I feel inspired to write.
It has taken quite some time since this specific inspiration has hit. Creativity isn’t an issue of late, ideas are still flowing – be that slowly or thick and fast, they’re still flowing – but the inspiration to put hands to keyboard in a situation that is not all but ideal for writing has been missing. All it has taken is a glimpse at a photo on the blog of a random person of whom I have no idea who they are, and inspiration hits.
Life has been hurtling along at an amazingly fast speed. Work flies by without much stop, weddings have been shot and turned around every second week, with the opposite week usually containing meetings to book in further clients. I’m not complaining, mind you – with Bop on the way, the extra cash is helpful. And with some of the frames I’ve made over the past six weeks, I’ve been eternally grateful for wonderful clients to work with, who have been nothing but relaxed, warm and totally open to run with what I suggest.
While I’m nothing but happy with the fact I have work there (and almost to the point where I was about to start turning work away), I have mixed feelings at times. There have been a couple of weddings that have involved almost as much time in the car two and from than was actually spent at the wedding – 3.5 hours in the drivers seat is perhaps not the best way to start a day off where creativity, clarity and energy are required to be on and running nonstop. These weddings, while they have been two of the more fun ones to shoot, are more tiring than the others. The second long drive wedding saw me make it only as far as my In-Law’s place where I was picking up Beth, before I crashed. She had to drive the rest of the way home. As often as not, though, it’s the aftermath of the wedding that brings the biggest bag of mixed feelings.
I have the simultaneous joy and dread of living with my number one (me) and number two (Beth) critics. Each wedding Beth looks over the shots from the day and gives me a critique on the images I’ve made. At times it’s daunting to sit next to her as she flicks through everything – while she may not admit it, she’s got one of the sharpest eyes I’ve seen for composition and direction. And she doesn’t hold back if an image is below par. Yet it’s one of the most beneficial parts of each wedding I shoot, as it only serves to hone my vision and keep me on my toes before I click the shutter – I figure that if I can make both her and I happy with each frame I take, the the clients are going to be nothing but happy and grateful for the photos they get.
In my roundabout way of getting to the point, I’m trying to emphasise that while I haven’t been writing, the creativity is still there – thankfully (and it is one of the things, after my wife and my baby that I am most thankful for) it hasn’t gone AWOL on me. The simple fact is that when life gets busy and hard, something gives, and the inspiration, time and discipline to write is often one of the first things to go. That’s not to say that the odd phrase or idea won’t still come into my head; it just doesn’t get translated into any physical form.
The walk to our local supermarket is nothing if not short – 220m or there abouts. As a result, I end up walking there and back at least once on most days. It’s become a short time out in my days where I often do start to compose posts, emails, images or entire shoots in my head. Specifically the walk back when it’s a mild summer evening seems to be the best formula. The walk is never a thoughtless one, but when there’s mounting pressures of deadlines, clients, and the day to day running and engaging in a life for two-plus-another-coming, the time it takes to walk there and back is often the only forum that those thoughts will get until things settle down. And, as the existence of this post indicates, things have settled down.
Tomorrow morning I get to have breakfast with my Dad before meeting some clients. Mum’s actually down in Melbourne tonight, so it’ll just be the two of us tomorrow (his joke was that he can’t provide bacon and eggs, but does do a pretty decent cereal, toast and coffee), but I’m looking forward to it. Things settling down often seems to happen at just the right time for things that have been planned months in advance. I’ve had this client meeting booked for over a month, and dinner tomorrow night with some friends we haven’t seen for a very long time for even longer, yet knowing that things have settled down means that tomorrow is going to be even more enjoyable. I know I won’t be stressed while driving down to Dad’s, and that I’ll enjoy the time with a clear mind not focussed on the meeting ahead. And the drive back will be time for me to sit with a clear head, and enjoy a Saturday morning drive. No pressure. And while I’ll still be aiming to get back to Melbourne as soon as I can, it won’t be a cloud hanging over my head. It will be because I want to get back to my wife, and enjoy these moments of simplicity.