Woman reclined, pencil and graphite

“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of non-feeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”
― Sylvia Plath

A reintroduction

“Change begins when the fear of not acting at all at last outstrips the paralyzing fear of  making a mistake.” – Alain de Botton 

In late 2018 I was in a car accident. Not a fender-bender type of accident, but the real deal. The kind that involves ambulances, scans, the closure of a highway and in turn, utter confusion.  Before that, I’d been working on a book; two, actually.  One was a photographic journal of my travels, complete with short stories to accompany them.  The second, a novel about modern love.  

My journey to recover my rattled brain, rattled bones and ligaments consumed much of the year 2019.  

After my concussion healed I managed to travel a little, but it was different.  Slow. And although throughout the year I casually made my way through France, Ireland, Sardinia, and retreats to the American deserts, I didn’t write about it.  I gave up my column at The American Magazine as I felt I’d nothing to say. I dug for creativity that simply wasn’t there. The more I dug, the more I tried to write, the more I felt like an imposter, a fake.  Unable to grasp words or ideas, I froze.  Insecurity crept in and its ugly little tendrils permeated my very essence. Much like a virus. 

I changed jobs too. It was a good change, which allowed me more financial comfort and security,  but with longer working hours. I used it as an excuse not to write, nor paint, nor photograph during my holidays. I was just there to “relax.” I even stopped bringing my camera and notepads in my carryon. I didn’t want the extra weight.  Or the risk.

Late in 2019, when I finally felt the tiniest, fleeting glimpse of creativity, the calendar rolled over  to 2020. And, well….you know.  

So I put my head back down and worked more. I was fortunate enough to have a job that wasn’t affected by the shutdowns, as I can work from my home office.  With spending time with friends, as well as any travel, out of the question, my days  became solely about work, self-care and daily walks with my dog.  By late  summer, like a lot of people, I was emotionally fatigued and lonely. I’d pick up my sketch pad and nothing would come out of the pencil. Or I’d stare at my empty computer screen hoping a story would find its way from the now decrepit tendril of insecurity, but its death grip hadn’t loosened.  

Until it did.  

I’d like to say it was all me, but it wasn’t. I had a nudge from someone who showed me there is still joy to be found in letting oneself take a risk.  

And now, after an over-two-year hiatus from writing, photography and sketching, I’d like to think I can squeeze the rest of my self out of the claws of fear: of making a mistake, of failing, of not being “perfect,” and put myself back out there creatively on OneStreetShy. And hopefully, back to my book too. 

So here’s to a better, more creative, and less solitary 2021 for all!

Water without sounds, A photograph of fine art.

Below is a photograph of Katsura Finakoshi’s painted camphor wood and marble sculpture “Water without Sounds.” It can be found at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany.  Mr. Finakoshi deserves more exposure as an artist than he is given.

“If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet…maybe we could understand something.” – Federico Fellini

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Hazy shade of winter, a photograph

Ahhh, seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won’t you stop and remember me
But look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
Look around, leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground…
-Simon and Garfunkel

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One’s entire life, a photograph

“How concrete everything becomes in the world of the spirit when an object, a mere door, can give images of hesitation, temptation, desire, security, welcome and respect. If one were to give an account of all the doors one has closed and opened, of all the doors one would like to re-open, one would have to tell the story of one’s entire life.”
– Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space 

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The dog, a photograph

“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.”
– Geroge Bernard Shaw

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Work, a photograph

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”
― Leo Tolstoy

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