a year gone by

When I think back on the year 2014, a strange sickness spins about belly. Back then, I was desperately searching for something to make sense. I had finished university, graduating with glowing grades, but I had never felt more uncertain.  Somehow, I had emerged from years of education with no confidence and no sense of self-worth.  I was totally lost and floundering. I moved back in with my parents and broke up with my boyfriend.  I took up a retail job in a luxury fashion store. I read voraciously. My biggest comfort was my dog and a beautiful kitten, which later was brutally killed on the road. I rarely drank or socialized. I made a bizarre trip to Germany that to this day I still do not understand.  I had nightmares on a regular basis and I was nervous all the time.

Last night I found photos from that time taken on an old mobile phone. These images make me reflect on the little ways I’ve changed since then, for better or for worse, even though the images are mostly of the sky and scenery at home. But still, I find myself thinking about what I’ve done in the meantime and what I may do in the future. Or how, perhaps, I needed that time, even if it still pains me to think about it, to consider who I am. The photos make me sad because I know how much time I spent at home then and what these photos meant.  Recently, I’ve become interested in non-polished photography and how on the internet the sort of grainy, instant camera phone photograph is in a way the new analogue, grazed with imperfections. These photos have none of the sheen and clarity of a DSLR image and I’ve come to appreciate their shaky uncertainty too.

I am posting these now as a gentle reminder to myself of that time, but even more so, as a reminder to take photographs of just those bits in between when nothing is happening, when you don’t feel like smiling; where’s there’s no beautiful sunset or gorgeous beach or wild forest or a mountain bravely climbed; when there’s no party; when there’s no one around. It’s a plea to document what I thought I could not remember, the false starts, the failures, the mistakes, trying to get the words out, looking away. But, all of this, is life too, which we so easily forget.

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