I’ve taken some time away recently to get through classes and do some deeper soul-searching. It’s so amazing how we change as we get older. We evolve. As people, humans, animals, individuals and partners or groups alike. It’s a scientific fact that we, as a species, and all life evolves over time as experience and consequence shape what it is physically. That’s a truly amazing thing in and of itself, of which I could probably devout a lifetimes in trying to firmly understand and recognize it.
This is where my mind was going this evening as I sat down to reflect after a night of work. I’ve been experiencing a lot of inner changes lately on many fronts, and I have felt rather exhausted and overwhelmed. Things never happen slowly for me, its normally in one great heap (as it is with many of us). These changes…the evolution…has been really, really hard. But also really good. Scarey sometimes. Paralyzing at others. I could name every range of emotion I think. School work takes a lot out of me creatively (which now causes me to begin to see a pattern!… that’s for another post). Part of change is learning something new, and that includes epiphanies.
I began to ponder my “voice” in photography. I agonized over this all semester. What was I trying to say? I had no idea and still don’t for the most part. Perhaps I stumbled upon my hang up tonight. And if so, it is so freeing. So much so, I think I will continue with my Masters. I’ve come this far, why quit now? I suppose I could say that my ego has been in the way, all these years, no matter if I was painting, drawing or now photographing. (I sometimes wonder how many professional photographers groan every time they read about another new photographer. Man, in a world as competitive as it is right now? You’d better be dam sure you are speaking with a loud enough voice, or your never going to be heard, or seen…and if that happens, then whats the point? I think that’s what it truly means to be a professional or a hobbyist. Now I am truly asking myself these very questions.. Will I be a Professional or will I be a hobbyist?
All along, I’ve been asking the wrong question. (notice how the word “quest” is in question? Seek the answer) I’ve been asking: What do I want to say? I should instead have been asking all along: What do I want to say? Instead of focusing on the “Do” part, the content of the work…I keep focusing on the “I” part, the ego that makes everything personal and difficult. Maybe that’s what all the guru’s mean when they say let the ego go. Let go of “I”. Focus on “do”. When you are doing, you are happening right now. You are in the moment and completely involved in the present. Don’t get me wrong, everything you are “doing” is still personal, its still about who you are and how you see the world, but it still involves “I”, its just not the focus. I have struggled to understand this concept for many years. To finally understand, and to make it a part of myself…I feel as if I have evolved, shed an old skin, with the old self and emerging with a new skin. I will be vulnerable as I take some time to process this and put it into practice…. but isn’t that that point? Being strong enough to be vulnerable so we can learn and embrace our life lessons, and in doing so, moving forward to something even greater than we could have ever imaged……
Thats what my voice tells me. And somehow, I will make that come across in my future art work, no matter the medium I am working in. I realize how very stale much of my past work, both traditional and photographs, has been. I’ve been so protective of myself, so afraid to use my ‘voice” that I’ve been in the same creative rut for along time.
Now that I know the correct question to ask, I hope I can shed past and present insecurities and more forward with a powerful voice that is unique to only me.
My voice is my own.
Its time to learn to use it!