Italy has changed me. It was so clear to me on our recent trip to Switzerland, where the perfectly clean and cared for towns were pretty, but not so inspiring to me artistically. Where was the texture, the peeling paint? Where was the reality, the truth? It seemed too perfect. Like a wall erected between me and the place. Just look at the pretty picture, admire the beauty, move on. Distracting me by the surface.
But what’s underneath the surface? That’s what I want to know. What is it like inside? What I see in the buildings and towns I visit is a metaphor for what is going on inside of me. I could have the perfect, controlled, beautiful exterior, but at what internal cost? Perhaps at the cost of creativity, the cost of self-expression. Or I can have an exterior that is not quite perfect, a little bit flawed, that doesn’t follow all the rules, but is full of internal life and energy. Allows for a creative expression of the self. But with that must come honesty, an awareness and acceptance of the flaws.
Which do I want?
It might seem an easy question, of course I want the texture, the energy, the life. I want all of the creativity that comes along with it. But to get that I have to truly recognize and accept the flaws, the light and dark places inside of me. Boy, is that hard.
I guess the fact that I’m recognizing this is a start. The fact that I’m seeing the light and dark both, choosing the texture and peeling paint, feels right. Feels real. And I am amazed at how, once again, I learn about myself through my art. I can’t hide when I express myself creatively, all of me is there, in the images I create. My photographs have something to show me, they show something of me, beyond the surface impressions.
Right now, they are showing me that my time in Italy has changed me. No doubt about it.
A new year has begun, a blank slate for us to write on. I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. What is it about the changing of the calendar that makes us thing that we should do anything different? It is a little reminder, though, that each day is a blank slate. Each day is a chance to write the ending a little bit differently than the one before.
This image from our visit to Castello San Sebastiano da Po this summer speaks of possibilities, of sitting down in the light and writing something new. It reminded me of the lyrics I loved from a song that was popular a few years ago called Unwritten. The lyrics to the song are…
I am unwritten,
can’t read my mind,
I’m just beginning,
the pen’s in my hand,
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten.
What will I write this year? I’m not sure, I’m sitting down here at my desk, with the ending still unwritten.
The end of the year, time for a moment of reflection. This picture of Brandon at Castello San Sebastiano da Po makes me think of a moment of quiet. A peaceful moment, paused in the busy-ness that is an 8 year old and the busy-ness of our everyday lives.
This morning I was reflecting in my journal that, while it is always surprising to reach the end of the year and realize a new one is upon us already, this year didn’t seem to fly by. If I think back to where I was a year ago, it was a very different place both geographically and personally. It seems like many years ago. I am happy to say that, a year later, I am a different person. A happier person. Much more me than ever before.
So, with that note, I hope that you all have had a wonderful 2009, and take a moment to reflect on what it brought you. And I’m wishing you a fun New Year’s Eve and a fabulous 2010! Ciao!
This photo gives me such a good feeling. I can remember the creative excitement I was feeling when I took it, this greenhouse at Castello di San Sebastiano da Po (Piedmont) was such a wonderful place to photograph. I was filled with an urge to capture as many images as possible, from all different points of view. How many ways can you photograph something? An infinite number. And what I’m finding is that the one I like best of series or place changes over time.
Reviewing the photos of this year since I started posting a photo a day has been enlightening for me, seeing what caught my eye at the time and what catches my eye now. Finding the little details I capture of the places we’ve visited. Picking out the specific ones that I like best, that show my unique creative spirit, my eye for a place has been interesting. This blog has truly become the “Kat Eye View” on the world more than I expected. Thanks for sharing it with me, I’d love to hear your comments!