It has been 14 months since my last blog post. If you read the last one, you may understand the hiatus. The lack of blog activity doesn’t indicate I have spent the last 14 months alone grieving. I haven’t been shy about it at all. I cried buckets, unexpectedly, in the pub with friends, admittedly full of beer. I cried on a mountain top (highly recommended). I have cried on the beach and in the sea, eye to viewfinder, tears blurring the image of ocean waves in front of me. I have cried in bed, on the bed and half under it. I have cried many times in the arms of my wonderful wife, and she has cried with me.
Grief changes you. You can’t prepare for it. It reshapes you. You get lost in it. You just have to let it play out while getting on with life at the same time. I have touched the bottom of the well of sadness and I have come back to the top. The world looks the same, but different.
My reading has flourished during this time. I needed a starting point, so I asked someone who’s opinion I trusted. He recommended “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” by Rebecca Solnit, and it started me off on a nourishing journey of knowledge acquisition running parallel with the journey of grief.
Photography too, did not cease during this writing hiatus. It too flourished. I began to visit my local beach more frequently, looking for an escape from the cloying darkness that descended occasionally. I came back with abstract and troubling images of an inner universe where light seemed to have the vitality sucked out of it. I kept going back to the beach though and one occasion, on a whim, walked into the sea and began to make abstract long exposures of the motion of waves and the sunlight infusing them.
I returned to the beach many times and fell into a rhythm with the waves; chasing them out as they receded and sloshing back towards shore as they approached. I moved my camera in time with the waves. It was a dance. It was joyous.
At this time, I was reading books by the Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli, a meld of art, philosophy and cutting edge physics. I saw a synchronicity between what I was reading and what I was doing with photography.
One evening, as sunset came and went, and stars began to appear, any angst fell away and I gazed up from the sand into the night sky; the beach as gateway to the entire universe. What a moment.