This is my 300th post on this iteration of the fabergemonkey blog. Three hundred posts. Blimey. I have been struggling a little of late, with this blog, with writing, with photography, and I am not entirely sure why. I have done the navel-gazing thing, and that hasn't provided very much in the way of answers, although I suspect I know what that answer may be. So, as a distraction and a possible trigger for inspiration I went off to some of my favourite (online) places...
Tiptilted, by deililly, is such a favourite place. Her latest post, Time, on Bill Alston and his impact on her, is superb. It beautifully sums up the influence that a person can have on those around them; by their manner, philosophy and by the way they interact. Such trust and belief can have a profound and lasting impact, and give rise to passions and moments of creativity that would have otherwise been lost to existence. Sometimes those moments are intensely personal, and reinforce the trust and belief in one's self, and they drive us on (or allow us) to further moments of joy and inspiration.
I have been lucky to have had three such teachers, although that isn't to say many more haven't had an impact on me, their influence on my subconscious un-recognised and unknown. I had a wonderful supply English teacher who, in the half term he was there, taught a wayward bunch of rascals to think differently, who somehow managed to get obstinate 'illiterates' reading Macbeth enthusiastically and persuaded half the class that the Earth was and always had been flat. My Economics teacher Mr Mann was the first to treat my mercurial nature with honesty and kindness; getting the best from me in reciprocation. Finally José Navarro taught me the basics of photography, but more than that he encapsulated a passion and a drive for his art that inspired me and kept me going, imbuing me with a patience and understanding that I would eventually get better at it. And I did.
Jane French, in her post Vanishing Points and the like, relates a little about the first photograph she took after starting her course. And she asks a very important question about what the reader would do in a similar situation. Great photos and something to think about. What would I do, what would I take pictures of at the seaside? I think I ought to go and find out.
My photography has taken a backseat over the last year as I have concentrated on writing and running, and yet it is something I miss doing tremendously. Some of it is to do with time, some to do with technology (my pc is frustratingly slow at handling images these days) and some of it a lack of inspiration. I seem to have lost my ability to 'see' images, too often taking refuge in the sort of photo I quite often take. A few days ago M sent me an email to let me know he had discovered my photo-blog and liked what he saw there. I felt a little glow of happiness at that, and a trace of guilt for letting it slip so badly.
I used to leaf through the vast numbers of photography books, magazines and photoblogs, just to look at what other people do, at their styles, their 'eye'; taking inspiration from each. I have started to do so again, and the bubble of passion, for so long dormant, has started to grow once again. The other day I dragged out my slides from my trips to Crete, Nepal and India, and realised I need to do something with them other than lock them away in folders.
Laurebina Yak, Nepal
Sometimes, I guess, you just need to go back to the beginning. Sometimes the answer is whatever started you off in the first place.
Coming back to the fact that this is the 300th post on my blog, I am somewhat surprised that I have kept it going this long. Sometimes I hardly write anything at all here, sometimes you can't stop me blog-blog-blogging away like an industrious little blogger with too much to blog about (you get the picture). The posts range from the inane to the frivolous to the deeply personal. Many posts serve no purpose, some seem to, others have struck a chord, and others not.
Looking to the right you will see the top 5 popular posts on this blog, and they invariably have amongst their number "the influence of books" and "a life full of regrets". Indeed, these by far are my two biggest search terms; which leaves me with feelings of both warmth (books) and sadness (regrets). I am not too sure what to say about either really.
I guess this is always going to be a mercurial, eclectic, inconsistent little blog; bimbling its way through the vast unfathomable blogosphere with only the vaguest of directions, covering anything and everything. Thank you for coming along with me, even if only for a part of the wandering, the company has been appreciated more than you know.
300 posts. Blimey. Not a bad start.