The ground sits solid and firm beneath my feet. The sky stretches limitless before me. The birds sing to me their morning song. As I reach towards it, the sun meets and greets and starts my day. My dog lies quietly at my feet..the rhythm of my steady breath softly soothing.
My space. My practice. Whether it be on my mat..or behind my camera’s lens – it’s something I do every day. It’s what grounds and inspires. It’s what takes me out of my thinking mind..and into the quiet of my body.
After a weekend of ‘showing’ my ‘work’ and being on exhibition – I find comfort in the familiarity of my solitary routines. It’s over. I can return and retreat to my internal life…where there is nothing and no one to please or impress…no great stories I need to tell….no people wanting entertaining. Altho I enjoy the company of others..I revel in my time alone.
Sitting here at my computer - I am surrounded by the show’s remains. Photographs – carefully printed and mounted. Notecards – most of which were sold. A sign-in/guest book where visitors wherein visitors were invited to write and comment in. By all counts and measures – my participation in this year’s Open Studios was a huge success. And yet – I’m left worn out and depleted. Practice is one thing. Performance is something else.
For some – an event such as this is invigorating..stimulating..energizing. For me – a someone who prefers to remain hidden behind my camera’s lens – I find ‘coming out’ and ‘being seen’ overwhelming and exhausting. I’m not a one who thrives on being that leading lady. I’m much more at ease in that supporting role…the one who sits behind the camera….the one who gets to show up without having to stand up and take that final bow. My camera excuses me from all of the necessary and obligatory social graces. It legitimizes and gives reason to my disappearing. It allows me to observe from a distance..to witness and record…to be entirely present without having to say a single word. Putting myself out in those bright lights can be more than a little daunting. In fact – it can be downright intimidating and often scary.
I did do it…which is something. I managed to show up at my own party..as challenging as it was. Every once in awhile I have to push myself above and beyond my comfort zone..and out of my oh-so-comfortable chair. Each time I put my pictures on parade and exhibition it gets a little easier. Every time I put myself out there like this the internal self-doubt and questioning lessens itself and quiets down.
I’m sure I’ll do it again. Like so many of the other things I do in life – each time is easier than the last. The lessons I learn on my mat..I apply to my life. To find that sacred space and hold it- sometimes in a new and somewhat uncomfortable position or pose. I’ve taught myself to breathe thru it. Slow. Steady. Even. My mind is not my body. It’s not ‘me’ that’s up for ‘view’ and ‘critique’ ..but my ‘work’. They are one and the same…and yet - they can be totally and completely separate.
Day after day – I roll out my mat..reach for my camera and its trusty lens. In those single solitary moments – I feel what I feel..I see what I see. It is within that quiet and silent space that I find myself. Free to be.