Don’t force the Force

I am so in the mood to write today. I also have a lot of things I’m in the mood to accomplish. However, I think getting in a little writing in will scratch that itch and help me focus on the rest of the day.

It’s been a week since Melissa and I devoted a whole day that was supposed to be for art instead to mental maintenance. I do still feel some regret at not creating with her that day, but I think it may not have been possible considering where my head was at the time. Talking was good. Perhaps taking that time, no matter how rare and valuable it is with her, was truly what I needed. As I said previously, she had some things on her mind as well, but my recollection was that the day was more about my confusion than hers and I’m grateful she gave me the time I seemed to have needed.

On Monday morning, I left for the day after waking her and making her an espresso and she got ready to meet a friend of hers before her afternoon flight back home. When I arrived back that evening I could still feel her there. Her energy is quite powerful and like a sweet perfume, it lingers long after her departure.

I had the feeling she would leave something behind for me. She almost always does. And sure enough, near my keyboard was a page ripped from the oversized W magazine. It was from an editorial fashion spread and while I don’t know what the other half of the photograph was, the page she chose was a simple closeup of some flowers. On that she wrote:

Billy,

In all this World
We try to hide
And force our hearts
to Live a silent cry.

Remember Truth is the
Strongest Voice
For it will carry you
to your greatest Joys.

She signed it and reminded me not to forget to smile. It’s on my wall and I have spent a week reading it every day. Her worlds can be interpreted to apply to many things currently going on in my life, and some days their meaning seems more specific than others.

One of her mantras is “Don’t force the Force.” She’s right. It does no good to try to manipulate things we have no control over. I’ve been finding peace in the last few years by realizing that time is not something that needs to be beaten.
It is a friend, not a deadline. I don’t mean it’s good to be lazy, but that most of our fears, frustrations and insecurities can be minimized by simply relaxing our grip on them, giving what we feel we need some time and space to happen and realizing what we have control over and what we don’t. Be it love or something else entirely. We may not get what we are hoping for, but life is a journey and to truly live it, the pain is just as important as the bliss.

The photograph above is one I made of Melissa during one of our earlier shoots. This is the original negative. No photoshop tricks or anything like that. It’s a flash and then I left the shutter open for an extra bit of time to get the triple-exposure-like effect. I guess it’s sort of like my comment above about after she’s gone she’s still there. This image was one of my monthly postcards (remember those!!??) a few years ago and I remember a friend of mine telling me her three year old son was just enamored by it. When the month was over and it was replaced on the refrigerator by the next month’s photograph, he asked her, “Where is the blue lady?” He wanted to see her again. Melissa has that effect on people. I’m fortunate to have her as a friend.

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