Starting over...

"What is of greatest important is to hold a moment, to record something so completely that those who see it will relive an equivalent of what has been expressed."  Alfred Stieglitz

My year started with 12 weeks of Cognitive behavioural therapy in Janurary. To say this has changed my life is an understatement - though I'm sure if I tried to explain it to you I couldn't and you probably wouldn't notice any obvious changes unless you looked inside my brain and thought processes (which you really don't want to do haha). But my approach to everything has changed - and slowly but surely I've been changing everything around me to reflect that. Physically I stopped dying my hair, I started an irregular (ha) yoga practice, I bought a Fitbit to try to walk more every day, I go to bed a bit earlier and try to sleep longer...

And although these things have definitely helped me - some things I still struggle to let go of - I still try to keep my old approach and then get confused when I can't make it work. Old habits - old approaches that used to work so well for me but now don't - they're so hard to let go of, they're so intertwined with 'me' that often I don't even realise until very late on that I have them.

Last week Sas Patrick shared a link to her Definitive List of Awesome (so awesome!) and on that list was a link to 200 free documentaries (see awesome!!). Immediately I started watching documentaries and the very first one - a documentary on Alfred Stieglitz - who I admittedly didn't know about before - inspired me in a way that many things haven't recently... and honestly I could have cried. I have missed inspiration, I have missed feeling excited and passionate about art. I've missed enjoying holding my camera. 

I heard the quote below and it struck me like I'd been hit on the head with a hammer.

"Devoid of flim-flam; devoid of trickery and any 'ism'; devoid of any attempt to mystify an ignorant public, including the photographers themselves. These photographs are the direct expression of today..." Alfred Stieglitz

In hearing this, I realised my photographs (and perhaps even my blog too) weren't these things - that I've been trying to take photos like I used to - I was trying old methods to express myself. It made sense for me to do so, that approach worked -  I loved taking photos, I took photos that I loved, I felt my photos at the time were my direct expression and people (as in you amazing group of people) liked the results as much as I did and I was so excited about that.

But lately, I've been trying to share how I used to feel, how I used to express myself, rather than how I am now - and I've been hitting a brick wall. A huge brick wall. In fact for a while I thought it was impenetrable and that my photography drive was dwindling. But now I know what it is and it has a tiny chip in it - or perhaps a seed instead  - and I can already feel it growing, spreading. 

I have no idea what this means for my photos, I don't even know which camera I want to pick up right now but I want to pick up at least one, I know that. And now I know that everything I've learnt in the last 5 years doesn't apply to me anymore and that I'm going to have to start over. And that is so very exciting... and just a little bit scary. Eep, wish me luck!