In Black and White

My niece challenged me to participate in the seven day, black and white photo challenge on Facebook. We were to post a b and w photo each day without explanations, and without people in the images. The hardest part, for me, was to challenge someone else each day. I have too many online friends, family, former students etc. But, I did manage it and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

I have spent the last three months preparing for an Arts/Craft Fair. Inundating myself with colored kaleidoscope images I’ve created over the past few years. I also created a small, take along coloring book, and a series of Templates for others to color. It turned into a sort of cataloguing experience because I hadn’t really kept track of all the stuff while I was busily entertaining myself by simply playing with them. The Fair was a flop due to mismanagement and other unforeseen factors. And yes, that took the wind out of my sails.

But, the black and white challenge helped me turn the corner and find me again.  You see, I stopped writing during that time period of preparation. And afterward, was finding a blankness every time  I even considered the possibility of doing so. I had ideas, but couldn’t find the thread that would allow me to continue. It wasn’t so much a writing block, as it was more a writing cramp, taking place deep inside of me. I did do some writing, had to, because I’m teaching an online class. But, it was difficult and I felt no real satisfaction in the doing of it. And that has never happened before.

Writing is a door I walked through many years ago. Didn’t know, at the time, that it would become the cornerstone of my existence. That it would be, and become, my truest definition. It fueled all my other creative endeavors.  Especially those that had been dormant for so many years: the sketching (doodling, digital painting, and the love of color). And yet, here I was, almost daily, turning away from this cornerstone, distracting myself with binges of watching old TV series. The very thought of writing brought on that psychological cramp, and I’d come to in the early morning hours, knowing I’d just wasted another day.

I tried to color, even bought myself a new set of pens, different from those I’ve been using for years. Realized I didn’t really understand how to use them, but instead of setting myself the task of learning how to do so, dove right back into the old TV series. But then, came the photo challenge. Black and white, no people, no explanations, but had to be about my life experience.

I have a lot of photos, most of them in color. No problem changing them to black and white, done with one click. These are the first six photos I posted, and what they have come to mean to me personally:

Lightning Strike

Pelicans symbolize buoyancy

 

Nesting

water symbolizes life = ever moving, evolving

individuality – personal power

fawn – deer symbolize the need to be gentle with self

Had no idea I was giving myself such a clear and well defined message. Was far more interested in what I saw in the images without the distraction of all that color. The details began to jump out at me. But now, I had to put up the seventh and final image. It was a toss-up between two images. The first, being a photo of a portion of my library. All my books on writing and things I had published or been a part of publishing, my reference materials, and things I’d used while teaching writing. I hesitated to use that photo, because when my niece had done the challenge, she’d used a photo of her book shelves, and I didn’t want to look like I was out of ideas and copying her.

I got out my camera and started taking pictures of my office. That’s when it hit me. Everyone knows how much I am into dragons. That I see them as teachers, a higher life form, come to help us be better human beings, and especially to help us grow out of old coping mechanisms created when we were children. This was my final b & w photo.

He was a gift from one of my students and takes a prominent center place on the upper tiers of my huge desk. He’s actually a large sculpted candle (never to be burned), deep purple with bright red sparkling eyes. Purple is the color of personal power and red is the color of Creative Fire. His name is Neosaphalus and I do believe we are back in business.

Elizabeth Crawford  10/24/2017

Save

Save

Save

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in In Black and White and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to In Black and White

  1. Lovely to see a post from you, Elizabeth. I am sorry about the fair, I am sure it was most disappointing for you and I know you put effort into it as you showcased some of your preparation work. I am glad you seem to have re-found your zest for writing.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you, robbie…it was a blow to the ego and I withdrew into my own smaller space, a thing I learned how to do when very young. Insulation, but at a high price. When I sat down and realized that a part of me was desperately trying to speak to me about all of it, it made so much sense, that I started laughing out loud. We do have a tendency to play some rather foolish games, at times. I too, am grateful I didn’t stay there too long,

      Elizabeth

      Like

  2. Sherry Marr says:

    What a delight this post is, my friend……..I do believe you are back in business! I hope it happens to me. I suspect maybe the Wish Genie gave me my dream of living in Tofino and perhaps extracted my creativity as the price, LOL. As long as the sun shines, – and it is STILL shining at the end of October! – I keep running away to the beach and abandoning my desk. I am hoping rain will water my ideas………….I so love your dragon and especially love that he is purple. Wow.

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Oh, my dear friend, how foolish we can be, yes? There is no price attached to your dream, other than to enjoy it, which you are certainly doing and have a right to bask in it. As a writing instructor, I would give you an assignment. Before you run off to the beach and the sunlight, you must write out one statement about how you feel about being able to do so. And, on your return, another about what you saw, smelled, tasted, or felt while doing so. And you are right about Neosaphalus, his name means “newly arrived.” Now, close your eyes, picture him, then listen to what he says. I’ll be expecting a written report after you do so, lol…

      Elizabeth

      Like

  3. catterel says:

    So pleased for you that you are feeling so much more positive again, Elizabeth – Invicta!

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you, Catterel. For me, writing has been the means by which I make my way through life. Without it, I am rudderless and simply adrift. The state of the present world hasn’t helped, but I’m pleased that I haven’t permanently sidelined myself.

      Elizabeth

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So good to see you here again, Elizabeth. Sorry the fair was a disappointment, but your work never is. In fact, I have a friend who is starting to create designs and digitally manipulate them into stunning art pieces. I have told her about you to encourage her. Welcome back!

    Like

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you, Sarah. It was disappointing for all of us. I’d be interested in seeing what your friend is doing and perhaps sharing some ideas, if she is willing. And she is more than welcome to take a look at mine. I am really glad to be back,

      Elizabeth

      Like

  5. Rosemary Nissen-Wade says:

    Love your dragon!

    Like

  6. C.J. Black says:

    Delighted to have discovered you on my travels, what an inspiration, look forward to some more browsing later.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 1sojournal says:

    C.J.,
    I have been a member of the online poetry circuit for many years. My poetry may be found here:

    http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com

    I will warn you, however, there is a lot of it there, and at the moment I’m engaged in doing something a bit different. Not unusual for me, I am both a hermit and a rebel,

    Elizabeth

    Like

Comments are closed.