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The KICKSTARTER for The 'Letters' A Portrait of Motherhood is live for the next 30 days. I'm putting everything on the line and if I don't reach the goal within the time allotted, I won't receive a dime. It's really all or nothing and I believe that some things are worth the risk, that this project, this wonderful book written by YOU will be a success. So spread the word! Re-post until your hearts content, blog about it, and don't forget to use the hashtag #ISUPPORTTHELETTERS, you have a voice so let it be heard! Together we can make this book a reality, together we can support one another and break down the walls that divide us.
Much Love and Appreciation,
"Invisible wounds are the hardest to heal. For their closure depends upon the love of others. On patience, understanding, and the tender gift of time." -Call The Midwife
Happy July everyone! I'm starting this month out with a bang, a very nervous bang at that. The Kickstarter for the book I've been working on starts tomorrow! For those of you who are new to my blog, Hi, Welcome!
I've been working on a book over the past six months called The Letters - A Portrait of Motherhood. I'm based out of San Diego CA and have traveled as far as my car and pockets can take me. Now I need your help to reach the over 30+ Mothers that are located as far as New Zeland who wish to take part in this book. Not only have I photographed Mothers, but I've sat with them for hours, listening and talking about their unique journey through Motherhood. I've met so many amazingly diverse women along the way, from single moms, to mothers who've beat cancer, to those who are still fighting it, mothers who are terminally Ill, mothers who've out lived their children, mothers of multiples, young mothers, 94 year old mothers turned grandmothers turned great grandmothers, and countless others. Every one, every single Mother I've met has touched my life in ways I never thought possible. I also asked them to write a letter voicing anything and everything it is to be a Mother, the good the bad and the smelly.
Every Mother has a voice, great words of wisdom to share, words that are greatly needed in a world where certain aspects of Motherhood are now shushed and shamed. Where poor body image and post partum depression adds to a sometimes already lonely mama road. My hope is that this book, this collection of portraits and letters touches you in the amazing way that it has touched me.
If you wish to take part in this book or know someone who might, please send me an e-mail at Hello@KrystalDonovan.com
Here we GO!
As an only child, my search for community started young. I can remember being alone as a child, wanting, craving, community. Someone to call on when friends let you down, someone to whisper my secrets to late at night.
For this reason I hold relationships with my friends extremely dear to my heart. Equally, the loss of friendships devastate me deeply, when they fade away until you no longer speak. When your paths drift so far apart that your lives are no longer shared, it saddens me.
Women, we are a difficult breed. We share such ties from just being, women, yet we are the most vicious to one another. Our words strike like vipers, our eyes can cut like knives. We are like two batteries laid next to each other at opposite ends, attracted and pulled.
Then we become mothers, and we are drawn to each other once again. Drawn to this community, that I know exists, that I know deep down to the core of me is needed in order to mother.
When I became a mother, I did so without sisters, or close friends who were mothers themselves. I did it alone, the only advice, strong arms and listening ears were those of my mother. I journeyed alone, in secret, wondering if this was normal, if the lack of sleep would end, if my body would be my own again. My mind raced with thoughts and questions that only other mothers could give the answers to.
Though I live in a city where there is no shortage of mothers, building friendships with them is another story.
Why is it when we go to the park, instead of talking to one another we get on our phones and ignore the presence of one another. Why is it that all I feel is the judgment of heavy eyes burning into me, critiquing what I'm wearing, what my child is wearing, what wrap I'm using, what stroller I'm pushing. Why when such amazing joy surrounds us, that of our children, do we fail to rejoice in it? Why when we see a mother whose face is full of old tears and no sleep do we ignore her, and not tell her that this too shall pass, that we've been there. That there is a light at the end, that we to are journeying along with her.
Silence, the deafening silence that wraps itself around too many mothers, crippling their day-to day. She masks it with a painted on smile, filling the spaces with talk of milestones and triumphs, careful not to mention that her head is barley above water. Postpartum depression, fear, doubts, the simple lack of support, that pushes her to the edge.
Some of us suffer in silence because we are to afraid to talk about the hard stuff, the dirty stuff, the stuff that motherhood is made of! We're afraid to just let it out because we can be vipers.
Let it end here.
Let us be the light for someone who is in the dark.
Let us talk about the hard stuff, and the messy stuff.
Let us support one another.
Let us cheer for the ones that are on top.
Let the ones on top be humble and reach out to the ones who are not.
Let the judgment end here.
Let the harsh words that come so easily become words of encouragement and love.
Let us journey together, side by side, shoulder to shoulder.
Whether you breastfeed, bottle feed, co-sleep, crib sleep, had a natural birth, love your epidural, push a stroller, wear your babies, whether you're a crunchy mama, or a smooth mama, who cares! It's all peanut butter at the end of the day.
We're all doing the best we can, all of us!
We need each other! We areall searching for community, and I know its there, just beneath the surface, the glitter, and perfectly cropped pictures.
Tiffany a mother I find so deeply inspirational said it well, "we women hold up half the sky!" so lets hold up each other shall we?
'A Portrait taken by one of the lovely Mothers I photographed for 'The Letters.'
Over the past few weekends I've documented 9 Mothers for 'The Letters - A Portrait of Motherhood.' Each and every encounter has changed me deeply, and moved my very soul. These amazing women, you amazing Mothers! are such a gift to each other, the words you've spoken to me, the letters you've written for this book, are tremendous. Each story, each struggle, each triumph, has taught me more about myself than I could have ever imagined.
So far I've spoken to Mothers with terminal cancer, Mothers who battle depression, young Mothers, old Mothers, Mothers who've prayed for their children for years before receiving them, Mothers with special needs children, and Mothers who've lost their children, a loss no one should ever have to face. All different, yet all the same.
Motherhood can be such a lonely road, then again, Motherhood is what we make it. If only we all took the time to sit and listen to each other, lift each other up, instead of casting judgment and condemning each other just because we each "Mother" a little differently than the next, what a different place this would be.
This journey has opened my mind and my heart, and continues to remind me that we are NOT alone, the struggles we face, we face together as Mothers.
Peace & Love,
I never knew the weight that motherhood carried with it. Not the physical weight of carrying a child, or the pounds you may or may not be left with, but the weight, the gravity that comes with being a mother. It's immense, it dances around your heart like fireflies on a warm summer night. Filling your cup with a joy that overflows, staining your skin with light, a love, deeper than than any ocean. It's a the purest feeling, a swelling in your soul that's understood by the smile of every passing stranger that has the privilege to call herself Mother.
This realization birthed a book, a project that I'll be documenting here on the blog over the next few months. I have gathered mothers from all walks of life, ranging in age from 24 to 93. Originating from more than 4 continents, in order to take their portrait. I've then asked them to write a letter, to their children, to themselves, to all mothers, expressing, telling, portraying, singing what being a mother is to them. How its changed every cell of their being, how its grown them into the person they are today.
We share a connection, not just with the children that we dare to birth, but with each other, we are sisters, friends, walking the same journey, some farther along than others. We all have a story to tell, wisdom to give, magic to share, a letter to write.
If you would like to join this adventure, or know someone who might, please don't hesitate to send me an E-mail at email@example.com. This project is something I hold very dear to my heart, and I absolutely cannot wait to share it with you.
Peace & Love,