Something went missing …
Most of us have something that forms a central core in terms of personal interest in an attempt to manage a work/life balance. Taking time to pursue these family/friends/pastimes/hobbies/sports/etc (Choose the one that most meets your expectations, or supplement with something more appropriate) forms a big part in our ability to recharge out batteries.
Unfortunately for many, the balance is often weighted heavily toward work. Maybe a balance, or ‘see-saw’ is not an appropriate metaphor. An apple my provide a better example. ‘Work’ often consumes all the fresh juicy flesh. ‘Life’ becomes to resemble the core – trying to nibble at the last remnants of the succulent flesh before it finally turns black and and becomes inedible. Or at the least, far less inviting.
That is how I found myself recently. All my energy and time carrying out my paid duties and that time remaining dealing with government and legal bureaucracy to continue to live and work in a country that feels more and more like ‘home’. I am fortunate. I enjoy my work. But it does come at a price. Very little time for me to be, well, just ‘me’.
A brief spell of reflection was needed. Unfortunately it took a small spell of illness to kick that retrospection into action. A sure sign that my ‘balance’ was out of kilter. So, what was missing? How can I ensure I save some of the good apple flesh and the resulting energy for me, an not struggle with the mouldering core to recharge the batteries.
I looked back through some of my images, and the resultant experiences. What I noticed was how certain images sparked memories of the times and the people when the images were created. The interactions. The emotions. The weather. The thought provocation. The images, for me, were part of ‘the moment’, not as others may see as ‘capturing the moment’.
Recalling the creation of the following images was as much about how I felt at the time, and how they remind me to feel now. I don’t see photography as an ‘activity’ with an end result of ‘an image’. I recognise that the camera becomes a tool for me to interact with others, immerse myself in the environment, problem solve situations – lighting, weather, connecting with people to create an image, and so on, and so on.
For me to recharge my batteries for my work life I need to make time to ‘feed the rat’ – an expression Mo Anthoine used to describe the need to climb in mountains. The solution is to make time to get out, even for 30 minutes, and engage with the world with my camera.