Friday, March 13, 2009

New Orleans - Enchanted Field Trip

I stepped off the plane like someone who is always stepping off the plane, and up to the curb where we waited for the white truck, which was stuck in traffic. The air was almost jovial, sun trickling sideways and the scent of flowers bouncing off the breeze.

“This place reminds me of California crossed with Buenos Aires,” I thought, as if I had spent hours and weeks exploring its essence.

The wind in the truck was warm, and I sat in the back while the men spoke in the foreign language they had created through years and years of self-referential inside jokes. I smiled as if I had always known the comfort of this chatter, a chatter I would probably never fully make sense of. It was the symbol of a special bond that I would honor and never insult with a failed attempt to infiltrate, something I would appreciate from the outside, like the way my parents loved each other when I was a child.

I landed in this place of foreign comfort – and was not perplexed by the paradox of it. My mind was curious, “How could it feel so normal to be some place I’ve never been?” Yet, my heart and soul were settled, like something had been decided without having consulted my mind.

The entire essence of the place, for me, could be summed up in those first few moments. The air, the light, the love I felt but couldn’t understand the language of. Walking through the streets and through the park, walking and walking for days after my arrival, the same feeling was there, always.

Even the ghost I came upon in a corridor beneath a stairway was laughing at me as I went by, as if to say, “Silly woman, we’ve been waiting for you.”

For more images, please visit the SARAH SLOBODA | photography facebook page by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hometown Culture Shock - Emerging from Vacation

For a brief moment today, while I was walking up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, I found myself caught in a blissful void somewhere between vacation and real life. As I came out of the subway at Union Square, I had stopped and bought an apple and some cider, and I had a great playlist going on my iPod, thanks to my favorite technological development of late - the iTunes "genius" function. In wanting to fully embrace the beginning of spring, I bought some pansies for my fire escape garden, as a miniature emulation of the blossoming yards I had just seen on vacation in New Orleans this past week.

I was walking up Fifth experiencing New York City still in vacation mode - as if I had managed to bring the version of myself I had become in New Orleans back to New York. Teenagers shouted at each other from either side of me as we passed, cars ran lights and blared their horns at pedestrians, and respect for others' individual personal space was held in integrity by absolutely no one. For some reason, eating my local apple, enjoying the music in my ears, and still feeling like "New Orleans," all of these things seemed absolutely delightful. I was thinking, "Isn't New York so quaint? Look at how rushed everyone is. Isn't that interesting?"

Somehow, the logistics of running my business, the tasks of nurturing the nuances of my crafts as an artist, and even the moment-to-moment stresses of day-to-day life were paused for a moment. New York seemed fresh and distant - like I didn't really live here. I had gone so far into the experience of my vacation, that I forgot who I was before I left!

Within minutes, I was at my usual photo lab, consulting on a print order, and learning about new paper stock and printing technologies. And after that, I had some banking to do, and some emails to respond to. So, the moment itself turned out to be just that - a moment - when I had seen my entire life differently, as if it is not all so permanent, not even the way I choose to see things every day.

But I like to think that that energy I felt in my "void moment" has stuck with me, that it was present in my interactions at the photo lab and at the bank - that I am now just a little bit of a new version of myself - and that everyone I meet is meeting someone new. Life feels fresh that way!

I like the idea that I am emerging again: that as the climate of the world has begun to shift in so many ways, I am entering a fresh place from a fresh perspective. I am not the same as when I left a week ago, and it is not the same New York that I returned to. Everything is always shifting, and when I was still enough for a moment, I felt it. What I felt was not scary. It wasn't even unfamiliar. It simply was. And, it was interesting. I was invested in my experience in that moment. Instead of frantically looking back, then looking ahead, seeing the huge difference between the two, and balking at the change... I just found myself having arrived at the present moment, and finding it curious.

(P.S. Vacation photos and story coming soon!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

True Voice Intro Call - Success Story!

I am thrilled to be serving my community from the place of empowering and activating so many beautiful, powerful written voices. Thank you again, for the opportunity to serve you! I am off to New Orleans on vacation, but I wanted to give an update on the introductory call for "Writing from Your True Voice."

Thank you so much to those of you who joined for last night's call!

If you missed it, you can now access the recording on the True Voice website by clicking here.

Creativity came BURSTING through on the call, and the participants noticed

  • Their subconscious mind really did know how to connect specific words with the story they wanted to tell.
  • Being challenged to find words in an usual way led to creating wonderfully unusual imagery.
  • The way to identify a sentence that is emotionally accurate to their story.
I invite you to try the exercise on the recording, and email me with the "sentence" you select at the end. You will be automatically entered for a chance to win a special gift from me!

Also, if you're ready to take the next step towards moving ahead with your writing endeavors, please email me, at, to set up a complimentary consultation to discuss your goals, or visit the True Voice website.