I’d love to tell you what’s happening today but I don’t know as my head, heart and memories are floating around in 1995. The flat clearing continues, and with it comes boxes of photos and journals and the ephemera of my life. You know how it is, when you start going through a box of memories – you’re transported straight back there, feeling the heartache and hopes again as if it was yesterday. 1995 was the year I finished my photography diploma after three years of intense self-scrutiny and artistic flights of fancy. That was also the year I moved to London, leaving this town for the first time. Another completed circle.
I read musings in my old journals of how one day I’ll look back at the photographs and be in a different place, how they’ll tell the story of my life then – and here I am at the One Day, wanting to reach out a hand of friendship to the girl in the pictures. I struggled so hard with who I was; I couldn’t have known what it would take to find the real me, so many years later. And so I shot hundreds of rolls of film, shedding my clothes* to find myself, thinking the truth lay on my bare skin rather than inside. I see a 22-year-old showing her vulnerability; my self-portraits would look very different now.
So as I examine the past one photo at a time, I burn through the emotions that come up and am reminded that this is the way to see life – one photo at a time. When looking through the viewfinder to compose a shot, you only see what is in that little box. Your peripheral vision is disabled; your focus is refined. This feels like living in the moment – don’t worry about the past or the future, look at what is in front of you, right now. Life is a symphony of moments strung together like a paper chain.
* my workshops don’t require nudity, just in case anyone was wondering! :-)