~ The Photo Poetry Book – a year of 366 days of PhotoPoetry ~ Day 362 – Already Written
„Make up your mind!”, I was always hearing. „You have to choose, it’s either photography, either poetry! It can’t be both!”
This is my life’s story! Most of the times, I know what I want, and I make a decision without a doubt, not always thinking about the consequences. But there are times that I could never choose.
For too long I have been paralyzed, not creating, because I don’t want to give up one, because of the other. Sometimes, your choice has to be not to choose! So, I decided to choose both, and forge my own way.
I am the good and the bad, I am the love and the hate, I am the faith and the desperation, I am the contradiction that stands between photography and poetry. I am the thought in-between.
I am me. And I am creating photopoetry.
In 2016 I started a 366 challenge, to create one photopoetry a day. I didn’t have any expectations, I just wanted to create. It was a way of healing, after a long time of suffering and trying to understand my life and my soul, trying to find a meaning and understand the burst of emotions that were conquering my life.
It was in the year 1999 when I was 17 years old and I had to make that big life decision:
„What are you going to do with your life? Make your choice wisely, because whatever you will choose now, you will make the rest of your life!”
To make me a living. Between economics and computers, of course. Photography was out of the question.
„You want to become a starving artist?”
„You cannot make money off photography. Or art.”
„Photography is a hobby, not a job!”
The writing was not even on the list.
I can’t choose. I won’t choose. I will do everything. That response made everyone laugh!
„You are a contradiction! You cannot love and do photography and poetry at the same. You have to decide and choose one. It’s either economics, either computer. You have to make that decision on your own. Nobody can influence you in making that decision.”
In 2000 I finished my first poetry book manuscript and in 2002 I had my first personal photography exhibition. I had exposed 80 fine art photographs, each having attached a handwritten poem. I saw the book in my hands, in the back of my mind, it was a beautiful fine art photopoetry book, in the left page was one short poem, and in the right was a photograph, describing the mood of the poetry. After that, I knew what I have to do. I tried to publish it for years, with no success. I tried for years to become a writer and for even more years to become a photographer. Slowly, all the obstacles that came my way, were reflected as my failures and made me ashamed, of what I am and what I do. So, I gave up, and I have hidden this part of me. This is what the society names “growing up and becoming responsible”.
In the year 2015, I lost my Grandfather, who was my dearest person of my soul, which put my whole existence in question, and I start wondering about the meaning of life.
In 2012 when he lost his sights I promised him I will write his “Life’s Memoir”, but he didn’t get to see the book. A more important thing that he wanted in his life was to see his great-grandchildren. To see me as a mother. These were a 92 years old soul regrets for his well-lived life. I failed him with both. When he died my whole world fell apart. For me, after that came a time of trying to deal with my loss, grieving and questioning my life, the meaning and the purpose of life itself.
I had a great plan for my life. I knew what I wanted. I have made my choice a long time ago that I am responsible, and have become an engineer and worked as an economist, and left my dreams of creating art far behind because I knew it was more important for me to have stability, a family, a home, a husband, and kids. But now, I realized I had an empty house, with no kids and a failed marriage, after 16 years. I was in a deep depression and a strong will to deny everything. When I start accepting my life, I had no idea how to overcome this feeling of loneliness and loss and this state of depression. Seeing all these disappointments in my life, feeling like I lost my life, I didn’t know how to live anymore. Why live. I couldn’t make sense of my emotions anymore, or my life. I knew I was falling fast, deeper and deeper, into a depression state of mind. Life, as I know it was gone. Myself, as I knew me, was gone. Everything fell apart and I was heartbroken. I was just trying to stop the pain for a little bit. And I didn’t know how to pray for a miracle in my life.
My friend hands me these painkillers, and I refuse because I don’t use drugs, I don’t need them. She insists. Many times.
„How else are you going to get throw these times, then? Take them and keep them near, you will need them, it is the only way you can get throw this.”
I left without taking them.
The year was gone in a hurry, leaving me in deep sorrow and grief, nudging me to learn how to pray for the time to go faster. Got divorced, lost my job, lost my friends, lost myself, and I have lost my dreams. By the end of December 2015, I was still trapped in my pass struggling to survive, searching for answers, trying to find myself and my purpose in my world, and a meaning for my life. As a New Year Resolution, I accepted my boyfriend’s challenge to make a 366 days photopoetry project, only to prove him how easy it is, but we both knew, in our minds, how hard it will be not to give up and not to make it another stone for my heart.
Later on, I understood that this was a way of accepting myself, as a contradiction as I am, as emotional as I am, as fragile and vulnerable as I am. This was a way of finding out who I am and putting all the pieces together. This was a journey of healing and understanding.
It is always hard to express yourself when you fear you are the only one feeling like this and nobody will understand you.
During the project, in order for me to create, I had to redraw completely from the world. I had to ignore all the negative voices.
I have made my choice. I choose myself. I choose my dreams. I choose photopoetry.
We are always struggling. We will always find more reasons to give up which hold us to our true path.
My heart started to heal when I ignore every thought around me, about myself, and search for my truth, and start creating for my heart, my true purpose. I’ve created myself again. I have built my life again. I am creating photopoetry. I am choosing love. And life.
Only coming close near death makes us wonder about life.
In the illusion of life, as we think of ourselves immortals, because it is too painful to acknowledge our own passing, and our nothingness becomes an unbearable abyss. We are always standing between good and bad, life and death. We are just passing throw.