It has been a strange year for me and photos. I was still shooting at the start of the year, but misplacing several finished rolls was disheartening. Then there was the new camera I was so excited about getting last year for Christmas that ended up being too much work in post-production. (Over a hundred tiny scans per roll that then required straightening and cropping.) Then my scanning software"expired", which I didn't even know was possible.
Then I got a new camera: a digital movie-making one and started learning it. And I had a lot of emotions about all of these things.
And then something strange happened in the last week or two. I started finding lost rolls of film, in studio drawers and winter coat pockets--I mean there's really no explanation for how I could not have looked in those places before. So I developed them and scanned them, and in the coming weeks I may be sharing all kinds of images from the year in no particular order.
That's the outside story.
Here's the inside story.
But the end of February I knew I wasn't okay. I had taken a week off while the girls were on mid-winter recess and my parents were here visiting, and the night before children were going back to school and I could get back to work, I was just overcome with anxiety. I mean lying in my bed wide awake with dread and despair washing over me. This was super strange because my work is usually a place of refuge, safety and joy for me. That's the exact moment I knew I wasn't alright.
I've had a lot of support since then, the kindest assistance with taking an inventory of my "internal scaffoldings", re-wiring and redesigning and rebuilding in the places that haven't been serving me. And sometimes it feels I am always writing about learning curves and growing pains, but I've gotta tell you--they just don't slow down over here. Perhaps a brief plateau or pause, but then it's back to shedding or becoming or whatever this process is.
Here's one thing that is dis-equilibrating: the way my vision gets stripped down in these seasons. It's hard to see the world (or myself in it) with enough clarity to capture. Everything feels dull on the outside while the inside is under such scrutiny or even just care.
I knew I was feeling better when I felt like pulling out my camera and shooting again, maybe a month ago. And Bella said, "You need new pics." And Christiane saw the photos on my bulletin board and said, "love the pictures, but this is not how I see you at all." And so I know this is now what's next--adjusting my eyes to this new place, and to myself in it. To align my body and my senses with this new inner landscape. To let myself be found.