Today I am delighted to welcome Jen Lee to Present Tense. Jen was one of the first bloggers I read regularly, and it is a distinct honor to have her words here in my humble space.
Jen is a storyteller, a writer, a photographer, and, in my opinion, an all-around exemplar of a life thoughtfully and beautifully lived. Her writing glows with truth and her photographs capture the beauty in the everyday life of her neighborhood and city. Jen starts from the premise that we all have a story to tell, and this inclusive, supportive attitude towards other people emanates from everything she shares.
Through Jen’s photographs, and through her words, I have the wonderful sensation of seeing the world through her eyes. And what eyes! She seems to see things through a lens of compassion and faith, of patience and trust. It is such a gift to be exposed to this world view, at least for me, who tends towards anxiety and fear so much of the time. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that just spending time in Jen’s space is healing for me.
Jen hosts retreats and teaches workshops where she shares her warmth and brilliance. Her stories of her retreats, and the way she shares what she learns both from those who are formally the students and those who are formally the teachers moves me deeply. It is this interplay between teacher and student that Jen seems to understand intimately: she impresses me with the way she seems open to insight, and wisdom, no matter what the source.
Please go check Jen’s work at at her blog. You can also check out the books she has published and the upcoming opportunities to meet her in person. You won’t be disappointed: her space is warm and welcoming, calm and creative, and is simply one of my favorite places to go read and think. There is something about Jen’s presence that is steadfast, patient, supportive. Jen speaks the language of the soul. In the embrace of her words and images, I begin to trust that I might learn that language someday too. What a gift.
1. When have you felt most present? Are there specific memories that stand out for you?
When I’m playing with my children on the floor or eating lunch with them on the kitchen windowsill. When I’m spending time with people I love, especially those I don’t see often. When I’m in a conversation that someone is bringing 100% of their listening and attention to. In the bath tub. Over a cup of tea.
2. Do you have rituals or patterns that you use to remind you to Be Here Now?
Get Lindsey's thoughts on mindful living and parenting in your inbox