aka working through pandemic angst, one wildflower at a time
A couple years back, my nutritionist and I identified stress as a trigger for unwise snacking. This is also officially known as “eating my feelings,” if you’re in need of a wittier turn of phrase.
Back then, in the before days, stress meant simple things like too much to do in a day, politics, and the occasional actual emergency like finding a woman passed out near the elevator of my building. No joke, after that incident, the first thing I did was walk to the plastic tub of Christmas cookies and inhale several of them.
It may seem simple and (cough) obvious, but putting a name to it helped me identify it, and find other stress-relief techniques that don’t involve pastries or giant burritos.
These days, I’m facing a different pandemic-induced demon; I haven’t really given it a name yet. My nutritionist and I have talked about it as boredom, but I think it’s more nuanced than that…I think it’s inertia. It’s a sense of stopped motion - literally as I’ve been injured and unable to really run or hike - and figuratively as I wait for the pandemic to end. It’s a feeling of sameness, of a routine that never changes. It’s the need to DO something in the face of a never-ending vista of laundry and dishes and not much else. Which is all rather melodramatic, I know, but we’re talking feelings here, not rationality.
I write all this to mark a moment when, prompted by my nutritionist, I’m making a concerted effort to counter this feeling by “getting back to my camera,” as she says. It (the camera) has gone dormant lately, unless I’m on a big trip. After all, how many of the same beach sunset photos can I take before it gets monotonous? (And yes, I realize how spoiled that sounds. Sorry.)
So, like a good girl, the other night I took the Canon out on a walk with Sadie… just to see what I could see. I grabbed my zoom lens, which I rarely shoot with, and I will admit that I had some fun. Nothing spectacular came of it, but I enjoyed myself and found myself looking for the pretty moments among the scenes I’ve seen dozens of times before. I liked this one for its vibrancy and stripy-ness, if that’s a word.
But then, as I was downloading the few photos I took, I came across a bunch of pictures I’d taken on a recent trip. I’d totally forgotten about them. This is very strange, as I’m usually slightly - ok, very - obsessed with my trip photos. I think it speaks to just how off I’ve been the last few months.
But seeing those pictures was a breath of fresh air. They were sharp and pretty and nicely composed. Nothing that will win me any awards, but still lovely. They made me feel like maybe I haven’t lost all of my creativity in the pandemic mire. Again with the melodrama, but…you hopefully get it.
So here are a few of my favorites, with a few words to bring them into context. Enjoy - and here’s to some forward motion in the months ahead.
Be well and keep going, y’all!