Sometimes I wonder why someone of as few words as me actually decided to start a blog. What did I expect? or want from it? or think it would do for me? At any rate, I’ve made it past 60 posts now, for whatever that’s worth. It would be nice to have some feedback or interaction occasionally. But it’s at least a sort of journal, which is ok, in itself.
Winter is a slow time for me anyway, photographically. I’m not interested in the aesthetics of snow, and winter, in general, for the most part. I have no interest in fighting with gear in the cold. Tramping through snow doesn’t really attract me any more. So getting out there takes some need, I guess. And since I haven’t even made 100 photos since the beginning of the year, a couple of weeks ago I forced myself to go out and find something, anything. There’s a prairie conservancy park here that I go to sometimes, so I stopped there. Mainly I was looking for natural things that I could combine with body images in Photoshop. What I took mostly doesn’t stand on its own, as a result, but I’ve played around with some of them a bit. Although I haven’t quite found what I was looking for yet, it’s been good to keep up the Photoshop skills that I have and learn a few new ones.
One thing I do in the winter is reading. I’ve read some very interesting things, some of which it might be good to write about here, at some point. It’s been very helpful in shaping some ideas that I have for projects and general aesthetic positions. I’ve started to use Evernote as a sort of journal and notebook to store and develop ideas. My main accomplishment, however, is that, after about a year of working at it, I finished Proust’s In search of lost time. It was my second time through it and it made more sense than at first. It’s such a universe of its own that you really need to just plow through it the first time for the general plot, etc. Then, approaching it again, you can begin to savor the writing and the ideas.
In particular, Proust says that the artist has two lives: the public one and our inner life as an artist. Our public life is just a distraction, since it keeps us from doing our art. It is as an artist that we are able to recover time and bring that exploration back into the world at large. The coming of age as an artist of the narrator is the main plot line of the book. It’s aggravating to follow his distractions and dead ends, but the novel is the result. While it’s not strictly an autobiography, it’s striking how some elements do echo Proust’s life and much of the inner monologue must also reflect his mind, as well.
I still feel that I’m stuck at a boundary, myself, though. The photo above maybe is a metaphor for that. I can see through to where I want to be, but something still stands in the way of getting there. For Proust’s narrator, as a writer, most of what he needed to do to accomplish his goal was to shut himself up in a room and write. As a photographer, my need to find collaborators for the ideas I want to explore adds an extra dimension to the solitude of being an artist. As a person of few words and little sociality, this presents what seems an insurmountable difficulty. I remain open to suggestions and offers.