A guest blog by Genevieve M Hibbs.
One area of creativity that I frequently and spontaneously enjoy and invest in is visual. I have my point-and-click camera with me whenever I have my day-clothes on. Yes, my camera is limited in its zoom, and its movie clips, but it’s readily available and that means that I can usually get some record even if it is a mental one that I would have otherwise missed.
My several hundred thousand photos, online, record good, bad and most importantly, the changing. As a local ‘street champion’ I forward photos of issues to the local council and have seen the results in many ways, for example, a set of six pavement crossovers, graffiti removed and reduced locally and cars no longer seriously overhanging the pavement in the road where I live.
Along the way there have been some ‘stunners’, like the Canada goose that stood still on one leg in a tapestry-like setting allowing me two sets of photos.
When one focuses on something, the brain learns that the point of one’s focus is interesting. So, I found that when I carried a leaf that I had picked, turned it over and was amazed at its bronze colour, my brain set me to find other leaves to pick up (and photograph). That autumn I picked up many ‘packs’ of leaves that were all different in some respect like shape, shade or size.
In contrast to the time when in my 50’s I went on a group coach trip to the seaside and was thinking, ‘I have done this before’, ‘I know what they will say’, ‘then we stop at …’, ‘this is boring’. Now that I made a conscious decision to do so, I see and enjoy the new and the different every day.
Following Jim Rohn and Jack Black, in the 1990’s, I was challenged to make a ‘day book’. One was instructed to set, and how to set, goals, and then find pictures, from magazines or use one’s own drawings, that symbolised each of those goals, and to look at those pictures every day.
The photograph relevant to this theme, that I put into my day book was of an old-fashioned wheelchair with a child standing by it and looking in. The caption was ‘take a peek at something new’. I looked at it more or less every day for six months only. Nothing happened, that I observed, from this picture, until some two years later, when suddenly one day I realised that three significant things had happened, that I had noticed, that I would not have noticed without that discipline.
How often do we lack focus or overlook the value of new experiences? I have wasted too many. However, now, at 83 and with my photography themes as a prompt, every day has ‘new’ experiences that I record!
Genevieve M Hibbs former: nurse (general and occupational health), midwife, Christian missionary, lecturer, elected councillor and mayor.