Monday, August 31, 2015

The End of the Rainbow (and How It Led Me to Treasure)

(Or Why I DO This - Part II)

by Carol

In the doldrums  #white

These white-themed pictures represent the last of our August break postings. Tomorrow is September first, and FOL is back to our usual posting schedule. I am so happy to be here since this August taught me a few lessons.

Back in March, Judy asked herself a question - "Why do I do this?"  You can read her very thoughtful rumination on that subject right here.   In the past years, I have rarely asked myself that question. Maybe because I live alone, I have no one to complain to, or more quiet evenings to ponder things - who knows? But I have to admit that during this August break, my habits really changed.

I have to admit to feeling a bit "fenced in" #white

I read books without underlining quotes that might illustrate an idea. I listened to TED Talks lightly - not straining to remember the deeper thoughts more than enough to have a casual conversation that night with someone. I stopped making room in my life to write. I had a few fruitful get togethers with my photography friends and played with the resulting images long after, but I stopped photographing every day. I read photography blogs and articles with the only thought being - "hmmm, I will have to try that someday." 

My loafing attitude started to spread. I haven't exercised all summer - not even doing the laps of the pool that I look forward to all winter. I stopped working on my 'works in progress' -  ( still haven't finished the book I wanted to make of my trip to France last year.) At the same time, my original local photography group underwent some changes. One of the girls living close by moved a little further away and became a little more limited in her time (although certainly still willing and enthusiastic), and the one girl who was our planner - that would be the one who sent the emails that made our get-togethers actually happen - retired and moved far away. And I have been just plain lazy!

Having a bit of "the vapors." #white

I can't blame the heat - because most certainly, my FOL sisters in the midwest and west have me well beaten in that category! I was very busy at work this summer - but so are many of my creative friends. My son is home again for a bit and we have all kinds of wonderful and precious conversations, so I do have a bit less quiet time - but I love every minute with him. It might be that I haven't been on vacation yet - my vacations are coming up in October and November this year. But these are the doldrums for sure.

Then two weeks or so ago, things started to pop again. One of my local photography friends stepped up and invited a few people to join us for a get together filled with laughs and sharing, and followed immediately up with future calendar dates to note NOW, before we all fill up our time with other things. I spotted some good airfares and made my reservations for our FOL retreat in November, and started to get so excited to see my FOL sisters again! Mail started arriving about the workshop I will be doing with Kim Manley Ort in October, and it really sounds fascinating! (There's still room in the class  - won't you join us? All of the information is  here in Kim's newsletter. ) I will be attending that class with another local friend with an art background, and we started last week playing with our art supplies together.

Something is beginning to hatch! #white

Suddenly - I am awake again and I am feeling the same vibe from the others here. I guess it was just summer vacation after all. But for me, it has really highlighted the fact that you must carefully feed and water your creative garden with people and experiences and practice. Just as I have started walking again after work, I have started back into my photography projects. As Judy said in her conclusion, "My twice a month posting schedule keeps me thinking the rest of the month..." and my time with other creatives keeps me wanting to improve my skills. Judy said "I truly feel that my time here is an invaluable tool in my personal creative journey." I couldn't agree more! 





Here's to another year together at FOL!


Justine Gordon and Jeanine LeRoy said...

Love this pic of all of you! Welcome back!

Nicki said...

Welcome back.

kelly said...

carol, you are not the only one who has experienced a bit of this 'ennui' (as one of my friends used to say). i have felt rather uninspired this summer myself. but i think the key is to accept these times for what they are...knowing that inspiration and excitement will eventually come back around. glad you got your mojo back. looking forward to getting back in the swing of things.

terriporter said...

What a delight this post was to wake up to! I have been in the same frame of mind and for me it IS the heat, or at least that's what I blame it on. And I've always found that the less I shoot, the less I shoot. It just seems to build on itself until my camera rarely gets picked up and that doesn't make me a happy girl. But it will be cooling off in another month or so and I plan to get back in the swing of things. Getting together with other photographers, taking classes, getting back in the habit of daily shooting -- all of these things help me get back on track. And that photo of all of us in Galveston last year makes me long for November when we all (or mostly all) will be together again. Can't wait!

Dotti said...

I'm wallowing in the land of ennui right now. After taking hundreds of photos on our European adventures, my camera has mostly gathered dust. I don't think I have one single photo in my August catalog! That has never happened. It will come, though, it always does. Our creative juices, just like we ourselves, need time to mend and refresh. I find it best not to fight it but to go with the flow.

Dotti said...

Oh, yes! That Galveston photo just rocked my morning!

Liz said...

How wonderful to be involved in a group like FOL! I envy you all. What a gorgeous pic of you all too!
I'm stuck in the doldrums myself after being out of action with 2 surgeries and still being unable to drive. I haven't picked up my camera for 10 weeks!

Deanna said...

I think many of us took an August Break altho mine seems to have lasted much longer than just the month of August. I miss the daily ritual of writing, camera shoots. There was a time that I never missed a day with my camera. Now it will sit for days. But I am ready like Carol to begin again, get back into the action. Great post and ofcourse I love the picture of us and can't wait to be together again.

Cathy H. said...

I am definitely ready to begin again with daily photos and writing. Thank you for the encouragement!

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