A Post About Photowalking, and a Whole Lot More

This post was supposed to be about a photowalk. Most of you know that I’m part of the Joburg Photowalkers; last Saturday we did a walk around St. John’s College, the oldest prep school in Jozi. It’s a beautiful campus — very Dead Poets Society. It was a lovely place to explore and I enjoyed it.

The courtyard at St. John’s. It was a Saturday, unfortunately, so there were no cute high school boys walking around in jackets and ties.

As I edited through my pictures of St. John’s, I realized this post should be about something else. Or rather someone else. This post is about Joe.

If not for Joe, I wouldn’t be part of the Joburg Photowalkers. I wouldn’t be taking photos and I wouldn’t be in Joburg.

The cricket field at St. John’s, beneath the prettiest Jozi sky of the summer.

If not for Joe, I wouldn’t have bought a fancy camera with a wide-angle lens that made me see the sky in a whole new way. I wouldn’t have noticed the way afternoon sunlight can make a flower glow from the inside out. I would have no idea how to dodge and burn in PhotoShop (actually I’m still not very good at this), and I wouldn’t know what ‘unsharp mask’ means.

St. John’s on the left, Joburg General Hospital in the distance.

Flowers and a honey bee.

Joe isn’t around right now. I don’t really know how to explain this, but let me give it a shot. Joe is away, both literally and figuratively. He’s off somewhere, in a dark place, and no one can help him find the way out. He has to figure it out himself.

I want to protect Joe’s privacy but I can’t keep blogging anymore without acknowledging his absence. I’m sure my regular readers have noticed already.

Over the last 16 months, Joe has played just as big a role in this blog as I have. He helps me select and edit every photo. He reads every post before I hit ‘publish’. He shot my 2Summers header image, and has his own 2Summers page. I think Joe was even the one who suggested the name 2Summers. But for now, I’m blogging alone.

There haven’t been many photos of me in the blog lately because Joe is normally the one who takes them. This photo is courtesy of fellow photowalker Jerome.

I have to PhotoShop my own pictures now. Did I do a good job with this one? I have no idea.

I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know where I’ll be in six months, or even next week. I don’t know if Joe and I will be together or apart. I’ve gotten pretty used to uncertainty over the last year or two, but I have to say, this level of uncertainty is pretty hard to take.

I like this photo because it makes me feel peaceful. The petals of the flower look like tendrils, reaching up toward the light.

But you know what? Things will work out somehow. I started this journey with my eyes wide open. I knew it would be tough. And even though life is incredibly difficult right now, I don’t have a single regret. I’m a better, fuller person than I was 16 months ago. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know who I am. And I never would have known without Joe.

Nearly five years ago, Joe looked me in the eyes and saw who I really am. No one had ever done that before. Different people see different things in me, but no one had ever seen it all at once. At the time I was terrified, but now I’m grateful. Because now I see what Joe sees.

Joe wouldn’t approve of this picture. It’s not well composed and those beams at the bottom (part of a sculpture on the St. John’s campus) are distracting. But I think the clouds are pretty.

The real Joe — the one who saw me five years ago — is away right now. I don’t know when or if he’s coming back. But no matter what, I won’t forget what he’s given me.

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141 Comments

  • Reply landofnams November 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I’m glad you found a way to write about what’s going on in your blog, you did a great job.

  • Reply eremophila November 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I really appreciate your sharing this Heather, as I had concerns about you. Yet I kinda suspect that you’ve got a heap of resilience and an indomitable spirit to see you through what ever eventuates. 🙂 Oh yeah, and you’re also now a great photographer! ♥

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks Enivea. Things have a way of working out, you know? I’ll find a way and hopefully Joe will too.

  • Reply eremophila November 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I really appreciate your sharing this Heather, as I had concerns about you. Yet I kinda suspect that you’ve got a heap of resilience and an indomitable spirit to see you through what ever eventuates. 🙂 Oh yeah, and you’re also now a great photographer! ♥

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks Enivea. Things have a way of working out, you know? I’ll find a way and hopefully Joe will too.

