Blimey Izzie - I got a bit carried away writing to you. (Let me apologise in advance if this is inappropriate, but something tells me i should post it)
I know things are pretty tough for you right now and i don't have any way of offering you support, other than to share a personal observation with you. (If i can find the words - and judging by the way my writing has been going lately, i wouldn't bank on it. )
I accept that i don't really have the right to advise anyone, but on the other hand, saying nothing feels wrong, so I'm going to risk it.
It's about creativity. (And really, NOT advice, but my own pondering - something i've been looking at for a while now).
(And I'm only going to share this with you, because i know you understand my odd ways of seeing things - it's what helps you be a photographer, right?)
Well, to start with, I have spent many hours recently, typing, deleting, cursing, but I am stuck like a tree in mud with regards my political thread. I have so much i feel should be said - but I don't have the brain, or the skill to verbalise it in such a way as to be acceptable. (Nor the heart to try).
Remember when we briefly spoke of losing faith?
Most of what i decide is instinctive. What i feel about right and wrong, for example - most of it is instinctive. And that's not good enough when it comes to politics, apparently.
So I'm stuck, bogged down with too much information and not enough brain-power/skill/wit to engage with it.
I think that when anyone feels very strongly about something they can't change, and all the many aspects of the problem lie in layers stacked up inside them, it can leave them completely, utterly choked with frustration, hopelessness and anger (at themselves, for not finding the solution and seeing it through.)
But i think that when you've run out of ideas - that is the time to stop searching for the answer.
I believe it was a Chinese fellow who first said, 'when you don't know what to do, do nothing.'
Maybe, when you can't get to the mountain, you have to wait for the summer. Sometimes, trying to change a situation is like trying to change the laws of gravity. A person can soldier on, but personally, i just keep falling off the side of the mountain over and over again, because I'm too suborn to accept that climbing to the top and hoisting the flag isn't my responsibility - or even a possibility. (Yet).
I don't know the ins and outs of your situation, Izzie and if i'm honest, i don't feel it's my business, but I do care and so i need to say - I believe that sometimes it pays to walk away from an unmoveable object and focus on something else entirely. Something inside your own personal world, even for a short time.
For me, it has been writing a short story about a horse. I'm serious.
Thinking about the collection of photographs you have, photography has always seemed to me to be about detail. Which makes me think of 'meditation.'
I've learned something about British soldiers during WWI, who used creativity (in the trenches) as a way of coping with their surroundings. And it really helped. (maybe you already know all this, but in case you don't) They made postcards, toys, knitted garments, jewellery, they painted, wrote poetry, made sculptures and so on.
They focused in on the small details (a kind of meditation) and were able to function more calmly as a result, during the difficult times. As well as the practical, mental health (and monetary) benefits - spiritually, by expressing their creativity, they were able to push back a bit of the exhaustion of their surroundings.
You know, the last photograph you posted here struck me right away. (For me) it seemed to sum up both the beauty and cruelty of winter
I know that when life feels cruel, people often tell me to look at the beauty in it. and I think, 'Hey, wait - i feel the beauty, as painfully as i feel the cruelty'
The two things are almost the same, aren't they? If i stand looking out at a beautiful landscape, I do sometimes feel pain. I don't know why exactly - I have my ideas about that, but they're not for now.
I just want to explain, I'm not saying the 'beauty' of nature can miraculously help a person feel better about an agonising situation ( i leave that for others to say)- The soldiers in WWI proved that you don't need beautiful surroundings to be inspired - I'm talking about expression, using nature (photography) or anything else, as a representation. (sorry, if that isn't clear).
Your photography expresses (to me) much more than you probably realise.
It's important work and not only that -its a way of documenting how you feel (If you look at it that way).
Maybe one day you might show these photographs to someone you can not express your feelings to right now (for whatever reason) and say, ' hey look - this is what i was feeling then.'
That's all I'm going to say -just passing on what i've discovered myself, through writing.
Even if the thought of turning your mind onto something artistic/creative seems absurd right now -- I just want you to know, it's a huge part of what you're about - your creativity. I mean- at the end of the day. You wouldn't do it, otherwise. That's what i believe, anyway. That individually, we are drawn to channel our feelings into creative ways of expressing our (verbally) inexpressible
pain, and our frustration at being 'powerless' in so many ways. And by 'we' I mean the human race.
That's the thing to really remember, Izzie - You are not alone
I hope i haven't offended you by saying too much, here. I just want to offer help in any way i can
PS - have you seen the moon, Izzie? I watched it for a long time last night. Wow