As you can see, I couldn't stay away from these things; they're just too much fun! But the break was good; I came back refreshed and ready to explore...
I think the reason these are so challenging for me (and I may have said this before) is that as I'm creating, I'm constantly asking myself "What do you want?" And that kind of self-focus is, even after all these years, uncomfortable. Growing up as an only child in the 50's, what I might want was pretty much irrelevant; it was all about what was right, or what should happen, or what my mother wanted.
And of course, photography doesn't force much of that sort of engagement: if I'm doing any photoshopping afterwards, it tends to be more about what did I see that the camera didn't quite capture perfectly. It's more about what is than about what could be.
So I find myself almost looking over my shoulder as I walk through these creations, asking "Is this okay?" as if there is some right or wrong way to do this. But creativity at this level isn't about right or wrong, it's about expression; it's only wrong if it doesn't feel like it's speaking ME.
So I keep playing, going with what pleases me, and then I step back to find this incredibly lush image -- which is bizarre. Because that doesn't feel like me right now. I was just saying, earlier this week, that I feel sometimes, these days, as if I'm full of dust and dead leaves -- virtually the opposite of this image. But the fact that I can create this means this lush richness is in there, too: I don't just crave the colors and juiciness of spring and summer during these relentless gray days: I can actually create it.
Which I find incredibly heartening -- and a sweet reminder that we already have everything we need; that everything we long for already exists; we only need to tap into it. You may find this a stretch, but somehow what this tells me is that the Divine Source is always with us; it never dries up or dies -- we just have to trust it's there.
And now that I look at this, I see those two peonies in the middle have almost formed a mask; it's as if that richness at the center of being is looking back at me. There's a piece of me that wants to make that mask look a bit friendlier, a bit less critical, but -- well -- that's what was there. So I think I'll just let it be for now; just sit back and enjoy all these delicious colors -- just drink it up, like those ever-present cans of Nehi Grape Drink from my childhood. Yum!