasure and terror pass forever through our lives and are nothing more than the summer and winter winds.

I am a tender bruise as I spin and spin and spin like I did when I was a little girl. But sometimes I can find the lightness and cup it in my hands for a sweet second. And I can be thankful for the living angels who found me and gave their love to me, Rumi’s guides from beyond who uncovered little corners of magic like fireflies hatching


And I can translate the wild-woman songs that smolder into words on the page and I can form them into breathing bodies of poems. I can scrape the bottom for strength.

I can find stillness in the early morning light and in the rays of purple dusk. I can take refuge in stillness of mind. I can take refuge in living for magic, for the shimmering fragments of leaves on the trees, for the calcified moon that waxes and throws me its silver medicine.

I am learning of struggle. Did you know how far we can walk when we need to? Miles and miles and miles."

--Laura Jane Riley

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