Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chasing Childhood

This will undoubtedly sound a bit odd, but I have realized something about my work recently.

I rarely take photos with my legs in them.

I can not provide much clarity to this, other than I really don't think about it because most of the time it is irrelevant for the photo or the only thing I have to wear on my legs are a pair of jeans. This is not exactly what I envision when I think of what my character would wear, but since I do not have a wardrobe filled with assortments of 18th century pirate shirts and trousers or long trench coats, I've been in the habit of cutting off my lower half.

This image is particularly special to me in many ways. I re-did the photo shoot three different times. The first try I didn't like my locations (and some guys were watching me from a distance as I took photos of myself leaning forward into the wind with my arm stretched out to an indefinite position), the second try I didn't photograph enough photos of the surrounding area to composite in, specifically photos of the ground beneath my subject; apparently I thought he was just going to levitate from the rim of the photo instead of the ground beneath him.

So I went out into the world for a third time to create the concept I had been thinking of for months. Upon the outing of this attempt, the earth was very sodden and grey. Rain came down through most of the shoot, the air a wave, the ground a sea. It was a beautiful thing really, alone in a field, the silence flooding my senses, clearing my head for a heart beat or two or more I can not tell. All was good.  

I will say that I was sort of desperate to create this photo. The idea was so clear in my mind, but I wasn't sure if it would work at all. Hence the three attempts at it. But I kept at it, because I knew that to fulfill my vision, I needed to try again and again until it was right.

And now it is one of my most favorite images.

Nostalgia; a sweet thing. Rippled water and flower petals, blades of grass twisted by forefinger and thumb, the child under the cherry tree. Yet, it is a heaviness, a waited heart, a looking back, a tear stain, the twilight. I can not say when it came or when it left, but only when I noticed the scar on my shoulder, only when the blue moon came and went without a word and the grass ceased to wave. Things seem different now, notes long sung have changed forever, the east greets the west, a smear grows on the horizon.

Decaying away, yet chasing what was; a photo of memory.

I have been submerged in the middle of it lately, the reminiscing mornings in a sea of pillows and bed sheets, seeing life as it is now, but remembering what it was, the scar, the stain, the whisper; both the good and bad. Forever on our skin, forever in our bones, forever crossing the paths of our mind.

It comes and goes.

I have found that it is something to hold on to, to see it for what it is, that blue hue which tints my childhood, the smile and the shiver. Not a thing to run from, not a thing to wish different, but rather a thing to keep in your back pocket while traveling the long roads forward, and from time to time, take them out and throw them into the sky so they can dance with the stars in memory of what you have done and direct you to what you will do. 

 Psalm 32:8
 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you."

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