During my break I was not sure whether or not I would write in my Musings or if I would ‘neglect’ my whole site. As you can see I have been moved to write and for several reasons. First a man whose relationship began as work colleagues. But as I have come to know him better, I now call Bernie my friend. He wrote to me yesterday when he noticed that this blog states that I am taking a break, which I am. Then a woman who I have known for over 35 years wrote to me from Botswana.
I stopped writing here last night as I was too tired to continue writing. This morning when I awoke and checked my email, I was so pleased and surprised to get a note back from my friend Katy, the woman I mentioned above who wrote to me. She is a physician who donates her time and skills to less fortunate people all over the world. I can only begin to imagine the personal hardships she endures in order to bring medical assistance to others.
What struck me about both of these friends writing to me is that I really never realized that photographs are something which can in some ways bind us together as people. Every individual looks at a photograph differently, which is part of the beauty of imagery. It is a conspiracy between three elements, the photographer, the subject and the viewer. Because I have made a conscious choice to NOT provide a method for my viewers to leave me comments, I seldom get feedback on my work through the internet. What I wanted to prevent were the ‘nice picture,’ ‘I hate this shot’ sort of feedback. So instead my site is about my work and putting it ‘out there’ for others to view.
What has struck me is having some friends who have written about my hiatus. A woman a world away, in a land where email and the internet are scarce took the time and effort to go to this blog and write to me about her concern that I was not posting. A friend in Kansas who checks my blog daily also expressed his disappointment that I no longer post. And finally my friend Bernie from the UK who just purchased a digital SLR and wrote to me to tell me that I must have become frightened of the ‘competition’ he poses as a photographer and so deduced I must have decided to quit shooting because he was now ‘on the photo scene.’
Perhaps it is just because I needed some attention. Perhaps it is because I needed to know that my own work means something. Perhaps it is because I have been disappointed in my own contribution to the greater good of society. Perhaps it is because I wanted a bit of the daily recognition from Tracy that I hear her speak about other’s work. Or perhaps it is all of those feelings, petty, imagined or real. I am after all a human, part of the overall world we all know and sometimes ignore or ridicule as we watch reality shows or lament over the price of gasoline. What I can say for certain is this – without the support of friends, family and loved ones near or far away, I am simply a single soul, left to my own devices whether they be positive or negative. During times of inner turmoil, those closest to us remind us of where we have been and where we have yet to travel.
In the words of my favorite author, Phil Cousineau in The Art of Pilgrimage, “And so, the real treasure Zimmer reflects the treasure that brings our wretchedness and our ordeals to an end is never far away. We must never go looking for it in distant lands, for it lies buried in the most secret recesses of our own house; in other words, of our own being.”
Thank you my friends, for the kind of support for which I will never be able to repay, but will pass on to others.