  • Reply Slowvelder November 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Dear Heather – having followed you blog now for some time, you and your Joe have almost become part of my online furniture. It takes someone really special to see the real person inside of us – but that, sometimes, comes at a price because someone who can see so deeply has normally gone through quite a battle themselves – to be able to learn such a skill. I really hope that you can Joe come out of the other side of this uncertain time as whole happy people (and maybe holding hands too). My thoughts are with you both.

    On your pictures above – I really love the flowers – beautiful beautifu shots.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks, Jackie, for everything you’ve said. The flower shots are my favorites too.

  • Reply Slowvelder November 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Dear Heather – having followed you blog now for some time, you and your Joe have almost become part of my online furniture. It takes someone really special to see the real person inside of us – but that, sometimes, comes at a price because someone who can see so deeply has normally gone through quite a battle themselves – to be able to learn such a skill. I really hope that you can Joe come out of the other side of this uncertain time as whole happy people (and maybe holding hands too). My thoughts are with you both.

    On your pictures above – I really love the flowers – beautiful beautifu shots.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks, Jackie, for everything you’ve said. The flower shots are my favorites too.

  • Reply Derek Smith November 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Lots of love – things happens as its meant to be although its pretty hard to deal with the rough stuff when one is right in the middle of a storm.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Yep, you’re right. Let’s hope the hurricane lets up soon 🙂

  • Reply Derek Smith November 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Lots of love – things happens as its meant to be although its pretty hard to deal with the rough stuff when one is right in the middle of a storm.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Yep, you’re right. Let’s hope the hurricane lets up soon 🙂

  • Reply Tilly Bud November 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    It’s difficult to comment on such a personal post. I just want you to know that I hope things work out for you and Joe.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Linda, I appreciate that.

  • Reply Tilly Bud November 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    It’s difficult to comment on such a personal post. I just want you to know that I hope things work out for you and Joe.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Linda, I appreciate that.

  • Reply Richard November 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Shame Heather, a difficult time and hard to deal with, I know. But keep taking photos it really does help, I know that too.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks Richard. You’re right about taking photos and the same goes for blogging. You have to keep doing what you love.

  • Reply Richard November 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Shame Heather, a difficult time and hard to deal with, I know. But keep taking photos it really does help, I know that too.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks Richard. You’re right about taking photos and the same goes for blogging. You have to keep doing what you love.

  • Reply Joburg Expat November 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Written very beautifully, Heather. I have been thinking of you lots and wish you (and Joe) the best.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks Sine! Hope to see you soon.

  • Reply Joburg Expat November 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Written very beautifully, Heather. I have been thinking of you lots and wish you (and Joe) the best.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks Sine! Hope to see you soon.

  • Reply Darren Smith (@DazMSmith) November 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I last saw Joe at Diepsloot West when we popped back to share our images with the people we took them of.
    I last saw you at the Joburg Photowalkers year-end bash last week.
    And I knew Joe had gone.

    I love that you posted this.
    I love that you said “If not for Joe, I wouldn’t be part of the Joburg Photowalkers. I wouldn’t be taking photos and I wouldn’t be in Joburg.”

    “Joe isn’t around right now. I don’t really know how to explain this, but let me give it a shot. Joe is away, both literally and figuratively. He’s off somewhere, in a dark place, and no one can help him find the way out. He has to figure it out himself.”
    He does.

    “The real Joe — the one who saw me five years ago — is away right now. I don’t know when or if he’s coming back. But no matter what, I won’t forget what he’s given me.’
    That’s the beauty of photography.
    You cannot forget.

    Lotsa love. Sterkte. Strongs.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Wow. I hadn’t anticipated how much I would cry while reading the comments on this post. I guess I should give up on working for the day 🙂

      • Reply Jaco Roets November 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

        So weird, the online community thing, isn’t it? Heather, our thoughts are with you. Growing is tough. Plus, we are never really finished! Stay strong!

        • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm

          Yeah, I never thought that huddling over a computer, communicating with people who I don’t know in real life, could be so good for the soul. But today it feels right.

  • Reply Darren Smith (@DazMSmith) November 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I last saw Joe at Diepsloot West when we popped back to share our images with the people we took them of.
    I last saw you at the Joburg Photowalkers year-end bash last week.
    And I knew Joe had gone.

