Saturday, May 22, 2010

Finding Yourself

I have a friend who made a New Year's resolution last year to take a picture every day.  She named her project The View From My Kitchen Sink.  She took random photos of whatever captured her interest throughout the year.  Some of kid toys, the dog, even the actual sink.  There was one of medicine bottles when everyone had the flu, because that's just what some days look like no matter how creative you were hoping to be.  But she took a lot of other pictures: landscapes, nature, etc.  And a lot of those were pure art.  But every time I think of that photography project my mind lands on one black and white shot looking down the neck of a banjo her husband was playing one night at home.

I was thinking about that picture last night because she and I were exchanging email that really inspired me and I'll tell you about that in a second.

The reason I like that banjo picture so much is because that one simple moment captures the essence of what I think a respectful, loving marriage looks like.  Think about it.  He's just sitting there, goofing around on a banjo which I'm pretty sure he spends a lot of time doing.  She grabs the camera because she's doing this photography thing for a while and why not.  And turns that everyday snippet of regular into art.

They were both enjoying interests that had nothing to do with parenting or partnering at all.  Only to do with feeding their individual souls.  And they were doing those two different things together in the same space and time and made it beautiful.  And that is how you do marriage.  Because mine certainly didn't look like that and we all know how that worked out for me.  See?

Now, I'm sure things aren't always perfect around their house.  Sometimes you'll hear, "I'm going Sean Penn if you don't get that camera out of my face." or maybe, "Again?  With the banjo?  Listen Hee Haw, you're starting to scare the dog."  Nobody's perfect.  But I have known her husband since we were kids.  He also has a color for a name and that makes him a superhero in my book.  And he's always been a really good guy.

I have only ever met her one and a half times in person but judging by the things in which she finds beauty, you'd be hard pressed to convince me I'm not lucky to know her.  And even a harder pressed after yesterday.

She didn't know until yesterday that she was part of the reason for my committing this blogsperiment to 365 days of posting.  But I thanked her for proving that every day of doing something you love is possible.  She helped light the path, pave the way, whatever you want to call it and The View From My Kitchen Sink totally deserves this big, fat mention.

She went on to say how she was nervous before she started her project and felt exactly and I mean exactly the same as my little self-doubt freak out sessions over here.  But she did it anyway.  And proved it was possible.  And I'm doing it anyway too.  Maybe someone will get inspired the way she and so many other writers I've read lately have inspired me.

If you're inspired then feel free to send me a weird, gushy email.  I send those like it's my job sometimes.  Or I'll accept cash because I STILL haven't found that stupid $400.

Anyway, my friend and I were talking last night about how we felt the need to do something just for us, that fed our souls.  We didn't know WHY we wanted to write or take pictures, but we felt we HAD TO, like it was important, not at all unlike Richard Dreyfuss' mad sculpting frenzy.  And see?!  ALIENS!  This means something. 

It had to be something that had nothing to do with being a MOMMY!  Because, first of all, if you ever call me Mommy I will death-stare at you so hard your skin will melt.  Secondly, life ain't all about MOMMYNESS, okay?  Anybody who tells you that is lying.  Or very effectively medicated.

I mean, all these women who only exist on the surface of themselves and never get real or deep or interested in anything besides shoes and (ugh) bunco - they're in denial I think.  Or maybe their IQ really hovers around today's high temperature because nobody was put on this planet to be vapid.  Who the hell ARE you?  What do you love so much it makes you uniquely you and if you don't do that out loud sometimes you feel like you might just go crazy?  Do you even know?

Once you complete a goal or feed your true self for a while?  It sounds like this.
In one year, I went from a creatively and personally frustrated (out of the box-styled,) stay at home-mom - to a much more satisfied, and goal-oriented stay at home mom -- who occasionally gets to do some pretty amazing things with her camera.. I still don't really fit in, with all the other more typical moms. But now that I have found this new direction, it doesn't matter as much, somehow.
And that just makes me happy.  And a little teary eyed.  And I really hope your upcoming alien encounters bring you heart swelling joy.

EDIT:  I heard this song on the radio today.  It's not sappy or sweet or anything but I was composing this post in my head when I heard it and it made me cry in the car.  And yeah, further confirmation I'm weird but omg Dave Grohl.


gina said...

Well, now you've just gone and made me cry.. But it's happy tears, so that's ok..

Thanks -- Silver.. For the stretching you are doing, that we all get to watch, and enjoy...

Silver said...

It was the video that really did it for you, right? Don't lie. [wink!]

diane said...

I have been on a business trip, so haven't checked in for awhile. I liked this post - its a good reminder that we need to work at things important to us. And I liked your comentary about marriage. Mine is recovering from an "incident," which my husband confessed to the day after our wedding anniversary, and occurred during a time I was trying hard to be more supportive. So the news made me ask WTF?? We are trying to make it work for the family, but sometimes I feel like marriage is hard enough already without having to also deal with an "incident." So, this post reminded me of what I need to be working towards. Thanks.

Silver said...

Recovering from an incident like that is hard work. I respect that he confessed, although, the fact that he needed to sucks a lot.

I wish you and your husband the best of luck.
Sending good thoughts your way.