I haven’t put words, beyond my titles, on my blog in a long time. I have not been inspired to do so–perhaps I lost all of my words while I was in school! But now, looking at my images I took a few days ago, I can write… at least a little.
In the moment I felt an endless frustration of sadness, anger, and lost sensation in all of the classic things—in life, in love, in what I want, can, and actually do, physically and mentally. My remedy was to go on a drive and then a walk, but with my camera. I carry my camera everywhere, I swear, I just don’t take photos. The camera sits in my bag, weighing me down and giving me a false gratifying sense that I AM a photographer. This time, however, I was determined to be a photographer because I know it is good for my heart, spirit, and my brain.
Art is good. So is walking.
I went to the Valley Simpson Cemetery because it is beautiful, eerie, and simple. It is simple but with amazing details that I only see unfold through my lens. Everything is put there by hand, some more skillful than others but no less love. Some people seem to be waiting, on hold, until their husband or wife fill the empty grave to their side. Some graves have been left to be taken by the earth while another baby died after sixteen months old forty-eight years ago and remains perfect as if she was laid to rest yesterday. I also speculate that I went there because death is still beyond my grasp. Where do people go? How do we remember and feel their life and love when they are dead? When people die, why do I still chose to live a certain way because of them? Or do I? But more than anything what my process both reminded me and taught me is that death is a little eerie, corky, simple and complex, humorous, sad, and beautiful.
In the end I went and came back with photographs and a refreshed way of seeing, thinking, and feeling. I shifted the side of my brain I was using and I was able to break the feeling that I was stuck in a muddy pit of self-pity. And that is the beauty of art, nature, and being.