”The days of walking lifeless, the years calloused and simply going through the hollow motions, the self-protecting by self-distracting, the senses never waking because the body has lost the capacity to fully feel – – this is the life in-between that makes us the wild walking dead.” Ann Voskamp – One Thousand Gifts
The first time I read this quote it was a gut punch. The only zombie movie I’ve ever seen was terrifying…stiff, creepy beings roaming the earth with lifeless eyes. We want to believe they’re alien and yet they’re eerily familiar. There are many days when the veil drops, my vision distorts and I’m the walking dead…dead to really seeing and deeply feeling.
Let’s identify a few (among other) “sleep aids” that cloud our vision as moms/photographers/humans:
WORK/WORRY – it seems for most of us these two go hand in hand. We’re a performance-based culture and when we’re not performing we worry, so we work more and worry more and the crazy cycle continues until we crash. Joy isn’t something we can work toward it’s a byproduct of play…who ever worries about their play? How can we see and create beauty from a place of fear/tension?
NOISE/DISTRACTION – Noise in a photo is an undesirable artifact. Noise in life is similar. At no other time in history have we been so inundated with voices! The roar of humanity is deafening…how are we to hear our heart speak of we don’t plug our ears and listen?
TECHNOLOGY/the VIRTUAL – My daughter is doing her 6th grade science fair project on technology and human behavior. As I filled out her survey I learned that last week I spent a daily AVERAGE of 6 hours and 49 minutes on my phone. That amounts to 47 hours and 15 minutes last week (nearly two days!!) I spent last week looking at a backlit screen rather than the dappled light in the trees. Those are two days I’ll never get back. How are we to train our eyes to deeply see the beauty in our world (and our clients’) when we’re so immersed in vicarious views from our peers?
What worry is robbing your wonder? What is one actionable thing you can do to reduce “noise pollution” so you can hear your heart better? What’s one way you can dial down the virtual and elevate the real?
Next stop: The Ways We Cheapen Photography