Monday, October 6, 2014

Simple Living

Across from Ricky's place

I’m on a string of days off from shoots, and am removed from my usual daily existence. As I sit sipping on a cup of coffee in an Asheville bookshop, I realize my hair is messy, my face shinier and my spirits calmer than normal. I spent one night camping on my friend’s plot of land, on a slanted bit of land and woke up crunched near the entrance of the ten, then had a night of quiet and solitude at her father’s home while he was out freezing at a party, and last night I was in the home my friend has been given to use for the winter, where she and another family will make repairs in exchange for lodging. Time without other people around me is extremely precious, but time with loved ones in a situation where conversation is so removed from my daily discussion of my job and art photos is also a much-needed part of my life. I have built my lifestyle around my current job, but recognize even if not working as a model, I am still the same basic person. 

I was to meet up with a friend yesterday morning, but when the clock crossed noon, and morning was over, I decided to find myself a bit of a nature trail to hike on my own before driving to where she lived. I had two hours of walking and reading near a stream before I sought out my friend, which ended in showing up with a few hours to help clean her new home and entertain her housemate’s children. For the next day and night I became the cook for all three hungry families, cleaned a little and found myself with two young shadows.  My time with my friend and her group of families was a reminder of my experience in South America, meeting people and suddenly becoming part of their family. The father of the two boys noted that I was a take -charge woman, which was a change in their consensus central community, and invited me to stay for a while. While I am at home in an environment where simple living is the goal, I recognize that I am a person who likes to feel productive and like I am in forward motion, so a simple life is not one for me. In South America I was contented to care for children, cook and clean, and not push forward with work or excitement on a frequent basis because I was actively working on my Spanish language skills and that was a project. But while in the US, I ultimately prefer the forward moment of being everywhere, even if I sometimes yearn for a small piece of a home for myself.

David and Daniel G

Reading or writing with children by my side is nearly impossible, because I have not learned the art of encouraging children to leave me alone, but at least that means I have adorable photo subjects if I am sneaky enough with my camera. I love portraits of people, but always feel I am invading peoples’ space when I have my camera pointed at them – this is something I will have to overcome if I am to improve as a portrait photographer.

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