    I love that you posted this.
    I love that you said “If not for Joe, I wouldn’t be part of the Joburg Photowalkers. I wouldn’t be taking photos and I wouldn’t be in Joburg.”

    “Joe isn’t around right now. I don’t really know how to explain this, but let me give it a shot. Joe is away, both literally and figuratively. He’s off somewhere, in a dark place, and no one can help him find the way out. He has to figure it out himself.”
    He does.

    “The real Joe — the one who saw me five years ago — is away right now. I don’t know when or if he’s coming back. But no matter what, I won’t forget what he’s given me.’
    That’s the beauty of photography.
    You cannot forget.

    Lotsa love. Sterkte. Strongs.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Wow. I hadn’t anticipated how much I would cry while reading the comments on this post. I guess I should give up on working for the day 🙂

      • Reply Jaco Roets November 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

        So weird, the online community thing, isn’t it? Heather, our thoughts are with you. Growing is tough. Plus, we are never really finished! Stay strong!

        • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm

          Yeah, I never thought that huddling over a computer, communicating with people who I don’t know in real life, could be so good for the soul. But today it feels right.

  • Reply Mark Straw November 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I’m really moved by this post and send you love and strength at this time. I’d like to also thank Joe for leading you to the Joburg Photowalkers. It’s always a joy having you on our walks and I love reading about your experience of where we were. While we may concentrate on the technical aspect of photography, your posts always capture the heart of the place.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Oh, thank you so much Mark. This means a lot, especially coming from you.

  • Reply Mark Straw November 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I’m really moved by this post and send you love and strength at this time. I’d like to also thank Joe for leading you to the Joburg Photowalkers. It’s always a joy having you on our walks and I love reading about your experience of where we were. While we may concentrate on the technical aspect of photography, your posts always capture the heart of the place.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Oh, thank you so much Mark. This means a lot, especially coming from you.

  • Reply marian g November 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    i wish he’ll come back.. it’s very hard to find a person like Joe – a person who can bring out the best in you (cliche, i know. but that’s what i really want to mean 🙂 ) you are so lucky to have found one 😀

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks, Marian. What you’ve said is not cliche at all. In fact you’re right on. Thanks a lot for the comment.

  • Reply marian g November 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    i wish he’ll come back.. it’s very hard to find a person like Joe – a person who can bring out the best in you (cliche, i know. but that’s what i really want to mean 🙂 ) you are so lucky to have found one 😀

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks, Marian. What you’ve said is not cliche at all. In fact you’re right on. Thanks a lot for the comment.

  • Reply taxslave November 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    been following your blog for a while: tough times: very hard to deal with when you are away from family. You seem like a very optimistic person so be brave but not so brave that you don’t attend to your own emotions. Keep us posted of what happens next. xxS

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks so much. It’s really nice to hear from a ‘silent follower’ every now and again. You’ve also hit the nail on the head — it’s very easy to lose yourself in situations like this. But I’ve worked too hard to find myself to let that happen. And publishing this blog post has definitely helped me feel more empowered. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  • Reply taxslave November 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    been following your blog for a while: tough times: very hard to deal with when you are away from family. You seem like a very optimistic person so be brave but not so brave that you don’t attend to your own emotions. Keep us posted of what happens next. xxS

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks so much. It’s really nice to hear from a ‘silent follower’ every now and again. You’ve also hit the nail on the head — it’s very easy to lose yourself in situations like this. But I’ve worked too hard to find myself to let that happen. And publishing this blog post has definitely helped me feel more empowered. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  • Reply Tara November 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Oh Heather! ((hugs))
    I have known you for a short while and only through this blog but your writing makes me feel close.. Just as I am sad after reading this post I am also glad but slightly more glad than sad, to know that you are your own strength.. that you acknowledge & appreciate Joe for what he has been for you. You know, I had started missing his mention by you in your posts.. and then this post comes.. Its kind of scary how you described Joe having gone into dark n all.. respecting your personal spaces, I wish you guys the best and hope everything gets sorted soon..

    yes, keep writing and keep taking pictures.. they help in clearing and cheering up the mind & soul.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks Tara, I appreciate the message of support 🙂

