I have a visual image of my artistic journey. It is like a pathway that I wander on through the bush or in the woods. It is a pathway that twists and turns around the big gum trees. It is a pathway where the dapple light shines through the leaves. I hear a gentle breeze rustle through the leaves and listen to the birds sing. I run my had over the bush ferns and long grass as I wander along.
I never feel like I struggle on my pathway. I don't feel like I am climbing a mountain. But the pathway does have majestic views that I sometimes pause to enjoy. It is usually while I am paused that I notice the journey of other Artists. I notice they appear to be walking or running rather than wandering. I notice how their pathway is more like a highway. They are whizzing by and I have these feelings that I need to keep up. My wanderings lose their sparkle. I feel like a black thunder cloud rolls in and I am lost rather than wandering.
Usually when I feel like this, I will grab my camera to create. Something. Anything. Just to keep up. But recently, I just paused. I waited for my creativity to spark. This is a maturity that I have never experienced before. To wait patiently for my creativity rather than force it. I knew it was still there. I had the confidence to sit in the quiet. I didn't use my camera for three weeks. Then one afternoon, I purchased a bunch of fresh basil to use for dinner in our pasta. It awoke all of my senses. I visualised an image of the basil wrapped in brown paper. I smiled and found my camera. I knew my creativity had returned.
I was inspired to create again. That afternoon my daughter and I sat in the front yard. The sun was shining through the trees like a slither of light. We sat in this light and I asked her to play a game called "I am proud of you because...". We sat in front of each other with our knees touching and said out loud why were proud of each other. We played with pride like a tennis ball in a tennis match, serving our feelings back and forth. In that moment she said, "I am proud of you because you are good photographer and because you are a caring one. You take photos of mums who have been sad and give them photos to keep. Mum, you are a kind person".
Right then, I knew I wasn't lost. I knew I didn't need a highway to keep up. I knew my pathway was where I wanted to be and that my pathway will always look different. It is as unique as I am. I knew it was time to start wandering again and stop watching other Artists. The spark had returned and I began to wander along my pathway again.
My name is Cindy Cavanagh, and I live in Sydney, Australia. I am a Lifestyle photographer of home and heart. I love to create and always have. I'm Co-Editor of the Long Way Home Magazine, contributor to Journey to Artist and 30minutes in the life. I am a wife and Mum to 5 gorgeous and crazy children. Ironically, I love the quiet.