a Bipolar-positive perspective?

i've taken somewhere around fifty thousand
photographs in the last ten years or so.

Somewhere along the line it dawned on me
that it was my way of mapping my world...
of capturing a handful of the thoughts that
were racing thru my mind as i wandered around.

On the rare occasions i ever looked at them again
afterwards, i realized that these images were also
a kind of diary.

This was partly due to the fact that i file them away
by date, but it was also because looking at those images
i could tell you where i was that day, and what the day
was like and what else happened that i didn't take
a picture of and so on.

But in the last couple of years i've also found
myself thinking that these images are also a way
of communicating, in some small way, to other
people what one person's bipolar experience
was like sometimes.

This is what the world looks like to me.

This is what the world looked like to me
wandering around a more tropical zone
than i usually live in ... sort of.

i say "sort of" because my wanderings - and
hence my image-making - are rarely as tidy
or as linear as a posting like this might imply.

Between one plant here and another there
might have been buildings, birds, statuary,
graf, clouds and anything else i might have
stumbled over along the way.

In that sense, just posting all the images taken
on a given walk would be a more accurate portrait
of a/my bipolar experience*.

At the same time there is something to be said
for a thematic approach too, and respect for one's
audience is one of those things. If one is going
to try and communicate, i think it behooves one
not to waste anybody's time...
including one's own.

i don't spend a lot of time trying to "get" a picture.
i may take two or even three photographs of something
trying to capture what i'm after, but that's it.

If i haven't "got it" by the third shot,
then i'm not really clear on what i'm after.

Why do you or anyone else need to see
a photograph that i don't think captures "it"?

Likewise, i don't spend a lot of time fussing
with the images once i've got them. i might
tweak the cropping or sweeten the contrast
or the colour, but if it takes more than five minutes
i'll bail... partly because again, if it needs more
work than that i didn't "get it" and need to work
on my skills, not try and fix it in the mix.

As John Lee Hooker used to say...
"That's the best, and later for the garbage".

None of the above has a lot to do with what
was on my mind when i set out to post these.

What i wanted to do was collect some of the images
on this theme where i really felt that i had got "it"...
(or come very close at least) as a way of speaking
to the perspective that most people - including
many of the diagnosed - have about "bipolar disorder".

i would not for a minute deny anyone else's
bipolar experience or their right to speak
about it in whatever terms they want,
and likewise for their friends and family,
or medical professionals or who-have-you.

The reason i started this blog was to have
somewhere that i could do exactly that,
and what this post was supposed to be about
is that i really really hate having my life,
my experience of the world characterized
as "a disorder".

One of the reasons i hate it so much
is that characterizing this way of being
as a "disorder" can very easily become
a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As soon as one is diagnosed,
one becomes "the other".

Hello stigma.

* hmmm... note to self.


No comments:

Post a Comment