There is a ritual associated with my anniversary posts now, that I am not sure many have caught on to. It started close to my blog’s very first anniversary when I came across an amazing photograph taken by my friend and colleague for over a decade – Yosi. He is also a passionate photographer. His works can be found at Yos Photography
That first year post carried the picture that for me, showed the depth and complexity of my own journey. With Yosi’s permission, I gave him due credit and used it to my utter delight!
The second year anniversary came around and I found myself looking through Yosi’s works again and sure enough, I found inspiration in a beautiful picture of the sea with a solitary boat. The ripples in the water reflected my own struggles and challenges as a new writer and I was hooked.
Last year, I happened to go on a trip to Russia with my husband (a CoviMusing is churning in my mind about this even as I write my anniversary piece). The rich culture, the people, the very soul of the cities I visited reminded me why I loved to write, and that people were the centre of my stories. Even though we took thousands of pictures on that trip, it was now impossible for me to write an anniversary post without it being accompanied by an amazing photograph from Yos Photography! I chose a beautiful, color-rich palette sitting next to a finished painting. It perfectly depicted the many colours of humanity I saw in Russia.
This year is no different and carries Yosi’s breathtaking photograph of James Bond Island! What drew me to this picture was the sole rock standing in the middle of the sea. Isolated, alone, distanced from the other rocks.
Quiet like how many of us have been living for most of this year. Whether you are in a lockdown because the risk of going out is too great, or whether (like me), you are immuno-suppressed and would be better off keep any contact with the outside world to a bare minimum, there is perhaps a very small percentage of human beings today who haven’t experienced some or the other version of a lockdown.
That rock in the middle of sea reminded me of myself. A friend keeps telling me whenever we chat, “Staying in the house all the time does things to you.”
It does. It manifests itself in different ways with different people. But we have all gone through immense pressure and immense change. One day we are grateful and the very next upset about the loss of a loved one. One day we’re strong and positive, only to feel low and demotivated the next. One day we cook a feast while we are barely able to spread butter on bread on another day.
To mentally adjust to this “new normal”, we’re probably going to have to go through several iterations of this yo-yo lifestyle. In the most frustrating iteration, you finally come to the realisation that you need to give yourself, and more importantly others around you, a break. Be kind. Take a step back, breathe. “I have to do this” becomes “Just do the best you can”.
If we’re lucky, we transit into the phase where we become more patient and understanding of ourselves and others.
I look again at the sole rock in the middle of the sea. All this while, that is all I’ve been able to focus on. I shift my focus to the rest of the rich colourful photograph. I see the other rocks, at a safe distance from this one, but they’re there. All around this lone rock, from a distance, they radiate strength, love and positive energy.
Just like my family, friends and colleagues who have been such a great source of love, strength and support. Proof that positive energy transcends the barriers of social and geographical distances.
Even a photograph has the power to put things right back in perspective, if we look closely enough. And that is the reason why every anniversary post of mykidneybeans will always carry a Yosi original.
Illustration Photo Credit – Yos Photography