September 16, 2007

It just takes one woman

wild grasses by the beach, Pescadero, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

This was the message of the photography show I saw on Friday night called Women Empowered. It was a new collection of photos by one of my favorite photographers, Phil Borges. He gathered portraits and stories from women in remote parts of the world who have empowered themselves and their communities. The stories are deeply moving and uplifting. If you haven't seen Phil Borges photography yet, you're in for a treat.

I also had the pleasure of seeing Kris Carr (who wrote Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips) at the Elephant Pharmacy yesterday. Her book is gorgeous and deep and totally inspiring.

At the reading, I was first moved by all of these beautiful women in line waiting to have their books signed. They were young, they were pretty, they looked so healthy! One by one I was overhearing their stories... "I've been battling cancer for 14 years... " "I have cancer too..." "Thank you for your book. I wish I had it ten years ago." I remembered that we have no idea what private battles people are facing when we walk down the street. It was a great reminder to have more compassion and gratitude as I move about the world.

I felt a little shy to get the book at first. Do I need to have cancer to read it? But as I flipped through I realized that it was about cancer yes, but it parallels so many of our journeys-infertility, depression, MS, etc. I think you, dear readers will be moved and uplifted by it. Have any of you read it?

Posted on September 16, 2007 10:29 AM

I thought the same thing when I first heard of Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips - "shoudl I even read it? I don't have cancer."
And I felt that way until you just wrote here. I'm off to pick it up.

Thanks for Phil Borges site, too. Very powerful.

Posted by: ~moe~ at September 18, 2007 02:35 PM

I did read Crazy Sexy Cancer & recently wrote (on my blog) about how much it helped me remember pieces of myself I tend to forget. I don't have cancer, but felt totally empowered by Carr's words. More importantly, I remembered that what I felt/that empowerment was there way before I read the book. The book is sitting right beside my side of the bed, waiting for someone who needs it (I've recently begun to pass books along). I need to thank you for mentioning it in an earlier post, since that's how I found out about the book & site. So thanks :-)

Posted by: Jennifer (she said) at September 17, 2007 01:43 PM

The photos stories are so moving. So brave. Thank you for sharing Phil Borges.

Posted by: littlepurplecow at September 17, 2007 05:15 AM

I missed the airing of the movie/show and wanted to see it.

Thanks for sharing this here...I think I will be getting the book too:)


Posted by: Thea at September 17, 2007 02:13 AM

Thanks so much for the link to Pil Borge's photography. I've been quietly musing about what I want to do with the photographs I've been given the chance to take here in Afghanistan, of amazing people facing unbelievable challenges with everything from anger, to courage, to desperation. This link is adding to my ideas collection.

Thanks, it really does take just one woman, if we keep chosing to live our best possible life everday where ever we find ourselves and in what ever situation.

Posted by: Frida at September 16, 2007 07:35 PM

Allowing myself to stay in an very emotional state lately, which, I am discovering, is a wonderful, wild ride.

As a result, Phil Borges' site had me in tears at my laptop this evening. Very powerful.

Thank you.

Posted by: Cynthia at September 16, 2007 06:38 PM

i love that Plato quote left in comments.

beautiful photos. thank you for sharing. a lovely way to start a monday morning.

have you seen the video of Phil Borges speaking at the TED conference in 2006?

there are some other wonderful performances to watch on the site.

Posted by: amy at September 16, 2007 04:08 PM

I just spent an hour looking at everything on Phil Borges' site. Wow. Thank you so much for mentioning him and his work.

Posted by: Laura at September 16, 2007 03:13 PM

It's so easy to forget, isn't it? One of my favorite sayings is from Plato: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. And we all are, aren't we?

Thanks for your honesty, Andrea. I've been writing a thank-you email in my head for weeks now; one of these days I will get it all down and send it off to you. We've never met, we've never even exchanged emails, but you're a constant source of truth and joy and gentleness.

Posted by: emma at September 16, 2007 01:10 PM

Oh, I'm bummed I missed her at Elephant. I was reading on her blog about the amazing connections that were being made at one of her book signings, and I thought... why does it take cancer to make that happen? (that being the 'rawness', willingness to be open and vulnerable, sharing of the burden as much as you can rather than hiding it... ) dunno, just thinking...

Posted by: Diana at September 16, 2007 12:10 PM

On the topic of private battles, my grandmother used to say, "Everyone has their own little red wagon to pull." I love the imagery of that, and try to remember it when I get caught up envying someone else's "perfect" life.

Posted by: Annabel at September 16, 2007 11:33 AM