Recommitting

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. — Joseph Campbell

These words, read first thing this morning, couldn’t have been more welcome. It took a long time to gain the courage to say that I wanted to be a photographer and a writer.  I felt like I had finally claimed that for my future until last night. This morning, while sorting through the sadness that seemed to have overtaken me, I hit up against the source.  In losing my little camera yesterday, I felt like that claim was being challenged.  I once again doubted that I had the right or the talent to believe that I could have that life.  What became clear is that I had not silenced those voices that I thought I’d banished.  “What makes you think you can make any money doing that?”  “Why do you think you are good enough?” ” Its a tough market and getting tougher all the time.” And then there are the blank stares and silences when I tell people. But I was following my bliss. I have done good and powerful work and I know that I am on the trail of doing what I was intended to do… But because it was a camera, a tool of the trade, I found myself wondering if I was supposed to be getting a message about my choice. I knew that was irrational, but I couldn’t do anything about the doubts that plagued me. It was not about the wallet, the hassle of canceling and replacing the cards, or the glasses, or my purse itself. These I could let go. On my way home from ordering new checks and making sure that all the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed at the bank, I called a filmmaker friend and shared my fear with her.  She made me promise that I would not put any more energy into those thoughts and I listened. The feelings, however,  lingered, and for the most part I spent my day tired and sad. I went about dealing with the insurance and police, and trying to keep an eye on Craig’s list, hoping that my camera might show up. It still hasn’t, but in squaring off and facing my doubts and fears head on, I resolved that I still want to do what I wanted to do yesterday. I still want to share the images that lie behind my words, and those that I capture with my lens. I still want to tell the stories of what it is to be a human being in this beautiful and amazing world that we inhabit.  I know that my vision of what that means is unique and that I have a gift for sharing that vision. They can steal my camera, but they cannot steal the images that it only captured, nor those that are out there waiting for me to pick up my camera and discover them.

A poem called “The Truelove” found its way into my troubled thoughts at some point during the day.  The reference, I heard the poet say, is not to a lover, or even a person, but to the life we are called to live.  It is the life of our dreams…

The Truelove

There is a faith in loving fiercely

the one who is rightfully yours,

especially if you have

waited years and especially

if part of you never believed

you could deserve this

loved and beckoning hand

held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now

and the testaments of loneliness

and what we feel we are

worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides

I remember an old man

who walked every morning

on the grey stones

to the shore of the baying seals,

who would press his hat

to his chest in the blustering

salt wind and say his prayer

to the turbulent Jesus

hidden in the water,

and I think of the story

of the storm and everyone

waking and seeing

the distant,

yet familiar figure,

far across the water

calling to them,

and how we are all

preparing for that

abrupt waking,

and that calling,

and that moment

we have to say yes,

except, it will

not come so grandly,

so Biblically,

but more subtly

and intimately, in the face

of the one you know

you have to love.

So that when

we finally step out of the boat

toward them, we find

everything holds

us, and everything confirms

our courage, and if you wanted

to drown you could,

but you don’t,

because finally

after all this struggle

and all these years,

you don’t want to any more,

you’ve simply had enough

of drowning,

and you want to live and you

want to love and you will

walk across any territory

and any darkness,

however fluid and however

dangerous, to take the

one hand you know

belongs in yours.

~ David Whyte ~

(From: The House of Belonging.  Also: River Flow.  Please note that I cannot figure out how to get this formatted correctly.  This poem is actually divided into stanzas.)

I don’t really have a photograph that goes with today’s writing. For most of the day, I didn’t actually have much heart for shooting.  Coming home this evening, I found my son trying to decide between Advil and Tylenol, or possibly a combination of the two. The orthodontist was not high on his list of favorite people.  I recovered my spirits somewhat as I made his favorite go-to comfort food. Sherlock was thinking it might be his favorite too:

Sherlock “eyeing” dinner

I suppose Sherlock might say that for a moment, he thought that he too might be living the life of his dreams…

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