“What do you really want to do?” She asked me.
I stared at my fingers, fiddling with the rings on them because when I would look up into her face she was watching me with such expectation that I felt like I’d just been called on to answer a question that I was supposed to know automatically and I was embarrassed to admit I had no idea.
“I don’t really know, I suppose.”
“Well, what do you love to do?”
“Read. Write. I use to take photographs but I don’t do that anymore. The last time I felt a passion it was photography but it’s gone now.”
“Why do you think that is?” Her pen poised over a notepad, occasionally scribbling down something I would say or making a note.
“It went away, I guess. The light….I can’t find it here. I was shooting families and I was…it was like a cookie cutter. I would say the same thing. And they would laugh because it was the first time they would hear it but it was all the same. Even if the people or location was different. It was the same.”
I tried to explain my favourite shoots. The ones where you would wake in the middle of the night and the image would already form in your head. Where you knew that everything else that day would disappear, the clothes would go unwashed, the dishes wouldn’t be done, we would eat something you could just throw together because until that shot was taken and out of me, I was obsessed with it. I showed her some images to explain.
“Maybe you should just start shooting again, see if you can’t find that passion again.”
And she tells me I was good. And I have no response to that because I can see all the flaws in each image, I can count dozens of people I know that are better off the top of my head. And even if how good you were didn’t matter, and it doesn’t if you are just shooting for yourself, it was art. It was art and I was never the creator of it really. I was the vessel. And I can’t explain to her that I could shoot all day and maybe never hit the mark. That each image came into being because I NEEDED to make it. That it was already created before I ever took the camera from its bag. My muse, whatever it was, is silent. I don’t know how to force it, it always just came.
“Why don’t you try? See how you go.”
But I already know, I won’t. If it comes back to me at all, it will be because it returned on it’s own. Not because I went looking. It’s not the ocean. It’s the rain.