Tonight, for the first time in a long time, I went to Flickr. What I found there was something I've been forgetting about. This past year has been a ridiculous, incredible, busy ride. So many time I've had to shake my head and tell myself, "I'm getting paid to do this!" Patrick and I have been able to see and do and experience so many things this year for our work that it's been difficult to wrap my mind around what we get to do for a living.
When I was wandering through Flickr tonight, I saw the work of someone who, only 5 years ago, could only imagine the work I'm doing now. The "photographer" I was then would have never dreamed of the life I live now. And I realized that if the girl who came home from work then, playing with photos all evening long, could have seen into the future, into this night and been able to see me where I am today....well, there would have been a lot of disbelief and incredulous swearing.
But on Flickr tonight, I found what, if anything has been missing this
year. In being so focused on doing our job, I've started to think of
photography as a job. I've been headed down this path for a few years,
but when it's 10pm on a Tuesday and you have endless hours of processing
ahead of you, it's easy to work at it like it's a job. Don't get me
wrong, it IS a job and it's a job I love. I can't think of anything that I'd
rather be doing right now. But some of the play has gone out of it. I
think I need to remember to play...
...to shoot in such a way that when I
look at the image on my screen, I swear because it makes me so happy
...to listen to more music when I process those swear-worthy images
...to stay up late into the night with just the light of a lamp and the images on my screen because I can't quite go to bed just yet
...to think about what I'm doing, to spend time really thinking about it and understanding it
...to be the person Patrick fell in love with through the photos I took
...to pick up my camera again when I go about my day, not just for the hours I'm paid to
...to photograph my life
Monday, July 23, 2012
It's strange to think that one decision my grandparents made 60 years ago has changed the course of my life. Instead of growing up in Europe, speaking multiple languages on the coast of the North Sea eating droopies and fish, I grew up in landlocked southern Alberta, knowing little of the water, knowing no other language than English, eating homegrown beef. I am a North American. A Canadian. A born and raised daughter of the promised land.
I know my grandparents (shown in the above photo, taken shortly before they immigrated) made a monumental decision to come to Canada in search of a better life for their children and grandchildren. Post war Europe was too raw, too hard, too painful for them to remain and so they found their way across an ocean, across a continent to scratch out a life from the dry prairie.
It's strange to think that in the course of two generations, I find myself thinking about what it means to be a Canadian in a country that I am trying hard to recognize and have faith in. In the course of two generations this country has become something far less like the promised land and much more like a political tyranny.
History repeats itself in disturbing, frightening and painful ways. In ways that make me much less proud to be Canadian and make me worry about the future of this country that my grandparents put so much faith into.
International Aid Failure
Canadian Citizen Privacy Breaches
And even more frightening egotism
More painful international failures
and what may be the most frightening of all,
A complete disregard for the painful lessons learned in the history of our country.
Remember that "No one is told any story but their own" (C.S. Lewis, The Horse & His Boy), so we need to make our own Canadian voices heard and put our own hand to creating a community that future and past generations can be proud of. Maybe you can start here: http://www.59cents.org/