  • Reply Tara November 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Oh Heather! ((hugs))
    I have known you for a short while and only through this blog but your writing makes me feel close.. Just as I am sad after reading this post I am also glad but slightly more glad than sad, to know that you are your own strength.. that you acknowledge & appreciate Joe for what he has been for you. You know, I had started missing his mention by you in your posts.. and then this post comes.. Its kind of scary how you described Joe having gone into dark n all.. respecting your personal spaces, I wish you guys the best and hope everything gets sorted soon..

    yes, keep writing and keep taking pictures.. they help in clearing and cheering up the mind & soul.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks Tara, I appreciate the message of support 🙂

  • Reply Grahame Hall November 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Heather, we are just around the corner if you ever feel in need of company, tea or cheer.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks Grahame. I might take you up on that offer!

  • Reply Grahame Hall November 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Heather, we are just around the corner if you ever feel in need of company, tea or cheer.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks Grahame. I might take you up on that offer!

  • Reply Rhoda November 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Sending you big hugs Heather…..
    I just realised that i have read every single post, from the first day 🙂

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Wow Rhoda, that is unbelievably touching. I had no idea you were such a regular reader. I hope you’re doing well and hope to see you soon. I have a close friend from the States who might be taking a job in Nairobi in the new year — if that happens I will be in touch! xoxo, Heather

  • Reply Rhoda November 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Sending you big hugs Heather…..
    I just realised that i have read every single post, from the first day 🙂

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Wow Rhoda, that is unbelievably touching. I had no idea you were such a regular reader. I hope you’re doing well and hope to see you soon. I have a close friend from the States who might be taking a job in Nairobi in the new year — if that happens I will be in touch! xoxo, Heather

  • Reply laurenbarkume November 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    What a touching post, I’m sorry to hear that things have been tough for you lately but I’m glad you’ve had so many great experiences here in Joburg. Wishing you the best.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Lauren. Hope to see you soon.

  • Reply laurenbarkume November 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    What a touching post, I’m sorry to hear that things have been tough for you lately but I’m glad you’ve had so many great experiences here in Joburg. Wishing you the best.

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Lauren. Hope to see you soon.

  • Reply Yashik November 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Your photos are stunning, as usual!

    • Reply Yashik November 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      And… You’re never alone…

      • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:51 pm

        Thanks Yashik. Since this ordeal began, I’ve received the most amazing outpouring of support from my friends. It’s really helped me to realize that I’m not alone, even though I’m far from home. I’m actually very lucky.

  • Reply Yashik November 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Your photos are stunning, as usual!

    • Reply Yashik November 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      And… You’re never alone…

      • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 2:51 pm

        Thanks Yashik. Since this ordeal began, I’ve received the most amazing outpouring of support from my friends. It’s really helped me to realize that I’m not alone, even though I’m far from home. I’m actually very lucky.

  • Reply cashancountry November 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Heather, what a sad tale and such a courageous post. I know you both and somehow imagine I can understand, we all try to but its the small hours alone that are hardest , even in a crowd when you are alone inside your head . Trust in yourself we are all there for you. And keep taking your totally mindboggling photos. I love that school and the architecture, the stone, the light! So right too about the feel.
    Chris

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks Chris. I love your comments.

  • Reply cashancountry November 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Heather, what a sad tale and such a courageous post. I know you both and somehow imagine I can understand, we all try to but its the small hours alone that are hardest , even in a crowd when you are alone inside your head . Trust in yourself we are all there for you. And keep taking your totally mindboggling photos. I love that school and the architecture, the stone, the light! So right too about the feel.
    Chris

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks Chris. I love your comments.

  • Reply Owls November 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Sweet cousin,
    It’s amazing how sad events or pain can lead to such beauty. If it were all smooth and easy think how bland the world, and we in it, would be. You have done fantastic things in the last year-and-a-half, and have given us a gift by letting us be a part of your life and adventures. Joe has done the same for us, giving us beautiful images and opening the way to a new, incredible journey for you. I hope Joe can find his way out of the darkness, as he must be suffering, but hey, how he grapples with his demons is the artist in him. You must stay the course and continue on with your own incredible art, and find comfort in your loyalty and devotion to him, whether you are with him or not.
    XO
    Drury

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks, Cuz. And thanks for being my greatest fan in the Mason/Wellford clan.

