For some time now I’ve been uninspired to write and photograph. I don’t know if it’s the pandemic, a lack of imagination, or even the possibility that I’ve become bored with all of the things I used to photograph?
Even now, as the explosion of color that is Autumn takes over the mountains and forests here in New Hampshire, I’m uninspired to go out and capture it in the way I used to.
Lately though I have been feeling the urge to create. That inspiration though hasn’t come from grand scenic vistas, or flowing waterfalls, or by the waves crashing on the rocks under a fiery sunrise sky along the seacoast. In the past these things had me clamoring for my camera, getting up at midnight so I could hike to some remote mountain top for sunrise, or dodging waves along the seacoast.
At the moment, not so much.
Found in the Darkness.
Recently I’ve found inspiration in the darkness of the forest. More accurately, I’ve been inspired to create by the light that’s able to find(fight?) its way through that darkness. Is this a metaphor for the way I’ve been feeling about my lack of creativity and lack of motivation to photograph, or just the latest shiny new toy that’s caught my eye? It’ll take someone with far more education than I have to figure that one out. 🙂
But inspire me it has.
A few weeks back I spent the day photographing the Kilkenny Ridge Race, a 25 and 50 mile ultra running race through the beautiful boreal forests along the Kilkenny Ridge in northern New Hampshire.
Over such a long race there’s often plenty of down time between runners, time that allows me to take in the forest around me. For this years race the ridge was in and out of the clouds all day long. There was sun, there was rain, and there was quiet. All of which allowed me to soak in my surroundings, quite literally at times as I was caught in the rain more than once.
The Japanese nailed it when they came up the the concept of shinrin yoku, literally translated as “forest bath.”
With as much as 45 minutes to an hour between the mid and back of the pack runners during the race, I had plenty of time to “bath” in the forest.
There was quiet, but not silence. The smell of spruce, wet earth, and in indescribable cleanliness to the air. And the light, the glorious light that filtered through the thick forest and the clouds wafting through the trees, was nothing short of magical.
And yes, inspiring.
Am I back, will there be more images and (incoherent) babbling from me, shared more often, for you to enjoy? Time will tell, but I think I feel it.
Perhaps all I needed was a good long soaking in a forest bath??