Out of the house in my leisure time, behind a camera was pretty much where I lived until my early teens. The camera was my eye on the world. The camera was my way of keeping quiet and concentrating on the world around me and listening to the world inside of me. Listening to that voice that told me, to be an artist was the best way to be for my type of personality. It took me years to respect and honor that internal wisdom. Permission to be an artist is more accurate.
Inside, upstairs in my childhood bedroom, I would orchestrate some new world or other on the Olivetti or through the use of a symphony of color in a sketch pad. Or be listening to music; following the lyrics. My love affair with words and the artist’s vocal storytelling through poetry never failed to stir my emotions. And so, these were the occupations of my youth.
Downstairs in the garden, especially, when I got my own camera at around the age of five or six, the snap of the shutter accompanied me on my routine turn-about in all seasons. Nature captured my heart and then my soul. Whatever the weather I was out there because out there was just beautiful and fascinating. And, slowly but surely a camera and notebook took me beyond the perimeters of the small world of my youth to the big world beyond the borders of England and into the heart of countries and cultures that still call to me today.
But, as a child, I recall with endearment my first pictures. Close ups of dew drops on grass did not look much in the view finder but just noticing the little details of the new day prompted me to seek all sorts of new aspects of life. Like fluffy bubble bees, prickly hedgehogs and green caterpillars with black dots on their back as well as the feel of Nature like the smooth touch of a new rose petal that I liked to float across the cheek of my face. Or the fine ridges under my fingertips of a large blackberry bursting with ripe goodness.
The smell of the garden could not be registered on film but just writing about my first escapades with my first camera takes me back to the garden in my childhood home. Just imagining the faint smell wafting from the kitchen of the hot concoction of apple, blackberry, and cinnamon in the pie my mother used to make raises a smile. I can now see the generous scoop of vanilla ice cream that she dolloped on top. How sweet a memory of a woman lost to me now. When a parent passes away such recollections are priceless just like a cherished photograph.
Whether it was the pen or the typewriter or the camera or a pencil I kept myself pretty occupied when I was a child. Those were industrious times; creative enterprise due to sheer desire and application.
Photograph credit: My camera and me at http://www.Keep Calm-o-Matic, thank you.