  • Reply Owls November 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Sweet cousin,
    It’s amazing how sad events or pain can lead to such beauty. If it were all smooth and easy think how bland the world, and we in it, would be. You have done fantastic things in the last year-and-a-half, and have given us a gift by letting us be a part of your life and adventures. Joe has done the same for us, giving us beautiful images and opening the way to a new, incredible journey for you. I hope Joe can find his way out of the darkness, as he must be suffering, but hey, how he grapples with his demons is the artist in him. You must stay the course and continue on with your own incredible art, and find comfort in your loyalty and devotion to him, whether you are with him or not.
    XO
    Drury

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks, Cuz. And thanks for being my greatest fan in the Mason/Wellford clan.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough November 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Dear, dear Heather–
    I understand and suspected this is what was going on. I know it’s hard to write this kind of post, but, gosh, my friend, you have done a stunning job–and written a post that, I’m sure, does “Joe” proud. What a wonderful way to honor him even in the midst of so much uncertainty. Hugs to you, and hugs to Joe, as well–whereever he is–blessings to him amidst the darkness–and to you, as well—————-
    Kathy

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you Kathy. I know that you, of all people, understand what I wrote. And thanks for the kind words about my blog. I’m lucky to have wonderful blogging friends like you.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough November 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Dear, dear Heather–
    I understand and suspected this is what was going on. I know it’s hard to write this kind of post, but, gosh, my friend, you have done a stunning job–and written a post that, I’m sure, does “Joe” proud. What a wonderful way to honor him even in the midst of so much uncertainty. Hugs to you, and hugs to Joe, as well–whereever he is–blessings to him amidst the darkness–and to you, as well—————-
    Kathy

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you Kathy. I know that you, of all people, understand what I wrote. And thanks for the kind words about my blog. I’m lucky to have wonderful blogging friends like you.

  • Reply Neha November 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through, but I hope you stay positive and that everything works out. Best, Neha

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks so much, Neha. I hope all is well with you.

  • Reply Neha November 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through, but I hope you stay positive and that everything works out. Best, Neha

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks so much, Neha. I hope all is well with you.

  • Reply Patricia November 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I think the truest way of walking through life is with appreciation, no matter how tough or painful the journey. It sounds like you have found that place for yourself. You are never alone. You have all of your friends and loved ones around you, always. Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience with Joe. Its not always how long you know someone, but how well you know them and how well you let them know you. I wish you both the best moving forward. Love you lots!!, patty

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks Patty. I miss you 🙁

  • Reply Patricia November 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I think the truest way of walking through life is with appreciation, no matter how tough or painful the journey. It sounds like you have found that place for yourself. You are never alone. You have all of your friends and loved ones around you, always. Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience with Joe. Its not always how long you know someone, but how well you know them and how well you let them know you. I wish you both the best moving forward. Love you lots!!, patty

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks Patty. I miss you 🙁

  • Reply Catherine November 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    thinking of you…

  • Reply Catherine November 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    thinking of you…

  • Reply Yashik November 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Actually, Heather… I was stuck in traffic, found myself looking at your photos… Not because of the traffic… Probably because the words were touching me on a level that’s still raw.

    I’m South African, moved to Ireland so that my British wife could work (somehow she couldn’t get a job there)…

    And since moving here, my life has fallen apart… That wife I knew five years ago is also in a far away place figuratively, and caused an unimaginable amount of pain…

    I pray to have as much grace when I think of her, as you have in your situation…

    All the best…

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Yashik. Thanks so much for this honest comment. I think I know exactly where you’re coming from. Just take care of yourself, okay?

  • Reply Yashik November 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Actually, Heather… I was stuck in traffic, found myself looking at your photos… Not because of the traffic… Probably because the words were touching me on a level that’s still raw.

    I’m South African, moved to Ireland so that my British wife could work (somehow she couldn’t get a job there)…

    And since moving here, my life has fallen apart… That wife I knew five years ago is also in a far away place figuratively, and caused an unimaginable amount of pain…

    I pray to have as much grace when I think of her, as you have in your situation…

    All the best…

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Yashik. Thanks so much for this honest comment. I think I know exactly where you’re coming from. Just take care of yourself, okay?

