Sunday, August 12, 2012

{Weathered | Personal}

First.. a song {Prelude for Time Feelers} for this post. 

Anyone that knows me knows I love old barns. I always have. It's been one of those things that I am just mysteriously drawn to. I never questioned it.. just knew it. Often told I am an old soul; I adore all things old, vintage and forlorn... I have a special place in my heart for them. They stand neglected, worn, often broken, standing quietly... just enduring. 

I have been in that place. 

Maybe old barns are symbolic of more than an era long passed. Maybe they are also symbolic of their age... the weather and time they endure. 

Maybe what makes the wood amazingly distressed is what it withstood, quietly. It's not a 24 hour process. It is a process built upon years, this withstanding. Seasons: Harsh winters, hot and dry summers, chilling falls and thawing springs. Rain, ice, snow, sleet, beating sun, hail, winds... and calm. Life and death. Rebirth. Over and over and all around it. All factors transforming a plank of red wood into the most beautifully weathered wood that cannot be bought or fashioned the same. Though manufacturers try to replicate barn wood... intriguingly it is only and ever created through a transformation of years be it the hardships faced. Sustaining that requires patience, strength and hope - even though parts of it fall away, fall down - that a new dawn - a new sunrise will only be another day to sculpt the beautiful representation it is becoming.

Have you looked at new barns today? Do they compare to the beauty and charm of an old, weathered, crooked barn? Old barns are an exquisite rarity and will continue to be as the years pass and those standing are less and less. If you grow up in Indiana - you have grown up knowing that old barns, especially old red barns dot our state. They are as much a fixture as cows, silos and green pastures. They showcase time. Worn time. A time when things were different. They represent change and the progression of time.

One of my very favorite things - in the world - next to my kids, dogs, chocolate and coffee - are old red barns. Call my phone and listen to my voicemail greeting:

"Hey, you've reached Joanne with Josephiney Photography, I'm really sorry I missed your call, I'm either away from my desk, or on the phone or possibly in some random field photographing barns..." 

Yeah. I really mean it. I love old barns... for real. I said for many years I would design a book of my photographs of Indiana barns and sell it as a coffee table book - to remember these once magnificent structures which continue to pass away. One day we will only have photographs. This is true for much of time and place... and history. I have not given up on this small dream of mine. 

On a very good day, I am hunting for these barns, learning them with my camera. These days are few as I stay so busy with work. But the days I have in my personal book of days - where I have scoped such beauty through my lens - those are cherished days. As was this day above. An early morning walk with a dear friend and a beautiful old barn. It is the simple joy such as this that comprises the sweetness of life. I look back on that day and remember how I felt inside, photographing this old forlorn barn... 

I felt stilled, quiet, tranquil.... and in awe. I wanted to know more about the barn. The property. The story. Those things are not for me to know. Still, I long to know.. what had this barn endured, what bloomed it into such delicacy today - if I could see it all like a flip book before me, the seasons, the weather, the years that passed that transformed it from its once new red coat of paint to this weathered and fragile state - yet gracefully alluring state - I would know exactly what had attributed to this barn. I would know its story, its journey. 

"Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been. Do not compare yourself with others, who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light." - Jesus Calling, August 12th.

It is easy to ask why another's journey was not as weathered. Not as long-suffering at times. Not as hard. But why compare their barn to mine. All of the things I wish to rid myself of - those very things are what have made me beautiful - all of the hardships have in turned weathered my soul into an unmatchable refinement. 

Today I ordered a 60x40" canvas of this print that I took that morning in May of 2011. I placed some text on the right side that is personal and fitting to me. It will hang in my dining room... a place where every day I will see it and remember.. that right now, at this very moment, I am where I am meant to be. I will accept that every day - every hour from sunrise to sunset - has lit this journey with the trials and storms I was built to bear - that every single one of them is making my weathered soul as that of wood, beautiful.