Thinking about Process

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I haven’t been writing anything, anywhere. And it isn’t because I’m not motivated, I tell myself, smirking as I think it each time I see my notebooks stacked just to the left of my keyboard. It’s the photos of our recent trip I’ve been working through, trying to learn new Photoshop techniques to make them stand out in some way, worthy of what I remember seeing when my eye wasn’t peering through the viewfinder of my camera.

Yesterday I spent the entire day searching, reading, watching, jotting notes and practicing, yet ended up with not much beyond what I started with. Of course that hasn’t been the only time I’ve invested. I’ve spent much of the past two months experimenting and wonder if I will ever be satisfied. I’m tired of justifying time spent with a conciliatory nod to learning something new — even though it hasn’t helped. At least that is the thought I had as I switched off the light on my desk last night, knowing I would be back at it this morning, wanting perfection — or my version of perfection at least.

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The quiet act of processing photos is something I enjoy regardless. With the incessant noise of certain social media which-will-not-be-named now faded, and which I’ve sworn off for a month, I can hear words again as I pace through my early morning everyday routine. People talking, scenes opening, opinions, now less fiery, wanting space on a page. I miss the satisfying rhythm of typing, the text evolving as my fingers peck — thankfully far more proficiently than when I’m adjusting the whites or blacks, clarity or vibrance of an image.

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At some point with either process, whether writing or processing images, as much as I enjoy both, unless I have something satisfying at the end of time working, I am only going through repetitive motion — just as I am each morning when I roll from bed to play with the cat who has waited for just that moment far less patiently or quietly than I would like.

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I toss the soft, old, awful ball for her a few times before going downstairs to lovey talk the dog, put my espresso grind in the Bialetti, shove my feet into the Crocs I keep by the back door, and spend a few minutes cleaning up after the dog. I check my planters to see if they can make it another day without water. I look at the sky, breathe the air, feel gratitude I am able to do both. Every day is nearly the same if I don’t consider the weather; more days than not have been cool and cloudy rather than the dry, clear, warm August mornings I’m more familiar with.

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I glance at the time on my screen and decide to call this a step in the right direction. Thoughts collected, words written. Something concrete accomplished beyond a clean patio — and all before my second cup of coffee.

Most would not call that progress, but I’ll take whatever I can at this point and move along with it.