These past few mornings, I have been waking up from some pretty strange dreams. There's a rule out there that says never to fill your blog with descriptions of your dreams, so I'm going to skip the details. Suffice it to say, though, they have been setting the tone for the day in that way that unshakably bad dreams do.

Ever since the trip to California, things have been less sharply focused. All that energy I had before the trip has been slowly draining from my body. The weather has been colluding to keep me inside. It's been raining real rain, in real storms, for the past week or so.

This is a transitional time of year and I feel it in the very core of me. This is the time when we all want to stretch our achy muscles, wipe the dust from our eyes, and see the sun again. Our bodies sense Spring is around the corner and we want to end our willful hibernation of book reading and tea drinking and coiling our bodies under heavy blankets. The crocuses are poking their optimistic heads out from the ground. Daffodils have burst open, their bright yellow almost unnatural against the hard wet cement and mulch. We humans are gravitating towards windowsills, and lingering in front of piles of folded sleeveless shirts, and gradually feeling like our winter coats are just a touch too heavy for days like these.

I am ready, but the skies, heavy with clouds, have other plans for March. And, like a kid who can see, if she cranes her neck just so, the Christmas tree through the slats of the banister at five am, I know I have to wait some more before that really good thing can happen.

That isn't the introduction I wanted to write for what I am about to share, but this is a season of much back and forth, contradiction and anticipation, so maybe it is, after all, fitting.

My very good friend Tara just returned from a trip to Africa, specifically to Rwanda and Morocco. (She was slated to visit Egypt, but then, well, Egypt happened, so she had to do some rearranging). Tara is a brilliant photographer and one of the most kind, spirited, passionate, honest, talented, and ambitious people I have ever met. You'll see all that when you see her photographs.

When I watched the slideshow this morning, something was put back, something wobbly was righted inside of me. I gained a little perspective. All my fretting about my life, privileged as it is, was made to feel (rightfully) small in the face of genocide and civil war. Of course, something new was set in motion too. I started wondering about the long history of Africa and the inevitability of war... and then, because Tara who she is, and because of the genius of her work, I started to think about resilience, and this divinity we all posses, this ability to overcome devastating defeat and to rise again. It's enough to make me want to slap myself in the face for feeling sorry for myself.

Right now, it's all about scales of gray. What paralyzes me now will not keep me down me in the months to come. This will all be distant and probably laughable one day. I will look back and wonder who I was when I wrote these words. Right now, though... right now, this is all monotone and stifling and unbearably real.

Enjoy Tara's work.