Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Needs More Feeling


Guilt hung over me like a pregnant rain cloud as I backed my car out of the garage. Three pair of sad eyes followed the car's progress down the driveway, one hand and one little paw raised forlornly in a wave, the third set of eyes sat in silence, staring at me from his spot at the living room window.

If only they would understand that I am a better wife and mother when I take this time for solo adventures. I am a better photographer and writer when I push myself to explore unfamiliar places. There is comfort in the familiar, but growth happens when I push into the unknown.


This spring, whether I wrote pieces for a writing class I was taking, or posts for my blog, after I wrote the first, bits and pieces draft, and then the second, some semblance of order draft, I always made the same note after re-reading them the following morning - Needs More Feeling - written in red ink.

By noting this I didn't just mean add more feeling to my writing, I also meant add more feeling to my life. I am so busy moving from one event to the next, that I don't allow myself to feel, only observe, note details and move on. It is alright to be an observer, but I have to be aware of how things make me feel, that is the only way to bring people into the story or into the photograph.


I set off that rain cloud morning, to explore and photograph something I remember visiting as a child and then again in the very early years of our marriage, when I was only a slightly more grown-up child; a pair of hydroelectric dams, located on unexplored back roads in a northern county. When I mentioned to my husband where I was going that morning, he didn't like the idea, saying "people get killed at those dams". Now I have not heard of any murders there in recent years, and the rebel in me wanted to go even more, just to prove him wrong. I trust my intuition and if something seems off, I tend to play it safe and avoid the place.


As I drove down the road, my rain cloud of guilt trailed along behind me, I knew the only way to make that cloud dissipate was to get that first photograph taken, somehow then the joy of creativity takes over and guilt is banished. The fruit orchards in this northern place were in full bloom, and blooms were on my photo bucket list for the spring. Orchard found, photograph taken, the sun came out and the oppressive rain cloud was gone.


Reaching the town closest to the dams, I decided to stop at the local McDonald's for a bathroom break and a snack. Snack in bag, I drove to a small park located in the heart of downtown. I remembered the park from camping weekends with the in-laws in those early married years.


The park was quiet, and the picnic tables were clean. I settled in with my snack and a book. When finished with my hash brown and caramel latte, I closed my book, a few more chapters read in my book for the upcoming book club. I lifted my head and took in the view around me. I was surrounded by detail rich, old brick buildings. There was a tan brick church directly across the street from me with a beckoning door waiting to be photographed. Just past the church was a set of mysterious metal stairs leading upwards toward an even more mysterious looking building. I brought my trash to the receptacle, returned my book to the car, grabbed my camera and set off to explore the town.


I hadn't forgotten the dams, but I was learning to slow myself down, and trust my intuition. I was curious to see where the mysterious stairs led and how I would feel about my discovery.

20 comments:

  1. The orchards are beautiful and I loved the sound of your little solo outing. There were no things to discover and a red brick wall to photograph. I wonder what is on the other side of the worn blue door?

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  2. Wwi so admire that you take the time to search out locations for your photography. I complain I have taken pictures of the same things year after year but I don't go on scouting expeditions like you do. I need to change that and you are my inspiration.

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  3. Feeling it . . .
    Steps to "where and what" made for one of your best . . .
    Private Property and Please Use Side Door has some kind of juxtaposition feel . . .
    And the 0300 at the entrance . . . makes me very curious . . .
    Feeling it!

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  4. This is just the kind of outing I enjoy! I love the old ghost sign you found. They have always intrigued me!

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  5. Love your explorations. I too love doing this sort of thing as it renews my spirit of creativity

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  6. I SO need to do this as well - the creative itch is going crazy because I haven't taken the time to just be in the moment for a very long time.

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  7. Beautiful work as always, Sarah!
    xo

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  8. Peggy at Season-To-Season blog, was right! You do have a delightful and inspiring blog!

    With feelings. And interesting photos. And, and, and, lovely words!!!!

    I'm in love with words again! For a while, I felt we didn't have the time to read many words, in blogs. So I cut way back. More photos, less words. But this was not authentic. This was not me. My first love, in doing my blog, has always been words... With some photos added, of course.

    I just did a post on this. And then find your lovely blog. Which encourages me, even more.

    Thank you.

    And thank Peggy, for telling me about your blog.

    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa

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  9. Stairs! I can't resist them. I would have been ecstatic to follow those moody stairs in your photo - especially if I didn't know where they led!

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  10. Great post, Sarah. You know I want to do this too! I just have to comment on my favorite photo of this collection - that brick building. I know, probably not what you expected. I keep looking at it, wondering...what do those faded letters say? Why are they interrupted by that doorway? Is the doorway a more recent addition? Who added the cute fake flowers to the planter box? What is that blue-green scale for? Why is the light over the door turned on even in daylight? "OPEN" must mean there's a business behind that door - what kind? So many stories in one picture, and not a person in sight. Great job, my friend!

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  11. After my photowalk in Long Beach....all I think about is going someplace else...every weekend. I love love love shooting in new locations. So, this summer...I'm making a concerted effort to go and explore. These are amazing photos and a great post.

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  12. I am looking to the next part of your adventure. So glad to see you are having fun adventures again.

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  13. Yes, adventures are needed no matter how close to home you may be. I think as a mom and wife we will always have at least a little pang of guilt in us when we do something 'just for ourselves' It must go with the territory... Your images are amazing, the colors (or lack of color) you create in post processing really set a 'mood' with each image. Such a great post.

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  14. Excellent post Sarah. I just picked up and read your article in Artful Blogging. It was very good, kept me reading and I know that's what you what to see. Congratulations.

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  15. Sarah, I love exploring. I love to take off on foot and get lost. I can't wait to hear what you found at the top of the stairs. Have a wonderful weekend. Bonnie

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  16. Following my nose is one of my favorite things to do. I never know what I might find, and it hasn't gotten me into any trouble yet! I look forward to seeing where those steps led you.

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  17. Following my nose is one of my favorite things to do. I never know what I might find, and it hasn't gotten me into any trouble yet! I look forward to seeing where those steps led you.

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  18. I love the brick building and the Orchard. I admire your ability to go and find these places...to not be afraid of what you might come upon...we bring our younger self with us no matter how many years we have added. Alone places are sometimes a problem for me and then sometimes not. It's the words for me also. That is why I'm dedicating more time to reading this year. You seem to be able to do it all so effortlessly. This was a lovely, well written post..

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  19. I love the images in this post. I can't believe how far behind I am in reading blogs. I had a much anticipated baby shower for my daughter and my life is running weeks...maybe months behind...who knows. We are so guarded with our emotions about this baby after her previous loss and a near loss with this one. But she has made it to 35 weeks! I am hopeful.

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)