My cleaning mission is surprisingly still in progress, very slow one though but progress is progress, I mustn’t complain. Yesterday I realized that my southern terrace flower box needed extra attention apart from just regular watering, so I ended up spending two straight hours there. Growing flowers in this extremely unfriendly place (Serbian summers always reach 95+ temperatures in this July-August period) because it is directly hit by boiling sun at noon was somehow out of question in the previous years of my life, then when things started going bad in my life these last years and when I needed something to cling to in the worst moments, flowers became one of my salvation belts and I wanted them to be present in this spot as well. It took some trial and error phases, but years went on and I realized what I could grow there and how. I just don’t understand why I never even considered the option of taking even a single photo of those nice little blossoms I manage to produce. Looking at them was somehow enough, and on some days just watering would be all I had strength to do in an entire day. So yesterday I took the camera, trying to capture different varieties that live together in one single earth box. Such a small piece of earth on the second floor and there are many photos, one for each day in the coming week! 🙂
I’m really attached to this photo, I can’t really say why – is the balance of colors, the balance and harmony between the flowers and the bug, or it simply hit that right spot somewhere deep inside me, but even when everything else was shut into almost forgotten folders, this photo remained as a reminder of better days, as some sort of my trademark as an amateur photographer. It somehow went out right, without any need for retouching or corrections, at least I perceive it this way.
Lilacs are gone here in Serbia for this year, just like many good thing are gone from my life – tonight I feel the depression sinking in together with those wretched pains that I still can’t get rid of. There is so much I would like to do, say, write down, there are so many things I would like to change for at least a tiny bit better in my life, but I simply can’t, I don’t have enough energy, luck, health… No matter how hard I try, there is always that sense of stagnation and being stuck in one place while the rest of the world spins at its own incredible speed without me.
Let’s hope that the next year will be a better one. May it bring more lilacs into my and your days!
Some beautiful photos of my fellow blogger Judy – http://www.crookedtracks.com inspired me to search for the folder from a distant spring when things were much better for me than they are today. I don’t have the date when they were taken and in normal circumstances it would be very hard to determine which spring this was, but PD is the infallible ally in this case. It was the spring of 2005 when anxieties almost completely faded away, thanks to Prozac kicking in at the time or something completely different which I’ll never know, but I had no problem to visit my father’s garden. This is the memory of some long forgotten inner peace that I dream to experience at least just one more time in my life.
Another day has passed and I still have no clue as to what is going on with me, I spoke with a doctor but he seems as much puzzled as I am. I started taking an antibiotic for a UTI infection, that’s the only obvious thing for now and as for everything else, I can only state that my legs are killing me for how much they hurt. No numbness at least, and my fingers seem a bit more willing to collaborate, so I decided to share a mini-series of photos I took on 3 days before the illness came along. Snapdragon flowers started blossoming and when that happens, their flowers usually pop out one after another very quickly, but they also wither quickly as well. I’ve known these flowers all my life, in Serbian we call them “zevalice” which can be literally translated as “yawners” :)) – that’s because if you press and release them with your thumb and forefinger sideways, they look as if somebody is opening and closing his or her mouth, something like a huge yawn. 🙂 I don’t think I ever heard or searched for their English name, so when I finally found it today, I was a bit surprised to find out that dragons are associated with these interesting flowers. 🙂 Obviously in English the shape matters more than the movement when it comes to snapdragon flowers, which seems like a nice topic for a general linguistic research.
So here they are:
DAY 2 – there are more flowers…
DAY 3 – they simply exploded… 🙂
It’s needless to say, I’m not doing good these days. And it’s not a rant, it’s a simple fact. I’m somebody who’s battling with high anxiety day in day out, even at the best of times, so it’s really hard to keep going when the worst of times bring out the worst of what anxiety has to offer. It was already hard for me to take out the camera again after I can freely say years of “silence” and start shooting some pictures again, and when I finally got there somehow, once again it lost sense after the tragic events in my country. Taking camera out is hard because it is literally painful. It reminds me of where I used to be in life, why and how all the good things stopped, it makes me think of what I endured and where I could have been now if it weren’t for what happened… also, the camera’s shabby, neglected look infallibly reflects the amount of time that passed since I took it in my hands for the first time. It is run over by time, and in a way so am I, because I don’t really belong right here and right now. So many things changed while I kept sitting in my house and I feel as though I entered the state of coma back in 2007 and continued sleeping, while life naturally moved on without me. Now I’m probably sort of semi-awake, by there is this gap in time that is very hard to fill, sometimes I feel like an alien in the world that surrounds me. I started shooting things that my dad grows in his garden trying to reconnect with a place that for me lives only in my memory and with nature itself, it was my need to reach out to something beautiful and colorful that represents the better side of life, something that can represent me in a better way. And what happened? The floods came. Not only that beautiful and colorful pictures became insignificant, pointless and out of place in a tragic and very depressing situation, it also turned out that what could have been memorized with my camera literally vanished to a great extent. My dad’s garden suffered significant losses because of all that rain and the orchard will hardly give anything this year if it doesn’t recover. He replanted some of the things although it’s quite late for doing it, but the bottom line is that he’s been there twice in the last 3 days and hasn’t brought anything home. It’s God knows what time that my patience is at test because of having to stop something that I started or going back to square one, but I decided not to give up this time. There are so many people who lost their lives or everything they had in life, so I have no right to complain. I just wish I could suffer a bit less because of everything that happened here and be instead a bit more useful, but I can’t change myself. I can only try to be the best version of myself of today, do some good, help somehow, and look for a grain of hope for the future of everybody out there, as well as for myself.
Today I’d like to share a small photo story of the previous days from an agoraphobic’s point of view. This person couldn’t grab the camera and shoot in the critical places, I had only my immediate surroundings at my disposal.
1. THIS IS HOW IT STARTED…
This photo was taken on the first day of the rain from my window… it was so dark and gloomy in the middle of the day, but ISO 1600 helped me to get something more than a blur of what was going on outside. There was quite a lot of wind at some point as well, and it brought along a small, smiling umbrella into our muddy pond. It did seem interesting and cute at the time, but thinking back from here, there was some very bitter irony in that smile as we couldn’t even dream of what was going to happen.
2. THE SECOND DAY OF RAIN, TERRACE
We have a semi-covered terrace and rain hardly ever touches the flowers planted in boxes, but this time it just unleashed all the anger on smaller plants, ISO 1600 was a must even here and the camera got pretty wet in the process. I liked these little flowers, I picked them and planted myself… now they are gone, drowned in the rain. There is only this photo left.
Instead of collecting vegetables from the garden, my father picked up this flower that was floating in water. He has shrubs of these flowers in 3 or 4 different color shades, but there was only this one left, looking bad and half dead. He brought it home anyway, and after more than a whole day of “recovering”, it incredibly regained both beauty and vitality, standing bold and upright. Life must go on, in one way or the other, it’s always been that way and always will be. We have to have faith that strength will rebuild beauty.
Dill’s natural beauty
Flowers can always come in handy to take things to a new level 🙂
This is the end of an extremely stressful day and I’m trying to let go of it with the help of my camera and my blog. I was really happy to see that my previous post “Raddish” was very much liked, so I thought that I might continue to keep a “diary” of the fruits from my dad’s garden, our little sanctuary of fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits that seem to be so rare in today’s polluted world. It’s located not more than 40 km from my home, yet it’s been 8 years since I was there the last time. 8 years. I still haven’t mastered this distance in my agoraphobic battles and it hurts very much. The place itself has changed a lot over the past decade as I hear from my family, so in the silence of the evenings I try to imagine how it looks like now and build an image to fill this painful gap in my visual memory with my imagination. I could have never dreamt years ago that I might end up in such a situation, but I realize that it can be interesting and challenging from the artistic point of view – it’s a quest to live distant places through indoor photography of objects that I can approach only when eventually they find some way to approach me. It’s also learning about the world through other people’s eyes and my visual interpretation of the images that reach me in form of stories of others. It will never be an ultimately true version of distant locations, because there is no such thing in the first place as we all see something different in the same situations we’re observing, but it will also never be only my direct interpretation of anything as I always need help to materialize the unseen in some way. I will be really happy to share this journey with all of you who can find here something for yourself!
Today I saw some really amazing blog entries by people whose blogs I discovered thanks to their visits to my relatively new blog. I am very grateful to everybody who stopped by and liked what I posted or decided to follow me and I sincerely admire how talented, interesting and special you guys are. Yet it makes me even more doubtful of my own qualities and what I have to offer to the world, doubtful of how well I can express myself in English or if I am creative at all. Anxiety’s first impulse is to back off, give up and mostly flight rather than fight I’d say as I already did on numerous occasions. I must be changing though because I decided to stick around a bit longer and keep this diary alive, as opposed to all those I started on paper and never persevered with. Something must be changing too because today I wiped all the dust away from my camera bag I once used to carry around a lot and which hasn’t been used literally for years till this spring. It’s hard to be only an indoor photographer because 65 m2 surely don’t offer infinite sources of inspiration, but my cactus decided to help me. Flowers helped me in the darkest moments in these last years, so maybe they can still give me hand. 🙂