Personal Trials and Tribulations

2009 has started out as a tough year for me personally, as well as a tough one for the world’s economies.

Late December and January was dominated by hassles with an unreasonable web design client who we have now let going. Wanting the world but wanted it at an unreasonably low price, we were better off without him. Yet in the period of dealing with it he distracted us from dealing as well as we would like with our largely reasonable clients.

Dealing with, and then recovering from, a hacking attack on our main site, DIMi, dominated February. In the end it turned out to be useful as it pushed us to make some changes we had been considering for some time. But it was painful and distracting and a lot of other work that was to be done in February got pushed back.

The most recent issue, and I hope the last, happened last week when my brother-in-law killed himself with no warning. The death of someone so young is tragic. This type of death is even more so. I can’t believe how depressed he must have been to have done such a thing, and yet hid it so well. As you can imagine, the family ramifications are huge.

Now I am not telling you the above for sympathy or whatever, but to illustrate a point. Doing photography was a key part in getting me through the December through February events. It has been too soon for the last but I hope to get out this week and do a lot of the photography I find so personally soothing, landscape. I have my favorite places where the energy of the place is harmonious with mine and where I can readily ‘get into the zone’, loose time and just shoot. For me, at present, that is central Victoria, where there is something mystical about the curves of the land, the trees, fields and big skies that is resonating with me.

One way artists have often dealt with pain is by channeling it into their creativity, pouring it out onto the canvas or working it into a sculpture, in the process converting the pain into something positive. Photography can do the same and I recommend that those of you similarly passionate about photography remember this when life throws troubles at you.

Stay sane and create.

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14 Responses to “Personal Trials and Tribulations”

  1. diana jeonMarch 10, 2009 at 1:58 am #

    I think this is an awfully sad story, and I am sorry for your loss. However, I do think, once again, that ARTISTS in ANY media find making art an outlet. It does not need to be just photography. Wayne, I am so sorry for the tragic events and hope you can find a way to make something, like ART, using these feelings. I know that works for me. Maybe or maybe not for you-we are all different in dealing with grief.

  2. WayneMarch 10, 2009 at 3:06 am #

    Thanks Diana. Yes, it is very sad, esp. given that he left three kids (admittedly older, from 15 to 24), a sister and brother and a mother, as well as lots of friends and other family.

    Yes, we can channel our pain into work. But of course another side to this is that perhaps to do the art work we do, we may be more sensitive at some levels, and this could make us more vulnerable to pain in the first place, and perhaps less able to shake it off.

  3. WayneMarch 10, 2009 at 3:06 am #

    Thanks Diana. Yes, it is very sad, esp. given that he left three kids (admittedly older, from 15 to 24), a sister and brother and a mother, as well as lots of friends and other family.

    Yes, we can channel our pain into work. But of course another side to this is that perhaps to do the art work we do, we may be more sensitive at some levels, and this could make us more vulnerable to pain in the first place, and perhaps less able to shake it off.

  4. PenelopeMarch 10, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Dear Wayne,

    I agree that the creation of art, regardless of media used, as well as literature, is a satisfying, gratifying, and healing activity at all times, but particularly when one is served tragedy on a plate one never ordered. Art and literature are loyal friends, and like dogs will never abandon you in a crisis. Though my daughter is not dead (a miracle), she has diabled herself in a big way, by having jumped in front of an oncoming trolley train. Now she must deal with chronic pain and the major inconvenience of being a double, below-the-knee amputee, brought on by the failure of the emergency room trauma team’s to notic that her femorial arteries were damaged. Apparently, they were hard at work trying to save her life, a life she ceased to care about. this singular event has changed my life and that of my family, rearranging relationships in ways that have not been for the better.

  5. PenelopeMarch 10, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Dear Wayne,

    I agree that the creation of art, regardless of media used, as well as literature, is a satisfying, gratifying, and healing activity at all times, but particularly when one is served tragedy on a plate one never ordered. Art and literature are loyal friends, and like dogs will never abandon you in a crisis. Though my daughter is not dead (a miracle), she has diabled herself in a big way, by having jumped in front of an oncoming trolley train. Now she must deal with chronic pain and the major inconvenience of being a double, below-the-knee amputee, brought on by the failure of the emergency room trauma team’s to notic that her femorial arteries were damaged. Apparently, they were hard at work trying to save her life, a life she ceased to care about. this singular event has changed my life and that of my family, rearranging relationships in ways that have not been for the better.

  6. WayneMarch 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Penelope, I am deeply sorry for what has happened to your daughter, you and everyone around you. I really can relate.

    I suspect that family relationships are always constantly changing, just in such subtle ways that we are rarely aware of them. When an event like yours and mine throws a whole lot of energy into the relationships, the shifts can be dramatic and very noticeable. Some may be for the better, some for the worse, it can go either way. Sometimes underlying tensions get put in reduced perspective and sometimes they blow up.

    Coming back to the art aspect, I have considering what I may do art wise about this. Apart from getting out in the landscape to shoot and heal (I’ve always found nature a very powerful healer for me, with the less people the better), I may do an image series. Aspects are starting to form in my head. I know it will also feed into a book I am working on.

  7. WayneMarch 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Penelope, I am deeply sorry for what has happened to your daughter, you and everyone around you. I really can relate.

    I suspect that family relationships are always constantly changing, just in such subtle ways that we are rarely aware of them. When an event like yours and mine throws a whole lot of energy into the relationships, the shifts can be dramatic and very noticeable. Some may be for the better, some for the worse, it can go either way. Sometimes underlying tensions get put in reduced perspective and sometimes they blow up.

    Coming back to the art aspect, I have considering what I may do art wise about this. Apart from getting out in the landscape to shoot and heal (I’ve always found nature a very powerful healer for me, with the less people the better), I may do an image series. Aspects are starting to form in my head. I know it will also feed into a book I am working on.

  8. PeterMarch 11, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    Wayne: Very sorry to hear about the loss of your son-in-law, and my condolences also to your daughter.

  9. PeterMarch 11, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    Wayne: Very sorry to hear about the loss of your son-in-law, and my condolences also to your daughter.

  10. Rick ColsonMarch 12, 2009 at 6:45 am #

    Wayne – our prayers, thoughts and spirit go out to you and your family. By coming to know you and your work we are with you in your loss. Get out this weekend and make some images… that has brought me through some difficult times…

  11. Rick ColsonMarch 12, 2009 at 6:45 am #

    Wayne – our prayers, thoughts and spirit go out to you and your family. By coming to know you and your work we are with you in your loss. Get out this weekend and make some images… that has brought me through some difficult times…

  12. Mary AhernMarch 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    Wayne, I’m so sorry to read of the loss to you and your entire family. As an artist I have used my immersion in my work to help me through these very awful life experiences. As a painter I have been able to get onto paper and canvas so many of my raw emotions and fears.

    Over many years I realize that as artist’s we benefit by being so in touch with our souls and our motivations. This can give us, it did me, the tools needed to process these personal disasters. I believe that because I am an artist, I am far better equipped to creatively attack problems then others who lack creativity.

    You might find that the work you do now will change from what you’ve been recently doing to reflect this tragedy. The work I do now no longer shows the trauma of an earlier part of my history. All our work reflects our life’s journey. The work you do will change, and grow and morph but it will ultimately help you heal.
    Best wishes to you and your family…mary

  13. WayneMarch 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    Thanks all. Yes, I suspect it will manifest as a change in my work in some way. That certainly happened after I was widowed some 12 years back.

  14. WayneMarch 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    Thanks all. Yes, I suspect it will manifest as a change in my work in some way. That certainly happened after I was widowed some 12 years back.

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