  • Reply Kevin Ryan November 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I find it difficult even to compose a response to the blog, but feel compelled to reply.

    Having met both of you, I have seen Joe’s influence on your photography and I am sure he has been a great teacher. It shows in your photography. You are both people who try to leave the world a better place than you found it so I hope it works out for both of you. Your openness in speaking about this is an inspiration.

    Above all – keep blogging and taking pictures. The Joburg Photowalkers is a very diverse group and yet the members are quite a cohesive unit. I hope you will continue to be part of this group.

    regards
    Kevin

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks so much, Kevin. Of course I’ll continue as a photowalker — I couldn’t live without you guys! I get some of my best blog material from you 🙂

  • Reply Kevin Ryan November 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I find it difficult even to compose a response to the blog, but feel compelled to reply.

    Having met both of you, I have seen Joe’s influence on your photography and I am sure he has been a great teacher. It shows in your photography. You are both people who try to leave the world a better place than you found it so I hope it works out for both of you. Your openness in speaking about this is an inspiration.

    Above all – keep blogging and taking pictures. The Joburg Photowalkers is a very diverse group and yet the members are quite a cohesive unit. I hope you will continue to be part of this group.

    regards
    Kevin

    • Reply 2summers November 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks so much, Kevin. Of course I’ll continue as a photowalker — I couldn’t live without you guys! I get some of my best blog material from you 🙂

  • Reply Nina Neubauer November 30, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Well said Heather.

  • Reply Nina Neubauer November 30, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Well said Heather.

  • Reply Fidel December 1, 2011 at 9:48 am

    This isn’t an easy blog to comment, but I’m sure it was an even harder blog to write. I admire your courage in opening up like this. As you know from my personal Facebook page, I’d recently found the courage to do the same.
    You and Joe are in my thoughts. Like many others here, I’ve gotten to know Joe through his photographs and I see the positive influence he has on your work and life.

    To talk about the photographs, I recently discovered the unsharp mask tool also. I love it. It makes many photographs that I once dismissed as being “too this or too that,” and turned them into photographs I can publish.
    I’m still learning about dodging and burning. Have you tried using curves on your sunset images?

    Love the pictures from your photowalk here, especially the flower.

    • Reply 2summers December 1, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Hi Fidel. I’m still tiptoeing around curves. Unfortunately I never paid attention to what Joe was doing with them and I don’t know how to use them at all yet — I think I need a lesson from Adobe Help. Also I only have Adobe Photoshop Elements and I think curves work a little differently than in the the full version of PhotoShop.

      Thanks so much for the comment. I appreciate the positive thoughts and I wish you the best with your new revelation 🙂

      • Reply Joburg Expat December 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

        You should have a session with Karen – she showed me Photoshop the other day and it was mind-boggling. I also love to unsharp mask, the very first thing I use after cropping and resizing. And for the first time understand what a layer mask is and how it works. Amazing stuff you can do, but unfortunately a time hog!

        • Reply 2summers December 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

          Yeah, publishing blog posts takes even more ridiculously long for me now that I have to write the post AND photoshop the pics. Oh well. I needed to learn anyway. I do intend to pick Karen’s brain at some point in the near future.

  • Reply Fidel December 1, 2011 at 9:48 am

    This isn’t an easy blog to comment, but I’m sure it was an even harder blog to write. I admire your courage in opening up like this. As you know from my personal Facebook page, I’d recently found the courage to do the same.
    You and Joe are in my thoughts. Like many others here, I’ve gotten to know Joe through his photographs and I see the positive influence he has on your work and life.

    To talk about the photographs, I recently discovered the unsharp mask tool also. I love it. It makes many photographs that I once dismissed as being “too this or too that,” and turned them into photographs I can publish.
    I’m still learning about dodging and burning. Have you tried using curves on your sunset images?

    Love the pictures from your photowalk here, especially the flower.

