I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action;
and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.
– Rainer Maria Rilke, Love Poems to God
I made homemade chicken enchiladas tonight, with homemade sauce. They turned out really good.
I’m pulling through an especially difficult time with my 365 the last few days. I feel very uninspired in my surroundings, which I suppose is tied to being busy and having a lot of other things occupying me. Usually I don’t have to “try” to see pictures, I just see them, pre-visualized as I know they will come out with my Leica. But lately that’s been different; I simply don’t see anything and have to remind myself to look for a photograph. I can see this effect manifesting in my pictures, and it feels very strange and a little unsettling.
Today was catching up with a lot of things after travel. We settled into our temporary home (for the next 3 weeks) in Tenants Harbor and spent most of the day working. I will be behind my screen for the rest of this week, and likely on the weekend. I have so much to do.
I’m very tired. It was a long drive back home, but we made it (and so did our car). Maine has changed since we left. Everything is green and blooming and the whole mood seems lively and colorful. There is a completely different energy here in the summer.
I’ve come such a long way in my feelings about this project. In the beginning it was absolutely terrifying and stressful. It eventually settled into acceptance about creative highs and lows and a resolve to stick to my commitment. More recently, it’s not even felt like a commitment. It feels as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth or eating a meal. I don’t usually stress out about not getting a picture, and for the most part I am happy with what I get and I enjoy posting. Nothing of it feels like a chore or a burden, or a task I have to check off my list.
I don’t have any expectation that it will feel that way for the entire rest of the year. But I’m savoring being in this place of contentment.
Today I read back through my posts up until early March, and it was so much fun seeing how my pictures have developed, and recalling things I had forgotten. I am so happy that I will have a visual diary of this year; 365 pictures that will tell a story about my life.
We had a wonderful time with family today over a delicious mixed grill and red wine. I love them so much. I wish all family interactions could be so positive, and honest, and so cocooned with understanding.
I’ve heard people say, speak your truth. Live out loud. Be who you are and say what you feel, because the people who matter don’t mind, and the people who mind don’t matter. And things to that effect. It sounds nice in theory, but for very many people it is not quite that simple.
I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to have always lived like that. To say whatever I felt and speak out the reality of how things were, and are, without worrying about the impact that would have on the people around me. I grew up in a family culture where outside expectations created a mold that you needed to fit in to be accepted and supported. Do the right things, say the right things, feel the right things, be the right kind of person. And if you do something – or something happens to you – that embarrasses everyone, just pretend it doesn’t exist, and for god’s sake don’t talk about it because it makes everyone uncomfortable. Those things don’t happen, not in our family.
Family secrets create a wasteland that following generations inherit, tangled webs they cannot unravel. Truth swept under a rug, minimized, trivialized, buried for the sake of keeping up the pretense of a close-knit family that was never really built on real relationship. Only now am I (painfully and slowly) learning what relationship really means. It is not perfect, it is not sterile, it is not all fun and games. It is often messy and complicated. It is not accepting only the parts of someone that you like, it is accepting all of them. It is allowing them freedom to speak their mind without fear of losing your love. It is putting your rubber boots on, wading into the mud with them and being willing to get some of it on you, even if it’s not really yours. Be who you are and say what you feel. I don’t mind.
Today was a long drive – 8 hours not including stops. We try to switch off every 2 hours so that it’s not too much for either one of us. It also gives us a chance to stretch our legs and experience the scenery differently. At one of our stops, I got out of the car and the air smelled like flowers. It was wonderful.
I love road trips and seeing the country from the car, but for me, nothing beats the experience of being in nature.
After we checked into our hotel this evening we had a nice dinner together and then had drinks on the patio by the fire. I had my first martini, and I liked it. Tomorrow we will drive to Boston and see family which I’m very much looking forward to.
Room 206. Bristol, Virginia. Same hotel from last week, same room, 1 floor down. Different shoes.
There is freedom waiting for you
On the breezes of the sky.
And you ask, ‘What if I fall?’
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
– Erin Hanson
Today we went to an Escape Room and played Prison Break. It was our first time trying an Escape Room in general, and we picked their hardest game. We didn’t escape but we did pretty well figuring out the riddles and had a lot of fun.
This afternoon I downloaded a language learning app and I worked on some Italian. How the world has changed since I was young! What you used to have to study in a book, you can now interact with live in an app. It makes learning feel so much different.