Stroll Along the Water

I have lost ‘my eye’. I have lost my confidence that what I see is worth to stop and struggle for to capture on camera. To be creatively blocked I believe has to do with lack of self esteem and self confidence. At least this is true for me. When we struggle in life I think this shows up in how or how we don’t express ourselves creatively. For me this has included the reluctancy of exposing myself. Sure, when you take a picture you are physically behind the camera and you are about to expose something or someone else, but at the same time the gesture in doing so gives away the fact that you have a desire and an intention, which you can be criticized and mocked for. In reality this might never happen, but it might be what you do to yourself in your own mind. A lot of criticism we believe others hold against us I believe to be projections of our own self doubt.

“A lot of criticism we believe others hold against us I believe to be projections of our own self doubt.”

Moreover, this made me lose my own inner compass, the intuition and curiosity that pulls us towards something. I have not known what is authentic to me anymore, which is a daunting feeling. Maybe the struggle that I have gone through recently has changed me so much that what is authentic to me has changed too? To find, or rather uncover ‘my eye’ I need to Do. This I have known all along, but it changed the other day when I read a book on photography that was hands on and that provided me with tools I had known but lost on how to approach a subject and what to look for. In retrospect I can see that it helped me to fall into photography that day. I couldn’t help myself, which was a wonderful feeling. I took the car, drove to the water close by and simply went for a stroll, no expectations, just looking, really looking, and I wasn’t scared. How the pictures turned out is not the most important thing, but that I dared to try again.

Respecting You

The other day I found drawings and paintings I made a couple of years ago. To go through them was a visit back to who I was then, a person who now felt as a distant stranger. They were uncomfortable to confront because they were truly PAINtings, made in a state of chaos and turmoil. Looking back I can see they kept me busy and distracted, which I needed. I couldn’t face all that was happening around me at the time and many of the paintings I did then were lifelines I created for myself to hold on to. They are not me but a part of me, a part of who I was then.

Our relationship with ourselves and our past phases is reflected in the attitude with which we meet these relics. Sometimes they are sweet reminders and as we see our younger self in them we have compassion for that person and we smile. Other times it is troublesome to find these traces of what we have gone through as they bring back memories we rather not carry with us. It can be hard to forgive our previous mistakes, to have empathy with ourselves and understand that we did our best with what we knew then, with the knowledge, tools, and support we had then.

To me the different phases are the building blocks of who we are, from the bottom and up (or maybe from the center outwards 🙂 ). No matter if we like them or not each is a contribution to who we are today. Even if we have moved far away from that person we once were we need to respect the past to respect our present. It doesn’t mean we should hold on to everything and anything. To move forward and grow also means to let go of what does not serve us anymore, and to do so consciously and with awareness. When we stumble upon these relics I think it is important to acknowledge them for what they are, what purpose they served and honor that, respect that part of ourselves, us. ”I went through that, I was that, I felt and did that, and now I am here.”