Every winter it comes, ushered in by colder weather and fewer daylight hours, the waning of all creative inspiration.
At first it scared me. I was sure it was gone, never to return. But then—just as I entered the acceptance phase of my mourning period—with the spring light, it returned. Year after year the pattern repeated, until eventually I began to recognize it as a natural part of the creative cycle. A dormancy as necessary as sleep.
Instead of fear, I came to welcome the time for rest. Some years I use the time to address all manner of business that falls by the wayside during the other months—organizing and tidying. Other years, I embrace the stillness and sit quietly inside.
Recently though, I’ve taken pains to expand, and challenged myself to use the time to learn something new. A longstanding love of macro photography and a complete and utter lack of understanding of how to actually shoot macro—this year, I took a workshop. It just felt practical to be taking such a close look at things, and it had me enjoying tiny details in a way I hadn’t even realized that I had stopped doing.
A few of the things I learned:
to achieve the images I envisioned, I had to keep myself much more still than I’m accustomed to (a lesson in and of itself);
I had to stay out of my own way (another metaphor, maybe?) to not block the good light;
buying flowers for yourself in the winter is a legitimate form of self care;
the subjects that drew me in, turned out to be the ones with the most imperfections.
I repeatedly found myself turning my lens toward older and faded flowers which might be otherwise have been considered spent and finished.
The lesson that will most stay with me though, is that even after all this time, I love this.
I love this, and I still have endless things to learn, and I love that too.