Day 17-Finding Enjoyment in Looking
A few years ago, my doctor told me that I needed a hobby. Apparently work and worry is not considered a hobby. That was my first clue that I wasn't very good at finding and having enjoyment just for the sake of it. Pretty much everything I did, even the things I once enjoyed, had become stained with work, the way every mug I own is stained with tea.
I thought football was a hobby but my husband declared the season wasn't long enough to count and said a hobby was for relaxing, not screaming wildly for three hours. During a long discussion with him over what I used to like to do before I forgot how to have fun, I dredged up a few options. One, as you know by now, was writing. Another was crocheting and cross stitch, (Crocheting ultimately saw a rebirth when my daughter was pregnant last year) car races, photography, body building (I know, who knew?). My husband immediately said I needed a camera.
I had a camera, a 7 megapixel point and shoot that I used primarily from the back of a motorcycle. I had taken photography in High School, toyed around with it in young adulthood, but it had been years since I did anything creative with a camera. I started shopping. That didn't last long.
Learning about and choosing a DSLR camera started out to be pretty discouraging. If the price wasn't daunting enough, trying to decide on the options I wanted for a camera I didn't
understand was debilitating. I soon gave up and started looking at better point and shoot models, but I have a persistent and sneaky husband. At Christmas, I received an entry level DSLR, a Nikon 5000. I was stunned.
It took me a while to stop feeling overwhelmed by the trillion features this camera had; I was soon thanking God that I hadn't gotten a more advanced model. I love digital photography, you can make a hundred mistakes and delete them as if they never happened. Don’t you wish you could do that with all your mistakes? That boy in your senior year. Hammer pants. Watching “Lost”. Cutting your own bangs.
While I’m not great at it, photography is great for me. It forces me to slow down, to let my eye linger on things, places, people and scenes I would normally just glance at and move on. Not just when I’m on a photo day with my big camera either, my cell phone gets just as much use as I notice little life vignettes all around me. This one caught my eye when I sat down after work, it’s called Afternoon Off.
Nothing great, just something I noticed and liked the look of, and when I look at it again I enjoy the feeling it evokes-anticipation of mint tea, a blank journal page, good books to sink into. It’s comforting. It’s calming. All that from a simple picture.
Learning to look has helped me learn to create again. We were created by the Ultimate, Master Creator. Do you ever think of yourself as a creator? You are, so am I, because we were created in His image. He gave us the capacity to create something. Don’t get hung up thinking it has to be a crafty masterpiece, win the Pulitzer Prize or get you a Food Network show. What would you like to see, read, write, play, taste, or give?
What will you do with your God given creativity today?