Carolyn Finds A Path From Despair To Bliss 1


(Carolyn Jones shared the following fork in the road story.)

Wrought iron gate photograph by Carolyn Jones

Wrought iron gate photograph by Carolyn Jones

I fall into the category of hearing the voice, following where it took me, and discovering great beauty in myself and others. By following my bliss, I passed through the gates of my heart.

I am a photographer. Several years ago, I discovered a community filled with wrought-iron entry gates. I grew to love these gates and could not stop photographing them. That is the voice I listened to initially, the one that said to keep shooting them. Drawn to their beauty, they began to represent the ways in which my heart was closed – to myself, to others.

I kept photographing the gates and soon I had a collection, a series. I listened to the voice that said to name them, naming each gate using words from lists I had made. My lists included feelings, both positive and negative, principles of living, and ways to treat others and myself.  In 2010, this photography collection was published in a book Opening The Gates of the Heart.

After naming these gates, I had an epiphany. One day in my journal, I wrote: “I have spent a lifetime spinning webs of terror and shame that stand as sentinels to my heart.” This was very powerful, as not three days before, I had named an image of spider’s web on a gate “Webs of Fear.” I realized that my journal entry described the image and its title.

I followed the fork searching through my journals for anything that could be used to match with a gate. With few exceptions, I found prose that paired with each image.

Then the voice told me to compile a book of the paired prose and photographs. The result has been “Opening the Gates of the Heart”, a book about my journey through the gates of despair to peace and joy. I am currently following the voice that is encouraging me to tell my story, and I am blogging my way through the book. You can follow along as I journey through the book at http://www.gatesoftheheart.wordpress.com.

Not only have I been willing to listen to that small voice that has progressively led to my book which I am told is filled with hope and inspiration, I have been able to heal, as I have gone through the gates of my own heart, as well.

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One thought on “Carolyn Finds A Path From Despair To Bliss

  • denamae

    You are a fantastic photographer! I love the interpretation of those beautiful images to teach not only yourself but others the journey of openness and love in ordinary things in life. God truely speaks to your heart. What a gift.