In the past, people have looked at photos as a record of memory. The focus has been on the past tense. With Instagram, the focus is on the present tense. —Kevin Systrom
I am having one of those moments of extreme self-doubt this morning. Even the dog didn’t want to stay up and play as he usually does after his morning walk There’s something about Tuesday where I anticipate bad things to happen and the day rarely lets me down. In order to brace myself for whatever devastating news may come or difficulties take place, I try to keep Tuesdays low key to temper the emotional impact of today’s inevitable disaster.
This morning seems to be taking care of itself, however. I grind my own coffee for use in a french press each morning. Today, though, I look as I’m pouring hot water into the pot and realize I didn’t get all the coffee. I left half of it in the grinder for some reason. My coffee is weak.
Then, looking around for something to occupy the morning munchies, I pick up a piece of toast that might have been leftover from last night’s dinner. Wrong. It was stale beyond palpability. I tried eating it anyway, but no, two bites were all I could handle. The brick-like texture gave way to the taste of sawdust that coated the inside of my mouth with a mush to horrible to swallow.
5:00 AM and today already sucks.
Once Upon A Time …
Life wasn’t always like this, you know. There was a time when things were better, at least from a creative standpoint. Here’s where we put on the rose-colored glasses for the sake of sanity and encouragement. I look back at old photos, pieces that were once in my portfolio but have been dropped due to age, and find some encouragement. As I fight back against this overwhelming feeling of worthlessness, the old photos give me a reason to smile. Maybe everything hasn’t been for naught. After all, I did this.
Of course, that line of thinking only works if I ignore the fact that while I was playing with one of the first print-viable digital cameras and taking hundreds of photos almost every day, the rest of my world was crumbling. One disaster came in after another, usually on Tuesdays, though Wednesday and Thursday couldn’t necessarily be trusted. Employment? Gone. Parents? Dead. Marriage? Kaput.Security? Dissolved.
But now is not the time to dwell on those things. Right now, we need to focus on what was good, what worked, and those images that made me feel good about myself. Something to take my mind off the fact that if this coffee were any weaker it would be water. I hate weak coffee, it’s almost as bad as decaf. I’ll have to make more. Too bad I can’t just say that about the photographs.
Old photos remind me of how much work it is to be creative. I had more energy when these were taken, more drive, and perhaps more motivation. I would sometimes put weeks of effort into researching materials to make sure what we were going to do would actually work. I’ve lost that drive and I’m not sure how to get it back.
What bothers me is that I have more resources at my disposal now in many ways. I have plenty of materials already on hand and know when they’ll work and when they won’t. My need to experiment isn’t quite as great. I can tell Kat what I’m thinking in terms of hair and makeup and know that she understands what I’m wanting.
Other pieces are missing, though, pieces that are difficult to describe and impossible to replace. Perhaps part of what makes me proud of these old photos is how hard I had to work to get some of them.
It’s Still Tuesday
My intent this morning was to share some of those old photos that still inspire me. I thought I would put them in a nice gallery displayed in a slide show. It’s Tuesday, though, so the plug-in that enables that capability has decided to not cooperate. All I can do is post the photos here and hope the mosaic works. I apologize for making you scroll through them all.
While you’re looking at pictures, I’m going to make fresh coffee, strong coffee, and maybe some fresh toast. Or maybe I’ll just have cereal.
Remember when cereal was great? Yeah, let’s not get started with that one. Old photos are enough reminiscing for one day. Good luck with your Tuesday.