A passing fury,
Leaving subtle impression,
Quenches a last thirst.
So, I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. I’m not sure if I’ve been able to convey that chaos that was circling in my head and heart a year ago. I think that is the crux of grief and growth; you really never know quite where you are, until you’ve gone through it. My heart had been re-broken, something of my own doing, and I was trying to save myself from the hurt that simmering under the surface by traveling the West, and finding THE perfect picture. In doing this, I really only slipped further into grief, and I never really found THE picture. Did I stop the pain, absolutely not. Did I capture any memorable or beautiful images, many. The problem was that trying to deny one, I missed many of the other.
The better images that I captured, and I can clearly recall this, were the ones where I allowed myself to sink into the moment. I would allow the wind, the light, the temperature and the setting guide my emotions. I could push “pause” on my hurt, and accept the beauty that was around me.
The images that I didn’t capture, the ones that I now see in the catalogues of photography acquaintances and role models, that were right in front of me, were lost to me. I was caught dwelling too much on the past, and stymied by a future that wasn’t going to unfold. This conviction has been something I’ve struggle with most of my life, but at times of emotional upheaval, it becomes magnified, like I’m sure it does for all of us. The paralysis of fight or flight, or freeze can override any sense of joy we might want to try to experience. Pushing “pause” on pain really isn’t a solution. It just delays it. It stands around and waits to rob us of a future joyful moment.
For me, this meant not “seeing” the beauty all the time. It meant that some of the compositions that I’d hoped to capture were lost in the catalog of “somedays.” This sense of missed opportunity has been haunting me for sometime. Now, seeing these images that I drove right past, has at times left me feeling defeated. And, I don’t like that feeling. I’m often critical of myself for things I “should have” been able to control, and seeing these images is something I “should have” been able to do. But I didn’t.