Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The space between

I've been quiet here the past few days. I'm on a little break.

A writing break.
A photography break.

I broke the 365, consciously and willingly and without guilt. 3.5 years of making an image each day...and suddenly I just stopped.

Why? It wasn't fulfilling any more. The creative challenge was gone, replaced with a burden, another task to check off on the daily, ever-expanding to-do list.

I've been soaking up articles about writing and creativity like a sponge, and one message was overwhelmingly clear: it's not only good to take a break, it's necessary. One cannot be creative every single day. And one shouldn't try. Some days, dammit, there just isn't anything worth photographing. Or writing about. There needs to be space between, space to breathe and experience new things and just be. No obligations. This space, this break, this rest, inevitably fuels creativity.

I took my mother to a three-plus hour neurological exam today. The preliminary results are about what I expected, which didn't make it any easier to digest. We will get the full report next week, after the neurologist has time to examine all the test data, formulate his opinion and recommendations, and get it into presentable form. But we got enough information today to know that the future is bleak, and painful, and scary.

Last week my best friend from 7th grade - who is notorious for pushing her own boundaries and dragging me, usually unwillingly, with her - sent me an email about a 5k "mud run." I clicked the link immediately, burst out laughing, and closed the page. I thought about it sporadically on and off, wondering why the hell she thought of me with this thing. Then I went back and took a second look. It's on my fucking birthday. Of course.

I hemmed and hawed. Would it be fun? Yes. Would I have to do some work to get ready for it. Yup. Do I really want to get up early on my 41st birthday and go exert myself and get extremely dirty in the process? No, not really. This, my friends, is not my usual idea of a good time.

The experience this morning, the experience of watching someone I love learn that she is quite literally losing her mind, jerked me back from the land of complacency. I could spend the morning of my 41st birthday lounging in bed, or I can have a new experience, learn about (and laugh at) myself, and create yet another awesome memory with my friends.

I choose the latter.


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