Your comments on the previous post about developing the blog content are appreciated! I’m contemplating ways to satisfy your interest. There is, however, an obstacle I bump into all the time: to talk about myself is hard. It is a matter of identity.
Blogging and photographing are activities I do, not who I am. I’m doing them out of necessity at the moment. I was pushed by the cycle of life, some years ago, into an emotional rollercoaster called perimenopause. Overnight, figuratively speaking, I watched the youthful energy whistling out of my physical and mental body like a pillar of steam from a kettle. Bygone was the socially interactive and driven lifestyle. I had spent the adult years in counselling, helping and teaching others but became, suddenly, deaf to anyone’s needs. I was too tired to listen.
Everyone has to do something, no matter the situation. I bought a camera and started to photograph. It found a comfortable spot in my isolation and, quickly, became a small window through which I could associate with the world again.
Photographing is a facility. I define myself in other terms than an artist or photographer. I am a spirit soul – a sparkle of eternity, knowledge and bliss – on an unending journey wearing a dress of a middle aged woman at the moment. Camera is an accessory that came along the new, age-appropriate wardrobe.
I’m encouraged but cautious about the attention the pictures are receiving. The way I see it, I’m not the only factor that carries out the activities I call mine. In fact, the power of spirit lies in desiring only. The rest of doing is executed by nature and sanctioned by God. How could I take credit for something I’m such a small part of?
Art history may be a sequence of virtuosity but, foremost, it is an account of mentality. As we understand it today, art is, undoubtedly, an ego-based field. It has converted from a transcendental revelation to an expression of a personal feeling, message or mood. A modern man calls it progress. From the standpoint of broadmindedness, the observation angle of an artist has shrunk narrower than ever in the chronicle of mankind. The sense of control that comes from producing a visually, literally or musically impressive piece is blinding. It is common for an artist to identify with the work done.
As a contrast to the heavily designated and stagnant idea of an artist being the source of creativity, I was delighted to hear Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk in 2009 TED. You can listen to it here. The author of Eat, Pray, Love reminds of the pre-renaissance view of an artist “having” (a) genius, instead of “being” one.
To illustrate the point, Ms Gilbert narrates a humorous story of a poem chasing a poet. If the poet isn’t ready to write the poem when it arrives, the poem proceeds to look for another poet! What a lovely, albeit, unpopular way to acknowledge the creative process! Think about it: if we were able to see the creative energy manifesting in and around us, as something none of us owned but had been blessed with, it would set us free from the lower qualities like fear, anxiety, envy and pride. They are side-effects of our inability to recognize greater universal forces. In other words, seeing beyond ourselves!
The reluctance to talk about myself or, even what I do, comes from the uneasiness of limiting myself into a designation, be that of an artist, photographer, blogger, woman, married, European, slightly overweight or parallel to a financial, social or educational status. They are all external coverings that have temporarily taken forms to correspond with the qualities I have been or I am attracted to. How much can we dwell on someone’s clothes? The epidemic of our time is that we have to constantly reinvent and enhance our self-image in order to remain on the pulse of fashion and acceptance. Not seeing beyond the senses, mind, intelligence and the immediate environment is our tragedy.
Now I’ve spoken myself into a corner and wonder how in the earth I’m going to connect today’s recipe to everything said. I would welcome the creative spirit to visit, but it is busy illuminating another blogger right now! Therefore I’m ending the post by thanking the muse of June for filling blackcurrant bushes with fragrant leaves that give a fresh Scandinavian touch to an old dolma recipe of the former Ottoman Empire, Middle East and Mediterranean region. Serve with a refreshing summer salad!