    • Reply 2summers December 1, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Hi Fidel. I’m still tiptoeing around curves. Unfortunately I never paid attention to what Joe was doing with them and I don’t know how to use them at all yet — I think I need a lesson from Adobe Help. Also I only have Adobe Photoshop Elements and I think curves work a little differently than in the the full version of PhotoShop.

      Thanks so much for the comment. I appreciate the positive thoughts and I wish you the best with your new revelation 🙂

      • Reply Joburg Expat December 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

        You should have a session with Karen – she showed me Photoshop the other day and it was mind-boggling. I also love to unsharp mask, the very first thing I use after cropping and resizing. And for the first time understand what a layer mask is and how it works. Amazing stuff you can do, but unfortunately a time hog!

        • Reply 2summers December 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

          Yeah, publishing blog posts takes even more ridiculously long for me now that I have to write the post AND photoshop the pics. Oh well. I needed to learn anyway. I do intend to pick Karen’s brain at some point in the near future.

  • Reply Nomad December 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Hey there… don’t know what to say… I actually read your blog yesterday.. wanted to comment but just couldn’t… be strong…. ” even this too shall pass”… thats a quote I use when I go through hard stuff….. sending prayers your way…

    Shilpa

    • Reply 2summers December 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you Shilpa. I find “this too shall pass” to be a helpful mantra as well. I’ve invoked in my head quite a lot lately. Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply Nomad December 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Hey there… don’t know what to say… I actually read your blog yesterday.. wanted to comment but just couldn’t… be strong…. ” even this too shall pass”… thats a quote I use when I go through hard stuff….. sending prayers your way…

    Shilpa

    • Reply 2summers December 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you Shilpa. I find “this too shall pass” to be a helpful mantra as well. I’ve invoked in my head quite a lot lately. Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply joshimukard December 2, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I sincerely hope everything will be fine in a short time. If he reads this post, he can’t stay away from you – it’s so touching. True love cannot be broken and he’ll come back. My thoughts are with both of you.

    The warm orange clouds in the last photo is really good – you are a good photographer.

    • Reply 2summers December 2, 2011 at 8:55 am

      Oh, thanks so much Joshi. Your response is very touching as well. I’m glad you like the last pic. I was unsure of it and almost left it out.

  • Reply joshimukard December 2, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I sincerely hope everything will be fine in a short time. If he reads this post, he can’t stay away from you – it’s so touching. True love cannot be broken and he’ll come back. My thoughts are with both of you.

    The warm orange clouds in the last photo is really good – you are a good photographer.

    • Reply 2summers December 2, 2011 at 8:55 am

      Oh, thanks so much Joshi. Your response is very touching as well. I’m glad you like the last pic. I was unsure of it and almost left it out.

  • Reply Alan Mason December 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    What a wonderful collection of photographs, Heather! I am so sorry that I missed the event.

    • Reply 2summers December 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks Alan, glad you liked them. By the way, at the photowalkers party people kept asking me if I’m related to you.

  • Reply Alan Mason December 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    What a wonderful collection of photographs, Heather! I am so sorry that I missed the event.

    • Reply 2summers December 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks Alan, glad you liked them. By the way, at the photowalkers party people kept asking me if I’m related to you.

  • Reply Lilly Loompa December 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Dear Heather…thanks for being so open about life and love. Some people tend to forget that we as bloggers are human too. I myself always try to write about the “good stuff” and want to keep the bad stuff out of cyberspace. Let’s talk, let’s have the conversation and through that we can pray for each other and help carry each other’s struggles. I also got some really fantastic news and really bad news today and now I have a new struggle to deal with. You have just given me courage to share it…at the right time. Great photo’s! Keep it up!

    • Reply 2summers December 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Lilly. It’s a fine balance, deciding how much of your ‘real’ life you want to put into your blog. I’ve always struggled with it. Even with this post, I didn’t really know if I would post it until I did. but I’m glad I did it. It made me feel empowered and helped get lots of emotions out. And the response to the post has been really amazing. Good luck with your challenges!

  • Reply Lilly Loompa December 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Dear Heather…thanks for being so open about life and love. Some people tend to forget that we as bloggers are human too. I myself always try to write about the “good stuff” and want to keep the bad stuff out of cyberspace. Let’s talk, let’s have the conversation and through that we can pray for each other and help carry each other’s struggles. I also got some really fantastic news and really bad news today and now I have a new struggle to deal with. You have just given me courage to share it…at the right time. Great photo’s! Keep it up!

