Today was the opening retreat of Term Student. Term Student is a thing that we do in my Zen Buddhism lineage in the Autumn to dig a little deeper into our practice. It begins with an all day meditation retreat and ends, a few months later with another retreat. Part of what we do is talk about our karmic, spiritual, or factual history. Kind of as a way of getting to know each other, but also as a way of making connections within ourselves. I love this time of digging deeper because I always learn new things about myself.
As people were talking about their lives I realized something important about myself. And now that I am thinking about it it seems pretty obvious, but I will write about it anyway. 🙂
It has always been very important to me to have a community of friends in my life, and indeed, I’ve always figured out how to make this happen for myself. From the time I was a child, hanging out with my little gang from the neighborhood, to now, with my posse of film photography and pinhole photography buddies from around the world. And in my spiritual life, a lot of what has attracted me to various practices has been community. Community and connection with other humans is what drives me creatively. I believe that when one is expressing themselves creatively they do so for the benefit and to communicate with others as a kind of soul to soul communication. When I am in a state of depression, the lie that my brain pelts me with is, “People don’t like you. You are unloved.” Depression tells me this lie because connection is one of my highest values, if not the highest. I am crazy introverted, but I long to connect with community. My soul needs it like my body needs water.
I feel like this is an important insight. Like I said, it seems obvious now that I’ve noticed it, but for some reason I’ve never been able to really see it as something that is so important.
And on that note, this is my 100th post in my “100 days” project for 2017. I think this is a great way to end this project. I have enjoyed my daily ritual of posting here everyday, as always. But it is time for a little break. You know I will be back very soon though. 🙂 I can never stay away long.
My friend made a remark about the Beyonce album Lemonade. This reminded me that I’ve been wanting to listen to it since it came out. I have never gotten around to it. I knew I wanted to give it a serious listen since it has received such great reviews. After hunting around for a free version I could stream and coming up empty handed, I decided to just download the whole thing from iTunes. I don’t usually download entire albums without hearing the songs first, but I trusted that this would be worth it since it’s already a classic. Plus, the album came with the video album and, being a child of MTV, I was sold. I love me some music videos.
I listened to the album twice since yesterday and watched the video album. I love it. I think it’s brilliant.
Since I’m currently involved in a slightly obsessive Sylvia Plath kick, I can’t help but make comparisons. Plath wrote her most brilliant work in a fit of rage as she dealt with her husband’s affair. Sadly, her story doesn’t end well. And it’s even worse that her husband completely disrespected her by making money off of her work posthumously, not having to decency to even publish her greatest accomplishment in the way that she clearly wanted it. But that is a rant for another time.
Beyonce’s story is different. Here is the story of a strong woman who works through her trauma and ends up a stronger woman on the other side. The album is raw, and emotional. I love it.
I mentioned that during my super productive weekend I developed some film from over the summer and even scanned it! Usually it takes me weeks and weeks to get to the scanning so I’m really stoked with myself for finding the initiative to do this so quickly.
Here is one that I particularly liked. Taken up at Trillium Lake with my Zero and Ektar 100 film.
Way back in 2014, when I first met my friend Inge in Amsterdam, she gave me a roll of dishwasher film, along with my beloved Olympus XA. I brought the camera and film home with me, promptly loaded it up in the XA, and took it out with me on my first Pinhole Mayhem adventure. I sent the film in to be developed but it was sent back to me. The lab refused to touch it! So that was when I knew I would someday have to get over my fear of developing color film because, dammit, I had to see how the results of this roll of film.
Well folks, that day has come, 3 years later. I FINALLY developed this film. I love how they turned out, so eerie and disheveled and fun.