I’ve been a photographer my entire adult life. I’ve shot weddings, events and portraits. They were both stressful and a lot of fun. I prefer, though, to be able to putter and be creative. Taking and printing pictures was a mindful activity for me long before mindful became vogue.
Several weeks back, the cherry blossoms started peaking here in the Pacific Northwest. I love the cherry trees. I belong to several photo groups on Facebook and came across a picture I thought would make a good cover for this blog and asked the photographer about the image and where it was taken. They told me all I wanted to know and I didn’t really think any more about it.
Yesterday, another member of one of these groups posted a sort of rant about people asking him where he shot a particular image. His gripe is that some people are too lazy to get out and find their own spots and shoot their own images. I get where he’s coming from. Someone will post a nice image of the Seattle skyline, for example, and next thing you know, everybody and their brother is posting very similar shots from that same park. It gets old. It’s also pretty annoying when you did all this work to put out a pretty picture and there’s a copycat out there posting an image just like yours a day or two later. I get it. I hate that, too.
I haven’t been able to get out and tramp around much since starting treatment back in November. I’ve been living vicariously through other people’s pictures for the past 5 months. There are days that I can muster up the energy to get out and there are days I just can’t. I’ve had to plan well enough in advance to have someone go with me now so I have someone who can drive home if I’m too tired to drive myself. Where I’m at in my treatment, it’s hard for me to think about going on a 10 mile hike to get a picture. I’m at a point right now where if I have to think about walking much more than a block or two I’m out. In all fairness, I was overweight and out of shape before I started my treatment. This sucks.
Cancer makes you tired. I started noticing the tired about 3-6 months before I was diagnosed. I wrote it off to not getting a decent night’s sleep at night because I was sleeping in hotels instead of my own bed. As I’ve said before, the only other time I remember being “hit the wall” tired is when I had mono my senior year in high school.
At least for a while, I’m going to have to piggyback on my fellow photographers and travelers to find places to shoot. I may also just take the same wide angle shots as everyone else for a while, too. This is okay. Those shots will give me things to think about. They’ll help me plan the shots I want to take when I feel well enough to get out and do this again later. I have to remind myself that this is one step and one day at a time.
This is what second chances are about. That’s the whole reason any of us opt to follow our oncologists and take on the treatments available for our cancers. To have more time to spend doing the things we enjoy. To stop doing the things that don’t bring a smile to our faces or make our hearts want to explode with joy.
Life’s too short already. I’m not sure how many of us realize just how short until we are bestowed with a disease that literally wants to take our breath away.