This is a picture of a bridge over the Mississippi river. Actually two bridges. The old one still stands as they construct the new one. It is a heavy-handed metaphor for learning new ways of thinking while the old thought patterns hang around.
I have been ruthless in my drive to produce self-portraits that I like and hopefully in the process get more comfortable with having my picture taken. At first I just felt ridiculous but now I think there is something to this aversion therapy self-portrait business.
This has led to several discoveries:
1. You can learn to be photogenic. Just like doing math in your head or having decent balance... all things I believed that you were born with. Nope. It is a skill and has nothing to do with how "pretty" you are.
I suppose it's also like public speaking. I know some people freeze up when they are in front of a crowd although one on one they are just fine. I get that way in front of a camera-- I become stiff and lifeless with a plastic smile. When I look at photos of myself and say, "Wow, is that what I look like?" the answer is-- no.
2. When I am unhealthily thin I hate how I look in photographs. When I am a healthy weight I hate how I look in photographs. When I am heavier than I want to be I hate how I looked in photographs. This tells me that my weight has nothing to do with my perception of myself on camera. It's in my head. So, fix my head. Right.
I do have one picture of myself from about ten years ago that I look at sometimes and think-- if only I could be that size and shape. That would be perfect. But I don't remember feeling perfect at the time.
I am not naturally kinesthetically aware. I don't have a good idea of how my body moves or where it is in space. I misjudge distances and trip over shadows. I have spent a lifetime not feeling like my body really represents who I am. Divorced from my physical self.
I want to inhabit this body. I want to move in. Otherwise it's just an empty shell with an intellect and a heart floating around somewhere else. And maybe if I feel like I am really here, that this body is integrally me, I will look a pictures of myself in a different way.
Grateful Crap: mostly being healthy and having body parts that move and do pretty much as they are asked, days with sun and wind and shade, a big truck (thanks little bro) to haul leaves and crap to the yard waste site in one trip, the excitement of a trip with family and friends
Quaker, teacher, parent,