Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Challenge I Can't Meet

I took up a challenge months ago in a new field. It's a challenge for me, meeting this weekly challenge, because it goes contrary to much of my personality. There are different kinds of people in this world - people who fix things, who are very mechanically-inclined; there are people who see things in pictures, in the visual world; and there are people who live and breathe through words. All are forms of communication, one really not better than the other.

I am married to an engineer. All that he does shows that he lives, breathes, and understands all things mechanical. He can fix anything better, stronger, faster, than anyone has ever fixed anything in the world. Really.

My son-in-law is a gifted photographer. He takes pictures, captures moments, that can steal your breath for their beauty, and me...

I'm the words person. I have rarely met a thought I could not "voice" in words; feelings and events fall quickly to the "might" of my keyboard. Okay, that's getting a little strong, but me, I like to write.

So, I took up the challenge to go "outside my comfort zone" and try to express a single concept each week with a picture. It is incredibly hard and I'm incredibly not creative enough to compete with others and so, as the wise man who runs this challenge each week keeps telling us, don't compete with others, compete with yourself.

That's what 52 Frames is all about and this week, I can't do it. It isn't the first time. Yosef of the 52 Frames picked Rule of Thirds one week, and I was about to go find something in threes, when I luckily read the description and Haim explained what they wanted. Then they said the theme of another week was Macro...Haim to the rescue again...who knew my camera had a macro setting?

Last week was calm. It was pretty easy to do - there are many things that are calm in my life. I thought of the mountains, fields of flowers, the sea. In the end, I went with something more basic, but it wasn't really that hard.

This week's challenge stumped me. Chaos. I know I can dump a bunch of things in a drawer and take a picture and call it chaos. I can take a picture of my kitchen after I cook a meal for many people. But those don't represent chaos to me...and what does, is a picture I wouldn't take, even if I could.

Chaos isn't messy. Chaos is that moment after there is an explosion, when you don't know where to turn, when all around you, things are crazy. You don't know if you should go forward or back...there could be another bomb. You know you aren't hurt, but you don't know who is. People are rushing past you to see what happened, to help.

Chaos is the loss of control. It's that moment when the world implodes and even if you know somehow tomorrow you'll crawl out of it, at that moment, it is beyond what you can handle. It isn't so many things. It is so many things. Calm is easy. Each person has their calm, their balance. Often many things can bring you to a state of calm. It's a warm bath, a loving touch. It's watching your child (or grandchild) walk in those first few weeks when he's mastered this new skill. It's listening to children as they chatter, knowing they are home, they are safe.

Chaos is the opposite of everything we want. Too often, we minimize what it really means, abuse the term. But real chaos is the lights suddenly going out, people screaming, and you hear gunshots and you don't know where to hide. Chaos is being in a train moments after an Arab has dropped some tear gas just as the doors were closing, and people running to the front of the train as it pulls from the station and you don't know why people are running and screaming.

Chaos is uncontrollable fear in a situation you can't control; it's not a picture I ever want to take, I knew that when I saw the word but I tried to give it a try. I tried to compete with myself and now I admit defeat.

I can't post a picture after children have finished playing in a room. That isn't chaos, that's life. I thought of trying to take a picture of traffic but I don't have the access to the right angle and truthfully, that's traffic and bad drivers, not chaos.

So this week, I won't meet the challenge. I have in the past, I will in the future. Not today. Chaos to me is so much more than ordinary life and for some reason this one, more than any other, just overwhelms me. It isn't about style. It isn't about talent. It is about a deep need to stay far from the only real chaos that I've ever experienced in my life.

Here are some pictures of the challenges that I did meet...this one, I won't try for.

Magic hour (that first or last hour of the day)

Macro - making something tiny in life be really big)

From Above...and so I gave a literal example

Negative Space - letting the rest of the picture be in the background

Line in a song....I chose a song from Don Quixote

RED...of course

Highkey - don't ask me to explain this one. I don't remember but I think this
was an example...

Transportation - this one came with an explanation that moments earlier, a terrorist had attempted to board
another train with a bomb in his backpack. Guards thankfully stopped him but the train became my symbol of
transportation for that week's challenge,

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