Monday, June 24, 2013

Dream a Little Dream

When I was in high school and college, I secretly or maybe not so secretly wanted to be a writer. A poet to be exact. It was one of the times in my life that I actually put pen to paper on a regular basis. It probably makes sense that it was one of the bleakest stages of my life. One of the poems I felt the most proud of, at the time, went like this:

I feel my defeat
like a cold and windless day
Another dream has died
before the finish line

I had a large Hallmark photo album that was dedicated to my senseless prose, my words carefully etched into the album in fancy calligraphy. To accentuate the despair of this poem, I poetically decided to forego the flowing lines of calligraphy and instead use clippings from magazines and newspapers which were always in supply at our house. It was a true peace of art.

The poem and all the care I took in adding it to the album, pretty much summed up my life at the time which was the life of a chicken. I wasted too much of my time on things that didn't build my creativity. I wish I could go back in time and shake that girl, make her see the talent that she might have had had she believed in herself more.

I've always been dabbling. Dabbling in poetry, then in calligraphy so I would create poetry books that spoke to the heart both visually and emotionally. Dabbling in scrapbooking and paper crafting, dabbling in photography, baking. I guess one could call me Debbie the Dabbler.

And through it all, there has been this ache in my heart. An ache for something more. An ache to write that never has gone away. I fill the void with photography, but even that yearns for something more. I want to put both together and be the artist I've always wanted to be.

Last year I felt it beginning to come together. I was understanding manual mode and even more importantly, seeing the beautiful, glorious light. Most evenings, I would go out exploring with my camera shooting, learning, stretching. I was writing on a consistent basis. I felt like I was on the cusp of breaking out.

The beginning of June 2012 was filled with much joy and promise. Brie's graduation, Aurora's birth and then our trip to Italy. On our flight from Chicago to Italy, American Airlines showed the movie, The Vow. While I wouldn't give the movie accolades, there was a scene in which the husband takes his wife who had amnesia to her art studio as he desperately tries to get her to reconnect with the life she can no longer remember.

As she walked around the studio in wonder, I began to cry. How I longed to be her, giving up the corporate life for her dream. Yes, I know it was just a movie, but I know there are others who truly have walked that path. I could be one of them. But I'm not.

And now I wonder, I am at the cusp of my life, not really knowing how much longer I have. How do I follow my dream? I do it by diligently practicing creative emergence. It will come. It has to. I begin by writing down what I want to do:

  1. Photo projects. I want two or three photo projects that I work on which will allow my photography skills to grow. There are three I'm thinking of:
    1. Photograph the ones I love. I want them to see themselves as I see them. 
    2. Street photography. Build film skills and confidence in shooting by honing my street photography. I want others to see what I see in the world, the beauty in unexpected places.
    3. Black & White photography. I took a B&W photography class last year. While the class itself wasn't what I expected, it still served a purpose by getting me to shoot more in B&W. When I look back at the pictures I've taken recently, it the B&W that capture my attention and even more so, my imagination
  2. Write. These blogs are good fire starters, but really they should just be kindling, something that gets me started to something more. I should have had a four alarm blaze going by now, but it will come. It has to. These are the three ideas I have
    1. Photojournal. I have this idea to take the photo project of the ones I love and write to them why I love them, what I want for them or what they mean to me. Then I will turn this into a photo exhibit. And no one reading this better steal my idea from me or I'll put a hex upon you...okay, not really, but may God curse you...okay, not really, but just to be safe, don't do it!
    2. Story in the Picture. This is a blog I started after seeing an idea that someone else had where they collaborated with another photographer who took street shots and the other person would pen a story about what was going on in the picture. It reminded me of when we were in college and a friend and I would make up stories about strangers, such as the time we were waited upon by a pregnant woman who appeared to be at week 50. I wanted to try and copy her idea, but instead I'm telling real stories about what is going on in or around the picture. Not as exciting, but the words flow much easier and I do not want a curse or hex upon me.
    3. I would tell you, but I'm not ready. Not that anyone really reads this blog anyway, but just by the off-chance that someone does, I'm just not ready to put my last idea out there.
  3. Arts & Craft. I still long to put things together, making beautiful things to surround me and, yes, leave behind for those i love.
    1. Photojournal. This is combining my printed Hipstamatic prints with thoughts about the photos, such as why I love the picture, how I felt when I took the picture, why I took the picture, you get the picture. 
    2. Mini-scrapbooks. I think my days of big scrapbook projects are over, but I have at least a dozen blank mini-photo albums that need some attention.

I will get there. If I work on it a little (or a lot) every day. It will come. It has to.

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