“A good storyteller speaks something into nothing. Where there is an absence of story, or perhaps a bad story, a good storyteller walks in and changes reality. A good storyteller doesn’t just tell a better story, though. He invites other people into the story with him, giving them a better story, too.”
~Donald Miller | A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
I read Donald Miller’s book months ago, and the moment I put it down I began composing a blog post about it in my head. But this page sat blank. Empty. Story less. I didn’t know how I was ever going to put into words exactly how the book changed my life – exactly what it meant to me. What it still means. I still don’t know how to put it into words other than to ask you to read it for yourself. Because some things can’t be explained through words. Some things are so much bigger than that. The Don’t Give Up Project is another such thing.
I’ve been home from Colorado for one week, one day, and a handful of hours and in this time I’ve realized that even with my profound ability to put words on paper, I’ll never be able to explain this experience. To describe it. This is not a story that I can tell – it’s a story you have to live. That you have to see.
That you have to feel.
I’m not going to try and explain what those three days in Colorado meant to me – or how they’ve changed me. Because I’d only ever do a bang-up job. And this life – this one life – and the amazing people I met and spent time with in a lodge on a vast expanse of mountain land, deserves so much more than a bang up job. So instead of writing – something I tend to rely on to make images speak – to make them matter – I’m going to do something different.
Because I’ve done something different.
I’ve actually gone and made a few images.
Don’t Give Up Project from athena pelton on Vimeo.
I do need to extend a huge and heartfelt thank you to Ash + Jeremy Parsons for allowing me – or rather, all of us – to become the best versions of ourselves. And to discover, together, exactly who those people are. And the same amount of gratitude goes out to each and every single one of the people I shared the lodge with. Each of you are so talented and have so very many gifts. Thank you. For enriching my life. For being my friends. For endeavoring with me on this incredible journey. I love you all so very much. And an extra thank you to Amy Seeley for her amazing musical talent. You can download the song in my video, “Home Without You” on iTunes, but I highly recommend buying an entire album. Or two. Trust me on this one.
And to anyone who’s ever dared enough to dream so big it was scary…..don’t give up.
LOVE the video. I’ve really enjoyed listening to how this workshop has changed you. I love to hear how it’s reigniting your love for beauty in the little things of every day life. I love THIS. Your images are beautiful and full of soooo much love. They warm me. Thank you for sharing a piece of your transformation. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be your friend, and to watch you grow. Oxo.
I am listening to The Current looking at your pictures and I start tearing up. I don’t know you or these pictures but something about them speaks to me. Your talent is sublime!!
LOVE. ugh so great athena!!!! miss you so much
So good. Soooo good! Thank you for your beautiful words and images. And the hugs. And being your wonderful self. Also, I loved the sequence of the pages blowing in the wind :-)
I am loving all of your work… Especially as of lately. You can tell you’ve found your groove with your style of photography and I am totally digging it. Keep rocking it out, lady. All the best to you!
P.S. – Happy Birthday!
you made me cry (not like ugly cry club cry, but soft, happy, joyful cry). love you so much soul sister!
That was beautiful. My stomach hurt..but in a good way. I wanted more….and even more than that, I wished I was there with you! Just to experience what I saw in your film. Very cool. Thanks for sharing. Xoxo
3 words – You are AMAZING!
It always makes my day to read your blog and see your work!
These are really special, Athena. Also. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Wow! WOW! So good Athena! I’m totally blown away! Your images have such power and depth and have the ability to transport me back to that time and place and the moments we all shared. Thanks friend! (p.s. Happy Birthday!)
wow, so good! love those photos of chris, and paired with amy’s voice.. pretty magical. xx
This post is beautiful. Insanely so. And that video? It slayed me. The movement and emotion radiated through the voice of images and the music, making me feel like I was there with you. Seriously, you are one kick ass photographer :) (and friend. duh ;)
SO SO rad. I dig your photos, I dig your writing, and I dig YOU!!!! xo
Nice work… even more bummed I missed it now!
Athena, these are absolutely beautiful! I loved getting to see the experience through your lens. You are so talented!
I actually watched this with my two year old son and we were both enthralled. Incredible eye and such beautiful moments Athena. Grateful to know and love you. :)
I have read every blog you’ve posted from folks who attended and keeping waiting for someone to tell me about what this was…I want to know!!!
You have amazing talent Athena! Looks like a life changing experience. Thank you for sharing.
damn you are good. loved reliving the trip all over again. xo
oh athena. this was magic. absolutely wonderful and rich. what you could not express in words, images speak.
thank you for being a part of this with us!