The Long Way Home


Focus
January 11, 2013, 5:17 AM
Filed under: Art Gallery | Tags: , , , , ,
a winter's tale

a winter’s tale

This past summer, I put my Spectra camera in our living room trunk, forgetting completely about it. Sunday I discovered it while cleaning and was happy to find it with fives frames of expired instant film, expanding and contracting through August heat and December cold, now come to light through perfect imperfection. The last few months have been difficult – the holidays, very much so. It’s hard to keep focus when I get depressed, so I try to keep busy, and in the process, I become too busy – I overbook projects and commitments. My day job is really stressful; I’ve developed an ulcer, lost 10 pounds since November. It could be this, or it could be that I knew I had to face a long, dark winter without my mother. It’s been almost two years since she passed away, and I spent 2012 not talking much about her, to anyone. Acceptance arrives at ordinary moments. The other day after getting the mail, I locked the door and leaned my head against the glass thinking holy shit, she’s gone. My breath catches. I tear open the electric bill. The world keeps moving.

I feel as if the first year, I shared too much and so I became guarded. I trusted people I should not have trusted (this, I chalk up to the delirium of grief). Some friends seemingly vanished from my life; loss is much harder for me now. I want to say, hey, I’m no longer death-contagious, it’s safe to come back. I’m learning to live without those people. I concentrate on strengthening  existing friendships, and sharing more laughter (and love – always this) with Jeff. I’ve also grown more afraid – of taking risks, of having regrets if I don’t take those risks. It’s a daily challenge to strike that balance of responsibility and dreaming. So the point is: I drifted away from film, a self-imposed exile to give myself mental space, but I couldn’t stay away. Photography is one thing that will get me through this winter, the rest  of 2013 . It brings me happiness and gives me life.

cat's cradle

cat’s cradle

the necklace

the necklace

bellevue

bellevue

accidental exposure

accidental exposure

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12 Comments so far
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It seems to be a flaw in our society, that talking about illness and death makes so many of us uncomfortable. Take heart in the friends that are brave enough to understand that you need to talk about this, one of the biggest losses of your life.

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Comment by thevintagetraveler

“Take heart in the friends that are brave enough to understand” – oh, Lizzie, those words mean so much – thank you for your kindness.

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Comment by Lisa

Your writing always moves me.

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Comment by Jeff

your support means everything to me!

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Comment by Lisa

A sad but beautiful post, Lisa. Your experiences with your friends after your Mum’s death mirrors mine when my health collapsed and I was diagnosed with M.E. It is lovely that photography is a solace to you. Exploring creativity can be a powerful healer.

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Comment by Photobooth Journal

thank you for sharing your experience, katherine. then you know the incredible disappointment and sadness when those we thought we could trust have disappeared. it’s like moving through loss all over again. but in those places there have been great discoveries too. i hope you’ve had the chance to strengthen other relationships too while dealing with M.E.

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Comment by Lisa

Lovely post. Your process I’m sure is helpful not only to yourself but to others as well. The tectonic shifts in life are difficult to navigate but you are a brave soul and a gifted one too. I hope you also continue with writing as well as photography–your talent shines through in both.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

I hope my process is helpful to others. When I wrote this post, I was afraid of sounding self-pitying. But I had a writing teacher who once told me that the things we are afraid to write about should be the ones written. It’s simple advice, but one I’ve carried with me throughout the years. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

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Comment by Lisa

We find solace in the most interesting places, don’t we?

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Comment by John

We do, and for that, I am grateful.

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Comment by Lisa

Ah, your words… Beautiful. Meaningful.

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Comment by motherblue212

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Comment by Lisa




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