By January 2017 I was in full swing. I was doing a photo-a-day and posting it on social media. I was completing photo assignments with the Arcanum Group and fully participating in leveling up. I had started this blog, with the intention of posting twice a month. That was quickly replaced with a weekly post, as I found I had a lot of say and the stories were just pouring fourth. I was being creative, I was very prolific, and I had an energy and passion for what I was doing. It all came easily.
Then on March 31, 2017, my mother-in-law completed a doctor assisted suicide and my life changed drastically. I became fixated on emptying the condo of her belongings. It is really something to experience, the dispensing and dissemination of a person’s life. I had to take this slower than I wanted. Sue was in mourning and at times, hanging onto belongings of her mother. She wasn’t ready to let go. I could not have prepared emotionally for what doing something like this would feel like. There were items that were ‘just things’ that you easily sort and distribute. Then there are also the ‘other’ things that have meaning. A memory of a family dinner. The house one grew up in. A painted card. But the worse, is revealed later. In dark corners of long forgotten cupboards, the secrets, hidden deep, only to be found after death. The paperwork, legal documents, and of course, there were the ‘nasties.’ The things that hopefully, were never said or acted upon during one’s life, but I wish I hadn’t ever known about. The ramblings of resentment, anger, selfishness and self-pity. We started this process after Sue’s brother left to go back to New Zealand in mid-April, and had it completed for when we moved in June of this same year.
During all this, I did not have time to take a photo, write a blog or even to look at any social media accounts. My ‘off’ time was spent negotiating with antique shops, auction houses and over seas shippers. As well, I spent time pouring over the internet for the furnishings and fixings we needed for our new place, as all our belongings were just way too big. There was great joy in decorating together, Sue and I, as we established what our style was and the type of home we wanted. We realized that in 20+ years together, we had never lived above ground. The sunshine in the summer was glorious. Then it all stopped. The condo was furnished, my photos hung on the walls and all of a sudden I had ‘spare time’ on my hands again.
A little voice told me I should start my 365 photo-a-day again and pick up that camera. Another voice said I should publish a blog and get back at it. But I resisted. And I resisted. I couldn’t even pick up my Iphone camera to do even one daily photo. What was wrong with me? Then I realized that although I had enjoyed very much the act of creation and what it had brought to my life, I now felt free from the pressures, although self-imposed, to actively participate in social media. I was enjoying the freedom and I realized that to return to creating meant to me that I had to return to social media. And that was the resistance I felt. It really is a double edged sword. I mean, you make a photo or tell a story and what’s the sense of it unless you share it? But at the same time, I had felt trapped by that sharing.
So two weeks ago, I said enough, grabbed my camera and went off on my merry way to a couple of events around the city. And I had a great time! It felt good to be out there, holding my camera and trying for a photo again. It felt even more amazing as I came home and processed what I had shot, adding effects and textures and just letting the photograph develop into a style before me. I must say, my light and airy photos are no longer, replaced by dark and grungy processing. There’s a whole lot of Freud in there I could comment upon, but that is probably for another post! The point is it felt GOOD. Here I was creating again and I started to thirst for more. So at the beginning of this year, I picked up my Iphone and started my 365 photo project, again.
So when I look back, the purpose of this blog, was to highlight my photography while telling the stories of my life through a humourous lens. That was the initial purpose. But during that time, I realized it became an outlet for my emotions, for the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations. By trying to see and convey the events that impact me in a funny way, it allowed me to heal. And I shared. And I healed. I learned to laugh loud and often at myself. And I healed. But lately, it has been hard to write funny stories. It’s been hard to see the humour. My photography has changed from light and airy, to dark and grungy. My writing has followed suit. It’s just not light right now. It just seems to be the place I am in right now. The scars and wounds of a difficult year. However, that is now behind me and I would like to get back on track. I am not sure about social media at this point. I want to know and see what fellow friends and photographers are up to, but I become overwhelmed with the amount of chatter on Facebook. Perhaps I will start with Instagram, as I find it quick and easy to review, comment and be involved.
It does feel like there has been a soul shift for me with the arrival of 2018. A slight lifting of the spirits, a bit of a slanted view, and I’ve begun to laugh again at work with my partner Ralph. As for the blog, I am going to try and put out one post a month and see how I progress from there. If all of a sudden the darkness lifts and I see the world in all its splendour of incongruities, juxtapositions, idiosyncrasies and hilarities, where I can laugh at myself again, I will go back to weekly postings. For now, once a month may be a challenge.
In light and love. Don’t know why, but I felt the need to say it.