Friday, February 1, 2013

Enduring hibernation

Every year, sometime around November, my drive to photograph seems to go dormant.  The first few times this happened I had a tendency to panic, wondering if I would ever photograph again, and the words of my father would begin echoing in my brain -- "You're such a maven: you do one thing for a while, you tire of it, and then you move on."

I loved photography, more than I had ever loved any of the other arts I'd tried (I was a potter for a while, and I actually taught quilting for years), and I was terrified that through some heinous flaw in my personality it, too, would drift away.

But every spring it would come back, renewed and refreshed, like some great brown bear stretching and beating its chest after a winter's hibernation, and always there would be some new dimension -- often fed by the other artistic avenues I explored during the hibernation period.

So now, January has come to a close, and, deep in the hibernation period, whatever I've shot recently has this grayness to it, like the light outside my window, and I find myself pawing desperately through old images each morning, looking for something that sings to me, something I may have overlooked before.  The good news is this: I no longer see this as scary, a harbinger of emptiness to come.  Years of watching this behavior repeat itself have taught me to trust that spring will indeed return, that new energy is slowly building beneath the surface of things, that the gears of creativity, however rusty they may grow over the course of the rainy winter, will slowly begin to turn again as the weather warms, the light grows stronger, and colors begin to sing again.

Souls, too, must learn to trust that spring and dawn will always return, bringing some new possibilities to life.  But in those wintery dark times hope seems to dim with the light, and it's challenging to keep that trust alive...

1 comment:

Louise Gallagher said...

This is a beautiful post Diane -- and what a wonderful analogy for what happens every winter leading into spring to summer to fall and winter to spring to summer to fall all over again.