“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” –e.e. Cummings
Each week we share a piece of us on our photographic journey. We have titled this series, “Courage to Grow”. We hope that our own soul searching will inspire similar introspection in our readers and that together we can make our best art and live our best lives.
It was a chilly Sunday afternoon, and my children asked me to watch a movie with them. I asked what movie they were going to watch, in the hope of buying some time. Now don't get me wrong, I love watching movies with my girls. I just had plans to cross off some of the items on my long to-do list. They replied " Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium". I sighed inwardly. It is not a favourite. However, something in the look of their faces told me to sit and I did. We cuddled up under the blanket, and we started the movie.
My foot tapped as I anxiously thought of the things I could do while I watched the movie.
For the first part of the movie, my mind was thinking of the things I could do while I watched the movie. I could fold the laundry. I could write this blog post. I could edit photos. My foot tapped as I anxiously thought of the things I could do while I watched the movie. My girls cuddled in closer, and I guessed they wanted me to be still. I could hardly move. As I relaxed, I started to enjoy the movie. The story line is beautiful. I started to focus on the details, and realized I was being a lot like "Mutant". All about work, and less about fun. So I let go completely. I pushed aside the to-do list, and watched with a full heart.
As the story weaved it's magic on me, I cried. Tears rolled down my check as Molly and Mr Magorium celebrated his last day. They fill their day with fun, and crazy moments to remember. They visit a clock shop, and set all of the clock alarms to chime at the same time, and then this:
Mr. Edward Magorium: 37 seconds.
Molly Mahoney: Great. Well done. Now we wait.
Mr. Edward Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.
"37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.". In that moment, I knew I wasn't using my 37 seconds well. I was waiting. I was filling my time with to do lists, and things that need to get done. I am not creating. I am not breathing. I am not regenerating. I am busy.
I can't expect my creativity to bloom if I am constantly depleting my energy.
Since then, I have been trying to slow down. The to-do list is still calling my name but I make sure there are fun and crazy moments as well as must-dos. I know that my creativity flourishes when I invest time in what matters to me. Whether it is a walk on the beach, a historical romance novel, a coffee date with my husband. Baking in the kitchen with my girls, visiting antique markets, or a bush walk in the mountains. They recharge my soul. I can't expect my creativity to bloom if I am constantly depleting my energy. If I am constantly focusing on the work, on the blog, on the edits, then I will face a creative rut.
We as artists, as photographers, and as hobbyists need to slow down. We need to pause, and enjoy. Our sparkle will shine when we make time for what matters to us. We need to stop doing two or threes things as once, and be in the moment. We need to invest in ourselves as much as we do in our equipment. A new camera or a new lens can be a great kick start to our creativity, but we can't buy a new camera every month. A workshop can leave us bursting with ideas. But a regular investment, like a beautiful movie on a chilly Sunday afternoon, will ensure we regenerate our creative soul. These small yet continous acts will leave us overflowing with inspiration, and wonder.
This weekend, we needed to rake up the rest of the autumn leaves. We did it and played at the same time. Little by little, we will have a lifetime of "37 seconds well used".
Cindy Cavanagh of image421 photography lives in Sydney. She is a Lifestyle photographer of real moments who chases light and bursts of colour. She is a storyteller, an artist and a photographer. Cindy is an adventurous person who takes her camera with her everywhere. She enjoys baking, a good coffee, and escaping with a good historical fiction novel.