Fallow Field, Hopkins, SC

Fallow Field, Hopkins, SC

“In the midst of winter, I learned there was within me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

One of the reasons I like to photograph decaying buildings being reclaimed by Nature is it reminds me that all things have a season and are being recycled for future growth. This may not be comforting to some, but I am discovering that it is neither good or bad. I find it is helpful to remember this, especially when a difficult or challenging cycle seems to be unending and the meaning of its purpose elusive. Cultivating patience is very helpful.

We go through personal seasons that may or may not coincide with the time of the year. While we may not enjoy winter, it is an essential season, both in natue and in ourselves. A point of curiosity for me is how many seasons do I go through in a day? Or within the scope of a project, or career, or relationship. I can often struggle with the reality I find myself in, but when I recall this notion of seasons, I soften

It is the same with the creative process. When one is feeling blocked creatively, it may be helpful to recall this notion of seasons, so as not to solidify the block. The ice will melt with the warming sun. When you can’t fish, sew nets. What can you do to gently remain connected to your process to promote warmth?

After an exhibit or other big projects, I have come to recognize a consistent pattern of emptiness that shows up almost immediately upon completion. When this first happened to me, I really thought there was something wrong. I now know it is just the necessary season of Winter coming to visit so I can rest.

The other thing I’ve noticed about seasons is that they are rarely an all or nothing experience. Winter never arrives or leaves on its designated calendar date, and while it is here there are days, at least here in South Carolina, that it feels more like Spring than Winter. Summer always spills over its borders.

So this idea of seasons has been on my mind because an intention I set for myself 10 years ago is now coming into its season. The intention was in the form of a vision statement I put on my office wall that reads, “To live and work as a self-sustaining artist through engaging and liberating the creative spirit in myself and others.” Much of the last 10 years has been about liberating that spirit in myself. And in the last year, the second part of that statement came more clearly into focus through developing workshops and creativity coaching. I’m very pleased to be offering an artist retreat and journal making workshop at City Art, March 16 &17. Everything really does have season.

How do you respond to your personal seasons?