Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I used to want to take picture.

It's funny how things change. I used to be obsessed with photography. OBSESSED. I looked at every magazine and book I could get my hands on. I went to galleries and museums looking for photographs. If I was in an antique store, I would walk by all the glass cases hoping to find a tintype or a daguerreotype. I waited each week for the photo-eye newsletter to tell me about the new books being published. If I traveled to another city, I searched out photography shows at galleries or museums. I would drive to Atlanta the last weekend of a show at the High Museum. I drove to New Haven the last weekend of the MFA show. I spent all day in Chelsea and ended up with a hurt foot due to all that walking. I wanted to be a Fine Art Photographer more than anything else.

But then I got sick and didn't know it for a long time. And I was lonely being by myself all the time. I might have been lonely and depressed because I was sick, but it seemed like a lot of it had to do with photography. I got sick of hauling around heavy equipment and having to load and reload film all the time. And then I moved and lost my darkroom. And then I was pregnant, and didn't want to be around chemicals. And then I was nursing and didn't want to be around chemicals. And then I was pregnant again and still nursing, and I no longer wanted anything to do with chemicals. And the prices of everything went up up up. I have so much film in the fridge waiting to be processed, waiting for me to think we finally have enough money to pay the mortgage, the bills, and develop film. And now we have the digital SLR which is fun and easy. Nothing about my film cameras was easy. I no longer want to be a Fine Art Photographer and that is okay. I've known for a while that is in my old life, the life I left when I chose to be well and be happy. Photographer may still be on my tax return as profession but it probably shouldn't be.
Yet, I still have a strong desire to make. But making to me now is about taking something like fabric or yarn and turning it into something useful or pretty or both. Making doesn't seem to be very related to capturing. The more I spend my time with my hands making, the more I want to spend all my time with my hands making.

I still love to take photographs when the urge hits, though the urge comes to me not very often. There have been some afternoons in the past few months where I saw a tree I wanted to photograph the same way it looked in my eyes or I saw my children playing together and laughing and knew I wanted something that captured their smiles and crinkled eyes and expressed laughing and joy without needed any sound. I know I need to dig out those rolls from deep freeze and see if anything comes to life. I have a feeling I will see a lot I don't remember, and since time passes so much faster now I need something to bring those past moments back to me. I think 2009 needs to be the year of bringing photography back to me. Somehow, somewhere it will be on my resolution list. Stay tuned...