Recently, one of my sisters shared some information with me for an upcoming gallery photo exhibit that had put out a call for artists. She felt that I had some photography that would fit perfectly into the theme of what the gallery was looking for. Not that I did not want to submit anything, but I found myself being slightly hesitant because; me – my work – gallery. It’s wonderful, but also something I wasn’t sure I would be accepted to so it felt a little intimidating. When I heard myself whispering that to my being I knew in that moment that submitting a piece of work was exactly what I needed to do.
The show is called, ‘Sacrifice: The Cause and Effect’; An Exhibition of Art & Photography Honoring Our Vets’. It’s a gallery show that has a purpose of honoring the service/sacrifice of military men and women.
Over the past couple of years I have done some different captures to best honor the passing of my nephew who was killed in action on August 16, 2012. It was within these captures that I felt something would speak to me enough to submit for this special showing, and I was hopeful that it would speak enough to the organizers of this event to have the work as a part of the show. I found my capture, worked on it, did the requested write-up and hit the send button. This all took place at two in the morning, and therefore my thoughts centered around how I would probably forget I even did this at such an early hour of the day (a big shout out to not sleeping).
I am proud to say that the piece (to my feelings of prideful joy and surprise) was selected to be a part of the special gallery showing. Who would have thought – my work in a gallery outside of Boston for such a special cause.
As a part of each submission the artist is required to reflect on what the piece they have submitted means to them and how it ties in with the theme of the gallery showing. I always find my best thoughts come when I can write without thinking, and apparently, it is also super helpful to do such things at two in the morning. The passage(s) below is what I wrote.
My name is Heather Babcock, and I am the photographer/owner of Natural High Photography. Nature has been my outlet of re-connection, staying in tune with my being and grounding myself back to my center. I often strive to find ways to share with others what it is often missed in this hurried world through my work. The inspiration for my piece is my nephew Michael Robert DeMarsico who was killed in action on Aug. 16, 2012. I opted to blend/smudge the colors on the ground beneath the flag to give a fluid feel. For me, it represents all that one gives/lives for, and it’s their energy/love being poured back into the earthen ground for others to absorb into their being/living. This to me represents my nephew, his ability to live/love, and the ability of his family/friends to carry that love forward.
What is the cause and effect of sacrifice? What does it mean to sacrifice? For many, the meaning pours from a place of giving everything you have regardless of the weight placed upon your being. It’s paying no mind to yourself, but putting all of your love/light/energy into the living of other’s no matter what it may cost you. There is no concern about your well-being, and there is no hesitation when duty comes to call; whatever that means to you. A person will rise with the sun and find no time to rest with the moon. The blood,sweat and tears that are dripping from the pores of day-to-day living have no time to dry/heal. For many, this is what it means to sacrifice. These are the effects that transpire when one pushes themselves for the living of others that is not their own, but i don’t think that is the whole of the meaning. I think real sacrifice is also a call of the heart. It’s a song that the light of a person listens to and never stops singing even when others are unable to hear. It’s not about giving up everything you are/have, it’s about pouring your being into an orchestra where others are joining in with their chosen pieces of instrumentation. It’s about feeling alive with each step that you take, and pushing yourself further with each piece of progression because no one stops learning. It’s about making yourself vulnerable to others so that they may see the beautiful human that you are. It’s about understanding that your light is a gift to the world, and without it, the world would be a little less bright. It’s about living your life and sharing your love in such a way that when you take a journey that requires you to leave others behind, they can carry your fire forward and never let it die. No, sacrifice is not just about giving it all away without concern for your living, it’s very much about living in such a way that everything you do, and everyone you touch will be better for having known your light, and richer for the ability to keep your candle burning.