Lately I've been thinking a lot about this exercise of blogging and sharing my photography and wondering what's the point? Why am I doing this? Part of why I wanted to start this project in the beginning was to share my own therapeutic process of "seeing" with others and, by doing so, to encourage myself to keep it up. I wanted, needed, really, to try to connect with others out of the mists of chronic depression when connecting in person has become almost impossible. And, if I'm honest, I also needed to hear back that what I see and share has value. That "I" have value. I was hoping to engage people, not just through their clicking the "like" button on a Facebook post but through comments and conversations. Sadly, for the most part, this has not happened and I find myself interpreting the virtual silence around what I'm trying to do as evidence that it doesn't matter and people don't really care.
These reflections are the partially, though not entirely, the product of a particularly difficult past couple of weeks. I trialed a new med that didn't work out and the anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure and make connections, has been particularly strong. But these reflections are also grounded in my own personal historical search for meaning in my life. Being honest about my personal struggles is not easy; historically, I've been much more about presenting the image that I'm fine. I go for poetry and eloquence when I'm falling to pieces internally because I don't think anyone really wants to hear about my problems. But this practice is part of my larger struggle and I need to find ways to change, to challenge my own comfort zone of "I'm fine" when I'm really not.
I tell myself I shouldn't have expectations here. I tell myself the story about casting my bread on the waters and hope that I'll find it again, that it will return to me. And maybe it will. But it hasn't yet. And, if I'm honest, I really need it to. It's almost impossible to create in a vacuum. So I'm going to ask a favor of anyone who might happen to get as far as reading this. I'm going to stray way out of my comfort zone and ask for help.
If you like my work, if it pleases you, if it pisses you off, if it makes you think or wonder or ponder the mysteries of life, please take a moment and let me know. Leave me a comment. Flip through a gallery and like a photo or share the images or blog posts or just the website in general with others. It will mean more to me than I can express at the moment. And to those of you who have engaged with me, thank you. It has touched me and I truly appreciate it.
© Karen Opp James. All rights reserved.