The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Tag: Connecticut

Inner Path of Photography class dates coming soon…

Remember to go to my Heidi Straube Photography website if you want to be on the mailing list…

Patience…As the new year unfolds

“Be quiet now and wait.
It may be that the ocean one,
the one we desire so to move into and become
desires us out here on land a little longer,
going our sundry roads to the shore.”
– Rumi

“Christmas Morning, Hammonasset”

When a new year starts,
our tendency is to feel that we should

“get back to business”
“get serious”
“do all the things that we put off during the holidays”

We become impatient with ourselves
feeling we’re not accomplishing things fast enough
Already not achieving goals as the new year speeds away

Perhaps there are things in our lives that need attention
that we would do well to bring back into our consciousness and address

But when you were talking about your new year’s resolutions
did you vow to listen to your inner voice?

Did you reflect on what it would look like to honor yourself,
to act on your desire to be that person you know you truly are?

Breathe deeply. Try not to rush.
The new year is but a date on a calendar.
Your life is a constant flow…

Do not stand on the bank.
Jump in the river with me.
As you begin the year of 2010, be patient with yourself.
In your life, in your work, in your art

Be silent now.
Say fewer and fewer praise poems.
Let yourself become living poetry.

– Heidi
(Non-italicized lines from Rumi poems)
“Pieces of a Broken Cup,” “Soul Houses”

Photographer’s Anxiety: Making choices

Today I finally have a whole afternoon that I can print photos. I scheduled it that way, and have been looking forward to it, particularly because a group of my photographer friends are coming over tonight to share our work.

“This will be great!” I thought, “I’ll have so many (wonderful, of course) images to show!”

Well.

I’ve been sitting here for the last 45 minutes, browsing through photo shoots with hundreds of images, trying to decide which ones to print.

And feeling totally anxious, truly,  physically anxious…my chest tight, hard to breathe, body tense.

What’s that about?! This is supposed to be fun!

I’m looking…looking…trying to choose…

I have photos from Martha’s Vineyard in June, photos from my brother’s visit and our trip to Galveston in July, photos from my niece and family’s visit to my mother’s in Connecticut. Photos from my latest move, images of my latest storage home :), images from the first day I moved into this beautiful housesit, squirrel images, rain images……aaaack!!

And I want to print them all…RIGHT NOW.

But I can’t print them all this afternoon. Why not? Because I’m not just printing snapshots, I’m printing fine art prints. Which involves making light and color decisions, choosing the best image among similar ones, making paper decisions, trying out prints, seeing what works best, coming up with the ultimate version that makes me happy.

And that takes time. And now I’m already running out of it. And I feel like I have to choose “the most important” images in order to use my time well. Plus, ok, honestly, I want to have something wonderful to show my friends tonight.

What else? Ahem…a little deeper: There’s a whole emotional piece here,  the proverbial elephant in the room.

I  can’t decide whether I want to go the family portraits route and get into that emotional connection, go the landscape direction and be in expanded ocean feeling, or go play with artsy documentation of the moving transition I’ve been making.

They all sound good! They’re all different feelings! I want them all! Now!

And any one of those directions also has the potential to make me feel…conflicted. Not as talented as I’d like to be. Bored. Wishing my life were different.

Crazy-making, right? No wonder artists get such a reputation for being neurotic! I guess we are 🙂

But “neurotic” in a good way.

I like my standards of excellence. I like seeing that I have many choices of artistic direction.

I like the feeling of creation and finally getting into the flow and seeing magic happen as the photos emerge on paper.

And I realize that there’s also the flip side of the creative process: the resistance, the fear of failure, the feeling that it must come out right as soon as possible, the not wanting to “waste” time even though you know that “wasting” time is actually part of the process.

The wanting to have it all, express it all, share the urgency of feeling/seeing all of this beauty and spirit with others, yet knowing that others may not appreciate it.

Hmm, another life theme  as well as a creative challenge. Wanting to do it all, resisting making choices, wanting to know the “right” one, afraid of wasting time. Wanting others to appreciate my efforts. Forgetting that my life’s path is not a rational, straight line, and that any choice will make things unfold, and the adventure will continue.

Enough! Here’s what I’m going to do.

Stop writing this blog.

Embrace my anxiety and delight in my artist’s dilemma (this anxiety must mean I’m a true artist, right? 🙂

Go in the kitchen and eat lunch.

And return ready…

…to be an amazing photographer, in the flow, listening to my inner knowing.

Ready to make some choices, let go of perfectionism,  see what my spirit finds to play with, find the magic, and enjoy the process.

Ready to share the outcome, whatever it may be, with others.

Stay tuned…

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