Broken But Far From Beaten

Broken - Photo of broken light bulb

Let me be absolutely clear: Life is good. Forget the details, but in all honesty, I want for little. I have worked hard, survived struggles, and ended up in a place where I can be content. That does not keep me from feeling broken at times.

I know there are some out there who know exactly what I am feeling. There are many more who feel a much heavier weight. It is this knowledge of knowing how good life is that leads me to hide the broken bits away. These are things for me to dwell on, not burdens to place on others. They have their own battles. Besides, my “problems” are nothing in the larger scheme of things.

Am I Broken, Then?

Yes. There are certain fractured bits that haunt me. Maybe they shouldn’t. Indeed, I could walk away from many of those minor aches and pains and be happier for it. Right? Not even close. Those fractured bits tend to be parts of unrealized dreams. Maybe “dreams” is a bit too strong a word for it. “Wants” lacks the weight I feel.

And that is the sort of games my mind tends to play with my “problems” that are anything but. If I can give it up and be content, is it a problem? Is something really broken?

Yes

The biggest battle in my head is one of creative frustration. I am revisiting a few books on my shelf that address this. However, most of them are “just do it” theologies. I am not a fan of the “name it and claim it” approach for reasons I need not share. While I am okay with getting outside of my comfort zone, I am not okay with encroaching on yours. This tends to be a roadblock.

Being broken does not prevent creativity. Indeed, I would argue it can be grist for the mill. But, I cannot do it alone. I need willing participants in my creative activities. During this pandemic, I have relied heavily on hobbies to keep my mind churning. However, there are very few things that get the creative juices flowing like photography.

I admit that I have been terrible about reaching out to people. Largely, this has been an internal struggle against a fear of rejection and, moreover, a fear of disappointment. Recent experiences reaching out have been less than ideal. At best, my missives go ignored. Then there was the model who approached me wanting to shoot and suddenly took a hard right turn into an insanely rude and hateful tantrum. I still haven’t figured out what that one was about, but that’s exactly the sort of thing that puts my mind into a full-blown “shut it down” mode.

Despite It All…

I will press on. During the lockdown, I stumbled upon Peter Coulson on Youtube. I have taken to watching his videos when I start feeling down about photography in general. The beautiful models he works with certainly help brighten the mood, but the relaxed approach to creating his images is what I need. If you aren’t already watching him and you find yourself in a similar “dark place”, I strongly suggest checking him out. As I write this, his most recent video is one I intend to watch a few more times.

Want to Brighten My Mood?

Check my work at https://markgunterphotography.com and http://www.questionmarkphoto.com. Like what you see? I’m always for hire, but I’m also considering trade. You’ll need to jump through one simple hoop, though. Visit my mood board and mark any images that inspire you by clicking the star just below it. Then, shoot me a message so I know you are ready to talk about working together. Yes, you’ll need to enter an email address to get in. That’s just to help keep out the wildlife. The same goes for that locked gallery. Just ask me for the password if you’re interested in that genre.

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