With my hands in the warm dishwater, scrubbing at plates from breakfast and stacking them neatly in the drainer, my mind is occupied with other ideas.
The bookshelves in my home are full. The shelves bend slightly in the middle, there are books lined up neatly in rows with their spines all pointing out towards the rest of the room. When I ran out of shelves, I began to haphazardly push yet more books into available spaces. They are haphazardly stacked up on top of one another, in front of one another. There are a few that sit in a pile on the floor in front of the shelves, there is no more space.
These past few weeks have brought a few minor setbacks and a little disappointment, but also the resolve to work harder and better. I pull out old books from the shelves, some I have barely looked at since college, and revisit my notes. I’ve been reading new books too and I’m hard on them, treating every one like a school textbook. Take any book from the shelf and open it, you’ll find scribbled notes in the margins, folded page corners, and bookmarks made from crumpled receipts or scrap paper. It’s time to regroup and read more books. Sometimes I’m unsure of whether I even know how to deal with things in any other way.
I find inspiration and practical information in more than just photography manuals. Although I am not anywhere near close to being a painter, I have always enjoyed Art History. Similarly I have learned to pull inspiration from the other things that I enjoy doing, reading both fiction and non-fiction… allowing the words to create ideas and visuals in my mind that I can later use for something photographic.
It’s always work, though. Too many ideas can sometimes be as bad as none at all, even worse are the things I’d like to work on right away but instead have to store in the back of my mind for a later date.
I’ll keep on reading, continue growing. I’ve already grown so much, but there’s still more of the same path ahead of me.