Sunday, March 07, 2010

Doing The Deeper Work

Photography Challenge from the SOAR Forum form January, 2010.
It's taken this long for me to get up the nerve
to do this because I must say this was indeed a
challenge as I'm far more comfortable behind the
lens than in front of it.
My self-portrait: This was completed using just the

light from one candle. I used the dark colors and
minimal lighting, because that is the way I feel
more comfortable - in black, in the darkness, away
from others, alone with my intense emotional grief
and very real physical pain.
I've pretty much stayed home since my car
accident in March 2007, except for doctor
appointments and such unless my husband or
daughter can drive me.
I've been "in hibernation mode" since my son's car
accident in December of 2005, thus the significance
of the heart pendant necklace with my son's picture on it.
Being put on disability in '07 after my own accident,
which also caused me to lose a the best job I ever
had. It caused me to have to stay at home...alone
more than ever, has caused me to become
a recluse. I am very self-conscious, have
always had very poor self-esteem and also have a
lot of self doubt about my photography skills...let's
just say those negative voices are
never quiet in my mind.
After taking the leap of faith and participating
in the SOAR Scholarship in December of 2009, I
made a pact with myself to try and learn how
to live come out of the darkness of
that horrible black depression since my son's
death, and try to step back into the light of
day....while conquering my fears of failure, learning
to embrace courage and quit being a recluse.
I'm headed in the direction of the light - to
escape the darkness that surrounds and suffocates
me...and believe me when I say, it has been a
difficult journey, but a necessary one.
I need to find a "new normal" since nothing can
be the same after losing my only beloved son ~ He
would want me to get out of this darkness and
into the light...this is my goal in 2010 - to gain
the courage to learn to live again.
My object: An old battered trunk, bound with
heavy chains and secured with a heavy
lock...but also there is a key there that can open
the trunk. This photo is also shrouded in darkness.
To me it represents how I have had so much
tragedy in my life, in addition to the heart-breaking
loss of my son...that I feel as if I am bound up by
heavy chains in a very dark place. Not only is my
life being smothered by the shut-in feeling, but the
lock and chains feel like it has my creativity stifled 
while my desire to do things other than hide from
the world in my heartache and pain, was lost and
buried forever when  tragedy struck and we had
to bury our beloved 19 year old son.
Yet, I believe, I hope, that the significance of
the key in the photo is showing me that there is a
method of escaping the locked in feeling. I just
need to be strong enough to pick up that key, put
it in the padlock and turn it so that lock may
be opened, the chains can fall away and I can
be free of the things from my past that have held
me down....If I can just get that to that key and
unlock the chains....I will have the opportunity to
reach for my dreams and soar like an eagle.
Later today, I will be continuing on with my
studies of the word, COURAGE... dissecting
it letter by letter in my quest to find what it
really means to have true courage in my new
journey towards living again.
© 2010 Susan Reynolds
P.S. This was an especially insightful experience
since we used this Photography Exercise for
our first Meet-Up of the SOARority Sisters of
Northern California, learning what our photos
looked like and how they made others think
   and feel about what they saw in the pictures.  

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