In November I had a Total Knee Replacement surgery and as a result have been focused on the need to get back my strength and mobility. And while I have recovered very quickly, no walker or cane and out of PT in 7 weeks, I have had to deal with the mental and emotional issues a loss or change of this type entails.
Realizing I am mortal and my life of action has caught up to me has been difficult to accept. Not to mention I have lost the mobility I once had and will not have back in quite the same way again. Certainly the new knee will lead to less pain but it is not the original and will not have the mobility to perform many of the martial arts movements I enjoyed in the past or the freedom I loved in taking a long slow run.
As I have started to deal with these issues I have slowly come back to seeing photographically again. Health of the body and of the mind are part of the creative process, at least for me, it would appear. So it was with some excitement when I was sitting at my desk and I happened to focus on my bookcase containing my collection of shells. I noticed one nautilus on its side and its relation to another half nautilus shell on the same shelf. They had been in this position for several weeks from the time of the surgery and I had looked upon them many times while sitting at my desk.
All at once, a still life arrangement jumped out at me immersing me in a sudden surge of ideas and impressions. Above are three of the images from the initial burst of creative energy, along with some tulips I happened upon. It was like a curtain was pulled back and the light of day was allowed to filter in.
Prior to this event I felt as if I was in some ways blind. I kept working on other photo projects but the ability to see or even express myself creatively with the camera was denied. It took time to let my body heal and my mind to accept the changes before I was again ready to move forward with the new challenges I was facing.
I recently came upon a quote by Edward Weston:
“My true program is summed up in one word: life. I expect to photograph anything suggested by that word which appeals to me.”
Life. We are participating in it and it will let us know when it’s ready to reveal its creative secrets and revelations.