August 26, 2008

Blind to the Beauty

before i fell in love with documentary photography, i should have known my calling. my nightmares included being partially blind. i could see, slightly--everything was fuzzy, opaque. everyone would laugh at me. i would get lost. i feared losing my sense of vision long before i found a profession and passion and love for a task that requires my own unique vision. i found my fear in a nightmare long before i knew it.

i don't have the usual anxiety dreams.
ok, so that's not true. i do have the usual anxiety dreams. i dream i'm pulling my teeth out. i dream i'm falling. i dream that i'm taking a test and everyone is finishing and i don't understand a single question. i run, but can't run fast enough to get away.

i can't even wrap my head around the complexity of dreaming. your brain creates a scene and plays it out while you sleep and can cause your true emotions to come forth? astounding. we can fly. we can speak fluent french. we change sexes. friends morph into other friends mid-story. we wake up crying. we talk in our sleep. we toss. we turn. and often, when remembered, it stirs us.
despite the fantasy of it all.

i've been sleepless this past week. i toss and turn and awake after brief, stress-filled dreams. i wake up with a knotted stomach in the morning. there is one dream that has haunted me the past year off and on, and i was reminded of it the other night. it isn't the usual anxiety dream. the nightmare varies, but always ends the same. i find myself surround by the most beautiful scenes. rich colors, interesting people, some of the most breathtaking things i've ever seen. and everything lines up to be remarkable photographs.
but, my camera doesn't work.
i try and try to press the shutter and nothing happens. i keep trying. to no avail. desperate to get the photo.

when i think about it, awake and out of bed, what i find more troubling than the broken camera and missing the photograph is that i never just put my camera down and enjoy the scene. i never truly see it.
instead, i frantically try to capture it. despite the fact that i never will.

my awake self is more afraid of being blind to that beauty than my nightmare of never catching it.

No comments: