Hi Anastasia, my name is Terra. This might be a strange email, but sometimes those are the most fun ones to receive.

We met almost exactly three years ago on the Bay Area Bart transit system, I was commuting to Berkeley where I lived at the time. A few weeks prior to our meeting, I had found the fortitude to break free from a three year long abusive relationship, and was all alone, moving through my day to day in what felt like an ear buzzing mind melting brain burning headspace... I had been sitting on the bart and felt the need to move trains, rolled my blue bike with me into a new car, and had just sat down. You Saw me, capital S saw me, approached me and told me a bit about how you take photos and would love to photograph me sometime. You gave me your phone number on the back of one of your photosized business cards- the one of the woman's beautiful back and flowing skirt, and we went separate ways. I was too scared at the time to follow up on your offer- it would take much more time before i was able heal and learn to trust again.

The reason I feel compelled to write to you is that I want to thank you- I still have that card with the photo of the beautiful woman on it. It led me to your website where i was able to come back to from time to time, to learn from and find peace and comfort and inspiration and strength and courage in the words you have written there. Like looking into a window to another world, and not stopping till i found my way there. The way you looked at me on the bart that day felt like an electrical shock, like some sort of surge of energetic fire coursed through my body, and in that moment I could remember what it felt like to be seen and to feel my vital aliveness. To have felt so dark and gone and beyond repair, and yet to be seen for a certain kind of beauty, despite of, or maybe because of, that darkness, has been significant in the process of coming back to me and letting this inner light grow.

Thank you for all that you do

In love and gratitude,
Terra Shelton