Those who see.

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I had a devoted team of friends who sent me mail the year I lived in Paris. I would cart the letters and packages up all eight flights of stairs, cherishing my mail already and looking forward to opening it. That mail was a tangible reminder of the people and places I loved all over, and I slowly covered the back of my door with postcards, invitations, announcements, pictures, and words. In one package, a friend from college sent me a copy of the artistic magazine our college releases every semester. It has student photography, poetry, prose, translations, and tucked amongst the feeble collegiate attempts at greatness, there was a page with this quote on it. Ruskin

I tore it out, taped it on the door, and absorbed it into my soul every time I stepped through that door. Every time I set forth into the aged streets of Paris, I was reminded to see. That little piece of paper has followed me through moves and jobs, homes and apartments.  It follows me everywhere reminding me that seeing clearly is the greatest gift.

I am drawn to photographers, bloggers, and writers who see clearly. Today I wanted to share a couple of my favorite people around the Internet who know how to see. They are the writers and photographers who see the world and pass it on in a way that lets the rest of us share and love it.

  • Arianna Tennyson. I think this was maybe the only time when Facebook suggested that I like someone and they were right. She is a western Canada based photographer who has one of the best eyes I’ve seen. In theory, every good photographer should be someone who sees the world well. But sometimes you look at someone’s pictures and you can just tell a difference. Other’s look at the world, this girl sees a beautiful poetry at play in every scene.
  • Annapolis and Company. I’m not even sure how I started reading Mary Beth’s blog but it is one of my favorites. So rarely do you find someone who is both an amazing photographer, and a talented writer. Every post she writes has me marveling afresh at the beauty of everyday existence.
  • Manger. Admittedly, I am a sucker for anything French. But usually, I mean Paris. The pictures that Mimi puts up of her French countryside existence create a collage that lets us see the beauty in her life of cooking and caring for her family.
  • Little Black Desk.  This girl. Just go read her blog and come back here later. Most of the people on this list pair photography with their words, but Ashley doesn’t even have to. One post will have me laughing, and then I will be crying by the end of the next one. She shares about newlywed life, losing her brother to cancer, her job, and God’s goodness through it all. In theory, it should be jarring to go from a post on eyebrow threading in the mall, to one of her brother’s final days, but it isn’t. Life is like that, comic and tragic so closely intertwined that we can’t always separate them, and so she doesn’ t try to.
  • Verily Magazine. Ok, so I am mostly including this because their tagline is “Less of who you should be. More of who you are.” Thank you Verily magazine, for seeing that there are just too many magazines trying to inspire us and every now and then we just want something who see’s how life is.

Happy reading!

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10 Responses to Those who see.

  1. Laura says:

    Just discovered Little Black Desk because Ashley used to go to my church and her mom recently spoke at our women’s conference… she is such a great writer and I’m really excited to follow along.

    Thanks for sharing all of these favorite blogs/sites of yours! Being such a good writer yourself, you’ve got some credibility and I really value your opinions and taste in writing. I think that you are also one of those who see, and that is why I stick around and look forward to each and every post!

  2. Kirsten says:

    I loved reading this. I appreciate people who can clearly write what they want to convey. The quote is particularly poignant, though I’m still pondering its meaning.

  3. muslimrunner says:

    Thank you! Just clicked on “Little Black Desk” and could not stop reading. I’d add your blog to the list, too. You have a way of showing beauty in the ordinary.

  4. Ashley says:

    Traffic to my blog directed me to this post. I’m deeply honored to have been included–thank you. :)

    • Hannah says:

      Oh good– I’m so glad everyone is headed over there! We have a mutual friend (Joseph Underwood) who sent me your blog and it is my favorite place to stop on the Internet!

  5. Lauren says:

    Yawowza! You were right about Ashley’s blog! Thanks for the recs.

  6. RA says:

    Thank you for these links! I love to find new reads with strong writing.

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