I was working on a writing project earlier today and thinking about the time line of inspiration. I was writing about an experience I has in 2003 that very much influenced the photography I create now. At the time the experience had a feeling, but I never imagined it would pop back up nearly two decades later as a major influence. I love that about art, and inspiration, and creativity. They can be sort of a time machine.

When I purchased this sculptural portrait at the Alameda Flea Market nearly 12 years ago, I only knew that it spoke to me. I couldn't place why. I just liked it. And that was enough. For the past 12 years, through three houses, and many changes, it has held a prominent spot in our bookcase. Surrounded by first edition books and our most favorite records. I've wondered a lot about it. If the girl reminded me of anyone. A time and place. Perhaps one of the Von Trapp children.

It wasn't until this afternoon that my connection became clear. At the time I think it was of incredible importance to me to see a happy child. I spent much of my career working with kids. Understanding their hardships. Seeing them struggle. And then they would be gone. A lot of the time they returned to not so great situations. Other times they were lucky. In either case, I never knew the end of the story. Many of those kids are now adults. Perhaps they have children of their own. A job they like. A partner that adores them. I think my connection to this portrait was out of a need to hold space for their ending. Or perhaps their beginnings. Either way, they are held and their resilience celebrated in her optimistic face.

What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.