Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Open line

Montreal, QC
October 2009
Click to enlarge

You may think it's strange that a mere hunk of metal, glass, thermoplastic and code can be therapeutic, but I'm hoping you'll suspend disbelief for a moment, because that's exactly what I've learned over these past few weeks.

Whenever I've felt an overwhelming need to feel normal, I've reached for my camera. Whenever I've wanted to separate from people around me and retreat into my bizarre little world of creativity, I've reached for it. Whenever I've needed to stop thinking, I've reached for it.

And something strangely transformational has come over me each time I've hefted it into my right hand and just felt it there. Of course, it didn't make me forget the overwhelming sense of sadness that's clouded my life since we first got the call. And it didn't suddenly make me happy. Because despite the happy face I force myself to take on when I leave the house, I'm not. But I know in time I'll find the happy again. And I'll find the funny. Somehow, and with a lot of help from my wife, kids, extended mishpacha (family) and friends.

And until then, I need to find comfortable places to hide out and regroup. And it's easier to accomplish that when I've got my beloved Nikon in my hand. Yes, it's a mere piece of technology that can just as easily be dropped, sold, replaced. But what it represents - my freedom to shape images and turn them from imagination to something I can share - has held me together more times in recent weeks than I dare admit.

So as I carefully and quietly stepped around my mother-in-law's hospital room and looked for ways to break away from the combined pressures that were turning my head into a Tylenol commercial, I found a certain sense of self in the miraculous machine in my hand, the miraculous piece of medical equipment in my viewfinder that was keeping her healthy, and the belief that I could still tell the stories that mattered to the people who mattered.

Your turn: Where do you find comfort during trying moments?

About this photo: We're still supporting our most recent theme, open. Click here if you'd like to participate. I'll launch a new theme - still mulling it over, suggestions welcome - tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

One more thing: I'm scheduled to appear on Business News Network tomorrow morning. I'll be speaking with Michael Kane about Yahoo's prospects, Microsoft's Windows 7 launch and what it all means to the broader world. Go time is 8:15 a.m. EDT, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel incredibly good to be able to get back in front of a camera and go deep on a topic I love, all with a great journalist to guide me. For anyone privileged enough to experience live television, it's a wonderfully affirming thing to do.


invisible said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
invisible said...

Whenever I'm feeling sad, I like to kick a clown in the nuts.
There's just something about it that brightens my day.

Cirque de Soliel is coming to town.
Cheer yourself up!

Harry Cohen said...

Now that cheered me up! I'm still laughing! :D

Christine Gram said...

I find a way to sweat. I always feel better after loosing my thoughts to physical exertion.

Mojo said...

I guess it's no secret that I reach for my beloved Canon any chance I get, stressed or not. So yes, when things get to be too much, I find a respite in making my mind consider lighting and composition and exposure and all the other things that go into making a good photograph. Or even a bad one. If that's not a viable option though, I've always got Tonka who's perfectly content to sit quietly at my side, or my feet or in the backseat of my pickup and just give me the "It's okay dad" eyes. And when I can put those two things together on a dad-and-Tonka photo hunt, my world is just fine. Whatever else may be going on in it.

Oddly, I have several shots very similar to this one taken in a friend's hospital room back in March. (This is how you know for sure that somebody "gets" you. She didn't find it at all strange that I schlepped a backpack full of camera gear on a hospital visit.)

Unknown said...

Whenever I get a little sad, I think about little Trevor Tredaway. He's back at St. Jude Hospital this week and a local Chili's restaurant really loves this 4 year old little boy. They've arranged for a Fire Engine to stop by for a surprise. His love of people and his zest for living and battling cancer touches me and energizes me to care.

I'm still catching up here Carmi. Having been a financial reporter, I was smiling when you mentioned going back on TV. COOL! Enjoy it!!

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

bridges, doors and windows get captured...and streets are ambled through...meals are forgotten about...time is suspended

then i emerge
in a far better place

Jean said...

Books, Solitude and Writing. And sometimes, with an old Hindi song to keep me company.
Sometimes just the old Hindi song and darkness would be Heaven.
Am a dreamer, isn't that obvious now?!