Alive and Well

I am back from Maine where I spent hours measuring and capturing light. I photograph with film and part of that decision is I need the slow, deliberate process of thinking of nothing but light. I stand in fields or by the waters edge with a little light meter pondering how I will capture and interpret the scene before me as I see and feel it. By doing so, my brain slowly but surely empties of all other thoughts. I hear the waves lapping the shore and the mocking caws of the crows that follow me. I am alive in a way that I’m not in my everyday life.

I brought 7 cameras. Two Holgas, a Hasselblad, a Polaroid SX-70, a Polaroid Land camera, my 1930 Linhof Technika and then my G9 digital. This collection is representative of various times in my life. I don’t know who I am right now so I brought everything. I didn’t use the Linhof or the G9, which represent the easiest and most difficult of my cameras to use. My friend Frieda came with me and once we found a spot I would stand next to my car look up at the sky and decide which camera to bring. The length of the hike weighed in on my choice too. My arm will not allow me to carry more than one. Once I decided on what camera or lens, I took off without looking back. Years ago I would carry more than one camera, more than one lens and let the scene itself dictate to me how to interpret it.  A large heavy backpack brought the choices with me. I no longer have that luxury. The Lymphedema in my arm is slight but its voice is loud. The pain increases if I carry heavy items for too long. The ensuing swelling is dangerous and the fear that envelopes is paralyzing. Standing alone by the shore, I let go of what used to be and instead took up the challenge of using what I had in hand. Thanks to Frieda who pushed and prodded me to try I was able to pass through my obstacle of perceived and actual limitations. Yes, I can’t carry everything but I can carry something and with that I will create. Standing on the shore with the waves lapping and the crows cawing, I realized I wasn’t dying but very much alive. The cobwebs anchoring my pains and fears from the past two years were blown away by the gentle breezes. I’ve spent so much time and energy covering my ailment at work that my job somehow became all of my life. I lost the creative side of Mae and now know it is time to balance the two. That is the challenge I face now as I sit at my desk.

When I had returned from the trip I met up with Vita for lunch. “How was the trip?” she innocently asked. I said it was great and then went on to expand on how I needed to change or blow up the life I have. She looked at me. “Do you realize what you are saying?” “Yes,” I replied knowing full well it sounded like a rant of madness. It isn’t though. Its just time to pull up anchor and maybe tour the port I’ve been moored in for years now. Step on the gas just a little bit and shake things up. I’m talking to my accountant and a realtor to just explore the possibilities. I may just set anchor again exactly where I am or I may move on. What I do know is there are 30 rolls of film waiting to be developed and a possible show too in the wings. I also know I haven’t felt so light in spirit in years.

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47 Responses to Alive and Well

  1. segmation says:

    Maybe you need to move to a digital camera instead of waiting to develop your 30 rolls of film? But then if you don’t make time to develop the 30 rolls of film, you will not have your memories to look over. What do you think?

  2. sannekurz says:

    You make us feel the light, the air, the sea and your inner journey. It will be a great gift to see more of the images you take while pondering and wandering on.

  3. Beautiful post. You do tell your story well. 🙂 Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  4. First of all, amazing photos; they look almost like paintings. Second, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to change your life, especially if you feel complacent and that you’re stuck in a rut. And you’re talking to an accountant and a realtor, which shows you’re planning for all possibilities. If you ask me, you’re not mad; you’re trying to live, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  5. Jim says:

    You sure took a lot of cameras along!

    I find that my best creativity can come through working within limitations. It forces me to think differently, and keep refining what I’m doing to get the best out of what I have.

  6. Sum says:

    These photos are so pretty! Beautifully captured. I know the basics of aperture, but for me, I like to mindlessly capture lots of things on a camera. You are so patient and talented to think about each shot! 🙂

  7. Wonderful images and great post!! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!

  8. Jade Jarvis says:

    Your forthrightness enlightened me. Pain is one of our greatest friend and foe. It gives us an excuse to procrastinate, something to complain about and a reason to enjoy life more. Wishing you an increase of health and peace.

    I can’t wait for you to develop those photos. I would like to see more of your work.

  9. Pas says:

    “Yes, I can’t carry everything but I can carry something and with that I will create.” I needed to read this today. (And the photos make me want to cuddle up in a blanket and drink hot chocolate, truly lovely!)

  10. Hurrah let your spirit fly…good luck 🙂

  11. Now that you are free again, I hope you do hit that throttle and your stride – right where it you need it the most. Welcome to the ocean of possibilities.

  12. What kind of change are you aiming for?

  13. Kiersten says:

    I love the way you described your personal journey through life through your photography experience. You’re an amazing writer!

  14. What lovely images. I’ll confess that I know next to nothing about photography, but your writing is lyrical and full of life. Congratulations on your new decision. I was Freshly Pressed along with you yesterday and just wanted to stop by and say hello. I know a bit about overcoming challenges, as I have bipolar disorder, which I wrote about a few posts back. It’s called something like “My Mind was Lost. My MInd was Found: Some thoughts on Grace and Gratitude.” It may speak to you in terms of your currect recovery challenge, even though yours is different. My FP post is the one about front porches. Again, congrats and blessings to you on your journey!

  15. mirrormon says:

    great! i m glad this trip was so inspirational for you…as for me, i found your post inspiring 🙂

  16. What a fantastic collection of cameras! I still have my old Nikon F2 from the 70s. This made me want to load it with film and use it again.

  17. Smol Dusaran says:

    your pictures are dream-like, and the words that go with them are just as eye-catching. This is such an inspiring post!

  18. jazperjay says:

    I love your post! 😀

    I love photography but right now its considered an expensive hobby especially if you are in a third world country. I don’t have any high end cameras just a simple and cheap digital camera and my cellphone. I take pictures too and more than the digital images I want it printed. I feel different if I have a copy of the pictures I once have taken. It makes me realize how wonderful life is and how it was days, months or years ago…

    Keep Rocking with your posts and thoughts!

  19. Great post! Loved the Polaroid pictures 🙂

  20. Lauren says:

    Love these photos – Polaroids are amazing.

  21. zedjaw77 says:

    Reblogged this on it's about writing.

  22. charisse3008 says:

    It is a beautiful post because it comes from the heart. I hope you succeed in discovering your creative side again and that your pains will go away. The pictures are nice!

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