Body Scars

The story of a life worth living…

Karlene recently traveled to Sausalito to work with me. Here, she reflects on her experience of being seen, and seeing herself, after a long time of being away.

Walking up the steps beside Lone’s purple car I heard an elfish giggle from inside. Lone opened the door, smiling and I realized she was giggling because she was delighted to see me!  It was just her way.

We visited at the kitchen table for a bit before heading to the barn next door. When she slid the door open, my eyes had to adjust for a minute before I realized we were in a grown up play fort, complete with lofts and old windows, huge mirrors, a fainting couch, costumes, and stairs. It was perfect. And cold. It was after all an early February morning!

That reality was soon transcended, as I leaned into this new experience of me in front of a camera. A mom of three, I’m always the one behind the camera. I found myself surreally comfortable as I moved this way and that, around this organic rustic space, looking down and over, looking into the camera, looking into the light and finally, into the mirrors – at ME.

Tears of reunion ~ meeting my now-self for the first time

I kept glimpsing these gorgeous images and versions of myself in the mirrors. I was stunning myself with my reflections. At one point I walked fully up to myself in the full length mirror and couldn’t find air, couldn’t find words. I realized in that second, I was seeing my now-self for the first time.

And she was good. Really good. I had no idea! It’d been so long since the 51-year-old-mom-me had allowed the Oh-my-God(dess)-me this kind of face time.

The tears that came weren’t because I was scared or displeased or sad that I had taken a plane from Colorado to do this extravagant photo shoot. They were reunion tears. Of the best kind – an unexpected collision with my favorite person of all time. It had been so long. Hello again! It is Her I want to spend more time with. Every day.

She’s been so patient, waiting for me to find a way to her again. It wasn’t conventional or rational how I came to her find her in a loft of an old barn in California but she deserves, she wants, she needs to be out in the light. I owe her that. She called to me from Lone’s beautiful website and I heard Her. I listened. And I came. I love that.


I want to lean into new edges…

AND my friend Donna came with me to do her own shoot. I love that, too. I just told her I’m split open and can’t find words to what happened in Sausalito, but when the words came, we agreed, it was like we’d gone to Heaven. Between the perfect blue sky weather, divine food, the whimsical town built all over windy hills, meeting Lone, dressing up and the countless miles we walked, and the ease we share together, it could not have felt better. And the laughing!! And crying. And silences.

Being human is HARD. Showing up and being awake takes work. Add living a deeper, more intentional, inspired life and its even harder. We agreed, this is not for the meek and if we’re going to do it the way we want, we’d better eat our fucking Wheaties! So, I’ll take two bowls please, because I don’t think being any other way will work for me anymore.

I know there will be days I’ll tire and mundane details will block my creative flow, but I want my tomorrows to be challenging and uncomfortable. I want to scare myself with new edges. I want to lean into what I have to offer by learning new things and ways to be. I want to be different, more myself. I want to say Yes.

I took a first step by being photographed. That felt brave. It’s something I’ve wanted for years and I just did it. It’s a start. And after seeing the actual images from that morning in Sausalito, I think a fine one.

My scars tell my life stories…

I want to play more with the woman I found in the mirror’s reflection. The one still beautiful in spite of the physical scars that adorn her age-softened body. Broken-back scars from surgery after falling down a mountainside, breast scars from benign biopsies, a belly soft from housing three small beings. All part of a life story worth living, worth celebrating.

In front of Lone’s camera I found a new sense of gratitude for my body. Perfect in its imperfections. My palace.