Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Spotlight #12


I am in the second week of my photography course.  This week asked me to focus on light - in my pictures and in my life.  What does light mean to me?  My photos also were to focus around one object that means something to me.  A few weeks ago, an old friend was able to get me a ticket to Disney World and we went for the day.  While we were in EPCOT, we came across a collection of various colored owl figurines in Japan - much like those Lucky Cat figurines, where each color represents luck in a different aspect of life.  Red symbolized good fortune in heath and children.  Obviously, I needed that one.  So, my pictures this week contain that figurine in different lighting scenarios.  

      Flat Light  / Natural Light

There are days when my life seems gray and flat.  Where there aren't true shadows, but there isn't really any true color either.  I feel a blanket of dullness wrapped around me.  Not sharp, jagged pain or profuse bleeding of my soul - but a steady sense of sadness.   Heavy.  Unyielding.  All encompassing.  I search for joy in these days and I come up empty handed.  These are the days where I am the least productive.  These are the days where I can't write or paint or create at all.     

These are the days when I feel truly stuck in my grief.  Bogged down by a feeling of nothingness, these are the days when my stare is empty and my mind is blank.  These are the days when I am truly just a shell.  Human on the outside, hollow on the inside.  Sometimes, I feel like these are the worst days.  Even when I am in my greatest anguish, at least I am feeling something.   These flat days of gray are the most frightening to me.  Where I haven't only lost my daughter, but also myself.  


  I often feel pigeon-holed in my grief process.  I feel like some people think I should be in one place, when I am in another.  I feel trapped inside a cage I made myself.  That's what happens when you are so vocal with your journey - people start paying close attention to your steps - and often wonder why you are taking them.  The light in this picture is harsh and glaring.  Scrutinizing.  Part of the anxiety I am beginning to feel about going back to work is a result of feeling watched.  

There is a spotlight on me now:  Mother of  Loss.  I lost my baby.  I am grieving.  How am I dealing with it?  Can I do a good job handling my grief and teaching my class at the same time?   I dread the sad eyes of well-meaning people.  I dread having to say "I'm ok" when I'm really not.  Or "No, seriously, I'm ok", when I actually am.   I hate feeling like I have to explain myself all the time.  I wish I could just magically beam how I am directly into the brains of other people.  That would solve so many problems.                                                                                                      


When I took this picture, this entire branch was in direct sunlight.  The shadow is my arm and hand blocking the sun.  This picture is one of protection.   I am very protective of Kenely's memory.  I want to shield her from harsh words or misconceptions.  But, at the same time, I want to share her with the world.  That is a really hard balance to achieve.    I hear other mothers of loss talk about being reluctant to share pictures of their babies - to talk about their babies - and I totally get that.  
The world does not understand that babies die.  Our grief is often swept under the rug.  People get shifty when we talk about our children, or when we are visibly upset about our loss.  So, sometimes, we hold back.  We shield ourselves and our babies by staying silent because seeing someone cringe at our grief breaks our heart almost as much as the loss itself.  I try to be as honest as I can in this blog, but I will admit, you don't read everything.  There are some things I don't share because I just can't.  It's too much for me to process - and I fear if I write it down, it won't be taken the way I intend it to be.  So, I protect her and I protect myself from the harsh glare of a world that doesn't understand.


                                                                             Low Light

In this picture, the owl can barely be seen.  She is surrounded by blur and dark.  Even though there are patches of light near her, she is not in them. She is lost.  She sees the light, but isn't sure how to step into it.  And when she does, it is still too dim.  She still can't really see in the darkness.  
This picture is the best representation of where I am right now.  I am trying so hard to work through this tangled mess that my life has become.  With all honesty, I can say that I have never worked so hard at anything in my entire life.  This is the most difficult thing I have ever done, and I imagine it will be the most difficult thing I will ever do. 
It's hard to search for light when your life is so dark.   It's hard to accept that finding light and joy will not negate your feelings of loss.   I think so many people stay in the darkness because they feel that being happy again is betraying their child's memory.  How dare I be happy again?  How dare I try to find hope and joy and light?   The only way to show my love is to commit to suffer.   It's a huge hurdle to overcome, but I am trying my best.  I want to step into that light, while still remembering the dark.  I am working on honoring her memory through things that bring me joy.  I am trying to hold on to that joy for as long as I can.  For now, light is short lived.  I am in the dark a lot.  But, every day, I try again.  Every day, I reach for the light.   One day, I will hold on to it.  One day, it won't slip through my fingers.  

In my life, light means many things.  It is a spotlight for scrutiny, but it is also a feeling of hope and joy.  Like everything in life, it has more than one aspect.  Right now, my journey is walking that tightrope between light and shadow, publicity and privacy, hope and despair.  Like always, I do my best with what I have.  Day in.  Day out.  All day long.  

No comments:

Post a Comment