Sheltered Days

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Earlier this week, many officials in different states around the US have ordered their residents to “shelter in place” for at least the next three weeks. These instructions are meant to place effective barriers between ourselves and the threat of spreading COVID-19. It is basically a protection, an isolation to control the outbreak of the virus. We are asked to stay at home and leave only for essential trips or activities and it is unclear when this mandate will be lifted. And even after the order does lift, we may have to continue to distance ourselves until we feel it is safe to resume our normal lives.

But how are we all responding to the outbreak? How are you? Are you stressed and overwhelmed? I know I definitely am! So much I had a small fever the first few days I had to stay at home and I am now covered in fever sores around my lip as a result of the stress and anxiety I have been feeling. I have also been eating like the world is going to end tomorrow. I have had a knot in my stomach for days and days… The list goes on and on.

Photography has always been one of my de stressers but now I cannot even leave the house to go for a walk with my camera! I know I all I need to do is hold it to feel something is right in my world, yet I don’t have the will right now to pick it up. I am cooped up, sad, irritated, worried, and basically overwhelmed. This, in turn, is leading to less photography. Less photography makes me sadder, more irritated, worried… You know, a vicious cycle.

So I have decided to embark on a little self healing project around the house, as it seems we may be here for a while. I am going to use my photography as a stress management tool but I am going to focus it around what I see in front of my eyes NOW. In my house.

  • I am going to photograph the plants in my house. The plants outside my house. Flowers, trees, pots, orchids in pots – you name it. Whatever is green or blooming, I’m going to shoot it.
  • I will photograph ordinary objects around the house such as my coffee pot, the kitchen window (here’s looking at you @debbie-candeub), my laundry. Anything ordinary that brings me joy when I look at it if I am carrying my camera. Well, maybe not my laundry then…
  • My cats. They are weird, predictable most of the times yet no so, intelligent… But mostly they’re just there, waiting to be photographed. And fed. The latter first, if possible.
  • I will shoot my children (not literally, although this lockdown brings out the worst in everybody!). But not in a posed, “sit here, smile now” kind of way, just doing what they do all the time: being themselves. Or at least I will try – you never know what gems I might get.
  • Lastly, I might try to go back to shooting some self portraits. It’s been so long since I have done any of those. I am older now and SO much heavier than before but I really do not care. I need to find the beauty in myself too if I want to move on with life.

I am tired of feeling overwhelmed by this crisis. I am going to treat myself to free self-therapy, despite the fact that I really do not feel like shooting anything at the moment. Because it is time to heal my soul with something that I know works.

Stay safe and healthy, friends. But, most of all, stay sane.

Maite

14 Comments

  1. Thank your for this healthy measure of perspective. I started the day with a little 3 minute meditation on gratitude, which is, at its heart, exactly what photography is. This simple pictures of your surroundings are those that make feel most deeply. Like you, I am finding the beauty within myself and moving on with life.

  2. Toilet paper!!! Ha! I couldn’t figure out what that was when I was initially looking at this post on my phone 🙂 You’re so inspiring, Maite! LOVE this entire set. Your self-portrait is just stunning! Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll be getting familiar with my digital camera these next few days. <3<3

      • Lots of walks, picking up the camera (including self-portraiture as you’ve mentioned!), continuing with homeschooling (we already did that, so not much has changed for my daughter as far as academics ;)…but especially those first two.

  3. What a great article Maite…… Having all the same feelings and anxiety as you are…… I keep looking at my cameras but sometime i just can’t pick it up. Great pictures too… Stay Safe and Healthy 🙂

  4. So good, Maite..and I can’t tell you how many times photography has saved me. My hope is that these challenging days will help make us even better photographers. Also got that knot in my stomach but it hasn’t kept me from eating..I fear by the time this is over (and it will be over!) I won’t be able to fit through the door.

  5. This is so good Maite! My camera sure has saved me. Even when I think there is no beautiful light or nothing to shoot I pick it up daily and get lost. And just like you, that knot in my gut want to be fed!
    Be safe, keep those beautiful photos coming. xoxox

  6. I love all of them , the first of your beautiful daughter, the one of your middle son looking out the window, coffee (my fav) and the last one of you. That is definitely a beauty! Thanks for sharing I enjoy reading your thoughts and looking at what you captured. Its truly amazing. I hope others take the time to enjoy them as well.

    Most of my posts are quickly past up and unfollowed. I try and share what I cherish too, my intimate love with God. It saddens me how it’s so quickly ignored. So often looked on as pffff! Something that is so innocent, so pure, something that could never hurt or harm. Consequently, it doesn’t saddens me, for me, it saddens me for Him. What frightens me is, God is All Good and all Loving, but majority of people reject Him. Go figure!

    Anyway, thank you for sharing. Keep it up! This time is a true test for all of us.

    Your friend
    Lucille ~,*

    ps. Umm maybe, I’ll post this and see how many ignore. Hahah!

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