Waves crashing in…waves crashing out…
Funny thing this. Last year at this time I remember thinking once my best of the year posts were published, I would take a few weeks off and recharge the batteries for the new year. But I felt I had to write one more post in the week between Christmas and New Years. Once again I think… I feel I need to do that once again this year. Maybe all the pressure about shopping and gifts and visiting people that comes this time of year freezes me up from finding space to write about a topic and once the New Year is upon us I find it again. Maybe I do just need to tell myself-shut up Doyle, as one acquaintance famously said to my wife and I once in a lighthearted jab. In any event on Christmas Eve I took a few photos that seemed to sum up my year on many levels.
This year seemed to be defined for me by one word-waves. Waves along the river where I enjoy walking. Ocean waves at Rockaway Beach where I visited twice this year. Waves at Coney Island, on the shore of Lake George, on the New Jersey shore, on Long Island. That rhythmic push/pull of actual waves seemed to define my year on many levels.
For whatever reason I have not taken advantage of taking photos from the roof of my building but on Christmas Eve I did because I saw a particularly epic sky looming in front of me. But instead of skylines and colors what I saw was a pattern that looked like waves crashing over the nearby buildings. And it made me think that maybe I should work on one more post. And it would involve that so simple yet so meaningful symbolism of waves.
Waves crashing in-new friendships made or rekindled, old friendships continually strengthened.
Waves crashing out-friendships lost out to sea for various reasons.
Waves crashing in-physical health of those nearest to me in good shape
Waves crashing out-mental health of those nearest to me not in such good shape
Waves crashing in-good things to look forward to in 2018
Waves crashing out-2017 not a particularly good year personally for no particular reason
Waves crashing in-this place, my creation doing better than ever yet…
Waves crashing out-audience and friendships seem to be drifting out to sea for reasons I cannot define.
Waves crashing in-feeling that my words and art are becoming more defined yet…
Waves crashing out-wishing it could be so much more
Waves crashing in-continually inspired by the art of others but…
Waves crashing out-struggling to capitalize on that inspiration in my own voice
Waves crashing in-learning after almost 50 years to speak up for myself
Waves crashing out-wondering why the fuck it took me so long to do it
Waves crashing in-having ideas to break out of this introvert cloud
Waves crashing out-seeing those ideas collapse because of it.
Waves crashing in-happy with the growth in my photography this year
Waves crashing out-wondering where I go from here with it.
Ideas like this are not really new or unique of course, and I’m sure most of us play this game in our minds. I truly did have some good times this year and shared a lot of laughs and quite a few glasses of beer or wine with my wife and friends. But there just seemed to be a fog, or malaise over 2017 as a friend of mine recently pointed out. Politics, economics and news cycles may play a part, but I’m not sure it is the only cause. The temptation is always to say “I’m going to start fresh in the new year” with promises of losing 30lbs, changing jobs, travelling the world. Great if you can manage to do a few of those things, I am not so cynical to say it will never happen. But life gets complex sometimes and for some of us, the best we can manage is one or two of those goals. And that’s okay too.
Earlier this year I wrote a post about how when I get in a photography rut that it helps to do the opposite essentially and I used a song lyric to prove that point. It actually did wonders for me. And as I sat in an amazing new coffee shop just now trying to come up with a way to end this, I realized that I need to do the same thing with life this coming year. Turn it all around and where what I wrote above starts with the positive and goes negative, waves crashing in and crashing out, I need things to go in the opposite direction. Waves crashing out taking away the negative. Waves crashing in bringing the positive. And that cycle that continues every day, every month, every year will bring good things with it. Now how about a happy little song to close this year out here at Soundtrack Of A Photograph? Here is a song from Thea Gilmore’s excellent album ‘The Counterweight’ released earlier this year. Happy New Year everyone!
Sounds Good To Me-Written By Thea Gilmore
Follow Me on Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/SoundtrackPhoto
Follow Me On Twitter-https://twitter.com/SoundtrackPhoto
Follow Me On Instagram-https://instagram.com/soundtrackphoto/
All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle