“Being brave doesn’t mean you are not scared, it just means you do the scary thing anyway.” ― Rose McGowan, Brave
This past week I spent time with Rosa Arianna McGowan reading, well really listening, to her audiobook for Brave while also pairing it with the physical copy of the book.
Since 2018 I have circled back to Brave periodically. In fact, I have read/listened to this book probably more than any other. Why? Because this manifesto is a solid reminder of the importance of standing up for the things you believe in and speaking truth to power even if your voice shakes.
Each read/listen, I find my being experiencing all the emotions. There are some moments I find myself giggling. Moments, I find myself enraged. Tears are always inevitable, but more importantly, I am completely in awe of Rosa’s courage and spirit. Often, I am asked what the shift was in my activism and the things I feel inclined to speak out about, and this is one of the books that inevitably enters the discussion. Why? Because it leads to the path of allowing your mind to be free. It challenges your mind to be both compassionate and critical of oneself. And I find that to be incredible.
There are many things that I find to be exquisite about Rosa. I admire her artistic abilities, whether through written form, photography, or film. But most of all, I respect that she says what she means, and she means what she says. She is a truth-teller. And personally, she’s made me a slightly less stupid human.
For that, Rosa, I thank you immensely. I also thank you for your art and for everything you have shared with the world.
Choosing the correct location backdrop for this photograph was incredibly important to me. I wanted to pair the book with a location close to my heart that made me feel safe, a place of peace, but would also honor the book. I pondered this decision for a good while. I had a few locations in mind, but nothing set right with my being. Then it hit me! The perfect destination to take this book is Atalaya Castle, with its beautifully inspired Spanish architecture.
Located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, Atalaya, which is Spanish for “watchtower”, was the winter home of artist and sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband Archer Huntington. This was Huntington’s winter home, constructed by Archer to provide a place of peace for his wife, who was diagnosed with tuberculosis.
I have spent much time here and at Brookgreen Gardens, adjacent to the property, healing from leukemia. I have found that being in nature yet surrounded by art is incredibly healing for the soul. Granted, as Rosa mentions in her book, if you have the mind of an artist, you can find art everywhere in all your surroundings.