Photo of me by Julia
Photo of my beautiful radiant friend Julia
I picked up my camera for the first time in 2 years in a field of flowers with one of my greatest friends. It felt good to be reconnected, with my camera, with the earth, with the energy of creativity. I think everyone experienced varied levels of trauma during the pandemic, for me it was very difficult and scary, traumatic. I can create through a lot of things, I discovered that severe trauma isn't one of them. I'm not really sure what happened but I felt very focused on survival and somehow didn't want to pollute my creative process with it. I couldn't even touch my camera...I could barely leave my room other than to work in the salon which in itself was life saving..soul saving, if I want to be honest, to be able to connect with other beautiful living beings to bring something good to their days of unrest and uncertainty.
So many of us have sustained some heavy blows and losses of key people in our lives maybe even parts or ourselves , it's a part of life, but when it hits on repeat and in succession, for me it created a mental shutdown to sustain. A distrust of life on it's terms for a while. I was one of the rare people who were vaccine injured, so my health was challenged during the pandemic and still is to a degree, it's better but medicine doesn't know what to do with those of us who experienced this to fix it. Everyone I know in my immediate circle is fine from their experience, I was just unlucky. The only lucky part is I have found others outside of my circle who substantiate my issues so I don't feel so alone in it. I'm grateful to the researchers and medical people I know who are looking for answers. Special thank you Shaun Barcavage FNP-BC in NY and many others who are doing solid work to find out what happened to us specifically and more importantly how to remedy the situation. The tinnitus, neuropathies, heat and exercise intolerance have been the hardest for me personally but hopefully in time some of these things will abate, and I'm gaining some acceptance that some of these things may not. I'm just grateful I am still able to hear and to walk and to work and to do what I do. There are many who are suffering who can't right now due to long haul vaccine reactions and to long haul covid itself. My best friend's husband almost lost his life to covid in the hospital during 2021, so it's all real stuff. Like I said, traumatic.
2021 brought with it a key person in my life developing cancer and I'm learning what caretaker empathy means and requires , another amazing being in my life also developed cancer who inspires my creative process so much, I lost a friend to suicide, a friend to stroke, and my best friend of 40 years to stage 4 metastatic cancer, followed by a great passionate warrior photography mentor, and then my good friend lost her husband to cardiac arrest. All of this was sudden and unexpected, it all happened in the course of a year and right before embarking upon hope for a better less dystopian future of 2022, so it has taken me a minute to dip my little toe back into trusting life again. This year is still chock full of all kinds of uncertainty, but we are going to make it, and push through toward the sun somehow, no matter how clumsy and awkward and self conscious it feels. I want to live fully every minute, I want to kiss my camera every time I pick it up like my mentor did. This life force is everything even with it's pitfalls of great losses, I want to live because they no longer can. I want to "love fiercely because this all ends."
I learned something from sunflowers on this day, the flowers turn their heads to the sun during the day to charge up with life force and then they turn their heads away at night to root and grow by the light of the moon. Nature always has it figured out, I'm cheering it on to keep winning no matter what mistakes we make to try to destroy it and ourselves. There is more work, and more joy and more love and passion to experience, more art to create, more life to live. To bask in the desire for more.
"Tonight I looked across a blue sky in the fading light of day and saw at least a thousand shades of blue. I tried to notice each one as though I would never know them again"
Rest in Power and Grace
David Lee Schloss
"If you want to find the creative spirit within you then find that moment when you believe nothing more can be done, and then go further"
"Be here now and find thirty seconds of experience
worthy of thirty years of life"