Wednesday, 26 May 2010

8. Simplicity in a blank page


I've been working on breaking my writer's block once and for all. There are some dark forces afoot but I'm working my way through the murkiness, with thanks to Kirsty and her perfect understanding of an artist's mind, I might add.

Apparently, the above picture, which I took during a trip to Cardinham woods at the weekend, represents my life at the moment. There are two personalities in the picture: an old "me" and a new "me". The new one is growing strongly in the foreground but the old one has crossed its arms and isn't happy at being in the background (in other words: the old me is fighting the change). An interesting concept and quite accurate. I love how these things can be put into art to give it more meaning.

Anyway. Part of the writing work was to write about something; anything. Just so long as I wrote. And this is what I managed to achieve:

Blank Page
Blank pages frustrate me. It means that I have to force myself to think of words to fill the vacant lines, like I know anything in the world!
Blank pages whisper incriminations; they spike your nights with frustrated dreams. Grey lines - flat liners. No cadence, no rise and fall. Monotonous existence of a vast emptiness.
A blank page can bleed tears from stories never written. The empty space can warp perspective into a never-ending fear.
Then I must fill them - write something in the vacuum, my voice unheard unless I scream and then, still unheard.
I could lose myself in an empty page. My thoughts sucked out and absorbed into the fibres. The ink in the pen dries as the nib hovers above the paper. A wordless sight. Invisible.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

7. Beauty in Nature

Purple Flower

I've always had an interest in nature. It stems, I think, from all the walks I went on with my Mum where she would tell me about everything we saw; it would feed my thirst for knowledge and fascination in the world around us. It was only natural, then, that I would start taking photographs of nature too. There is nothing manmade that can beat the beauty of nature.


Monday, 24 May 2010

6. You Scratch my back...

Ponies - Sepia

A photograph taken on Bodmin Moor yesterday. It was the second day of blissful adventure. The weather was perfect all weekend. The day before, we visited Cardinham woods where we headed off the footpaths and followed deer tracks into the woods. We weren't lucky enough to see any deer but it didn't matter. We didn't need to see them to make the day any more wonderful. It was the adventure and the experience that mattered.

We were driving home yesterday, and I told Kirsty that I've never felt such a sense of being completely content before. And it's true. It's like a comfortable, light warmth that makes me feel like I'm at peace with myself, and that I'm perfectly happy with all that I have and need nothing more. I think it's the feeling you get when you begin to accept who you are as a person, and when you know that you are living your life and enjoying the world around you to the full.

"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, 21 May 2010

5. Storm in a buttercup

storm in a buttercup

I'm trying to get myself back into writing again. It's been such a long time that I can barely remember the last time I wrote a story and managed to finish it. Due to various factors, I lost my confidence in writing a long time ago.

There's one thing that I know is my biggest problem: my constant need for perfection. It has given me such angst over the years: I want to be good at everything I do. I guess it's something that is "built in". I have little patience for things that I'm not good at.

In writing, there is no way of creating the perfect piece without spending time editing. It can be hard work, and then you have to wait for a couple of weeks to read through it again and see if you like it! There's no immediacy with it. I think that's why I like photography so much: you can see almost instantaneously whether you've got a good shot or not!

But I like writing. I spent hours and hours in my own little world, creating stories. I loved the written word and the way I could transport myself somewhere completely different. But my need for perfection gets in the way.

My whole world in this past year has been turned upside and inside out, and improved so much for the better. I have been working really hard on self-improvement (confidence; patience; compassion; understanding etc etc etc). So I know, at least intellectually, that it is okay to do something merely because you enjoy it...I don't have to be the best at it. If I enjoy it, then I don't even have to be good. I know this but translating it to something I actually feel can be like a storm in a buttercup ;-) But I am trying.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

4. From a single candle

Carrying a flame

How many times have I answered the phone with a grumpy attitude to experience the same back from whoever has called? Seriously. Bad moods can be catching. Luckily, good moods can be catching too :-)

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." Buddha

Monday, 17 May 2010

3. Wax on; Wax off

Wax on, Wax off

"I hungry" is all I heard drifting across the field while I was taking a photograph. Next thing, a bored Kirsty started pretending to be a martial artist under a tree. I captured her on "film", of course.

We'd been out for a walk after work, trundling around Pendennis Castle with cameras in tow. It was a warm evening, with a beautiful light; bluebells were everywhere. Kirsty encouraged me to take a little "diversion" off the path up a steep embankment, through undergrowth and brambles before heading back slowly to the car. We had a wonderful time.

I always have a good time with Kirsty. No one else has ever given me the room to grow and spread my wings, nor encouraged me so much to try my best at everything I do. She teaches me a lot about life; maybe we teach each other, I don't know. But I do know that thinking about her gives me the most unfathomably warm feeling I've ever had.

This photograph, called "Wax on, Wax off", is perhaps one of the better photographs I've taken that demonstrate Kirsty's character. And I post it to say thank you, for all the support and the simple belief in my work. It's given a new life to my photography, which means more to me than can be imagined.

There’s a light
A certain kind of light
That never shone on me
I want my life to be lived with you
The Bee Gees

Saturday, 15 May 2010

2. The Details of Life


Life becomes jaded with our own preconceptions and habitual behaviour. Trapped in our own prison, we see things the way we have been programmed to see. Circumstances repeat themselves and we react with the same old patterns; arguments flare up over the same small issues and we still do not learn. But we can choose to change.

Hard work though it is, it is possible to retrain the mind to see things from a different perspective; to view the world with different eyes; reprogram ourselves to form positive mental pathways; to view the details of life and realise that they are merely the synopsis not the story itself.

"One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak". G.K. Chesterton.

Friday, 14 May 2010

1. Like A Dream

Like a dream

We measure time: seconds; hours; days. We even have a name for what's been and what is about to be: past, present, future. We even think about the quality of time: whether something is a "waste of time", or whether something is worth the time. But, what is time really but an experience?

The past, to me at least, is like a dream. The future is merely a potential. It is the present that exists now. It is the present that I want to learn to embrace.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment". Buddha