My photography often connects with my life. The art of photography parallels the philosophy of life. When we illuminate a subject, we brighten with light. And sometimes we also enlighten with knowledge and insight.
When I take self-portraits, I illuminate a physical part of me; and sometimes I connect to an unexplored piece of my inner-self. I've bared myself on this blog (e.g., body, poetry, trust). This is part of the illumination process: exposure. Although I expose myself via words (often with an after-the-fact doubt attack), I haven't shown my difficulty through a self-portrait.
Do I feel pain? Yes. Do I feel peace? Yes. Do I feel fear? Yes. Do I feel joy? Yes. And yet I've only taken self-portraits that show neutral to positive emotions. I've stayed away from the pain. Yet I do feel pain--sadness, hurt, vulnerability:
Last night I watched "Spirited Away." It's an artful, gorgeous, meaningful movie. And one scene, in particular, resonated with me: Chihiro ate food from a friend in order to regain her strength, and once she regained her strength, she cried tears of sadness. We need strength to feel difficult emotions. Indeed, we all have this strength, yet we often distract and avoid. On Monday night I let the tears of overwhelm come. And I was okay.
A friend recently remarked that I seem happy (in a general sense). Yet that doesn't mean the difficult goes away. I still have dark days. I still have sadness. I still suffer. But I feel and experience those times, and ultimately know I'm okay. Just as importantly, I feel joy and gratitude. I laugh and dance. I love with my whole heart. And I take refuge in myself--my true self (not the negative ego chatter). Is life easy? Nope. Am I happy? You bet.