I’ve been a languid photographer of late. I know that discipline drives inspiration, so I just keep showing up. But I look through my viewfinder and I’m frustrated. I long to make those pictures of moments and things that tell the stories that matter . . . and yet I think, “Maybe tomorrow.”
One of the reasons I regularly participate in fitness classes is because I know the instructor will push me beyond what I would do on my own. I am in good shape because of the challenges I place on my body. I wonder if I can do the same with photography. Will I find the strongest pictures by pushing myself to the edge? Or seeking my center? I don’t know.
Even in this dry spell, taking pictures and writing is good for my soul and my mind. The rhythms and routines of the day sustain me. They comfort me and give me space to rest. They keep me grounded. I make dinner. I tell my husband I love him. I curl up on the couch with my latest favorite book. I talk to my sons on the phone. I visit my mother on Memory Lane.
I drive the back roads to visit Mom several times a week. The persimmon tree on Kilarney Drive, with its cascading branches weighed down by sunset orange fruit, takes my breath away. I vow to remember my camera and long lens on the next trip.
I’m in luck because the owner is in the yard harvesting the fruit. I walk up, camera in hand, asking politely if I might take a few pictures. I can tell he is protective of the tree, but he grants permission. I snap a few frames and he graciously shares a branch with three persimmons, nearly ripe.
Even when my well is feeling dry, I can feel inspired by taking care and giving love.
There is power in creating something good and giving it freely.