Monday, 13 February 2012

Before the Storm

I was feeling slightly lost, somehow lonely, maybe just a touch sad... Sometimes, even when one knows they made the right decision, the only right decision, there is still a touch of hurt, even if only for closing a door on a dream... I knew I did the right thing for me and mine, and yet, I wished for comfort and tenderness...

Sometimes what we wish for is not what we need. I could have stayed in the house, feeling just a bit sorry for myself, trying harder to shut the door on what could have been. I am good at closing doors and building nice shields around my heart. But I did not want that. I wanted my life back.

I was wishing for laughter and comfort, for tenderness and for a caring hand to wipe away the tears I refused to shed. Instead, knowing myself too well, I pushed myself to take a walk in the bush, with my faithful Nikon around my neck. Usually I chase the light and the vibrancy of color, the sharp contrast between them. And yet, each time I lifted the camera, I did it towards something dark and almost sinister. Not grit as it is hard to find grit in a beautiful bush, but nerveless, only shadows and no light, muted colors and deep grays, broken by dark greens that were made even darker by changing the stops on the camera.

The fact that the sky darkened as soon as I stepped onto the first path, was irrelevant. I often cheat with light, I often bring deep color where there is next to none. But I did not feel vibrant. I could not lift the camera at the beauty of flowers, at the lonely sun rays on the leaves. I barely noticed them. My mood was dark and I could not be bothered to turn away from it, so I embraced it.

Lonely forest paths with stairs cut into them... I always had an affinity for pathways and stairs, but usually as a promise, not as a threat to a painful solitude. And when I usually lift my camera to a tree, is for the majesty and the power, not for the loneliness. And yet, I took some of my best photos as I was jumping from one path to another, with no worry of getting lost.

Maybe it comes down to having grown up in the mountains, but I never get lost in a forest. In the city, I have no sense of direction whatsoever, and I often get lost, going round and round in circle, one street away from where I want to get to. Half the time, I can't even tell the difference between left and right. Without my GPS, I would be totally lost. And yet, in the forest, or in the bush, regardless how many paths I change, I always know how to get back on different paths.

But that Sunday afternoon, I could not find the magic in me. My power was just a tiny flame, barely breathing, in the same way I could not see the light for my photographs. Even when it started raining, I could not be bothered, but slowly I made my way back. And as I reached my door, the storm hit. Wild rain, angry thunder... I did not lift my camera. I stood by the window, feeling the storm beating into me, harsh and unforgiving. And in between lighting I felt cleansed, magic all again and I could finally breathe and feel alive, knowing that my life belongs to me and the Universe...

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