Narrative – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence

A Hermits Journey

A Hermits Journey

I do not live alone, I live with myself. This is a position of strength, although it may appear to be an isolated existence.

A Hermits Journey

My mental health difficulties can lead to very morbid thoughts, but somehow I manage to walk that path in between life and death. I find there is as much joy to be found in darkness as there is in light. That’s not the way it used to be, so I think a positive attitude comes with experience and age.

A Hermits Journey

People are important to me. Through my studies I have developed an online community, and I have some very close and wonderful friends that I have known for years. However I chose not to meet with people very often, I prefer to have a physical distance, and enjoy the freedom of not having to be with people.

A Hermits Journey

If I spend too much time around people I feel overwhelmed and oppressed. It’s not that people are oppressive, its hard to explain. I find that being with people is quite heavy and tiring. It’s hard for me to just let go and move with current of life when I am in the company of others.

A Hermits Journey

Its much easier to blend into the background and be invisible.

A Hermits Journey

Spirituality, in my mind, is not about a church or belief system. Nature and space provide me with a connection and nourishment, as of course do birds. For me, feeling connected, that I have a place and purpose is important, and photography has given me that in bucket loads. I am grateful for my camera, and grateful to be studying photography.

A Hermits Journey

Gratitude is something that is so important to me. It is possible to feel grateful for so many small things, and in this photo its the colour and texture of the wood, and how they are strengthened and exaggerated by the snowy background. One of the many things that I found to be grateful for on my walk. Gratitude is a spiritual practice. At the end of each day I write five things down in my daily gratitude journal. Positivity has to be cultured.

A Hermits Journey

One of the down sides to living the life of a hermit is that there is a wee bit too much time for thinking. I find it is easy to slip into either negative thinking or dwelling on the past.

A Hermits Journey

Too much self-reflection can leave me feeling trapped, brittle and easy to break.

A Hermits Journey

During those times I have to dig deep and find my inner strengths and push myself forward. Colour and beauty is to be found within those inner resources that I use to move onwards and upward.

A Hermits Journey

Once I have pushed myself back up to the top of the hill, and re-discovered the joy of being, I can take a rest at my post. I lean upon this post with my camera in one hand and binoculars in the other. There are so many different bird species to be found in this small patch of bracken, bramble and trees. Peace and beauty flutter around me.

A Hermits Journey

In the journey through life people come and go. Maybe in passing, for however long that maybe, we will sit on these benches together and connect. But whether I sit with you, or someone else, I will never be alone because I will always be with myself.

 

Reflections

I am so grateful that I have used the opportunity provided in exercise 3.3 to explore different themes in relation to photography as a sequence. The photos for A Hermits Journey were taken during a walk from Whitby Abbey, down into the town, along the river Esk into Ruswarp, and then back into Whitby, ending with a walk along the West Cliffs.

The walk took me five hours, and I took many photos along the way. Although I will publish others in my gallery, I narrowed my selection for this narrative down to twelve photos which I could use to express a little of who I am. These photos are sequential in relation to the walk that I took, and I have tried to use my words in a manner that flows throughout.

If viewed by anyone who hasn’t walked the route I enjoy, then the photos without text would be seen as a series rather than as a sequence. The writing brings the photos together as a sequence, and provide a way for me to communicate and express myself. This is directive in its manner and probably doesn’t leave the viewer asking questions, although some may be able to relate to different aspects. I don’t believe that this has any abstract or conceptual slant to it, and fits very neatly into a genre of narrative photography.

Critique and feedback are always welcome on my blog.

343 Replies to “Narrative – Exercise 3.3 – Sequence”

  1. This is stunning and so inspiring! The words and the images just take you to a space which is raw, truthful, deep, painful and sweet. Thanks for sharing. Would love to try an exercise like this. Everything comes alive in a different way.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. This is so beautiful & peaceful ♥ I never knew about something called narrative photography, now because of you I know & I will practice it… it seems so deeply self-reflective.
    I’m also a hermit because of my mental health problems. Most of my time I struggle through loneliness, depression, & crazy desire for another human’s love! I try to imagine that a god is always with me, embracing & loving me… I find peace in my solitude, but I can’t get free from needing the “other”!
    However, like you, nature, birds, as well as children are the joy of my being ♥

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Baring in mind because of my work I’m surrounded by people all the time, what I see is, people are afraid of solitude, afraid of silence, they need to fill it up with ‘stuff’ and I think most would like to be happy in their own company but life’s distractions prevent them! I like you suffer with what I call my ‘dark passenger!’ And like you have taught myself coping strategies! X

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Your pictures are beautiful and will always draw others to you, like you I prefer the company of me, but solitary and alone are different words with different intentions. Thank you for these pictures – they express so succinctly who you are.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. This is so relatable for me. Sometimes when your a reclusive person, you tend to think something is wrong with yourself. It’s good to see others are just like me. I love you pics and the essay was amazing . I now have a new mantra… I do not live alone, I live with myself. Thanks for sharing !

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m so glad that you can relate Tara. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling that something is wrong with us, or judging ourselves as we think others are judging us (it’s us who’s judging us). Life is too short for that pressure we put ourselves under. Be with yourself. There’s no one better for you to be with.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. This is so beautifully written, so mind-opening. It allows me to see life in a different perspective. Perhaps I should start considering being with myself, rather than being alone. Thank you for the enticing words, furthermore the enchanting pictures that accompany.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My pleasure. My own experience was that by reframing the terminology from ‘being alone’ to ‘being with myself’ stopped me from feeling lonely. I don’t even know when it happened. But for many years I’ve been happy to live with myself.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sometimes rephrasing something brings life-changing effects to our state of mind. It’s what we often need, however it’s not the easiest way to deviate from what is default for us. I believe it’s something that comes naturally, perhaps, as we grow.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. And once accustomed to what is better for us, we will think ‘why was it so hard before’, but perhaps it is all a part of learning and experiencing new things. ❤️ It’s really relieving to be able to talk about this with a very mindful person like you.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thankyou so much. I really appreciate your comment. The effort was more in relation to allowing myself to be vulnerable in a public sphere, not knowing how others would react. But I’ve been overwhelmed with people’s reactions. So once again, thankyou.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The way you expresses this is really impressive and the photos that I saw makes me know that you actually worked hard for the writing and the pictures and connecting this togather. So, keep on the good work.

    Liked by 3 people

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