i worked on this photo tonight. i have things to say about it but first i want to say that as of a couple of hours ago, i had no idea what i was going to write tonight. i knew i had to write as too many days have gone by without a single post. that i have not written at all in about a week. it seems daily life has carried me away from this spot for awhile as i knew it would do from time to time. life has been busy so there has not been as much time to sit and muse.
so the photo. i have A LOT of photos sitting in the library waiting to be worked on. photos from last year, photos from summer, photos from last weekend, etc, etc. i’ve been trying to choose a photo a day to work on and was considering another Nova Scotia shot or from the snows the last few weekends. does anyone else have such a problem with snow? i really kind of don’t know what to do with it, photography wise.
but in the end it was this photo that struck me tonight and it was a photo i had about given up on. fitting really. according to the helpful flickr stats i took this photo on July 10th of last year. i messed around with it in late summer or early fall, couldn’t do anything with it. it’s like a book almost, you have to be in a certain mood for it to click. having been working with textures a lot lately, i thought i might be able to try again with it and it was tonight, when i started muting the colors of the photo that i hit on what it might be.
this little white flower, i have no idea what it is, a weed flower really, was growing as one of two stragglers pushing out of the corner of the garage. it had just rained which is always one of my favorite times to take the camera for a walk, everything is so vibrant and there is something i cannot resist about water in general, especially little water droplets that reflect the whole sky back to you. i caught sight of this flower on my way back in. it was there, the other one pretty much beaten to the ground by the rain. the sky was overcast, the ground a deep wet brown, the garage behind it a weathered green. the flower was not showy, it was a little bedraggled to say the least, but there it was all the same, pushing it’s way up out of the cracks mustering up as much whiteness and brightness as it could, still standing as tall as it was able.
i feel a connection with this little flower as i sit here and look at it tonight, as i saw how with the right tones, with the right surroundings it shines. there is still a lot i would like to do with it, looking back now, i want to mute more of the background and contrast it a little more, something to go back to, because the words in the photo came so quickly and distracted me.
because in the weird way that time works it seems like it has not been that long that i felt myself fighting to be what this flower has become for me tonight. in a way it also seems an eternity ago, but that’s time for you. tricky thing.
i remember a time sitting in a place where there was no color, little beauty. where the conditions were harsh and the skies always overcast, looming with threats of disaster. i remember holding onto a little piece of myself who saw this online world, who read blogs, who perused flickr and thought how amazing it would be, how lucky, how inspiring it would be to be one of those people who reflected their life in color, vibrant colors, and in words, words that expressed so much whether they were about toast in the morning or the complexities of life.
it seems the rains can beat you down. it seems you can live in a crushing, defeating situation and yet you can reach. you can stretch. you can push with all your might get through the hard parts and find yourself gathering all your strength and resolve to show that you have that beauty inside of you, it just needs the opportunity, the right situation, the right surroundings to truly….bloom.
from what you might have been ready to scrap could come something that stands out for you. so i processed this photo in about ten minutes. then i talked to my mother about the random craziness in her life. a person who i fought so hard with who has become one of my greatest allies. i realized how nice it was to have a conversation where the drama surrounded her being on crutches versus my life falling apart.
then i went on flickr and saw the words of those women out there, the ones who work this self-portrait journey and are helping me to see the beauty inside me, to accept it, never in my entire life have i taken so many photos of myself then i have in the last six months.
then i spoke at length with a man who told me i was amazing, who asks me about what my hopes and dreams for the future are, and then on top of that listens and processes it. he tells me i am amazing, but i cannot help to wonder how this amazing man has somehow made his way into my life.
i no longer feel like i am struggling, i feel like i have just about reached full bloom. and it is so nice now to have the photographs to document it, to have words that flow so freely that i cannot stop typing them even though this post is going too long for anyone to want to stick around and read, and it’s too late to still be up.
to be alive. to be happy with who you are. to be proud to be living the life you have handcrafted. to have made it through the hardest part of the journey. to have so many amazing hands to lift you and let you reach for the light. to sit in bed with good music, and a laptop and a cat curled up beside you to keep you warm, and the softness and scent of the man you love in the t-shirt that was shipped across the miles to you at your lovesick request. at peace with yourself, and your present and all the promise the future is sure to bring. tonight i felt that, and heard it in the words of others and saw it in this photo of that little weed flower i was about to give up on.