traveling in the right circles

what goes around, comes around.

you live twenty years, thirty, and you think you’ve changed, you think that life has turned you into a different person than the one you were at 15, or 25. And then you go back and read the poetry you wrote way back then, and you see how many things have stayed the same.

it’s kind of funny, really.

and i don’t mean to say that it’s all bad, i discovered some good poems, (along with some awful ones) and i even came across phrases that sounded remarkably similar to things i have written recently. that’s when it hit me, actually, how much the more things change, the more they stay the same.

when i was 17, graduating from high school, i wanted to be a writer, a poet specifically, and then a photographer. or vice versa. or both. i thought i might travel the country and take pictures. and i was accepted into a great college for photography, but i applied so late that i was put on the waiting list.

and then life got in the way.

during the year that followed, the year in which I had to wait, i got married. the day after I turned nineteen. it all seems so incredibly crazy now, my kids are all in their mid-twenties and I can’t even imagine them married. but back then it wasn’t so unusual, and i fell in love and suddenly traveling the country with a camera in my hand faded into the distance.

there was still poetry, lots of poetry, particularly during those angst-filled years when I tried to find my place in the world. and then even more when, seven years later, my marriage ended. (i know, classic timing.) but the poetry, the writing, was always there, although i never pursued it as a vocation.

and now, all these years later, i am right back where I started, writing and taking pictures and that makes me stop and wonder if all this time, in-between then and now, was wasted, at least as far as my art is concerned.

all the pictures that could have been taken,
all the words that could have been written.

this year, in the funny way that life has of pointing you in the right direction, i stumbled upon blogs and blogging, and then I needed pictures and, of course, i had to write, and suddenly i have come full circle, facing that girl again, with her pictures and her words.

only this time, this time, i think i have learned enough
to know better than to turn away.

this time i’m going to walk right up and hug her,
thank her for being there for me, all along

and then i’m going to walk around the next circle,
this next ring in the tree that is my life,
with her in the center as my guide.


What a great post (and awesome photo).

🙂 Similar shoes, but no camera in hand.

It’s ok to take a detour. But it’s not ok to never come back.

I know I speak for many who are grateful that you have come full circle. We have all benefited from it.

Oh, Kelly…hands to heart to you. may we all return to our genesis of creativity & know better, this time, than to turn away.
Your work is so deep & sweet, I am choosing to think of all those in between years not as a loss, but as a ripening season. Welcome home, friend!

My story is somewhat similar and I like to believe that the years in detour were not really lost years but rather every day lived and every experience I have ever had,
led me to this moment. I had to go there to get here and I love “here” so much that I’m grateful for all the “going there”. The circle is actually a spiral!

Great post and I love the image.

What an incredible, inspiring, thought provoking post. Life really does go in cycles as we work to define and refine ourselves.

This gave me goosebumps & tears. So touching.

I know just what you’re saying too…i can go back in those old notebooks/journals & find the same longings that i have now. The outside stuff constantly changes but that core, soul stuff is always there waiting for our return.

I’m so glad you’re turning toward this time.

Sending love to you on this Friday.

“i knew her when”
and she’s still that same girl, just different….something i tell myself all the time.

Kelly, truly brilliant. I love your words & images and so happy that this girl has made it to this place in her life.
And from another talented girl ( Jen Lemen ) …” it’s all unfolding as it should.”

Beautiful post . . . the detour is all part of the journey and makes you who you are. You’re photos and writing will be all the richer for it.

So far I’ve met so many women who took huge detours in their lives – including me. Are they wasted time? I don’t think so. Ignoring NOW what’s calling you would be awful; coming full cirlce is how it should be.
Kelly, this is a wonderful post.

i think it’s actually wonderfully validating to return to a passion. we know what we want when we are young…without the reasoning of life yelling in our ears. so now…you are listening. how beautiful~

Kelly, keep on writing and listening to your heart. This one is for you: “People become who they are. Even Beethoven became Beethoven.” -Randy Newman


Beautifully written. I think we all (or most of us) took other roads and then found a grassy path on a whim and came back. Life is what you did in the meantime. And that’s what gives you the impetus for what you’re writing and photographing now, I’m sure. I feel sort of the same way actually. My two girls are grown. I got all of that done early. Now I can focus on me.

don’t think of them as wasted years ~ just not the right time in your life. everything’s still there and just bustin’ to get out now!

so many can relate ..the passage of time and lifes experience teaches us so much ..or perhaps we knew it all along right!?

For so many reasons, in so many ways, I too relate to this. And you’ve expressed yourself so well here, perfectly, in word and image, which is kind of the point, isn’t it? Great post.

I cannot possibly tell you how happy I am for you that you have rediscovered this wondrous part of yourself. ♥♥♥

funny, isn’t it, that we think we take the road that leads us away from ourselves, but it circles back. it circles back when you listen to the trees and the rain and the crickets and it circles back without your knowing. when you pay attention, and when you have a gift such as yours, the world will not let it go unheard. it will make sure you get back with all those words you’ve collected in your heart over the years.


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the original work of Kelly Letky, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
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