Brilliant artists put their whole life into their creative endeavours. For the photographer, that means lugging heavy equipment and heading out (both physically and mentally) beyond the known. Animal-like powers of concentration in order not to miss a picture oportunity. Determination to achieve perfect lighting and composition. Intelligence backed up by subjectivity and positivism.
But for twelve years, it wasn't that way with me. Day in day out, breast-feeding once every two hours. Changing nappies and preparing meals, a recurring cycle of forced smiles and running on empty. Bare minimum hours of sleep and single-handed struggle. I broke up with my partner, who wanted nothing to do with all that.
I took my baby with me everywhere. I'd choose places where I myself could protect him. On days off, I took him to watch his favourite trains. Blurry-eyed and half-asleep, I'd chase after him when he wandered off alone.
I often got irritated and out of sorts from sheer exhaustion.
Whatever, little by little I learned: one can only do what one can. Photos of home life and trains taken with a lightweight easy-focus camera. Scenes with obstacles in the way. Loveable niceties. A peaceable (?) world reflected in the mirror.
This past summer, the boy chose two days at a railroad enthusiast camp over three weeks in Europe with me, so for once I'm on my own again.
Change is in the air.