Sunday, October 11, 2009

Stepping Into the Dream


My sister Jenny has a wall of beautiful photos in her home office. A photographer herself, she has always had an eye for fine art. One photo in particular spoke to me. I inquired about the print of the boy with the pumpkin head and Jenny lit up as she spoke of the original photographer. She showed me a book on her shelf from which the photo came called "Sound of Summer Running." This was my first introduction to the photography of Raymond Meeks.

I flipped through the book, wide-eyed. The images looked like the kind of dream I could step into and live in for forever. So I did just that. I picked up the phone, dialed Ray's number and stepped into the dream.

Abby Wind

Six weeks later, I found myself captured in the work of Raymond Meeks. Even the child in the photo above (now a young woman) was present, assisting her father as he shot with his fifty-year-old Graflex. We spoke about life, religion, faith, ancestors and of course, dreams. Ray told the story of how he used to go to his Italian grandmother's house where she taught him how to make the secret family sauces. He noticed that there were no pictures of her in her home. He began his career as a photographer in his mid-twenties by spending precious moments with his grandmother as he photographed her and made spaghetti sauce. She still visits him in his own dreams.

Imitation on Dance

Dreams do not have to be complex and intangible. When you find yourself living them, they feel as real as anything. Sometimes they are as simple as making a phone call or stirring up a pot of spaghetti sauce and within those simple acts, we connect with human beings who change us for forever.

Please feel free to share a simple gesture from your own life that has helped you carry out your dreams.

To find out more about Raymond Meeks and to view more of his work, visit

All images are the copyright of the artist and protected by U.S. Copyright Laws. All rights are reserved.
Any use of the these images without express written permission by the artists is not permitted.


  1. What beautiful images! Can't wait to see your photos.

  2. I think the simple act of saying "yes" is often the hardest.

    We said "yes" to moving overseas and now I get to live my dreams of learning intimately about other cultures, varied artwork from different influences and traveling. I get to ponder and absorb why things are the way they are for some people and not others. I get to learn new artforms I never imagined. I get to see the world, not through the eyes of someone else, but through my own. It really is a dream come true. All we simply had to do was say yes to begin with.

    Initial commitments are always difficult, especially when you know that what is to follow is uncertain and unknown. Terra Incognita.

  3. Amber. BEAUTIFULLY SAID! I agree whole heartedly.

  4. my dream is to work with ray meeks.

    you were just brilliant in studio today. you could sing anything you wanted and it would sound like heaven.

  5. I stepped into my dream 10 years ago with the birth of my first child. I know that sounds cliche, but my husband and I were not able to have children ( believe me we tried :) ) We accepted the simple fact that we would have to build our family differently than we thought. We said yes to adoption and yes to a young woman willing to place her child with us. Now after 5 children, all with loving birthmother's whom we accepted into our famiy, and 17 years of marriage, I am in the dream.
    Congratulations on living your dream I can't wait to see the pictures from you photo shoot.

  6. Those photographs have a surreal quality to them that I just love. As far as dreams go, I often live mine vicariously through others. I do not say this in a self-pitying sort of way. I truly enjoy seeing others step into their dreams. For now, I would agree with Stacey's comment and say that I AM living my dream - being a mother of many is something I have always dreamed of becoming and I have been more blessed than words can describe in that regard. I could go on and on but I will leave it at that.

  7. This summer, my mother shared a literal dream with me,that she had. She had a dream about a baby she miscarried before I was born. She shared with me that I was very close to this sister I never knew on earth. She discovered that I was watching in heaven as the doctor took the baby from my mother's womb.

    Fast forward to now, and I discovered this very literal dream explains my strong desire to make birth peaceful and right, and sacred. I've always wondered just why I've been led to pursue birth work (at the expense of being misunderstood by a lot of people). I've wondered why God has led me along this path...
    My mother's dream gave me a a little glimpse into the eternities, and helped me see that our lives, and dreams come from many sources. My mother's simple sharing, gave me a needed peace to continue living my dreams.

  8. What has helped me realize my dreams is seeing others living theirs. You have been a huge influence with that. I remember before your last album came out that you were a little nervous stepping out of the box that others had put you in. And look at what came of it! Such beautiful and inspiring music. When I see others taking that kind of risk it energizes me and gives me the strength to jump out of my box!

    So, last fall I did just that. I started writing. I never thought I would ever write a story because others told me that I wasn't capable. You know creative people can have their quirks and I am no exception. I see and experience and process the world a little differently than others. And some see that as a draw back, a challenge, but for us in the creative world it's a gift. It my gift and window to creation and expression. Well, here I am 120k words later and almost finished! And what motivated me was this realization: the only thing setting a published author apart from me was that they actually wrote something and finished it. They actually stepped up and out of their comfort zone and put themselves out there, literally. So I started one of the hardest and most rewarding journeys I have ever been on. I started typing and dreaming and typing some more.

    Whether my writings get published or not isn't the point for me anymore (don't get me wrong, it would be wonderful). The point is that I did it. I jumped out of that box someone tried to cram me into and I have never been happier!

  9. My dream of overcoming the trials and adversity associated with bi-polar disorder is a courageous one. I am living that dream on a daily basis. With the assistance of a wonderful Dr. and useful medication I no longer condemn myself for being "different" but rather I am grateful for my unique challenge. I am creating the life I have imagined, constantly learning and growing as a result of the strength I have gained through my experiences. I thank God for people such as you, Mindy who have reached out to me and encouraged me to be myself. Life truly is beautiful with you in it! Thank you for the opportunity to share a dream close to my heart. You are an inspiration.

  10. My dream has been to be a published author since age 14. Five years later, I'm getting closer by going to college and started my own blog about my writing. I took writing classes to improve my editing, and was glad to meet peole who loved the same thing as me. I'm writing almost everyday, and love the journey so far.
    Mindy, you are awesome! I'm a big fan of your music, and can't wait for your new album. Your songs have inspired me to keep going when I feel unsure about my future. God bless ya! ^^