Respite From the Chaos

When life gives you lemons, well you know the rest. Right now, life is giving ALL of us the lemons. I don’t know about you but for me, stress levels have been soaring like an eagle. Only instead of majestic and beautiful it’s a constant barrage of eagle shit landing on your face while you keep trying to look up and find the beauty.

What can ya do, really?

All we can do is try to find sanity in small moments, cherish the things that matter most, and let that steady cascade of majestic eagle shit just roll off your back.

It’s not so much a matter of “making lemonade out of lemons” as a matter of finding a way to look past the lemons and remember that there is more than lemons to be had.

Ok, enough with the stupid metaphors and sayings.

Here are a couple things lately that have been a bit of a respite among the chaos for me, figured maybe someone else might find them useful too.

A bright spot

First, I read this article from FStoppers this morning. I admit, I clicked on it because of the somewhat click-bait style title. I was fully prepared to shit all over the article because I figured someone was going to make a case why identifying as a “photographer” was somehow now not good enough.

I was wrong. The article talks about a man named Alexi Lubomirski and how he’s been feeling trapped by calling himself a photographer. Not because he feels that being a photographer is a bad thing, but because he has found that when he feels creatively inspired he was tired of having to find a way to “take this inspiration and transform that into a photograph?”.

It really clicked for me and I realized that his journey that is briefly shared in the article, was exactly what I’ve been dealing with for the last year or so.

I’ve become so exhausted trying to find a way to take that story idea and somehow translate it to a photograph. To take that feeling of inspired creative mojo I just got from watching a film or listening to some good music and somehow twist it into photographic form, when, in reality, maybe it’s really needing to be expressed via the written word or through a wood carving.

A perfect place to relax – photo copyright David Szweduik

Again with the labels though

He(Lubomirski) has decided to call himself a photopoet instead of a photographer. He made a very conscious decision to not limit his creative output to ONLY photography, and found a measure of peace as a creative.

If you’re interested, he has a book coming out soon featuring his photos and written words. It’s called  Talk to Me Always: Poetry, Prose & Photography. That’s NOT an affiliate link or anything, I’m not connected to or paid to promote that at all. Just thought you may be interested in it.

For myself, I’m not too worried about calling myself a photographer, a phriter, or even a phartist… I don’t need a specific title, though I admit it probably will come in handy if someone asks what I do.

What brought me a bit of peace is realizing that what I’ve been doing, exploring all sorts of different creative outlets and not forcing it all into photographic form, is not only okay but is making me a more satisfied and well rounded creative.

So give yourself permission to “get out of your lane” and explore new things.

A place to read – photo copyright David Szweduik

What are you reading?

The second thing that I’ve been doing in the last few months, more than I have in many years, is really stepping up my reading game.

As a kid and through my teen years, I was a voracious reader. As I got older, I still enjoyed it but just didn’t make the time for it.

But with the change in topic on Faded Words (my podcast formerly known as Adventures in Creativity) I’ve been super fortunate to have made contact with some publishers/publicity houses that have been keeping me busy with advance copies of books for me to read so that I can then have their authors on to talk about their latest books and we also have a great conversation about their writing process, creative motivations, and wherever else the conversation takes us.

Which means I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying the simple act of reading. Of being able to let myself get immersed in a huge variety of stories that I may have otherwise never found.

And it’s been wonderful.

Being able to make time to just sit down and go on a journey with that author brings a massive amount of stress relief from the mayhem of this world we are living in.

Best yet, I feel myself slowly starting to re-energize creatively after feeling largely sapped of creative energy since last Spring.

It’s not lemonade from lemons, but it is a place of relaxed respite from the raging chaos around me.

The photos I’m sharing today, both photos I’ve made that bring me a sense of calm and relaxation, are symbolic of that elusive and much needed moment of peace and clarity these days.

I hope you’re well.

A relaxing duo – photos copyright David Szweduik
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