For a full three years, 2011 through 2013, I made, edited and posted an image to Flickr every day. That happy record began to falter in mid-2014. October found my efforts sporadic and half-hearted. By Thanksgiving I had stopped even pretending to be interested.
Failure. The words and phrases that go along with it, so full of negative judgment, are hard to consider: proving unsuccessful, nonperforming, insufficient, deterioration of vigor, delinquent. Pretty terrible, huh? Accurate, though.
Having failed at this scheduled picture-taking I am not without excuse. If I'm generous with myself I could even call them reasons.
1. There's having been prohibited beginning in July from walking the golf course before or after the day's play. For some reason I took what was termed a "friendly reminder" terribly to heart. Belle and I took to the streets, not joining those who continued their cart path walking. It wasn't the same, the views all of garages, cars, mailboxes ...
2. Tal's medical challenges have taken increasing time the last several months. I have found the creative urge to limited in fairly direct proportion to growing concern and responsibility for Tal, the house and the yard.
3. Holidays, of course, had their own demands.
4. The decreasing light attending the onset of autumn and winter always has its way with me.
5. And, most telling, has been our sweet Belle's death in November.
As I worked out that list with the 12-days of Christmas drawing to a close, I chose to be gentle with myself. What's to say, after all, the commitment to posting that image-a-day had to go on for more than one year? And, I made three! That's pretty good. I probably need to be a little more careful about starting and ending dates for such endeavors.
A writer I admire* has observed that failure, more than evidence that we cannot do something, can actually be an indicator that things need adjusting. Life and growth and trying new things doesn't have to an all or nothing deal, he says. Flexibility and adaptability have to be part of the mix.
So, what I'm hoping is that the apparent diminishment of my creative and photographic energies is a temporary thing. I don't want to continue using -- or even thinking -- any of those above-listed, loaded words in relation to photography or by myself.
I have played with the camera a bit the last several days, and enjoyed it. Eventually, I'll begin posting to Flickr again. But, it won't be for a 365-project any year soon.
*Leo Babauta, Zen Habits