I learned photography by shooting black+white film; looking at a scene and re-seeing it in shades of grey. Highlights, shadows, contrast. Although I now shoot in full-colour with digital equipment, I still use the act of creating a photograph as a tool in re-seeing what is “in plain sight“. And now we have all sorts of digital tools and techniques to aid the process. Or to confound it, if we don’t exercise some self-restraint.
In the last few years I have also started re-seeing my life; looking back over a half-century and deciding what I want my life to be over the next decades. Reflections can be tricky; they often hide or distort even as they appear to be clear and sharp. But then the process of living has never been as clear-cut as some would have you believe.
As I look at my past, my foundation, I face the fact that I have blocked memories from about age 5, while being fascinated how both actors and salesfolk present multiple personalities (not necessarily in a clinical sense) to the world. My various posts on these two streams meet in my Merging Threads post. And so, my poem from 2011 addresses more than just my current lack of poetic work; a voice from the past is coming out.
I Woke Up This Morning
My pen had been silenced;
My voice- not gone so much as distracted.
Life interferes; or guilt at living
When too many other lives were ended.
Perhaps it was time used to heal
Or at least to work through the anger.
But even if it was just time spent hiding,
I am done being silent.
Poem © Copyright 2011 Brian Gryphon
Aids Memorial, Toronto ON; Photograph © Copyright 2008 Brian Gryphon