500 Words about Something I’m hoping People don’t Notice/Something I’m hoping People do Notice
In 2014 I embarked on my second Photo 365 Project (A Hundred Pockets). It was an extraordinary journey and an extremely taxing one. Creatively I was allowing my eyes to see the world the way they love best, through a camera, and each day those photographs were inspiring mighty words. I was shaking out bits of my heart for whomever was following the progress of a year in my life, one day at a time.
The year was over and now more than two years later I am still living the aftermaths of putting my muse to full task. A production line nightmare, the sweat shop that is flooding the basement of my mind. The photography hasn’t fallen completely to the wayside, but it certainly isn’t in abundant supply. This writing challenge has sparked the word fever in me and I couldn’t be happier; it was the caffeine high to see me through the last week of August (sans actual caffeine I might add, because this month was #AllWaterAugust!).
Where is this headed? Well in approaching today’s prompt I kept coming back to the idea of my ‘something’ being a mixed bag. It wants to hide out in the shadows of my previous achievements nursing its wounds and working through the other bullets of life (i.e. don’t notice I’m doing nothing or that I’m doing little baby steps, raising expectations). Depression has a severe effect on my ability to create, stay motivated, and continue to relish in the things I love. I can go months at time without reading and to say this is discouraging, disheartening, isn’t quite strong enough. I can only grab the mental reigns so much to wrangle control before I toss up my hands in defeat and wait it out. Always trying, sometimes failing, to be okay with the healing process, however slow that may be.
Then there is the pomp and circumstance side to my emotions longing for a spotlight. The praise of my fellow human goes a long way in waking up the muse from its forced hibernation. I don’t so much crave approval/permission to continue as planned, but the idea people are watching and cheering no matter the route taken to get there is a balm. Recognition that pushing through the long days and pressing the ‘Publish’ button even though I can’t be sure what is being written is the demanding ‘perfection’ of my mind. My efforts are not going unnoticed, someone is reading, someone is sitting on the other side willing me to KEEP ON KEEPING ON!
This is a bit agonizing to war between wanting privacy to continue my course and wanting affirmation of the steps being taken. I sometimes catch myself believing, if you see my photographs going up (Hey look Maddie is photo-taking again) there is suddenly this expectation again to produce. Then there is imaginary jinx on my creative life, this little waiting for the other shoe to drop moment. You expect, I agonize, and then it falls apart when I can’t deliver if life gets in the way, the words won’t arrive in a timely fashion, or that bastard of Depression decides to play Jack in the Box (scary shit, Jack in the Boxes). BUT I want to know what I’m saying matters to the world. I want it to make an impact. If the world survives another hundred years (could be longer, I’m not doom and gloom or anything) it would be an honor for words, my words to see it out. Win the race so to speak. Whenever I think of writing a book I puzzle over how to make it timeless, but that’s a conundrum for another day. Words carry weight and I want my weight to measure up, to not be a waste. There are terrifying vulnerability issues here, do we see that?
Last thought because this is way past 500 words (again). In June I watched Bo Burnham’s standup on Netflix and ever since these words keep smacking me in the face:
“I know very little about anything, but what I do know is that if you can live your life without an audience…you should do it.”
This was the final day of Kirk Hensler’s (Kale and Cigarettes) 500 Words A Day Writing Experiment. If you missed any of my days click here to see them all.
I also wanted to thank a few people.
First thank you to the brilliant, beautiful Bekah. You shared this on FB and I couldn’t stop being excited about it. I miss you and I’m glad we met for the short time we did; it was a tremendous gift to work with someone I felt understood me more than others have taken the time to in the past. I didn’t say that when you were here, but that’s because I’m rubbish at speaking and better at writing. Someday I will mail myself to Colorado and let you cook for me because the teasing Instagrams are torture.
Second to my Mum whom I read every single post out loud to, even the tough ones. Thank you for wisdom, for being a creative force in my life. Thank for faith and always pointing me God, even when my stubborn ass doesn’t want to listen. Thank you for saying to me, after the second day, “Do you know how good you are?” My soul almost jumped out of the car, wow!
Finally thank you to my G+ family, especially Eric and Dominique. You are my +1 kings! Eric your comments continue to brighten my days and keep me wanting to write more. Keep the photographs coming!!!! Dominique for music selections making my playlists grow and grow and grow. C’est magnifique. Merci Beacoup!!!!!