Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Poetry of Everyday Life

As you all know, I've been trying for a while to jumpstart my ailing creative drive any way I possibly can and coming up empty. I've seen some signs of life now and again that give me hope. I've even managed to shit out a thing or two that I'm proud of. However, I seems that no matter what I do, nothing really moves me or inspires me the same way it used to. I barely remember what it's like to be so on fire about an idea that I don't want to eat, sleep, or do anything else besides create. You and I both, dear readers, know for a fact it has to do with my being burnt out on most of my creative outlets because they are now all part of my living -- jobs. Yes, I said the "j" word.

I am quite possibly the world's worst workaphobe. I work hard. I work a lot... but I also admit to not actually liking to work. When I didn't have to work for a living, I didn't. If I ever get back to a place where I no longer have to work for a living, I won't. Once something becomes a job for me, it's no longer fun or enjoyable and losing my creative hobbies to that phenomenon was hard for me. Necessary, but hard. My creativity was and is everything to me and I'm nobody without it. Sometimes I sincerely feel like when I lost my ability to have fun with what I create, I lost my soulmate, because sometimes I do feel like I'm grieving for someone I loved dearly once and who is no longer around. This is perhaps a bit of an over-dramatization, but I'm a Pisces, so you'll have to excuse me and give me a bit of a break.

I have recaptured perhaps a pale shadow of that old spark over the past week or so though. Seth's BlackBerry died recently, so I decided to just upgrade both of our phones to shiny, new Motorolas equipped with Android. They came with these killer cameras that put the cameras in our old BlackBerry Curves to shame, so I haven't been able to help but experiment a little bit with mine.

I don't consider myself to be a very talented photographer... or even a moderately good one, for that matter. However, there is something about capturing the mundane poetry of day to day life that appeals to me. Instagram has been all the rage for a while now, but I haven't been able to use it myself because, like most of the really cool apps, it wasn't available for BlackBerry. However, since I've had the Android, I've really enjoyed checking out other people's photos and sharing some of my own. Some of the photos on there are fucking spectacular. Others are of more mundane, everyday subjects, but spectacular in their own way. I love them all equally.

I know what you're thinking: "Great, this bitch got an Instagram like everybody else on the internet and now all we're going see are her boring filtered photos that she wrongly thinks are awesome." You shouldn't think that though, because that's not what this is about. It's about me thinking I've found a way to make some progress with some of this artist's block I've been fighting with for a while now.

The desire to take new photos and participate a bit on Instagram has been a pretty good thing for me. It's actually gotten me out of the house for reasons other than errands or must-keep obligations. It's encouraged me to notice more things in my day to day life for their own sake and look for more ways to participate in the rhythm of the average day a bit more, instead of simply observing everything out of the corner of my eye while I work on other things. It's encouraged me to meet new people and share in their lives as well.

Plus, taking photos is something that is creative in a sense, but completely free of all the elements that are currently making me not want to do art or creative writing:

  • It's creative, but nevertheless different from anything else I do. I don't and never have taken photos for a living, so it's virgin territory -- unspoiled by the stain of work or obligation.
  • It's low commitment and delivers gratification that's pretty much instant. You literally find something you like, point, shoot... and you have something new sitting right in front of you immediately. No hours of pain-staking detail work. No need for a level of concentration I'm simply incapable of right now. That means almost no need to "psych myself up" before I can see my way clear to actually doing it.
  • I'm actually not that good at it, as you can see, so I don't actually expect anything from it. That means I'm just free to enjoy it for what it is without any personal pressure from myself to turn it into yet another way to make a buck. It's mine to keep to myself or share with my friends... and nothing else whatsoever.
I need more things like that in my life, to be honest. Money, business, and my constant quest to "get somewhere" with what I consider to be my only real talents have spoiled everything I once cared about for me. This... hasn't been spoiled yet and probably won't be, because like I said, I am an insanely boring photographer. I'm hoping that it -- among other things -- eventually leads me back to where I used to be. From there, maybe the incredible paintings and brilliant creative writing pieces I long to do again can't be far behind.