One more month and I’ve got almost two years of Smooshed seconds.
I’m ready for a break. I’m ready for something new.
But really? I’m ready to watch a full year of seconds.
I went into the holiday season knowing that I wouldn’t catch a break until March. I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t catch a break until April. Silly me, I’m only beginning to breathe and it’s almost May.
So let’s catch up fast and dirty style. Y’all like it fast and dirty? Here we go:
“C’mon. Get out of the frame! I’m NOT taking your picture. I’m taking his! Knock it off. This is what I do… Get out!!”
Throw in some school events, a few loads of laundry, an almost finished quilt, freezer burritos, a couple awful periods, a stomach bug that camped out in Coop’s gut for a month and you’ve got the entire story.
All caught up fast and dirty style.
Hey Summer?! You’re up. Be kind to me this year, ok?
Ten years ago, I held a 9 pound 1 ounce Teacher with a head full of dark hair and a really good lung capacity.
His first lesson was to teach me to be selfless. Along the way he also taught me the power of being selfish. He taught me patience and when to let go. He proved that all of my laughs and smiles prior to his birth weren’t as full or as big as I had imagined. He taught me that I didn’t know everything or that I even had a clue about most matters. He gave me purpose.
He taught me that my heart was no longer protected by skin, bone, goo or even by my stubbornness.
Ten years ago, he placed my heart exactly where it should be.
Forever on my outside.
Unprotected from pain, but more capable of inhaling joy and love.
I’d never put it back even if I could.
Happy birthday, Kid.
This month was bittersweet for me. I’m nearing the end of Round 2 and I really wanted a full month of clips. But that didn’t happen.
Yes, a few missing days won’t matter when the entire year is smooshed.
Yes, I didn’t beat myself up over missing them.
Yes, this month has a lot of tv shots (that’s my height of laziness and forgetfulness).
But the month also had a vacation in it.
It had the first real thaw of the season.
The month had friends in it.
In the end, the month always feels like it has more good days than missing/lazy/forgetful days.
I’ve already said, “This is my last One Second project for a while.” When the words slip out, I mean them. I feel the conviction roll between the spaces and the vowels.
I’m done smooshing.
But every time I watch a month and see our days, I can hear a tiny whisper add a few more words to my conviction.
“…for a while. I’m done smooshing for a little while.”
This time of year it seems like every photographer goes through a funky phase. Maybe it’s because a lot of us are trapped inside. Or because sessions have wrapped up for Christmas cards and now we want to get back into the field. Or because we’re fucking sick of being trapped inside…
I don’t know why, I just know it’s clockwork for me. So I settle in and ignore photography. Finally, I can’t any longer. The camera is being very polite and begins to whisper, “Hey Lady… I’m bored. Pick me up and diddle me again.” (Yes, my camera is polite and still likes to be diddled) So I try to ease in, but the Funk still looms. She sits a little longer. “How about you look at old photos? So and so needs something for an album/blog post/info. Head to Flickr, Lady and then return to me. I’ll be ready,” she says in a seductive tone.
And that usually works. I scroll through years of photos and realize a few things.
But this funk didn’t end that way. This Funk sent me in a different direction. I sat scrolling through those same years and felt a weird pain. It wasn’t nostalgia. Sure, I love seeing the boys full of baby fat and chubby cheeks. But do I want those years back? I never have. During those years did I cling to those moments knowing they were fleeting? No and I don’t regret that even now. I didn’t ache for their babyhood or romanticized about simpler times. They looked simpler, but I know the truth.
This time, the scroll backwards made me yearn for the ease of Photography. I realized that photography has gotten harder as the boys have aged, but the photos proved how difficult it has actually gotten. I was given a strong slap across my face and it still stings. I was given Moments upon Moments to shoot and document. Blankets of toys. Tables full of art supplies. Brightly colored objects. And bodies full of baby fat and chubby cheeks. Every second there was something adorable and easy to frame.
The boys are older. It’s a fact. And I’ve always known photography was going to be more difficult. And I’m standing on that edge right NOW. I’m looking down and this Funk is whispering awful things for me to jump. I don’t have a lot of options. I’m not going to take family sessions just to photograph young children. It’s not the same thing. My boys won’t get younger. I can’t force them into activities for the sake of photography. Be honest… Those activities won’t be as precious or as sweet to document. And I’m not going to have a baby just to save my photography (it did flash for about .5 a second and I actually understand/justify the notion. I wish I was kidding).
So here I am. Even though I knew this was going to be part of the journey, it doesn’t make it easier. There’s no welcome party. Just a dark and deep crack. I want to scream back to the other people, “You write about fleeting moments and how the babies grow up so fast? Fine that’s lovely. But be grateful for the ease of your photography!! Get prepared cause you’ll be here soon.” But I know that’s a bitchy old Lady thing to do. I’d rather be hip a little longer and not crotchety and bitter. I know there are tons of women I respect who have crossed to same crevice. They can give me pointers, but I’ve got to figure out how to navigate it. My own way.
I’d really like to figure a way around it. Jumping down isn’t an option yet. I know on the other side is a life worth documenting. And I know that I’m good at it. I know there’s tons of photo ops waiting to be found. It’s just different from the Life I’m used to documenting. Different is never bad, it simply starts out as a challenge. I think it’s time I started to tackle that challenge. It’s time to evolve.
I did get sappy just once…
February is always a tough month for me. I hibernate and not in the cozy way one would assume a bear sleeps off the winter. I drop everything. No photos. No sewing. No real blogging. I usually pull away from friends because I feel shitty. Cooking? Nothing fancy or new. I just go to the couch and pull the blankets up to my chin. I wallow in my boredom and spend lots of time boo-hooing things in my head.
But I still shoot my 365 and One Second clips. I’m not inspired by it or motivated to do more. For a month it’s an awful chore I do because I made a commitment to the projects.
But I keep going because I know that February thaws and March rolls in with a healthy dose of vigor.
Hello March. I’m ready for some fun.
I’ve waited patiently for 28 days. Bring it.
Let’s live like it’s 1 a.m.
What kind of woman are you?
I’m the kind of woman who…
There’s no pressure with Morning SP’s. It’s the morning. Deal with it.
Try it for yourself. If you’re afraid, go with Black & White.