    • Reply 2summers December 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Lilly. It’s a fine balance, deciding how much of your ‘real’ life you want to put into your blog. I’ve always struggled with it. Even with this post, I didn’t really know if I would post it until I did. but I’m glad I did it. It made me feel empowered and helped get lots of emotions out. And the response to the post has been really amazing. Good luck with your challenges!

  • Reply Claire December 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Hi my oldest dearest friend,
    Wow, this is a beautiful post- what an incredible journey you are on, and i’m so sorry that things are hard right now. I wish I were there next to you, to walk with you through these times. The amazing and hopeful thing though, is that your inner strength is just bursting through, and I know as you do that you’ll be okay. I’m touched by the outpourring from your friends there in “Jozi”- it sounds like a wonderful and supportive group of people. Be strong, keep shooting (your pictures, like your blogs, just blow me away- you are your father’s daughter)…keep writing and know that you have communities of people who admire, cheer and love you and are standing behind you all over the world. You’re my hero!
    xxxoooo
    C

    • Reply 2summers December 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      Oh Claire. What would I ever do without you. Talk to you soon — definitely before next Saturday!

  • Reply Claire December 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Hi my oldest dearest friend,
    Wow, this is a beautiful post- what an incredible journey you are on, and i’m so sorry that things are hard right now. I wish I were there next to you, to walk with you through these times. The amazing and hopeful thing though, is that your inner strength is just bursting through, and I know as you do that you’ll be okay. I’m touched by the outpourring from your friends there in “Jozi”- it sounds like a wonderful and supportive group of people. Be strong, keep shooting (your pictures, like your blogs, just blow me away- you are your father’s daughter)…keep writing and know that you have communities of people who admire, cheer and love you and are standing behind you all over the world. You’re my hero!
    xxxoooo
    C

    • Reply 2summers December 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      Oh Claire. What would I ever do without you. Talk to you soon — definitely before next Saturday!

  • Reply greenfizzpops December 6, 2011 at 6:42 am

    I’m sorry things are hard for you right now, and I hope they get better soon.
    And thank you for the beautiful photos.

    • Reply 2summers December 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Thank you. Comments like this really help. Thank god for blogging – it’s a great healer for me.

  • Reply greenfizzpops December 6, 2011 at 6:42 am

    I’m sorry things are hard for you right now, and I hope they get better soon.
    And thank you for the beautiful photos.

    • Reply 2summers December 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Thank you. Comments like this really help. Thank god for blogging – it’s a great healer for me.

  • Reply Robyn Gwilt December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I think this Photowalk was the first time I met you, and loved chatting to you at the party afterwards… I didn’t know about ‘Joe’, until I read the messages of sympathy on your FB today, and visited your blog, and things have now fallen into place.
    I’m so very sorry for your loss, and hope that Joe will eternally keep you in his wide-angle… He sounds like he was a blessing in your life, albeit for a short while. Know that you have many friends within the Joburg Photowalkers – anytime…. you’re welcome to shout for help or company, or just a quiet reflective photo-walk…. my number is on my FB
    Sending you hugs and light.
    Robyn Gwilt

    • Reply 2summers December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you Robyn, this is a wonderful message. I really appreciate it. See you very soon. -Heather

  • Reply Robyn Gwilt December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I think this Photowalk was the first time I met you, and loved chatting to you at the party afterwards… I didn’t know about ‘Joe’, until I read the messages of sympathy on your FB today, and visited your blog, and things have now fallen into place.
    I’m so very sorry for your loss, and hope that Joe will eternally keep you in his wide-angle… He sounds like he was a blessing in your life, albeit for a short while. Know that you have many friends within the Joburg Photowalkers – anytime…. you’re welcome to shout for help or company, or just a quiet reflective photo-walk…. my number is on my FB
    Sending you hugs and light.
    Robyn Gwilt

    • Reply 2summers December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you Robyn, this is a wonderful message. I really appreciate it. See you very soon. -Heather

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