Disclaimer – I am in no way suicidal, murderous, at my wits end or in need of intervention. I do not endorse self harm or suicide. If you are struggling at all mentally, seek professional help.
Theoretically during England’s winter lockdown, we are going out once a day locally for exercise unless shopping for groceries or doing an essential job that necessitates not working remotely. To me, exercise outdoors is running or walking, leaving my camera at home, in part because I often do this time of year and also because I don’t like photography to be a run and gun affair.
A while back, with time on my hands and a recently started roll of Kentmere 400, I occasionally set up a tripod indoors and pointed it at my glamorous assistant – me.
I’m one of the lucky ones in a sense. Work hasn’t particularly dried up in my section of the entertainment industry, so I can still pay the mortgage. Consequently, I still have a roof over my head. I live alone so don’t have home schooling to contend with or the extended test of my relationship with a cohabiter. Although I’ve been in touch with friends and family through a mix of contemporary communication methods, I am however, human and crave the contact many others have every day, whether they still enjoy that or not! That being said, the early, uncertain days of the pandemic felt a lot tougher than the current more promising days where we have vaccines and treatments and a least a glimmer of hope of a life again where people meeting indoors isn’t cause for alarm or all the windows to be wide open in winter.
Some people, especially those making the news feeds, like to continually remind us that doom is the order of the day. Don’t get too excited. Know your limits, comrade! Frustratingly this seems to seep into the mindsets of the populous as a whole with some I personally know seemingly determined to put my mood down at any point I show hope. I know they’re being realistic, the voice of reason, but that to me is the struggle. Self motivation is hard enough without people I know and love telling me we’re still on the way into the labyrinth, not coming out the other side. I know it’s a long journey, I don’t need you bringing me down, Samwise.
At the point of shooting these images I was often purposefully remembering some of these moments, thinking of the deaths, those they affect, the moments of pure hopelessness that I’d overcome in my relatively privileged life to be able to get through each day. I know it’s affected some in ways I hope I’ll never experience. Losing work can be horrible, but losing relatives or friends, never being able to say goodbye, possibly kept away from funerals by social distancing measures; you have my sympathy if that’s you. Words can’t express the grief you must feel, nor my gratitude to those working in emergency services, armed forces, couriering, teaching and all of those who have to put themselves in the way of the virus’ path.
I’m doing well now by comparison, taking each day at a time and keeping my expectations low.
If you’ve read this far, congratulations! I can’t promise you a cookie, but I’m sure you can make yourself banana bread. Please be aware that I’m genuinely doing okay, not suicidal, self harming, abusing alcohol or any other of the myriad things folk seem to think I’m up to if left unattended. I regularly wield a knife to decorate or prepare my dinner but am not stabbing the local ne’er-do-wells.
Let’s end on a high!