Summer challenged my ability to hope for the future this year. Droughts, floods, wild fires, extreme heat, etc. ramped up my anxiety. And the things I typically do to maintain a sense of wellness did not provide much comfort. Because of the stress, I didn't ask myself deep questions about photography, I didn't write blogs, I didn't post on Instagram, and I didn't pick up my DSLR... not even once!
I also didn't try to talk myself out of feeling the way I did, even though there was a lot of sadness. Instead, I opened myself up to the feelings, I held my battered heart with fierce tenderness, I rested as much as I needed, and I sought out extra support.
In all honesty, photography only brought me joy on one occasion this summer, which I am sharing here as a visual portrayal of my emotions. These images were made with a pocket-sized Lumix DCZS80. I am extremely thankful for the ease and weightlessness of this tiny camera. If my nature photography practice taught me anything this summer, it's that sometimes what I need is a lighter load.
On the topic of rest, the crucial work being done by The Nap Ministry comes to mind. More than napping, their movement is rooted in a "framework of liberation, Afro futurism, somatics, cultural trauma of Jim Crow survivors, community organizing and radical self care." Their work offers a future outside of white supremacy and capitalism. You can find articles, blogs, events, and podcast episodes through their Instagram page.
Reflections for Fall:
What can you do to lighten your load?
How do you use imagery to communicate emotions?
Enjoy the contents of this letter in whichever way best nourishes your life and photo practice and
be on the lookout for your Winter Solstice nature-love letter, which will be delivered to your inbox December 21st, 2021.
Until then, hope you have a beauty-filled Fall!